A Design Trend for Spring Summer 2018 communicating an ‘Easy Optimism’

The sun relentlessly beats down on me as I write this post, most of us (people) are enjoying the 3rd mini-heatwave of the year; it’s hard to keep in mind that it’s only Tuesday and a work-day. Everything about today is screaming chill, relax, eat, drink, smile, enjoy and do all of this outdoors. I’m doing my best to comply, after all nature’s driving influence today has reminded me about my favorite design trend for the SS2018 and compelled me to share it with you.


The color palette for this trend looks as summer should always feel and how the coolest, most refreshing ice-lolly should always taste, it looks how chill-out music sounds. Victoria has referred to this as a contemplative palette, I see it as having a vintage filter applied to it as if blanched by dazzling sunlight.


It has a soft focus on gentle neutrals, bronzed and coppered metallics, a cluster of muted-to-intense botanical greens inspired by the tropics (my day & mood just keeps getting better with all of these word-pictures I’m creating). The palette continues with earthen browns (will someone please tell Ford and Volvo that brown is NOT a good car color), reddish clay tones and topped off with a delicate cactus-bloom pink.

Botanical Oasis is a trend that offers consumers an escape from the routine and fast pace of everyday life; its style is laidback & grounded creating spaces & experiences reminiscent of a Retreat and it’s firmly linked to Wellness, that all important ‘sense-of-wellbeing’.

Many of us continue to desire a slower pace to life with more self-determination & control providing respite from our lives of constant motion. This trend definitely answers the need to connect with our natural environment and live more simply.

Overall the ‘Look’ of this trend is a stylish simplicity with a relaxed, sedate mood. It’s decorative, chic and stripped back. Elements of luxury blend in and appear very refined due to their natural origins. Quartz (a great kitchen worktop material) semi-precious stones, marble and reptilian skin textures. Intermingle some raw, rustic features to answer the consumer desire for authenticity and realness.

To align your product development, photo-shoot styling, catalogue imagery, merchandise presentation with materials, pattern and shape that will inspire and interest members of the Botanical Oasis tribe of followers are:

dry / stippled / impasto plaster textures, slubbed linen, wool canvas, basket weaves, travertine, onyx, super-soft suede, ceramics with dipped & dripped glaze, waxy big-leaf pattern (rubber plants / ferns / succulents), Aztec / Navajo rug patterns, kaleidoscopic mirror-repeat foliage prints, hazy strokes of color merge, beaten-up gator skin and chic metallic lizard skins, sweeping organic curves, dune like undulations and spliced geometry.

I really hope that now you have the picture of a very quiet trend that is all about outdoor living (whether you’re in or out), keeping life chilled and simple. Allowing yourself guilt-free enjoyment of of luxury associated with nature’s precious materials, artisan products and rare experiences. It has such a good effect on me, I’ve nodded off a couple of times trying to write this and it’s taken me 3 times longer to create than it should, but hey, so what ….  the world’s still here patiently indulging my appreciation of the early summer mother nature has sent me.

Trends like this one inspire beautiful and highly desirable design, products and experiences; if we can help translate Botanical Oasis into the specific products or service for your company and customers just get in touch. Hey how about making your initial contact by postcard, or snailmail, that’d be chilled ‘n slow ‘n start things off in a nice relaxed way ………. not interested in working with us? Well just send a ‘Hi, how are you … ‘ postcard, that would be really nice to get.

Phil: email, +44 7896 088 996, or Scarlet Opus, Colonial House, Swinemoor Lane, Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom. HU17 0LS




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