Trend round-up – London Design Festival

We’re back with our annual round-up of trends from London Design Festival. Our design team scouted Focus at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, 100% Design at Olympia, DesignJunction at King’s Cross and London Design Fair at the Old Truman Brewery for the key trends for the coming year. Here are ten trends, divided into Looks and Colours. (Header image, Camille Walala, Walala Lounge, South Molton Street)


Sustainability – Although not really a ‘look’, sustainability has been the main area of discussion and innovation at all the shows we’ve been to so far this year. Biomaterials were named Material of the Year at LDF, with a focus on by-products found in the agricultural industry including corn husks, potato waste and fallen palm tree leaves.  We also saw innovative and beautiful uses for post-consumer waste, vegan materials and products thoughtfully made to last the test of time.

Raw Wood – We’ve noticed raw, untreated woods making something of a come-back. There is an emphasis on recycled, industrial pieces but also a need for considered design and a move away from fast, disposable items. Here craftsmanship, quality and durability are key and companies exhibited with an emphasis on their history and artistry. (See our recent Focus on: Wood blog post here.)

Painterly – The hand painted trend isn’t going anywhere and the next generation gets even more crafty. Imperfections, unique one-off pieces and experimental effects are celebrated and the look moves easily between traditional, high end and super trendy, edgy application. We did notice that colours are slightly more tonal and muted.

Botanicals – DCCH made florals their theme for Focus ’19 and there was an abundance of vibrant, lush florals and foliage adorning every surface. We’ve seen three main branches (excuse the pun) of this look – minimal, bright and fresh with a touch of a scientific feel, including glass vases, scientific drawings and white backgrounds; a maximalist, brightly coloured and layered look – more is more! and the large scale, tropical look featuring palm leaves, exotic flowers and perhaps the odd monkey!

Arches – Rounded edges, soft lines and scalloped shapes appeared everywhere from furniture and lighting to walls, flooring, textiles and architectural details. Perhaps in response to the boxy, modern shapes and minimalist clean lines we have seen so much of in previous years. We also saw a distinctly Bauhaus look in terms of shape and colour, perhaps not surprising given that 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus.


Black and White – From stark white paired with minimalistic black lines, to layers of sumptuous textured fabrics and edgy graffiti effects in deep greys against off white and cream. Paired with wood, brass/gold and the occasional splash of colour.

Warm Autumnal Tones – We can’t get enough of this dark amber/rust shade and it was everywhere this year. It’s surprisingly versatile and works well paired with blues, dark greys and gold highlights. Also new is what we call strong mustard – an olivey green-brown which makes a real impact and looks refreshingly contemporary when used as a backdrop. We also loved this spicy pumpkin tone which featured heavily on upholstery and painted furniture.

Cobalt – One of only a few cool colour tones we saw headlining this year, this vivid, gleaming shade of blue works well with a wide range of colours (particularly stunning alongside the dark amber shade mentioned above).

The new pastels – We were pleased to see pastels back again this year and the new pastels are slightly more saturated than we’ve seen before. A move away from millennial pink into either a subtle pale peach colour or this plush flamingo shade. The hues are often used together and pack a punch when used as a big block on their own.

Earthy greens – From a nearly-grey tone of sage green to fresh grass green and deep forest greens, verdigris, pine and teal. We saw a lot of wall-to-wall green paired with wood, leather and other natural materials and also large scale botanical prints.

That’s all for now. We’re back in a few weeks with a round-up of Decorex, which this year is hosted at Olympia.