10 Key Colors of 2017 for Interiors and ….

When you invest such a small sum and gain such a vast return on that investment, you know, with absolute certainty, that you made an excellent decision. Well done you!

From warm, soothing spice shades to striking, bold hues, this year we see an intriguing mix of colors that are reminiscent of the natural world as well as powerful expressions of intense brights.

We have selected 10 key Pantone Referenced colors from all of the color palettes in our 2017 trends, to provide you with an edited down version helping you to make those color decisions on behalf of your clients, throughout the year. These 10 essential hues will be significant within the world of interiors, stationery, cars and much more; influencing the direction of marketing and retail sectors.

PLEASE NOTE: This e-booklet will be available for you to download immediately your purchase is made. We do not mail it afterwards. Watch for the link 🙂

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Surface Texture & Material Design Trends 2017

Designers, graduates and well established brands are continuing to explore innovative ways of manipulating and experimenting with materials to create unique textures and effects for the interiors market.

Here are a few that we’d like to share with you showcased by Material Lab at the Surface & Materials Show in Birmingham. These specific textures and materials relate perfectly to our 2017 Surface Trends…

Evan James Design

This surface design company combines traditional quality craftsmanship with new technologies supporting & encouraging customer individuality for the commercial and residential sectors. They challenge whether a wall has to be flat and also, whether a wall has to permanently stay the same? This bespoke structured surface offers limitless possibilities of pattern, colour and texture. It’s designed to compliment any interior style.

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Our 2017 Trend – In Motion – explores the power of the virtual world being integrated into our everyday life; consider high shine and glossy fluidity that creates dynamic light effects and surfaces with movement. Spirograph, optical grids and dark iridescence are key aesthetics  here.

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Solomon and Wu

A luxury, surface brand crafting beautiful textures and contemporary architectural design features for interior spaces. Their unique collection of textured finishes and sculptured surfaces have been installed in retail stores such as Christian Louboutin and Alexander Mcqueen. We’ve also showcased their samples many times on our Trend Hubs around the world! Colors and finishes across the whole collection can be tailored to add stunning, bespoke elements to your design scheme.

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2017 will see a favor towards refined luxurious rawness, combining gritty and distressed textures with blush silvered metallics. Desert inspired textures appear chalky and matte; parched linens, dried reptile skins and rustic weaves. Gradual colour shifts and tonal hombre’s in indigo tones and sunset shades compliment refined metallics and naturally raw surfaces.

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Grace Gallagher

Grace Gallagher, a British designer, produces surfaces and objects for interiors, that demonstrate a preoccupation with materials and process. There is a mixture of traditional and contemporary techniques, with an honesty to the rawness and irregularity of the chosen material. The monochrome pattern was inspired by the Barbican building in London where each panel is hand crafted using a process of revealing layers.

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The appreciation of everyday materials will be a key attribute of design in 2017, consumers will begin to see beauty in ‘the ordinary’ and value ‘time earnt’, slowly acquired skills. People will embrace traditional techniques with a modern twist to create surfaces that are unpretentious but precise with a hand crafted aesthetic. Think about using saw cut, end-grains and chiseled wood effects for retail outlet design, exhibition booths, kitchens, flooring and workplace furniture. Denim, leather and cork create mixed material surfaces that will look stunning and be desirable in all interior spaces including hotel lounges and restaurants. 

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We are currently carefully selecting the most innovative and revolutionary surface materials for our 2017 International Trend Hubs. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter now to stay informed of our next events, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for daily updates from the team. Email Phil for more information about our ‘show reports’

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All things Stationery…

5 Stationery Brands to Love Right Now

As a passionate stationery enthusiast I love nothing more than scouting trade shows and events for new, up and coming designers and scoping out the fresh product launches from some of my favourite brands. Although technology sometimes takes over our lives, it is clear the love for all things stationery has not subsided as consumers continue to seek fashion-led paper products that we see constantly being blogged or instagrammed.

Here are 5 stationery brands and designers to watch out for…

1.Message Earth

This beautiful collection of greeting cards combines the stunning photo art created by Helena Christensen with an environmentally friendly philosophy. The cards are created with 100% recycled paper, printed using only vegetable ink and packaged in 100% bio-degradable plastic wrapping. A great combination of Danish design, sustainability and heartfelt messages. The unusual but intriguing mix of rusticity with pretty florals is perfect for this coming season!

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2. Studio Sweet and Sour

Studio Sweet and Sour is a Dutch design studio who create wonderful stationery and gifts that are out of the ordinary. Their aim is to make things fun and to put a smile on your face (it definitely worked for me). They have a big love for detail and pay as much attention to the inside as they do the outside including interesting metallic foiling and neon edging. With contemporary colour combinations and exciting surface finishes; this is a product collection your don’t want to miss!

11224123_710628455741297_8356482309376643333_nimg_46843. Men’s Society

I love this award winning brand… Men’s society is your one stop shop for stylish and quality gifts designed specifically for men. They source unusual, quirky and classic items that will never date but rather improve with age and use. Many of their products are handmade using only the finest tools; this connects perfectly with our Analogue Workshop Trend for 2017. I will no longer struggle to buy presents for the men in my family!

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4. Ohh Deer

Launched in 2011, this brand aims to bring quirky illustrated products to the mass market. This modern collective is made up of many unique illustrators who create anything from homeware to stationery and everything in-between. I particularly loved the dark floral notebooks designed by Susan Castillo, it fits perfect with our Heathland Trend for this coming winter.

