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Li Edelkoort’s colour predictions for the decade

The famed trend forecaster shares her insight on the shades of the future

'Vers L'est' wall and deco by Giovanni Pesce
Lorenzo Pennati

The emotive power of colour is long documented; it’s one of the most vital, and highly contested, elements of interior design. So, as we embark upon a brave new decade, Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters, shares her insight on the shades of the future. From mellow yellow to pretty in pink, find out what our homes will be wearing soon...

The Muted Tea Room

Ferm Living upholstered bench and table
Ferm Living

Drinking tea has graduated from being purely comforting to an elevated ceremony. The space can be as small as a windowsill or as large as a room; the idea is that we contextualise rituals and design an intimate place for indulgence, where world matters can be forgotten and flavours are savoured. Room dividers make a comeback, as well as smaller tables and stools on which to scatter patisseries and people. The mood is dark and elegant, illuminated by lanterns and watched over by orchids. Woods are dark or lacquered, stone is inky and polished, and brass deep and mysterious, reflecting measured splendour. Teacups, spoons and trays are dedicated to the chosen origin of each tea. The dress code is sophisticated yet casual, with kimonos as well as pyjamas and housecoats, making us drift off into fantasy.

Teapot and vases with foliage
Ben Anders
Dark walled living room
Kristy Noble

The Green House

Green bedroom with Folia wallpaper
Paint & Paper Library

Gardening is no longer just a hobby but a manifestation of humanity and botany: the green house, the green window or the green table are swiftly turning into urban jungles, bringing living matter into our lives. Instead of scattering individual plants all over the place, the newest idea is to concentrate them in one room, in one window, or on one table, as if to distil their beautiful expression in a dense and lush indoor garden. Carved stone containers will hold the jungle at bay when distributed on wooden tables, glass shelves and mirrored surfaces, reflecting the green abundance. Walls will be blooming with landscaped wallpapers in a multitude of lush green colours. Daybeds will host a new generation of plant and flower patterns, in techniques such as tapestry, jacquard and prints on heavier canvas grounds.

The new idea is to concentrate plants in one room, one window, as if to distil their expression

Living room furniture by Note Design Studio
Michael Sinclair / Note Design Studio
Foliage in Kinto vases by Heal's
Oli Douglas

The Pink Parlour

Chaise longue in pink living room
Ben AndersC

Over the past two decades, this baby hue has flittered across men’s polo shirts, girls’ bicycles, women’s puffer jackets or children’s backpacks. Now that pink has virtually penetrated all markets and given colour to all objects, it continues to invade interiors, spreading its seductive aura. First used like make-up, adding blushes of pink here and there, now we see the colour take over walls, floors, paints and paper, to immerse people in a rosy environment that exceeds all expectations. The sense of wellbeing and happiness this hue communicates must be the reason for its success. The small upholstered chairs, the lower tables, the glass lampshades and the plush carpets make the parlour a place for reading and writing, and for serious thinking. It is here that the fertility of pink colouring will influence the work at hand.

The sense of wellbeing and happiness this hue communicates must be the reason for its success

'Vers L'est' wall and deco by Giovanni Pesce
Lorenzo Pennati
‘Josephine’ wallpaper from Nobilis

The Concrete Kitchen

Concrete kitchen
Piet-Albert Goethals

The industrial design kitchen grows ever more urban with the confirmation of concrete as its boisterous building matter, delivering a robust and constructed style to ever-larger spaces that are still called kitchens. Used for all surfaces, from walls to ceilings, it makes the room look almost like a bunker. With a strong Brutalist aesthetic, architecture gets sharp and counters become oversized, combining medium-dark wood with medium-dark metals.The look is heroic and masculine, with a need for chunky foods and chubby plates as well as hearty industrial utensils and heavier cooking pans. Concrete countertops are rustic, irregular and very lively, while accent metal is forged and wood turned by hand. In an organic language, rough ceramics complement this barren cityscape. Mugs replace cups, bowls replace plates and heavier pans are allowed at table. Hands knead dough, soups are crushed and mash is smashed. Food itself looks architectural when displayed on slabs cut from sturdy stones.

The look is heroic and masculine, with a need for hearty industrial utensils

Concrete kitchen surface
Mads Mogensen
Ceramic bowls in neutral colours
Ben Anders

The Yellow Bar

Living room with Hamilton Conte furniture
Giovanni De Sandre

The bar is open! Tired of crowded restaurants and loud lounges, a new generation is staying home to entertain and enjoy life to the fullest. Therefore, the bar as a space, a piece of furniture or simply represented as a tray, becomes a new way to appreciate friendship, and enjoy delightful sips of whisky and cognac. With a slice of lemon or topped off with a dash of champagne, we will witness this mellow yellow trend go bananas. With a wink to the past, the nectar hues continue their comeback, seducing people with smaller tumblers and Nordic glassware. The bar could become a place of warm welcome, where ochre velvets and amber silks embrace warm wood and brass, and where an array of yellow radiates lively energy. The food is yellow and so, too, is the dress code, introducing beaded and fringed fashions reminiscent of the other roaring Twenties.

We will witness this mellow-yellow trend go bananas

Sunray Pink rug by Mary Katrantzou for The Rug Company
The Rug Company
Amber glassware from Broste Copenhagen
Line Klein

This article appeared in ELLE Decoration April 2020

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