Key Trend: Diffused Pastels – Bathroom BlogFest 2012

“We’re pleased to have been invited to participate in the Bathroom Blogfest again this year; particularly because Miss P & I were just last week discussing how we should translate our 2013/14 forecasts for Interiors into styles specifically appropriate for bathrooms.”

“We’ve been building our 2014/15 colour forecasts and so have been looking back at our previous season’s forecast – because trends for Interiors tend to directly evolve from one season to the next.  One of our previous palettes we’ve been discussing and developing for 2014/15 is Diffused Pastels.  Here’s what they’ll look like next year as part of our Vision trend.”

“Of all the 2013/14 colour palettes this is the one that lends itself most beautifully to bathroom schemes.  And, as you can see below, the Angely Hotel in Paris have pushed Diffused Pastels in their guest bathrooms to the max!”

“And at the Imperial Art Hotel in Italy they’ve perfectly captured our Vision trend in their open plan Penthouse Suite.”

“Below we’ve given you some examples of surface effects, textures and tiles to inspire your own translation of this delicate trend into bathroom products and interior design schemes.”

“After analysing all of the research alongside our previous colour forecasts, we have identified the direction in which Diffused Pastels will move next.”

“So thinking ahead to the mood for pastels during 2014/15 – we’re taking inspiration from Creative’s such as US photographer, Alicia Bock.”

“Do check out the other bloggers also posting as part of the Bathroom Blogfest 2012, the complete list is at the bottom of this post; you can also follow the Blogfest on Twitter.  And for our next post on the Trends Blog Miss V will be revealing how the Interiors trend of using natural materials in their raw state is changing.  The post will include a look at Bathrooms so be sure to check in with us again soon.”

To discover more about how you can successfully apply the full 2013/14 colour forecast to your own product ranges simply:

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We look forward to hearing from you today!

Name Twitter Username Blog Name Blog URL
Susan Abbott susanabbott theIdeaStudio
Laurence Borel blogtillyoudrop blog till you drop
Bill Buyok AventeTile Avente Tile Talk
Jeanne Byington jmbyington The Importance of Earnest Service
Nora DePalma steamtherapy The Mr. Steam SteamTherapy Blog
Mr. Steam noradepalma OR-DP POV
Stacy Garcia kbtribechat kbtribe
Diane Kazan dkazan Public Bathroom Blog
Arpi Nalbandian Arpi_Nalb Avente Tile Talk
Victoria & Shelley Redshaw & Pond scarletopus Scarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy Renshaw sandyrenshaw Purple Wren
Bruce D. Sanders rimtailing RIMtailing
Paige Smith none Tile tips from installation professionals
Todd Vendituoli TALV58 Thebuildingblox
Shannon Vogel cyswebsites From the Floors Up
CB Whittemore cbwhittemore Content Talks Business Blog
Irene Williams crossvilleinc Elevate Your Space
Linda Wright skiptotheloo Skip to the Loo!
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Miss V to Miss P: August



Sent: 20.08.12 at 09:05

Subject: There’s No Place Like Home

Morgun Miss P!  As you know I moved house at the end of March and I had the mother of all clear-outs!  Apart from the practical necessity to own less stuff (because we were moving from a spacious house to a small 18th Century town centre apartment) I had also started to feel quite tied down by the things I’d accumulated (I don’t need 4 sieves so why did I own 4 sieves?!).  I followed 1 simple rule during the sorting process – If I didn’t really like it or use it regularly then I got rid of it!  And I was completely ruthless!!!  Let’s just say I own A LOT less stuff now. 

Now I’m only surrounded by things that I enjoy or use.  Anyway it got me thinking about what the things I’d chosen to keep say about me and my style, and whether there are conscious links to current trends or quite the opposite!  So I thought it would be interesting to share our favourite possessions and personal decorating styles on the blog today and mull over what it all means!

