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The future of design

Last month the world’s top manufacturers and suppliers met in Cologne, Germany for Interzum, a bi-annual furniture fair and trade show celebrating global design.  Members of Laminex New Zealand and the Fletcher Building International Business Global Design team attended the event, sharing with us key trends from the event and their insights into how this will shape the next few years of design, both in New Zealand and abroad.

From a colour perspective, the palette favoured natural shades: woodgrains, stones and metals with the odd pop of bright colour as an accent, moving away from cool grey undertones to warmer browns. This flows on from the current move towards concrete and concrete-look surfaces in the residential space, from Caesarstone’s Concrete collection through to Concrete Formwood, a planked concrete-like laminate from Laminex. Woodgrains remain popular, lighter, Scandinavian-inspired tones such as Ash, Oak and Maple. Melteca laminated panels offer an easy-clean and affordable alternative to solid timber or, for those after a more premium look, the recently released Laminex Finished Timber Veneer collection offers a range of natural timber veneers to enhance any interior.

 Whilst gloss is still evident, soft-touch is king in the world of texture, from benchtops to cabinetry to furniture and beyond.  This is assisted by soft-touch technologies; push-to- open mechanisms for pantries and drawers as well as handle-less designs for cupboards and other storage units.  2017 has seen the entry of soft-matte benchtops into the New Zealand market with Laminex New Zealand’s Formica ARtouch the only laminate that currently offers post-formability for benchtops.  ARtouch also boasts anti-fingerprint and antimicrobial qualities, making it ideal for both residential kitchens and commercial spaces.

The kitchen continues to be the heart of the home with tasks from other functions moving into this space. Supported by wireless technology, audio and visual elements are being used more and more to enhance the cooking experience, with dining, entertaining, work and study becoming common activities to occur in the kitchen. Although this transition is nothing new, as technology develops increasingly quickly we’re seeing new and innovative ways that it can enhance our experience – all we need now is a technology that unloads the dishwasher for us!

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