For millennia, trends in interior design have been used as aesthetic tools to find a sense of inner peace through popular conventions. Consider the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, where the spatial arrangement corresponds with the flow of energy, or Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese practice of embracing imperfection, or the ancient Romans' preference for earth tones and geometric patterns to mimic the harmony of nature.
Renowned designer Timothy Corrigan, who specializes in comfortable yet elegant interior design in both Los Angeles and Paris, explains: "There are increasingly more studies showing the direct impact our homes have on not only our mood, but also our health and well-being. Since 2020, we've been encouraged to slow down and spend more time in our homes - which sparks a desire to create a space that reflects both visually and emotionally what we feel. The desire for something unique has led to an increasing trend of mixing materials in interior design."
Leading interior designers are commenting on the new trends in interior design of the 2020s, giving way to the new art of balance. Some predict a renaissance of natural elements, while others see an increase in surfaces and accents inspired by nature - think marble, travertine, and decorative minerals - while still others say their clients cannot get enough of light coloured furniture. Essentially, anything that feels balanced and peaceful is in demand: "Customers are looking for lightness in their decor and a connection to nature as a beautiful statement in home decoration - this seems to be a common thread in current and past projects," says Stephanie Dettmann, owner of the Kristallkontor store gallery in Lübeck.
Her life and business partner, Steffen Dettmann, confirms the interior design trend: "Essentially, it's about closing the energetic circle to ourselves and creating living or work spaces that are in balance with our emotions."
Our homes have become the most important stages of our lives: it's where we work, sleep, and socialize. Every corner and object that surrounds us must serve a specific purpose. Sometimes the purpose is functional, and sometimes it's emotional. Renowned blogger and interior designer Mark D. Sikes even believes that we will see more travel-inspired interiors in the future, which aims for a more conscious approach to the things that surround us. It doesn't have to be much, but it should be beautiful.
Stephanie Dettmann sums up the new perspective on balanced living: "Everything that we find beautiful makes us feel good. When we walk by the sea, it might be the call of a seagull that makes us feel good - at home, it's the fresh bouquet of flowers, the bright Scandinavian ambiance, and beautiful crystals that brighten up the moment like works of art from nature. We recognize harmony in design outside, and we bring that inspiration inside."
As we spend more time indoors than ever before, we all seek a stronger connection to nature. This has led to a revival of natural surfaces with a history, from floors to wall coverings, sinks, vintage furniture, and decorative objects. "The rough, often imperfect texture of these natural materials gives them depth, soul, and visual fascination, while also reflecting the calming, restorative atmosphere of the great outdoors," describes New York creative icon Athena Calderone in her latest blog posts.
People want to bring a little magic back into their lives. I see the magical wonders of the earth taking center stage in home decor: objects made of sparkling crystals and spheres, polished obelisks and raw minerals.
Renowned interior author Justina Blakeney confirms the mineralistic style of Lübeck's Kristallkontor as a sign of the times: "People want to bring a little magic back into their lives." The emerging trend sets a refreshing material-oriented path for interior design, driven by the desire to infuse life into a space.
"Whenever I can use vintage, I do. From a design perspective, vintage is the protagonist of any room - it has the power to influence the narrative and
direction. Its patina gives every space a tactile texture and warmth, not to mention a sacred sentimentality. But beyond its decorative effect, antiques are also stylish and sustainable. By
giving old furniture the chance of a new appearance, we reduce our ecological footprint while also bringing a rich sense of history and spirit into a room," recently blogged Athena Calderone in
interior design circles.
Marcus Barwell, the managing director of Soho House Design, adds: "We are starting to see many new brilliant options for sustainable things and materials. I think this should now be a priority for all designers."
The brief stint of the design world with the highly touted Grand millennial look of the 2010s, a “modern” take on the over-the-top nostalgia of the 1940s, is now definitively behind us. This paves the way from the interior of our grandparents to a fresh atmosphere of curated natural decor in light furnishings.
Broadway designer Daniele Colding expresses it even more provocatively: "The times when collecting sophisticated art dominated the scene are over. My clients are looking for new faces in the art world. They also want collections that reflect the diversity of our world and the perspectives that these artists offer." This is a shift in consciousness that has already been presented in the mineralistic style of the Lübeckers with Hanseatic understatement. With creative flair and dedication, a new sense of values is emerging that no longer needs the museum ideals of the past.
We are witnessing a decisive movement in design, where art is being defined as objects to live with. "The desire to have something unique - something that is not like everything else - is leading to an increasing mix of materials in interior design," explains Steffen Dettmann, referring to his clients from the metropolitan region of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark. He goes on to say, "It is not unusual for our clients to use contrasting style elements made of wood, metal, and stone in their spaces to make them even more unique and unconventional through these artistic touches. At Kristallkontor, we cater to these individual design aspects with our carefully selected collection of sustainable, stylish furnishings that harmonize with finely tuned decorative minerals and fossils."