Ken Bolan launched Talisman in Somerset in 1982 and opened in south-west London 10 years ago. The company is celebrating a decade in its distinctive London home – a converted art deco garage - by adding six new pieces to its bespoke furniture collection.
Working in both Los Angeles and London, Bolan is perfectly placed to comment on changes in contemporary lifestyle and here he picks five trends that we can expect to see in residential projects in the future.
‘Due to hyper-connectivity and instant sharing of information and imagery I feel that individual countries are losing their historical style and everyone is being shepherded towards a more homogenised idea of good taste. Fewer people buy real things. Furniture and sculpture has lost its intrinsic value in many areas as people rush to be international. Mass production and the availability of similar products anywhere in the world, means that a global sense of style has begun to proliferate. But this does not mean that trends are no longer visible.
When I travel I see that pattern is a big story. The 90s were all about minimalism and now it is about pattern on pattern. I see that designers have a new appreciation for material and texture and aren’t afraid to mix patterns and textures with one another. Shells and skins from Karl Springer pieces, for example, give exotic character and depth. It is clear to see strong influences from interiors into fashion and vice versa.
An interior design trend that likes to mix clean lines with lavish textures and explore novel surfaces. Artful curation is a look that designers are creating, and vintage and modern collectable pieces are perfect here. People are braver as they can view more imagery online and are becoming more educated about how to create their own personalised interiors.
Return of darker woods
Danish modern, which favours darker woods, has been in fashion for some considerable time, and again in the last couple of years it has reached new heights of appreciation and value. I don’t see this ending anytime soon. However, what is interesting is that it has given birth to an appreciation for the more affordable versions produced at the same time and inspired by the designs of Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl. The young today can’t afford a £20,000 ‘Papa Bear Chair’ but they can afford Ercol and G Plan, which at the time echoed high Scandinavian design and made it available for the masses.
Having spoken to many millennials both in LA and London, six months or so ago I started getting feedback about Victoriana as a trend. Not the middle-class ‘brown’ of old – I don’t think that will ever see the light of day again - but a much more upcycled look of scrub tables and chunky leather sofas. Considering Los Angeles is generally considered to represent the 20th century and modernism, this is a natural move for a generation to discover their own style. Steampunk is a major trend incorporating Victoriana, Goth and a love of objects associated with old industrial design. The younger generation are now mixing it all together in a bid to create something new. Obsolete objects which now have no real purpose such as old Victorian dentist chairs are now being appreciated for their craftsmanship rather than their function, and recycled again into decorative functional objects.
80’s design trend
It seems from my travels that 80’s design is making a big return. But what I feel is that it is really the Italian interpretation of 80’s design that is making the comeback. It was a less hard-edged version of Memphis and Sottsass, which concentrated on beautiful fabrication and luxury finishes as seen in Saporiti, who were all about luxurious leathers and lacquered coloured woods.'
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