7 New Architectural & Interior Design Trends For 2011

Most of us believe that architectural and design worlds are ahead of  the rest of us in their visions for the future. If you've been following design trends for the past few years, I think you'll find that forecasts for 2011 are more reflective of the very cautious optimism reflected in the economies of many developed countries.  Though forward looking, design for 2011 keeps one foot solidly on the other side of the fence.

I'd like to begin with the color 'dictator,' Pantone, and its choice of colors for the year...


1. Design Predictions for Colors: Pantone Color of the Year 2011

Pantone is the yearly and seasonal color planner for all kinds of designers from graphic to architectural, fashion, and even make-up.  And Pantone is fabulous at its job, traveling all over the world to find new colors, subtleties, and textures that can change tones just enough to give things a whole new feeling. 

For 2011, Pantone has chosen 'Honeysuckle' as its color of the year - that's Pantone 18-2120, for those of you with the 2011 Pantone 'bible.' The color is bright without being bold; reflecting a brighter outlook on the future, but not an ebulient one.

Pantone and other forecasters see a contrast of pale cool pastels with the deeper colors of iron and brick on the interior.  Architecturally, stone colors and darker irons will be emphasized.


Pantone Color of the Year, 2011 - Honeysuckle: © PantonePantone Color of the Year, 2011 - Honeysuckle: © Pantone


2. Design Predictions for Architecture:  Living and Working Spaces, 2011

Euromaxx predicts that home space will continue to assimilate work activity, satisfying family and work associates, architecturally, as a 'hub.'  Also individual offices, either within the home or in modular form just outside the home, will be common.  We will see continuity in the creation of large multi-purpose rooms, rather than divided ones.  Kitchens will combine eating and meeting spaces - bring dining, cooking, meeting, and recreation all together in one large space - kind of like a home rendition of Google's office environment.

The kitchen is the place to be in 2011.  No longer does the chef remain isolated from his guests while he prepares the meal.  Family, guests, and business associates can feel right at home while they visit or brainstorm!


Integrated & multi-purpose living spaces are 'in' for 2011: image via charlesandhudson.comIntegrated & multi-purpose living spaces are 'in' for 2011: image via charlesandhudson.com 


See Pantone's color of the year, Honeysuckle,  in the image of the kitchen design below.


Integrated & multi-purpose living spaces are 'in' for 2011; looks like this one is in 'honeysuckle!': image via charlesandhudson.comIntegrated & multi-purpose living spaces are 'in' for 2011; looks like this one is in 'honeysuckle!': image via charlesandhudson.com



3. Design Predictions for Furniture: Minimalism for 2011

The recession has diminished our need for non-essentials and that will be seen in the simple, geometric design of furniture.  Flourishes will not be noticeable with the eyes, but with the comfort of a chair that looks austere in a geometric form, but is really quite comfortable.  A soft faux fur also serves as a contrast and provides greater comfort.

Here, Neutra, designed by Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen for signature Tribù, represents what I interpret as representing the coming period.


 Neutra, by Vincent van Duysen for Tribù: image via polopuentearanda.comNeutra, by Vincent van Duysen for Tribù: image via polopuentearanda.com



4. Design Predictions for Materials:  Naturals for 2011

Again, basic structures and furniture are minimalist.  Materials for building are basic too - various kinds of cement, easily stampable with patterns, will be seen more interiorly.  Sustainable woods that are easily replaceable, will be popular for furniture and flooring, giving a more sensual look to geometrical shapes and minimalist design.

While even cushioned furniture will be on the austere side, visually, rich materials can wake up your decor with warmth and color.  There is a big swell of material designers investigating new textiles to use as fabrics for draperies, rugs, pillows and other accent pieces... also covered in Prediction 5.

Here is a great example of how color, design lines, and materials combine to make a warmer minimalist decor.


Soft fabric curtains and cool pastels warm up the linear design.: image via expo-port.comSoft fabric curtains and cool pastels warm up the linear design.: image via expo-port.com



'Roots' play a big part in design as in food for 2011: image via Maison et Objet'Roots' play a big part in design as in food for 2011: image via Maison et Objet 5. Design Predictions for Accent Decor: Global & Ancestral Influences for 2011

A look at the past will dominate accent pieces in everything from materials to lighting. As in food, we will be inspired by our ancestors from the Elizabethan period to the 1940's.  Lush velvets and brocades will contrast with the cool pastels of 2011 to make some very interesting (and challenging) color and textural patterns.  Lamps, bowls, and vases: anything from antique to art deco!  

