Architects, Greenlam Laminates, Bindu Gopal Rao, Flagship brand, Interior designers, Urban Elegance, Anna Drummond, CoLAB Design Studio, Scandi Nest, Tushar Kothawade, Scandinavian style, Scandinavian décor., Artisan, Minnie Bhatt, Minnie Bhatt Design, Mindful living., Design philosophy, Timeless, Rahul Menon, Studio TAB

Introducing 8 interior trends in laminates for 2020

Renowned architects help us decode the top eight décor trends identified by Greenlam Laminates, the flagship brand of Greenlam Industries- By Bindu Gopal Rao

It’s the dawn of a new year and a new decade and naturally the time for a new set of interior trends that are likely to rule the year. Greenlam Laminates has come up with interior trends that are likely to set the design direction over the next few years. These trends have been put together after intensive study and research across the globe. Architect & Interiors India spoke to a number of architects & interior designers to understand their perspective on these trends.

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Scandi Nest

The Scandinavian theme is dominated by white and pastel and is a minimalistic approach with a sense of sophistication and a sense of satisfaction and calmness added to the space. The theme uses pastel as it brings softness and enhances the grace of the living space and this is all about clean lines, materials and patterns. Tushar Kothawade, co-founder, Studio Infinity, tells us more.

Scandinavian design is a design movement characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the early 20th century. White walls, wooden floors, modern furniture, and a lack of clutter, all these elements describe the Scandinavian aesthetic. The clean lines and subtle colors of the décor creates a calming effect on the user. The recent trend in the Scandinavian style of decorating combines the use of metallic finishes and wooden elements. For instance, copper sconces and brass pendants are installed in a wooden ceiling to add glimmer and shine to the entire space. There is a particular colour palette that is associated with the Scandinavian decor and this includes the hues of grays, whites, browns, and blacks. In a typical Scandinavian home décor, walls are often painted in white in order to make the furniture and decorative pieces stand out.

The clean lines and the minimalistic look of Scandinavian design is in vogue now. The Scandinavian style is simple, minimalistic, and clean without compromising on the aesthetic appeal. As far as India is concerned, a huge chunk of the population is not in a position to afford expensive interior design solutions. The urban living spaces aren’t lavish; they are often modest sized and are predominantly equipped with the basic necessities. Hence, Scandinavian design, characterised by functionality, is something that would suit the Indian context. It’s very popular mostly because of its modern mood. It becomes a perfect combination of simple laconic forms, cozy atmosphere with added elements from modern architecture.

The Scandinavian theme would fit beautifully for residential interiors and also with restaurants, cafes, bistros, etc.; a place for relaxing with a comforting theme. It can also suit certain office spaces as it sets a cool and classy tone; the whites and the greys creating an elegant and sophisticated setting. The element of functionality has been influential in Scandinavian design philosophy. Most furniture arrangements, even for smaller spaces, are uncluttered and simple, giving the entire space a cozy, content feeling. Belonging to the school of modernism, Scandinavian design is a design movement characterised by a focus on functionalism and simplicity. It also includes the use of natural materials, such as leather, wood, and hemp. Furthermore, Scandinavian interior design is often influenced by a connection to nature, which combines natural shapes, abstraction, and the use of natural elements.  Today, the laminate industry has come a long way from just being a cost-effective finishing material with limited options, to having a large palette with various shades, textures and designs. The Scandinavian decor usually revolves around a specific palette of colors and textures, which, till sometime back, was not easily available in India. But now, laminate manufacturers have incorporated it in their portfolio. Hence, designing spaces with this theme is easy and cost effective. The right kind of laminates can help one achieve a spatial experience well suited to the Scandinavian décor.


Urban Elegance

This trend is influenced from a contemporary and minimalist design style and is all about grey tones. This palette represents a strong character with the inclusion of marble and terrazzo, which brings confidence and sophistication. Anna Drummond, director, CoLAB Design Studio, tells us more.
The notion of Urban Elegance embraces a sense of understated luxury that offers respite from the frenetic busyness of city living. It is a shift away from the sterile minimalism of the early 2000s, instead offering a style that celebrates the style of the individual, their cultural experience, memory and collection of objects that represent their life. The notion of ‘collection’ is important to Urban Elegance as a trend, featuring collections of furniture, artwork and objects. Collections are meticulously curated, so they never seem cluttered with colours, while shapes and textures are blended harmoniously to maintain a sense of effortless style.


Urban Elegance represents the middle-ground between minimalism and eclecticism. It embraces the value of quality-over-quantity in response to the ‘throw-away’ culture that has created an environmental crisis in all corners of the world. Urban Elegance offers an ethos that can be applied to the full range of project types from residential and apartment design, through to hotel, hospitality and retail projects. The underpinning characteristic of Urban Elegance is restraint, timelessness and sustainability, which are universally applicable traits.
The design philosophy behind this design movement is that it is not ‘trend’ based. It is an approach to designing, furnishing and living that places value on restraint and seeks meaning in every design decision that is made. Selection of finishes should be mindful of longevity and environmental impact. Form and materiality is about timelessness, not a fleeting trend; where objects are selected for their meaning to an individual. Laminates offer a cost effective base material upon which to build an interior palette. Laminate colour selection should remain neutral to maximise longevity and allow the individual’s collection of furniture, artworks and objects to shine.