I’ve discovered during the process of writing today’s feature that my home is a reflection of my wardrobe i.e. I own a lot of black and brown stuff!  I’m always saying that interior design trends run alongside fashion trends … that when a woman has a colour, pattern, fabric or style in her wardrobe then she’s ready to welcome that same colour, pattern, fabric or style into her home!  And no … there is no escaping my strange obsession with empty bird cages.  Freud would have had a field day!

There were boxes upon boxes of pictures that made their way to the new apartment regardless of my strict editing and the fact I suspected there simply wasn’t going to be enough space to hang them all.  But I’ve tackled this conundrum by applying my take on the Salon Hang … basically tightly cramming pictures next to each other, and also in my version overlapping them too.  I was inspired to do this after seeing the Salon Hang at  the Summer Exhibition last year at the Royal Academy of Arts.

You’ll have noticed from the furniture in the photo above that I really can’t be doing with ‘matching sets’ of anything!  It’s just so … what’s the word … oh yeah – BORING!!!  And it just so happens that ‘eclectic’ and ‘mismatched’ are strong trends right now so that’s a big tick for me :)

Something I’ve noticed since the recession hit in the UK in 2008 is I’ve received more handmade gifts from friends rather than mass-produced items.  And my family has taken to gifting me ‘heirlooms’, which has made birthday and Christmas presents much more meaningful (and random!) over the past few years.  So I’ve now got a rather eclectic collection of tableware including 1970s Babycham glasses, Russian aperitif glasses and an antique Muffin Warmer!  Don’t ask!

A desire to archive, preserve, display, treasure and share heirlooms, souvenirs and mementoes of happy times is increasing as modern life becomes more digital and virtual.  It’s a trend I’ve been writing about recently for 1 of our Autumn/Winter 2013/14 interior trend forecasts … ‘The Curator’.

I love textiles.  Furniture makes me swoon but it’s textiles that I love.  At University I was always in awe of the students working with the devoré (or burnout) technique so I really appreciate the work Brooklyn-based Designer Aviva Stanoff puts into her cushions (pictured above) and I was delighted to receive a couple after I interviewed her for the blog in 2009.  A Sea Fan has been pressed by hand into the surface of the fabric of the cushion pictured above, which leaves a deeply engraved impression.  Each 1 is made to order so no 2 are alike and I really cherish this uniqueness.  Items that are somehow rare, unique or limited are very desirable currently and that’s a trend which is set to increase.

 I literally have no clue how or why this has started but I’ve got a bit of a thing for kitsch royal memorablia…or more specifically (yeah I’m specific about it!) items depicting the young Queen Elizabeth II.  My most recent acquisition is the miniature portrait fob pictured above.  I really need to curb this new obsession.  I mean I can get away with it this year because of the Jubilee and next year because of the anniversary of her Coronation, but after that … well there’s no excuse is there.

I have to admit I was slow to get onboard with the whole Urban Homesteader movement.  Even though I wrote a feature for Furniture News about it a couple of years ago, it wasn’t until we moved to a place with a sun terrace this Spring that I finally embraced the idea of ‘grow your own’.  It just seems so much more manageable now that space is limited and so we’re growing peppers and tomatoes … the whole bit.  I have a Watering Can – d’ya know what I mean!  If you’re wondering about the weird mask pictured above, well it was brought back from a remote village near Kanjanjunga by my Grandfather in the 1950’s.  It’s been handed down to me and is meant to ward off evil (i.e. burglars!) – it’s always both scared and intrigued me – look at its maniacal eyes!  I have days like that … and I know you do!

I’ve already mentioned the wall space issue re hanging pictures.  Well I had a stack of paintings my Mum did and nowhere to put them up inside … so we put them up outside.  They are painted with acrylic (which basically hardens to a plastic-like finish) on pre-stretched & primed canvas and I’ve sprayed the charcoal bits with regular hairspray and they’ve survived 5 months of every kind of weather you can imagine perfectly intact.  The owner of the restaurant next door saw the paintings and asked whether he could buy a few and do the same thing.  Now I’m surrounded by her colourful seascapes.

It’s over to you Miss P.  I’m anticipating more colour and more sparkle in your home style.  Reveal all!



