Perfect Imperfection: understanding the Laminex Trends Forecast 2019

These six palettes capture key movements in Australian interior design and will help architects and designers create spaces just right for the times.

Preparing the annual Laminex Trends Forecast takes Laminex Design Marketing Manager Catherine Valente and her team a full 12 months – surveying interiors projects from all over the world, reviewing developments in adjacent product sectors and talking to local designers. According to Valente, the 2019 forecast, Perfect Imperfection, describes “a significant move to warmer tones, both in timbers and solid colours, and a continuing move to brushed metals and matte surfaces.” There’s an overarching desire for authenticity and connection to nature in colours, finishes and materiality, and a movement towards seeking “beauty in the flawed and unfinished, bending the rules and mixing unexpected materials.”

These themes are captured in a collection of six carefully curated palettes of Laminex and Essastone decors, which architects and designers can use to achieve a seamless look that flows through an entire project, into cabinetry, wall panelling and other feature elements. “The forecast is designed to inspire the A&D community and challenge them over the use of colour and pairings of colour,” says Valente. “And these palettes are workable for both commercial and residential projects, so they’re highly versatile.”

Introspective: creating personal sanctuaries

Laminex Smoked Birchply

Introspective, the first of two neutrals-focused palettes, heralds a shift away from cool, clinical greys to warmer greys. Similarly, whites and woodgrains are moving to warmer tones. The trend behind this palette is about reducing chaos and creating personal sanctuaries, so we see colourways that have strength but also a calmness to them. Tactility is important, with almost ethereal matte, waxed or subtly textured finishes supporting a sense of reflection. Beyond surface materials, we see interiors designed with organic edges rather than striking, harsh lines. There’s sense of luxury at play too, with oversized furniture and padded materials bringing a sense of cocooning.

Essastone Perla Venato, Laminex Smoked Birchply and Laminex Oyster Grey.

Regenerate: celebrating the natural world

Laminex Green Slate

Regenerate, the second neutrals palette, is a response to the challenges and threats of the modern world. It supports a trend built on the belief that humanity will progress by cultivating and sustaining our natural habitat. This style is focused on natural fibres, raw elements and unrefined timbers – in Valente’s words, “anti-plastic” – with combinations of ceramic, stone and wood. Its earthy colours are reflective of vegetation, its textures authentic and irregular. The palette features two lighter blonde timbers as well as two red-based timbers, highlighting the movement towards richer, warmer woodgrains. Slightly greyed-off tints of green bring a subtle urban edge.

Essastone Luna Concrete, Laminex Planked Urban Oak & Laminex Natural Teak.

Recharge: bringing optimism and pleasure

Laminex Chalk White.

Inner health, mindfulness and wellness are key drivers for contemporary design. This is reflected in the Recharge trend, which sees conflict-free combinations of colour, pattern and texture used to bring a sense of refuge. It’s about creating spaces where we can recharge our bodies and minds; spaces that are simple and soft, with positive, fresh palettes and unexpected, playful colour combinations fueling optimism and pleasure. In line with broader trends, these colours, and their complementary whites and timbers, have warmer undertones. Nude, soft coral and peach will feature strongly in 2019, particularly in retail. Pastels will create softer, more positive aged care and childcare environments.

Essastone Terrazzino, Laminex Aquamarine & Laminex Natural Ash.

Shadow: magical inspiration from the night sky

Laminex French Navy.

The Shadow trend embraces ideas of enchantment and the fantastical, in pursuit of interior spaces that are experiential, highly sensory and offer opportunities to escape the real world. There’s a natural connection to the night sky, from the soft shadows of evening to midnight blue and the twinkling metallic textures of starlight. These are brought to life in the Shadow palette with rich, deep blues and blacks, and metallic decors in brushed finishes. Drama and sensual appeal will be created with large areas of solid colour, while black and navy highlighted with accents of brushed brass will be a significant trend in 2019.

Essastone Lava Black, Laminex Brushed Brass & Laminex French Navy.

Nostalgia: embracing the past for a brighter future

Laminex Earth.

Perhaps driven by uncertainty around the environment, or the desire for solace in politically unsettled times, the Nostalgia trend embraces the past, through storytelling, celebration of traditional craftsmanship and the blending of cultural references into a modern design context. Humanity and personal identity have come to the forefront of designer’s minds, and there is a move away from a “disposable society”, a looking to the past to learn from it. This mood plays out in interior material specification through the increasing use of rich, earthy organic colours and muted metals. To support this design direction, the Nostalgia palette brings together red-based timbers, textural metallics and creamy neutrals.

Essastone Marmo Bianco, Laminex Brushed Bronze & Laminex Earth.

Paradoxical: challenge conventions with contrasting colours

Laminex Pillarbox.

Some trends come from evolution, while others come from reinvention. Paradoxical is about deconstructing old approaches to design and playing with unconventional pairings – colours that wouldn’t normally “work” and patterns from the past remixed with a modern twist. These ideas are set to affect commercial interiors in particular, looking to subvert the established approach of overtly bright colour palettes that have too often been overwhelming. Bold colours will be balanced by pastels and light neutrals to create environments that are welcoming as well as engaging. High contrast will be celebrated, with a palette of saturated blues, bold red, mid-tone greys, muted mirrored decors and pops of pink.

Essastone Ash Concrete, Laminex Just Rose & Laminex Pillarbox.

Want to know more about the Laminex Trends Forecast 2019? Click here to download the full brochure.