Trend forecaster Susan Llewellyn predicts the future

Why curtains, mandarin yellow and crystals will stand the test of time, learns Annie Deakin

‘Trend forecasting is very important,’ says Susan Llewellyn, veteran of the interiors industry. ‘If people are spending money on an interior designer, they want to know that the creative schemes will last and won’t quickly date. It’s not a very good advertisement if something looks 2000 and it’s the year 2011. Designs need longevity.’

Llewellyn, who hosts workshops on trend forecasting and the psychology of design at the Susan Llewellyn Academy, was speaking on the subject at the Ideal Home Show. What prompts a trend forecaster to predict tomorrow's beige? The national mood, economic state and high profile issues all play their part. ‘I’ve taken nature as part of my trend forecasting. To me, one of the most important things to look around is the natural world and the natural colours. We’ve exploited our world for so long and people now want ecological friendly designs. We need to give back to our earth that has done us so proud for so many millenniums.'

How will this preoccupation with our earth affect what is in our own homes? Natural materials like concrete, different textures like linens and khaki colours will stand the test of time. ‘Instead of a completely smooth surface, there should be a slight roughness about it.' According to Llewellyn, bathrooms with cement walls and floors will continue to be popular for a long time. 'They have an ecological sustainability about them. A harsh background softened by angora throws, lush bath mats and scented candles is the sort of feeling that will stay around for a while.'

Future trends are a judgement of society, of its financial situation as much as its catwalks. The current resurgence in curtains, Llewellyn explains, is a post credit crunch desire for indulgence. Skirt hemlines may fall lower during hard times but the opposite happens to curtains. 'I think people are going to use curtains more and more again. During a recession, curtains go out because, due to the amount of fabric needed, they’re not cheap to make. I believe that there is now more hope and optimism. People are going to want to go back to glamour, and as a result, buy curtains.'

Earthy colours like blues and yellows are, according to Llewellyn, the ones to choose for a lasting interior. 'There are several schools of thought,' says Llewellyn. 'Many people are now thinking minimalism is a little boring and not exciting enough.' It all comes back to the world around us; 'Our earth is very dry. Water is now a commodity because it is very scarce. Blues have become very important to us now because of its rarity.' Llewellyn, who describes herself as a 'colour purist', advises choosing indigo blues, like lapis lazuli, which will remain on trend for years to come. 'If you have a bland room, have the courage to introduce luminosity with an indigo blue, purple or bright mandarin orange. Take it further than just cushions, go bigger. Upholster a chair in a strong colour.'

Llewellyn's colour schemes for the next decade are not for the faint-hearted; 'Purple has started to be popular and will continue to be so. Pink is still very much in existence but if we’re predicting forward, I’d say yellow is the new pink. A lot of people don’t like yellow but the right tone can be very inspiring and invigorating. I’ve used E&O mandarin yellow for curtains trimmed with jet black for a client’s drawing room. It’s very dramatic; I really like it.'

As for lighting, Llewellyn envisages a future of chandeliers and crystal decorations. 'No matter how humble your bedsit or terraced house, crystals make you feel good about yourself. The main thing now is that people want to be uplifted in their homes. When they get back from work, they want to feel glamorous. There is nothing more beautiful than a crystal trim on a curtain. When the sun shines through, it creates a prism which dances on the floor or the walls giving a very spiritual and uplifting feeling.'

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable