As we head towards 2012, luxury is taking centre stage but taking on a more subtle and darkly glamorous role.
Since we have turned our backs on bling, this trend is about a luxury look that's acceptable - a look that is not too ostentatious and that appeals to our emotions, not our egos: products that are quietly intriguing, that shimmer to attract our attention rather than demand it. As opposed to encouraging the purchase of products specifically to impress, this trend prompts the collation of pieces that appear to be from a dream world.
As such we will begin to see purposefully challenging conversation pieces and a new breed of intense yet understated opulence that is to be admired rather than envied.
Multi-tone colours, particularly shimmering green-blue feathers, are seen in unexpected places. Furniture designers are collaborating with jewellers and even taxidermists, pushing design boundaries to create new and exciting pieces.
Designers are also inspired by the galaxy, embracing mystery and delighting in the unknown, creating a look that is luxurious, glamorous and dreamlike. Looking at such pieces, we are driven to wonder how they could have been made; we are fascinated by the materials and intrigued by the effects. This idea is captured in Porcelanosa's extraordinary mosaic tiles: the random disc sizes, changeant surface finish effect and depth of colour combine to create a unique, striking feature wall.
To duplicate this overall look, work with a darker colour palette of brushed and burnished metallics and shimmering jewel shades of sapphire, amethyst and purple, illuminated by teal and emerald. Look for surface finishes that incorporate shimmering effects, multi-tone colours, densely packed sequins and beading, glossiness and LED lighting to create subtle illuminations. Look out, too, for new wallpaper designs combining LED technology with Swarovski elements such as Meystyle.
Key materials and shapes include leather and concrete for a contemporary feel, as well as textured, hardened surfaces that project strength and a mysterious glamour. Watch for tangled explosions of fibre optics in deep, saturated colours; sophisticated black crystals for a subdued and mature style, and large faceted pieces inspired by raw mineral forms.