Wool Floor Show, London

Last week we visited the Wool Floor Show, this was a new and exciting event showcasing the industry leaders in the manufacturer of wool flooring; exhibiting in central London.

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There were lots of interesting and unique features at the show which brought wool concepts to life. Not only was it an educational event but also an inspirational one with Wool Trend boards by Jessica Light outlining key colour directions, fabrics and materials for 2016. A particular highlight was the Creative Colour for Wool Rooms which cleverly portrayed wool as coloured paint. The ‘Wool Forest’ was also a beautiful installation which promoted living naturally and choosing wool for all it’s benefits.

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Of course our interest in the show was confirming current trends and investigating what new colours, textures and styles were coming through. We identified 3 clear design stories for 2016 and beyond; Woodland Walk, Soft Minimalism and Tribal.

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The Woodland Walk trend is one we have been talking about for a while and includes grey toned neutrals and hazy heather shades. Patterns are often traditional, including houndstooth, muted coloured tartan (Stevens and Graham) and herringbone styles where textures are deep, comforting and organic. There is a deep connection to nature here, the beauty is found in the rawness and destructive qualities.

soft-minimalism

Soft Minimalism displays powdery pastels, they are chalky, matte and often infected with a slight grey tone. These cosmetic shades are intimate, discreet and restrained which projects a calm and soothing sense of well-being. Chunky textures hold protective and comforting qualities where patterns are minimal, simple and sophisticated. (Tartan carpet by Stevens and Graham, Textured Carpet by Jacaranda Carpets, Sample Board by Jessica Light).

tribal

Tribal is a fusion of global influences, mixing colour, textures and patterns to create a unique and exciting revival of traditional cultures. Intense brights are combined together with more neutral tones in weave style carpets (RogerOats). Deep textures appear in stripy brights and zigzag effects (M.I.D / Ruckstuhl).

Find out more about the Campaign for Wool and the Wool Floor Show by searching #ChooseWool #WoolFSL #BritishWool

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Back to School: 2016 Stationery Trends for Retailers and Manufacturers

It’s that time of year again where we revamp our stationery collection. New notepads, pens and accessories ready to start back at school, college or University. Or, if like me, you just love nothing more than purchasing new inspiring patterns and colours to brighten up your desk space! So, for all the stationery retailers and manufacturers out there, we have put together 3 key trend directions for 2016. Each trend combines pattern, material, colour and product guidance to keep you ahead of the curve and prepared for next year. Of course it’s not just about what you design or buy in, but also how you share this with your customers. Product placement and the visual advertising of stationery collections should be creative, inspiring an enticing. So, we have also included ideas for retailers on how to merchandise and style product.

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Wild Urbanism

This trend is about our basic human desire to reconnect with nature. We seek out reassuring, comforting and grounded elements within a modern life of constant change. Our ecological and environmental awareness increases as we adapt our hybrid environment, fusing nature and architecture together creating a cultural and natural balance.

There is a wide acceptance of greens in all shades emerging but particularly earthy greens. These ripened greens and crisp mint shades look great with linen tones and sun warmed neutrals. Patterns include gardening motifs, botanical, illustrative style: flowers, plants, vegetables and herbs often with a nostalgic retro look. They connect strongly with garden to table trends and promotes the ‘grow your own‘ phenomenon which continues to become more widespread.

The emphasis on materials is a slightly rustic style and often includes raw textures or re-cycled elements. We begin to see raw linens and eco cottons, plywood and chipboard which shows its layering. Cork, bark, natural woods and concrete along with quirky gritty textures. Stationery holders or desktop products that include plants or living greenery giving a ‘wild’ aesthetic.