A broader view of the world will invite different cultures into our homes, particularly indigenous cultures such as live in many parts of Africa and South America. The geometrical shapes and naturally dyed fabrics will bring a sense of global awareness to our living spaces.  Below are examples from Maison et Objets...


'Global awareness' is right at home: image via Maison et Objet'Global awareness' is right at home: image via Maison et Objet









6.  Design Predictions for Solar: Solar Beautification for 2011

Of course, there will be more emphasis on creating new sustainable forms of energy, but in the design world, there will be an emphasis on beautification as well.  Who says solar panels have to be ugly just because they are?

Now those seriously involved in sustainable design are thinking: make it pretty and they will come. Certainly, I'd be more inclined to buy these portable designer solar chargers by TDK...


TDK designer solar chargers: image via engadget.comTDK designer solar chargers: image via engadget.com


or these lovely solar powered plant pots.


Solar powered plant pots: image via firebox.comSolar powered plant pots: image via firebox.com


But, of course, you're probably thinking of those ugly panels on the rooftops.  Solé Power Tiles by SRS Energy won several energy awards for its beautiful solar blue tiles in 2010.


 Solé Power Tiles by SRS EnergySolé Power Tiles by SRS Energy


Now, solar engineers have developed a 'glaze' system can be "architecturally integrated into the facades and roof atria of buildings while still providing maximum outside views and diffuse daylight for the building users. These benefits are accomplished by miniaturizing and distributing the essential components of concentrating PV technology within the weather-sealed windows of the building envelopes."


Integrated Concentrating (IC) Dynamic Solar Facade: image via euinfrastructure.comIntegrated Concentrating (IC) Dynamic Solar Facade: image via euinfrastructure.com


Look for more solutions in the solar design area in 2011.  It's a hot field to be in right now.


7.  Design Predictions for Lighting: Windows for 2011

Large, even huge windows, treated for insulation and solar heat are very popular as the prime source of day lighting. Artificial lighting will be recessed, hidden, or camouflaged into the lighting design, as in this futuristic bedroom...


A natural effect comes from the recessed lights in this bedroom design.: image via polopuentearanda.comA natural effect comes from the recessed lights in this bedroom design.: image via polopuentearanda.com


The setting below contains the elements of color and pattern for 2011 as well as camouflaged lighting.


 Lighting cleverly camouflaged as clouds.Lighting cleverly camouflaged as clouds.


I really like the new trends.  Personally, I'm going to try the challenging feat of mixing heirlooms with new pastels.  That just baffles me!

Happy 2011!


sources:  Cosmoworlds, Trend Curve, Maison et Objet, Polopuenteranda, Panetone, Expo-Port, EUInfrastructure, Modern Interior Design & Decoration Ideas

you may also like: 10 Forrd Trends for 2011 Predicted By The Experts

Jan 6, 2011
by Anonymous

We, at Boca do Lobo are

We, at Boca do Lobo are delighted to announce our presence at Maison & Objet, in January 2011. It is our utmost pleasure to be showing once more at this wonderful event! We can't wait for January to come! See you all there!

Boca do Lobo

Jan 17, 2012
by Anonymous

Interior Design

All new trends are good. Interior designers know similar unique ideas and can help you get the best for your home.

Feb 14, 2012
by Anonymous

About new trends of interior design of 2011.

All trends are really nice.Specially i loved the Pantone color planning and those solar energy used techniques which are really very useful.....

Sayali Zanje.
Interior Designer.

Mar 16, 2012
by Anonymous

love your site

love your site, very interesting articles, so right what you mentioned about the trends really like it, have a look at my website and let me know what you think it is ruedigerbenediktshopping

Apr 14, 2012
by Anonymous

you are right miss sayali

you are right miss sayali chilli.

Apr 14, 2012
by Anonymous

reply to sayali

use of solar energy is good thing. but you have not look at bedroom design. it may be good but it is not for indian bedrooms.(please dont use it in pune.othervise your cliant will not give you your chargess.)

May 2, 2012
by Anonymous

Sustainable materials

A continuing design trend is sustainable building and sustainable materials. Lets remember that craftsmanship is as important to green building as choosing eco-fiendly materials. I design and build custom furniture that features sustainable materials and heirloom craftsmanship.