Design 2019: trends to watch

Duncan Denley of desert INK says 'We're keen to see 2019 as the year of native plants. For several years now, Desert Group have been collecting seed and trial-growing some of the plants found growing wild in the mountain, wadis and deserts of the region. More than 70 of these plants have been successfully cultivated and the results are incredible. Many of those plants which were only surviving in the wild are now thriving when cultivated. We now have a whole host of new ornamental grasses and flowering perennials which are finding their way into our landscape designs. Not only do these natives bring a different look to a landscape, but they possess an in-built tolerance to the harsh climate and require only a fraction of the water that imported plants need. Perhaps the most extensive example of this pioneering new approach will be seen at desert INK’s landscape design for the EXPO 2020 Sustainability Pavilion, where native and adapted plants will be placed firmly in the spotlight. desertgroup.ae
Pallavi Dean reveals that one this year's top trends will be discovering the nature of wellbeing. 'We like to feel connected to nature, and no more so than within the home (particularly as modern life can distance us from it, if living in a high-rise apartment for example). Biophilic design – a fancy term meaning to design with natural elements such as natural light, views, vegetation – has been shown to reduce stress, enhance creativity, clarity of thought and overall well-being. Within the home, this could mean simple changes such as bringing in a variety of plants, perhaps opting for lighter blinds or curtains to bring more natural light in, and burning natural oils over artificial home fragrance. If you have the budget, invest in a living green wall'. designbyroar.com Photo: Shababeek, first restaurant concept by Pallavi Dean Interiors
Cecelia Morosi says that 'For 2019, at SFD* we will continue to develop a thematic we started to study at the end of the past year: the acoustic dimension. The acoustic is a theme too often underestimated. Sometimes it's considered only at the end of the project, as if it was choosing a wallpaper; it's very rarely integrated in the design from the beginning. Open spaces are symbols of modernity and they may look trendy from the outside, but how many times does one find they are actually unpleasant to live in? SFD* has always considered acoustics as the sixth dimension of architectural space, after x, y, z, motion and picturability, so we keep implementing this important element in our upcoming office and restaurant projects. We have in pipeline two pieces of furniture integrated with acoustic systems'. superfuture.design photo: Cyrcle project by SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*
Ellen Søhoel of XBD Collective predicts that jewel tones will reign supreme. 'As we enter 2019, there are several design trends to keep an eye on. My personal favourite is the use of rich jewel tones, and tus applies to everything from hard materials to paint to upholstery and accessories in precious, regal shades of ruby, amethyst, sapphire and emerald. The use of this powerful colour palette in any room creates a space with a sense of luxury and glamour. The use of a vivid pop of personality is now taking a starring role in interior design more than ever. For homeowners and designers alike, it’s time to experiment with bold, colourful accents or to combine a neutral scheme with rich jewel coloured fabrics, paintings and accessories to bring depth and dimension to an otherwise-ordinary space'. xbdesign.com

We’ve asked some of our favourite local designers – Pallavi Dean, Cecilia Morosi of SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*, Ellen Søhoel of XBD Collective, and Duncan Denley and Romit Chakravarty of desertINK – what they foresee as the year’s top trends. Their predictions? A love and respect for natural, brilliant saturated hues and an renewed interest in nature,  biophiilia, and sensory – specifically audio – experiences. This love for nature-inspired beauty and cultivating our higher sensibilities will have us re-imagining our indoor spaces and outdoor spaces – as well as the way we treat the planet and one another.