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1. Pattern Design by Levgeniia Lytvynovych 2. Desk Caddy by Oniroteo 3. Tomato Salad Memo Set by Boyeon Oh 4. Grass Pen Holder by Max Battaglia & Matteo Mocchi 5. Recycled Newspaper Pencils by TreeSmart 6. Pattern Design by Anna Emilia Laitinen 7. Colouring Book by Johanna Basford 8. Postcard Design Bottle Terrarium by Quill & Fox on Etsy 

Visual Merchandising and Styling

  • To achieve this trends aesthetic an outdoor, summer garden theme is key
  • Materials to incorporate in window displays could include; raw and reclaimed wood, concrete, chipboard and plywood for decoration
  • Why not add repurposed products and furniture or incorporate real soil /grass/living wall/plants as a feature points of sale
  • Use garden products such as wheel barrows, plant pots and watering cans to display products
  • Create an inspiring ‘allotment look’

Play

This trend relates to the yearning for freedom, a desire for community, a longing to build a more sharing society and for life to be more fun! It is interactive and inclusive, energetic and chaotic as well as demonstrating elements of optimism and collaboration.

Patterns in this trend have a real Memphis style but worked in a more modern context. We see patterns that have rhythm, wiggle, dimension and a retro dynamism. Bold patterns will sit well together and can be mixed up, providing an interesting collaboration of clashing arrangements within one collection, (ideal for notebooks). Colour block is important here, including strong graphic and typography designs within shape. The palette is playful and interactive, it includes pops of pastel brights that have a modern simplicity and crisp sophistication to them.

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1. Livework Block Colour Pens available at Fox and Star 2. Box Design by Hay Studio at Really Well made 3. Babylon Stationery for Lexon by Samuel Wilkinson 4. Pattern Design by Hanna Konola 5. Resin Table Top by Chen Chen & Kai Williams 6. Stationery by Oelwein / Atelier parisien 7. Burgerdoodles Colour-In Wallpaper

Visual Merchandising and Styling

  • Merchandising in store should have a space to promote the role of play
  • Walls with patterns for colouring-in or white board walls to encourage people to interact and experiment through drawing (as well as testing product)
  • Its not just about fun and creative stimulation of scribbling  but is also promotes the communication with a stranger or employer in store; it allows two unacquainted people to connect
  • 3D colour blocks with bold striking shapes can be used to display stationery product

Edited Luxury

This trend takes a focused look at the future of smart, flexible and compact lifestyles of urban citizens. It explores an exotic glamour that is strict and serious with tribal undertones. It’s deeply luxurious with an ultra-modern aesthetic yet edited down to essentials presenting a mix of beautifully engineered natural materials and high tech innovations.

This is a serious and dependable colour palette. The technical Black anchors the solid metallics while the intense, darkened Klein Blue is inky, exotic, and seductive. Brass, bronze and copper tones warm the palette and work nicely alongside striking animal skin patterns and glamorously stylish geometrics.

Materials are about unconventional pairings, solid dark woods are polished to a high shine glossy finish whereas blonder woods are sanded to a matte finish demonstrating the contrast of luxury with raw essentials. Walnut being a key material. Reptile and animal skin patterns are laced with metallic finishes, dressed with studs, spiked textures and black marble creating a sexy but masculine industrial edge.

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1. Notepad by Tom Pigeon 2. Hörst Identity by lg2boutique 3. Desk Styling  4. Minimal Pen by Minimalux 5. Wooden Mesh Fabric by Diego Vencato

Keep up to date with the latest stationery products and styling on our Pinterest Board!

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Decor + Design Melbourne 2015

The Scarlet Opus team have travelled all the way to Melbourne in Australia for the Decor + Design Show. This show is Australia’s premier Interior event, showcasing the latest interior products and furnishings from leading companies. We have an action packed week giving seminars and trend tours, providing visitors with information on products we picked that relate specifically to current and future trends. If you are attending the show over the next couple of days here is the seminar schedule, make sure you arrive early to get a seat.

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Victoria had a stacked out audience for her seminar with many individuals eager to learn about future trends for 2016 and beyond. The trend boards are available to view and take pictures of in the champagne bar at the beginning of each trend tour. The retail and designer trend tour includes 15 products displayed around the exhibition that relate to the key 2016 trends. For those of you who didn’t manage to make the event, we will be posting a virtual trend tour of the exhibition on our blog next week!

IMG_0192Here is Victoria presenting the Trend Tour…
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VIVID

VIVID (Vibrant Visions in Design) is Australia’s longest running design competition which showcases some of the most dynamic emerging Australian designers. Our very own Victoria was asked to be part of the judging panel for the furniture category of the competition. The standard was exceptionally high and it was great to see some creative and innovative design concepts emerging in the world of interiors.