Sent: 26.08.12 at 16:20

Subject: RE: There’s No Place Like Home

I agree, having a clear out is always great, and you did have rather a lot of stuff packed into that farmhouse Miss V!  I can’t really say I’m a hoarder of things, my clear-outs are always clothes related – they love me at the Safa Park flea market!  Feeling tied down (even by my husband!!) makes me anxious, and I can’t bear little bits and pieces all over the place crowding me in, so I don’t actually have a lot of stuff, plus I hate packing and moving and since I’ve done a lot of both in the last few years I think not having too much makes it all much simpler!  My own discovery after this exercise is that my few possessions are a real reflection of who I am and the things I enjoy to do.

I haven’t really decorated this apartment, as it’s just a short-term rental, so there’s not an awful lot of colour and sparkle unfortunately (other than a bit of a shimmering midnight blue sofa – does that count?!) but nevertheless, here are some of my favourite bits…

The family photo wall is something I create wherever I’m living.  Since moving to Dubai this wall has really meant a lot to me; I’m always changing it to reflect what everyone in the family is doing (it’s probably about time for an update actually) and I love that when friends are here they all stop by the wall for a good look through!

Because I don’t feel like this apartment is really my home, I’ve bought most of my furniture to fit the space rather than taking my time to find pieces that I truly love.  The one exception and the only piece of furniture I’ve invested in, is my huge, studded, black leather bed.  This I truly love!

Other than that I have just a mirror and two of these black leather trunk-style sets of drawers.  I like a bedroom to be dark and sparsely furnished, displaying favourite pieces of jewellery, clothing, and shoes for just a touch of glamour.

I’m planning a wall of Meystyle’s LED and Swarovski wallpaper for my next bedroom!

You know I don’t like trinkets and little things but I know you can’t avoid accruing a few pieces in life!  I’ve got one memory plate in the house where I keep little bits with meaning.

I’m very attached to my books; they are the one thing I can never get rid of, reading my favourites over and over.  Every time I go back to the Mother Ship, I load my suitcase with a few more … my poor Mum has been storing boxes of books for both my sister and I for years now – thank you Mum!

I fell completely head over heels in love with Bodo Sperlein’s exquisite tableware collection for NIKKO the moment I set eyes on it at TENT during LDF last year, starting my collection shortly after when I was generously gifted a piece by Bodo!  I don’t have many pieces yet but collecting is half the fun.

I’m also a collector of glass bottles!  I was inspired by Nigella (my favourite chef); I’ve always loved her presentation style, she doesn’t do anything elaborate but always manages to create a wonderful impact.  Years ago I saw her putting flowers all over her house in jam jars – simple yet super effective.  Jam jars don’t really do it for me so I started collecting bottles; when we have friends over I fill them with flowers and candles, et voila!

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Miss V to Miss P: June/July



Sent: 29.06.12 at 10:17

Subject: Here comes Summer!

Miss P!!!  Did you know it’s been several months since we last posted one of our email exchanges?  I guess we’ve both been so busy with client events and projects that neither of us has managed to add this posting into our schedule.  So I thought I’d better block out some time for an update:

You’ll be glad to know (and see below) that I’ve finally taken some quick photos of the new studio space we’re currently in.  It’s been wonderful to be able to spread out and both the studio and meeting/presentation spaces are working out well.  When our free rental period comes to an end in August I’m hoping we’ll be able to stay on.  Here is how it’s looking in the main studio space…I LOVE the beamed ceiling and the DreamWeaver was so right to insist that we found space for a chill-out sofa:

We’ve got lots of space to display trend boards and client products we’ve designed or advised on (and been gifted, like the nice new tissue cubes from Kleenex – Thank You Johnny!).  There is also space for Cheryl to work when she comes in to update us on sales.