Artisan

Influenced by hand-made trends that have craft at their core, Artisan is a response to a cultural phenomenon of people wanting to come together to craft. These designs instantly add a distinct and personal touch to any interior space. Minnie Bhatt, design director at Minnie Bhatt Design, tells us more.
I think Artisan will soon be a way of life. I, personally, have seen not only many décor enthusiasts, myself included, championing crafts, but also many clients ask for it. It is not an idea that they need to be convinced about. Awareness has grown, responsibility has become the key word; and what better place to start with than the hands that create. Most important of all, artisan-themed décor really does look absolutely alive. The spaces look raw even when completely finished and that is what makes it that much more special. People are accepting of an all-encompassing philosophy that ‘we are not perfect simply because nature is not. The perfection, after all, is in the imperfections. Hence, let them be seen and heard loud and clear. On that note, the time to ‘cover up’ has passed: especially with a very large chunk of people: especially those who have started to walk the path of mindful living.
In that sense, 2020 is the year of clear vision. There really is no better time to embrace this theme. Like I said earlier, there is a great amount of awareness (thanks to the press and the internet), where people understand the value and core of, both, responsible living as well as giving back. This theme is a reflection of the same. That, perhaps, is a reason for its popularity. This theme is versatile but I don’t see it fit very well in extremely large projects like hotels or corporate offices. It will do well in homes, a reception of an office, a lounge for a chairman, maybe a creative brain-storming room in an office, a quaint café, a restaurant with a great story and so on; basically, spaces that are not spread too far and wide.


The design philosophy is ‘raw is real’. If we leave it be and practice restraint, it has the potential of metamorphosing into such an incredible piece of beauty that it is bound to be an eye turner and conversation starter. Laminates are a great alternative to wood. In an Artisan theme space, laminates help with accenting within. For example, a book shelf or maybe a door that opens into a patio. The key here is to pick a laminate that complements the theme, doesn’t call for too much attention, yet subtly makes its presence felt.


Wild Side

This is a very unconventional, distressed and bold design direction, that creates a raw and discerning look that makes any space stand out through the nobility and glamour of the materials used. Akshat Bhatt, principal architect, Architecture Discipline, tells us more.
In terms of use of material, if the base material can be well-crafted, fundamentally well-done, then it should be, and can be expressed in its raw and earthy state. Following this theme basically cuts the fat out of the space. It avoids layering of the space and creating too much bulk. It also cuts-down the usage of unnecessary material. Another way to look at it is like this. If something already exists and you strip it down to its bare-bones by taking all the layers of material off it, it can present a very different mood and energy. So, it basically means taking something old and forgotten and expressing it in a very different context.


Our time is now the time for reimagining design and its elements. Enough new things have been produced and enough things exist that can be reinterpreted and reimagined, without affecting their core function or their integrity. So, I think if a resource exists, it should be reinterpreted, reimagined and reused instead of being abused and abandoned. The theme can be incorporated in any typology, from museums to offices, residences, creative studios and the like, apart from healthcare. I would refrain from using this in healthcare since my approach for regeneration and reuse here will be very different.


Timeless

This trend represents a durability and evergreen quality in terms of spaces that never go out of style. Think of a warm, farm-house kind of comfort – with use of teak, walnut and mahogany woods – that is mature and classic. Rahul Menon, co-founder & chief architect, studio TAB, tells us more.
Timeless, as the name suggests, is evergreen. Trends come and trends go, but a timeless approach to design is forever. It never goes out of vogue. Timeless is neither vintage nor contemporary, and yet it fits beautifully in both concepts. The year 2020 will be a melting pot year for varied themes and styles to co-exist. We are in an exciting phase wherein all styles and themes have their own audience, own calling and niche. The past decade has been explorative in terms of design styles. Many of the styles are short lived and have a short shelf life. Here is when a timeless design will garner momentum for its longevity and class.


Timeless designs suit perfectly for corporate offices, hospitality and retail sector projects. Neat, non-overpowering, sticking to clean lines, respecting a material and utilising it the way it is meant to be makes this trend work. Laminates offer a wide range of finishes. Laminates have evolved over a period of time. Timeless design styles can be beautifully adopted on a laminate. Laminates offer the possibility of consistency and this plays a major role in a timeless design theme. Convenience in execution and availability adds as an advantage.