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We would like to congratulate all of the winners and in particular Richard Greenacre for his Credenza furniture piece. Richard chose to look beyond traditional veneers and considered how a system of 3D tiles could conceal a surface. The Credenza is constructed from solid European Beech and fronts a textural armoured facade of hand cast acrylic tiles.

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Here are five of my personal highlights from the show so far…

Bambambu Homewares

Bambambu is a 100% Australian eco cushion company based in Brisbane. Their cushions are designed, printed and manufactured locally using cutting edge technology onto ancient fibres. They are digitally printed using water based inks on the finest quality organic cotton and hemp fabric. These bright, bold shades and wonderful patterns take inspiration from many different areas including cultural influences as well as Japanese Shibori which also relates to our 2016 trends.

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Rika Herbst Bohlokoa Studio

Bohlokoa Studio opened in September 2003 as a ceramic studio teaching ceramics to adults and children. It has work available at various galleries in South Africa and now proudly exhibits the wonderful pieces here at Decor + Design in Melbourne. I love the intricate detail of each porcelain art piece by Rika Herbst. Each has a crafted and handmade, dripping textural aesthetic but with an element of luxury displayed in the gold rim. The contrast between the back, white and gold porcelain bowl proved a popular favourite at the show.

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Milk and Sugar

Milk and Sugar are a Melbourne based brand that aims to provide well designed, simple yet beautiful things for the home without the hefty price tag. I love the simplicity of shape and form within this collection. The muted pastels are injected with a grey tone making them unisex colors rather than feminine. The contrast between these block colors and the mono chrome prints create a modern and contemporary aesthetic that I would especially love to incorporate into a bedroom space.

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Alexander Brown

I loved this amazing beaded sculptural piece by Alexander Brown. In addition to utilising discarded construction material, he has introduced semi-precious stones into current sculpture works. The Amethyst Textile sculpture blends precious stones and metals to create a jewelled textile which is a development of other sculptural textiles he has made using beads. This is a luxurious piece that works especially nice with our Nature Luxe trend.

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Kirsten Jackson

Kirsten is a passionate Melbourne based professional artist who concentrates predominantly on abstraction. Her main motivation is to portray the inherent beauty and harmony that exists in the inter-relationship of color, composition and form. The process of her work involves building up layers of materials and textures. The initial layers are thin and fluid, inks and water-colors, as the paintings progress further she moves into thicker paints, acrylics, varnishes and glazes to achieve the end finalised piece. I chose to showcase Kirsten as I admire her use of color. It is dynamic, energetic but with a sense of harmony. The layering of color in relation to each other creates a visual delight for everyone to enjoy. Imagine this piece in a residential room scheme or hospitality project, it is a great way to introduce these daring brights into interior spaces.

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A snap shot of our trend tour will be available to view on our blog after the show. For those of you who have attended our seminars and tours we hope you found them inspiring and enjoy the rest of your time at the Decor + Design Show!

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Spring Summer 2016 Wedding Trend…Wild Urbanism

We have put together an inspiring colour palette for all you brides to be in 2016. Our Wild Urbanism trend translates beautifully into the perfect spring/summer wedding story.  It has a nomadic influence with a contemporary attitude; the combination of modern urban textures and naturally rustic finishes creates a romantic yet intriguing ambiance. This trend merges the inner city vibe with the great outdoors and combines both industrial and natural aesthetics; a mix of classic and bohemian styles to form a unique wedding theme.


For more images and links visit our Pinterest Board

From eco-friendly invitations to hand crafted concrete candle favours, the materials in this trend are about the raw and untreated. Rustic woods, concrete and grey toned linens dominate the decorative features. Centerpieces that include ivy, ferns and moss with unexpected pebbles, stones or bark work beautifully with organic floral arrangements. Edible wild flowers make pretty decorative ingredients for ice cubes and deserts.