Have you noticed the nice new addition on the meeting room wall below?…a printed canvas of a photo of our Trends Hub at SURFACES, Las Vegas.  Jessica from Hello Canvas contacted me early in June to ask us to test out their canvas print quality…so we did!  Delivery was really quick, the canvas was really carefully packaged, and the quality of the print was so good…surprisingly so because you know the photos we took of the Trends Hub were a bit fuzzy…well the canvas print looks as sharp as a pin!  I really like the Effects options that they offer…like the ‘black & white with a color highlight’.  We’ll be using them again in the future for sure…I think it would be nice to have a canvas of every Trends Hub we design!

Below is the view through the studio doorway into the meeting room where we’ve now displayed lots of trend boards and client products on narrow picture ledges (RIBBA from IKEA, just £8.29 each, total bargain), as well as cataloguing all of the magazines we’ve written features for on open shelf units…oh, below you can also see a snap of the DreamWeaver making a cup of tea in the kitchen:

Our trip to Portland to present Spring/Summer 2013 trends seems like an age ago now but it was a good trip and your work and support was invaluable as always.  It was great that we flew in early in order to prepare and that gave us time to see a few sights down in the Wharf area and around the shops on Exchange St etc. Breakfast at Becky’s Diner was a slice of Americana and the repurposed church on Chestnut St made Grace restaurant a brilliant setting for dinner…I still can’t quite believe they put the open kitchen on the altar!  Getting to have lunch in York Harbor again was a real treat considering neither of us imagined there would ever be reason to return there…and of course getting to see the always stupendous Jason serving lunch in the Stage Neck Inn dining room was a treat.  But my most treasured (and surreal) memory will be of You in Mae West’s coat waltzing to a pianola with a sexagenarian under a huge glitter ball.  No, that wasn’t a dream!…So, don’t ever say our work trips are dull!  What did you enjoy most?

Hey thanks for keeping up with all the extra Twitter followers we got after the Clerkenwell Design Week events.  The Interface panel discussion on Tuesday 22nd May was a real pleasure for me to be part of.  I was joined on the panel by the lovely Hannah Harper (Concept Designer at Interface), Sally Storey (Design Director of both John Cullen Lighting and Lighting Design International – who have an interesting lighting blog), and the discussion was hosted by Vanessa Brady (President of the SBID).  Then I popped back down to London on Thursday 24th May to present a Trend Seminar for our friends at Steelcase.  As 1 of their 100 Minds it was so nice to help them celebrate their 100 Year Anniversary:

Above: The Discussion Panel at Interface’s CDW event – from left to right:

Hannah Harper, Miss V, Vanessa Brady & Sally Storey

I promised to show you some more photos of the new Kings Cross concourse, which I arrived at and departed from for the CDW events (I also enjoyed a quick glass of bubbly upstairs in a bar overlooking the concourse.  They have a Yalla Yalla up their too!).  The design is a total triumph by the lead architects and masterplanners, John McAslan + Partners and engineers ARUP.  They have totally transformed the station so it now stands proudly next to St Pancras (rather than embarrassing it as it once did) and the completion is perfectly timed to delight visitors to the London Olympics.  You’ll be able to see it in all its glory for yourself when you come to the UK for London Design Festival in Sept (what a shame the dates are so close to the Index show in Dubai so we can’t take part in that this year) but in the meantime:

I’m now busy writing the next Opus trend report.  Clients old and new are booking-in for seminars and workshops with us via across the Summer and we’ve also started presenting the Autumn/Winter 2013/14 forecast (Le Creuset being first off the blocks as always).

Oh, before I forget…CONGRATULATIONS on winning our inhouse competition by getting your ‘I Know I Can‘ Barnsley school team through to the finals of the business competition.  You must have really inspired your team members because I hear they thanked you publicly for your e-mentoring when they presented their project to the judging panel!  You Rock!  Even the cool kids think so!

So Miss P…has anything interesting been happening with you???  Anything unusual?  Anything at all to report that’s a bit out of the ordinary for you?  Anything to declare?




Sent: 08.07.12 at 13:05

Subject: RE: Here comes Summer!