Deco-Decor

This trend is in the space of elegance and redefined sophistication. It is a fusion of materials like wood, marble, metallic, bright and contrasting colours. Manisha Hakim, associate & head, Interiors, Urbanscape Architects, tells us more.
For a lot of clients, there is a lot of emotional attachment with the interiors of a space. The clients prefer to associate their emotional value in terms of colour in the interiors. In the Deco theme, there is a lot of usage of patterns and colours. I personally like colours and would like to incorporate them in design. But, as designers, we are sitting across a table with people who are going to be using the space, and it needs to be designed according to their emotional prerogative. The colours, as a part of this theme, bring in a lot of happiness and cheer to the space. Every colour has its own meaning, expression, and effect on one’s mood. Even when we look at ourselves, we tend to pick out the best colours to dress – bright and cheerful to make us look better and enhance our mood. Similarly, when colours are used in interiors as well, they bring in a feel-good factor. There’s also a risk-taking ability associated with the use of this theme. As designers, we tend to break barriers, and not follow the mainstream trends always. The use of the Deco theme also tends to bring in a wow-factor to the space.


Project typologies such as residential, hospitality, and workspaces (depending on the work culture/ profession) can incorporate this theme. However, I would refrain from using it in institutional buildings. The design philosophy here is about breaking boundaries and creating an element of surprise. It is about bringing in more creativity and art into the interiors. Today, we have a lot of varied textures and colours in laminates. These can definitely be used on fixed furniture – such as tall cabinets, vanities, for panelling, and the like.

Black Magic

Playing with drama, grey tones provides the greatest contrast when teamed with white. If you use it in a smart way, black gives an elegant and sophisticated air to any interior space. Amardeep Gulri, Founder & Principal Designer, Deco-Arte, tells us more.


Grey is a bold, striking and versatile choice for a room’s colour scheme. A grey, black and white palette is timeless and classic, with endless possibilities from subdued to statement-making. Whether you are colour-phobic or colour obsessed, you are guaranteed to fall for interiors done with dark colors. Colours like shades of greys are sophisticated and comfortable, familiar yet distinctive, and always in trend. It is best to use the shade of grey that resonates with you. One can also combine the refined simplicity of a matte grey and white colour theme with the sophistication of rich natural wood to make any space stylish and elegant. Carefully chosen decor with modern selections can bring out the full range of personality that a space has to offer. Using such colors in accessories, light fixtures, trims, paint, or in one bold piece of furniture, can help to catch the eye and sharpen any decorating scheme. There is no denying that, in 2020, blacks, blues and greys are totally onboard with the sleek and dramatic trend. Grey tones should be treated as a neutral shade this year, considering they complement nearly any theme or colour palette and as grey does not have a personality of its own, paired with any other colour, it allows that colour to be visible. Thus, from grey floorings to black chandeliers, it is the perfect way to add some drama to your space. Using dark colors with metallic gold, silver, copper and brass creates an opulent look. Grey can camouflage things that you do not want to highlight as it does not reflect light from it. Whether you are decorating your living room or bedroom, grey furniture changes the dimension of any space. If grey is used correctly, one can create a unique elegance. Therefore, this colour has always been inseparable from the image of noble majesty, artistry and intellectual bohemia. Not only this, even the grey interior creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
If you are on the hunt for a hue that can elevate your space in an instant, look no further than a colour scheme having black, grey and white. Dark wall paint and decor can invigorate just about any room, from a cosy library to a spacious kitchen. Structure, sleek lines, and dark, moody hues define modern and masculine designs. The traditional decor colour scheme for this style includes dark greys paired with metallic or white shades. It is a classic combination that does not go out of style. Laminate sheets in today’s context are a mix of fashion and functionality that are of equal importance to the architect and the interior designer. Depending on the places they are installed in, laminates can provide an unintimidating ambience to your space with the scope of creating the perfect highlight for walls and corners of your choice. Use of a grey laminate gives character and individuality to interiors, and by combining it with other elements, it can even optically enlarge a room. One can refurbish their old wardrobe by taking high-gloss shutters to add a sheen in contrast with wooden texture laminates. For a more dramatic look, you can consider an upholstered headboard with a panelled wall finished in dark grey laminate. Laminates in dark colours also work as an option for wall panelling in a budget-friendly manner.


Contrast

Based on the contrast of material and colour, this trend plays with two different elements of design that are completely opposite to each other. Contrast is great for creating a focal point, giving objects a greater visual weight while balancing the ambience. Indrajit Kembhavi, managing partner, Kembhavi Architecture Foundation, tells us more.

Contrast is an essential tool in design. It enlightens a space, adds vibrancy and helps create focus. Contrast could either happen through colour, texture or accentuation in any space. It helps dispel monotony and, when used sensitively, can blend a space in absolute harmony. Architecture and interior design as a style is getting quieter and minimalistic. The palette of choice is ranging from pastel to monochrome. To break monotony and create focus, the contrast emerges as an important design tool.


Every project can use contrast as a design theme. A very interesting example of contrast is seen in Jean Nouvel’s design of The Louvre, Abu Dhabi – where cutting-edge contemporary design is sinuously furred with contrasting jali design on the ceiling, reflecting the rich, traditional culture of Abu Dhabi and its date palm fronds. I can say that contrast is based on the philosophy of ‘opposites attract’. From darkness to light, rough to refined, matt to polished, are the words and themes that define contrast. Laminates are among the most popular materials used in any interior space. They come in a multitude of shades and textures, are inexpensive and easy to work with. They can be fused well to affect a space visually. They are suitable for both blending in or contrasting details and space.

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