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5. Katie Leamon

Katie Leamon is a luxury card and stationery brand based in London, their family run production studio is based in the English Countryside where they design, create and deliver beautiful, hand finished collections of original paper products. The collection can be found at Selfridges, Anthropologie and Harrods.

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Top 5 Tips for Stationery Product Photography for your social media

  1. Lighting – Get the light right and you’re nearly there, it doesn’t need to be sunny you can set your scene near a window and create softness with a curtain or a sheet.
  2. Set the Scene – To shoot lifestyle, shoot detail, shoot wide – make sure you shoot a mix of ways to capture the scene adding some lifestyle elements that compliement your asethetic.
  3. Details – It’s all in the detail, look at the scene you’ve set – does it work? If not tweak.
  4. Edit – Use free editing software to edit pictures.
  5. Be Consistent – Get yourself a trademark style.

(Tips curtesy of Paperfest London as seen at Top Drawer)


For further stationery inspiration see our 2017 Stationery Trend Report; includes great ideas and inspiration for stationery designers and manufacturers, whilst also being superb stock purchase & merchandising guidance for retailers. Don’t forget to follow our ‘All Things Stationery‘ Pinterest board for the latest trend direction.

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London Design Festival 2016 – designjunction Review

This year, designjunction was held for the first time at its new long-term home Kings Cross, having made a partnership with the University of the Arts London. The destination is set to become a new creative district as well as an international business hub for design in central London. Coal Drops Yard, an exciting retail space that brings together industrial heritage and contemporary design is set to open in 2018.

designjunction in it’s 5th edition featured 180 different brands as well as more than 50 carefully selected design led pop-up shops as well as numerous installations and collaborations.

Here are a few of our favourites…

Foldability: We were drawn to the 3D geometric pieces (see post on New Designers) and the work by Foldability, located in Cubitt House, was no exception. The London based studio creates bespoke installations and products inspired by geometry and origami, all of which are created by hand. The technique itself is quite simple – essentially meticulously folding by hand before securing the folds with heat. A truly versatile material, it has applications in wall covering and lighting for various sectors of the interiors market as well as set design and textiles. This links strongly to the A/W16-17 trend: Native with its main themes of craft and technology. This is further emphasized by the materials used, a cardboard base onto which natural and synthetic fabrics are heat set.

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Another Studio: Another Studio is a craft-design practice that creates products for the home and workplace covering lighting, stationary and accessories. They are also inspired by origami as well as the craft of tailoring, not only within the construction of each piece but also in the aesthetics. The company works with flat sheet materials like wood, metal and paper to create intriguing and playful 3D forms. Created are equally functional and aesthetically stunning designs that we love and will add interest to any room or desk space.

Another StudioOlivia Aspinal Studio: Olivia Aspinall creates bespoke handcrafted surfaces for use within the interiors industry. Her work links strongly to the terrazzo trend. Terrazzo isn’t a new idea, originating in 15th century Italy, however recently the material has now been reworked into flooring, wall and home accessories.She predominantly works with the material of Jesmonite, a material that allows her to translate her ‘textile aesthetics into solid materials.’ A successful Kickstarter campaign enabled her to exhibit at her first solo show. It definitely goes to show if you are an independent designer you can successfully exhibit at high profile showcases through the help of support from around the world.

Olivia AspinallKirkby Design: Kirkby Design, a brand situated under the ROMO group presented their latest collection of fabrics suitable for the home and contact furnishing market. In a blend of contemporary design, minimal and monochrome graphic grid patterns are combined with quilted velvet and a rich jewel palette. The company also created new versions of its Piccadilly textile design exclusively for MADE.COM. It was designed in collaboration with Transport for London to help them celebrate over 150 years of transport design history.

Kirkby DesignGRID: The GRID design is also reflected in the external cladding of Cubit House which we love. Designed by Peter J Lassen, the flexible structure blends together exterior and interior as light passes through the simple structure that is filled with mirrors and vegetation. Bringing the outdoors in has become increasingly popular across all sectors; retail, hospitality and leisure. This was further represented by exhibiting stand bloomon. The company has recently collaboration with & Other Stories with the aim to bring fresh flowers direct to the consumer.

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Lastly, one of my personal favourite pieces…The knot cushion by Icelandic-based designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir which has gone into production with Swedish brand Design House Stockholm. The soft statement design, which is available in multiple contemporary tones, is made from knitted strips where the start and end seamlessly merge into one.

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We thoroughly enjoyed visiting many events over the fortnight and are very much looking forward to next years event when many more exciting events will be showcased across the capital. We certainly will be keeping an eye on the website from May when events are uploaded!

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How to Successfully Merchandise Flooring…

Do you need some help, information, even inspiration about how to visually inspire your customers?

This low-cost-high-value guide to ‘Window Merchandising’ (specifically written for retailers of Flooring in the USA, Canada, UK & Australia) contains all the support & guidance you’ll need to start creating stunning retail window displays TODAY.

You’ll quickly understand the ‘psychology of visual merchandising’ and be able to ‘connect’ your store in the minds of consumers to what they see in local fashion stores when you create your own ‘trend-led’ window stories. You’ll have people talking about your windows at all the right dinner parties around town, whilst showing off the purchase they made from you.

You can make a start with a window display for Christmas 2016 and then follow the guide to create window stories through the Spring & Summer of 2017.  There are ideas on how to present show-stopping display’s to attract the attention of shoppers walking by and draw them in. Surprise yourself, buy this easy-to-understand guide NOW and make yours the best window displays in town.

Your windows will soon – Stop. Interest. Engage. Inspire……. and sell. 

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