Miss V!  Indeed it has been so long since we sat and exchanged emails I don’t know where to begin!!  Since I stepped on the plane to the UK, waaaay back at the beginning of April, it’s been an absolute whirlwind of non-stop travel and events, with things only just starting to slow down.

I absolutely LOVED the feel of the new studio and the canvas looks fab – we must get one of the 2013 SURFACES Hub, I’m so excited about next year’s concept, you know I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and the fact that the team at Hanley Wood are so onboard with the idea makes SURFACES the perfect show for the space … I think it’s going to be our best yet!

Next up was Portland – reading your email reminded me of how much we packed in to that trip aside from our work with the team at SAPPI!  Although I really liked the idea of the Grace restuarant, I have to agree with you, the best part, without a doubt, was coming across Mr Williams’ fabulously crazy restoration/museum project on Route 1.  The old buildings he’s collected … madness but completely fantastic.  I’m going to insist we stop by on our next trip to Maine just to see if he’s completed that AMAZING gas station with the ice cream parlour!  It was such a wonderful and unexpected experience, I’ll never forget it – it’s exactly the kind of thing I imagine finding on a US road trip!

What was next on the travel agenda … oh yes, I remember … PHUKET, THAILAND!!  I was of course bitterly disappointed that I ended up doing that trip alone but a girl’s got to go where she’s most needed and the Le Meridien Beach Resort in Phuket was where that was!  (Check out the view from my balcony below!)  It was lovely to see Bart, Nicholas, and Katie again so soon after Portland, but I also really enjoyed the opportunity to meet their Asian sales team.  Presenting our Trend Forecasting Process was a challenge – it’s a difficult subject at the best of times but when you have an audience of 50 who speak very little English…! – but Bert and KK did a brilliant job translating and everyone was super enthusiastic and keen to learn which was great to see.

In between getting back to Dubai and flying off to Lebanon there were of course visits from both Cheryl and yourself – always a pleasure.  Feeling super enthused about our decision to accept advertising on the blog, it’s definitely the next step for us; I’ve been working on a Media Info Kit so watch this space…

Following the Dreamweaver’s link, I’ve also just added the World Food Programme banners to the blog, showing our support specifically of the organisation’s work focusing on empowering women to fight hunger.

“People often ask: What can be done to defeat hunger?  My answer is simple: empower women, because women are the secret weapon to fight hunger.”

WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran

The WFP have done their research and know that 60% of the world’s starving people are female, due largely to unequal access to resources, education, and income.  However, in many countries women make up the bulk of agricultural labourers and play a key role in guaranteeing food security for the household.  Experience has shown that in the hands of women, food is far more likely to reach the mouths of needy children.  Here’s to empowering women all over the world.

For all our readers who are interested in supporting this cause, you can either donate by clicking on the banner in the sidebar or scroll to the bottom of the blog and click on the banner that will take you to the Hunger IQ test, it only takes about 60 seconds and for every person who completes the quiz a child receives a hot meal from an anonymous donor.

The highlight of the year for me is always LDF and after seeing your pics of Kings Cross I just can not wait for my September trip this year – and we must definitely check out the tabbouleh and kibbeh at Yalla Yalla 😉

Looking forward to also having Mr Hughes onboard with us this year as we trawl the shows.  It’s been great to work more closely with him this season, he’s so committed to the work he does, I LOVE that!

Also LOVING the Wimbledon Men’s final today – a fantastic year for sport in the UK, it reminds me of 2004 when Athens hosted the Olympics and Greece won the Euro Cup.  I know he didn’t win but MASSIVE congrats go out to Andy Murray, his interview at the end of the match was so emotional we all had tears in our eyes here!

I think that about sums up the last few months for me … well, unless you count that little trip to Lebanon … when I got MARRIED!!!  Can you believe I have a husband?  My very own husband?!  It was such a beautiful day, I was thrilled with the dress (I’ll be forever grateful to Andrea Bambridge for creating something so exquisite), and I’ll never forget the feeling of having all our friends and family there together, celebrating with us – completely overwhelming: a serious amount of love goes out to you all for making the day so truly memorable.

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