The lush green foliage and wild floral greenery can be used to dress tables, cakes and even hair styles, florists will appreciate the fun combinations that can be created here. This trend is also perfect for colour play to create a more upbeat atmosphere. Accents of crisp mint, pop peach, and soft pinks with playful shades of yellow and lilac work well together or as individual combinations. Consider using these colours as highlights for groomsmen’s tie/bow ties, bridesmaids, flower accents, linens or centerpiece decorations. We will see floral print wedding dresses become more popular throughout 2016 along with subtle tones of soft pink, blush grey and warm peach emerging as key colours for bridal-wear; connecting perfectly with this trend.

For more information on whats to come in 2016 contact us now!

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Spring Summer 2016: Modern design lessons from Ancient Japan

As we look ahead with enthusiasm to a future filled with wearable technology, haptic interfaces, augmented reality and smart everything, let’s be mindful to also look back and continue to learn from innovations and wisdom of the past.

Natural dye techniques, wood preserving methods, needle crafts, slow surface design techniques, the working & tooling of natural materials, and living in harmony with nature in order to achieve wellbeing are just a few lessons from ancient Japan, along with restraint and simplicity, which we should value and explore.

Here I’ve brought together my pick of contemporary products that pay homage to Japan’s ancient craft skills.  From Sashiko and Shou Sugi Ban to the use of Indigo, these unique products have been made with passion, care and respect.  And they provide you with an insight into important design features for Spring / Summer 2016 trends for Interiors.

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  1. The DALMA chair by design trio CARAPACE uses Shou Sugi Ban, an ancient Japanese technique that preserves the wood, making it robust and durable. The wood undergoes a charring process and is then washed and brushed with water to remove excess soot, before a natural oil is applied to seal it.  This technique is traditionally used for the cladding of buildings.
  2. I love the magical glow of Ryosuke Fukusada’s limited edition Wooden Light Bulb available from LEDON. The are made using the traditional Japanese Rokuro technique – the bulbs are handmade by turning pine on a lathe and carving away until the bulb is between 2-3mm thick. An LED light is then placed inside the shell. The resulting bulb looks solid when off, but when switched on, a warm glow shines through the woods grain.  Watch this VIDEO to see exactly how they are made in Kyoto.
  3. The Sashiko Leather Tray is handmade by the wonderfully talented Etsy seller Joey of SubconsciousCrafts, based in Rennes, France.  Sashiko (meaning  “little stabs”) is a form of decorative running stitch technique from Japan.  Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches. Usually white cotton thread stitched on traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, but here Joey uses hand-stitched white thread on vegetable hand-dyed tanned leather to create this unusual tray, assembled via corner snap buttons.
  4. The Blue & White Beaker by South African-based ceramicist John Newdigate uses a very similar method to Shibori (the Japanese resist-dye technique described in point 7) but here John uses wax and cobalt oxide on porcelain instead of indigo and cotton/linen.
  5. The Mökki lamp-pot by architect-designer Caterina Moretti of Peca mimics the shape of a house surrounded by a mini-landscape that the end consumer designs. It pays homage to Zen Gardens and the art of Bonsai.  Hand carved from White Onyx & Carrara Marble and with an LED light, it is a pot that gives life, light and a sense of wellbeing.
  6. The Ki-oke Stool by OeO Design Studio fuses the fine tradition of Kyoto woodcrafting with Western sensibilities. The result is an object of beauty which also pays homage to traditional bucket making in Japan.  Handcrafted in Japan by Shuji Nakagawa, they are available in Japanese cypress (sawara) and in a limited edition of Japanese cedar (jindai-sugi) with a natural, 2000-year-old patina.
  7. The Shibori Tie-Dye Pillow from Posh Living is hand dyed and custom made especially for you when you place an order. Shibori (meaning “to squeeze or wring”) is an ancient Japanese tie-dying resist technique (the earliest known example dates from the 8th century) using methods to bind, stitch, fold, twist, gather or compress cloth so the dye (usually indigo) can’t reach certain areas and therefore patterns are created.

CONTEMPLATION TIME:

  • Think about ways to honor and promote the heritage and traditions of your company, manufacturing methods or products.
  • Think about ways to tell the story of the products you sell in engaging ways … not just the technical spec.
  • Think about ways to create calming, edited-down retail experiences (this applies to website design and brochures too!).

To find out more about our Spring / Summer 2016 trend forecast or ways in which we can improve your product offer, marketing or store design email Phil.

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