x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Trendspotting: Ocean inspires colours and textures

A palette of dark blues has a strong presence in this season's trends, along with coral, neon and patterns that echo sea life.

The colours and textures in the Koop Chair by Karim Rashid for Martela draw from elements of the sea and ocean life. Courtesy of Karim Rashid
The colours and textures in the Koop Chair by Karim Rashid for Martela draw from elements of the sea and ocean life. Courtesy of Karim Rashid

Readers of our blog will know we've been talking about the importance of blue for some time now. It's not often that a single colour has such a strong presence across an entire season's trends, but looking forward, blue is most certainly the new black.

As we move into 2012, it's all about the beautiful, rich tones of lapis lazuli (think Kate Middleton's engagement dress), which we see in combination with tiger lily, lime and coral accents. A palette of dark blues plunges us into the mysterious depths of the ocean.

Over the past few seasons we have talked about what's in store for our planet. Our increasing awareness of global warming has intensified our concerns over the effect we are having on the environment. Scientists are predicting that at current melting rates, Arctic sea ice will have all but disappeared by the end of summer 2012. In turn, events such as the Korean Expo next year will focus on the effect of rising sea levels on cityscapes and how coastal cities will cope, providing possible solutions through architectural concept designs.

We're also seeing a huge amount of scientific development, with inspiration and solutions coming from the deep sea. Cell mortality scientists have discovered an immortal jellyfish and are conducting studies to learn how their cells could be applied to human beings to make us live longer.

The mystery and strangeness of the deep sea fascinates, and designers are inspired by jellyfish, coral reefs, sea anemones and urchins, scorpion fish, starfish textures and creatures that can change colour and light up.

To create this look, work with a palette of dark, inky blues, ultra- and aquamarines, sparkling turquoise and a translucent jade, with coral and neon accents. Allow the all-important lapis lazuli to set the tone.

Rorschach-inspired patterns and repeating designs play a big part in this trend, so look for elements of diffused and ethnic batik prints, wave effects and rippling designs on wall coverings, textiles, soft furnishings and ceramics. There's also a new wave of watercolour and watermark-effect prints in which colours bleed into one another like wet, abstract graffiti.

Materials are often hard, sometimes with the appearance of being soft and pliable. Ceramics in particular are inspired by sea rocks, spiky coral shells and scorpion and anemone textures; rough outer surfaces often have contrasting smooth, lustrous inner surfaces. Changeant and iridescent effects, and mother-of-pearl are also important in perfecting this look.

To complete your interior styling watch for fantastical, oversized lighting pieces, long entwined LED strands, glowing ultraviolet and laser effects, as well as large installation pieces informed by strange sea creatures.

Shelley Pond is the creative director of Scarlet Opus. For more information, visit www.trendsblog.co.uk or www.scarletopus.com