Decorex 2008 – influences & trends

Pierre recently attended Étienne Cochet’s talk at the Decorex 2008 show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Cochet, the mastermind behind Maison & Objet, a leading international event for trends and new concepts in design and decoration, focused on some influences and trends that are shaping the world of décor and design.


Globalization / fusion of frame of reference / openness – Specific frames of references do not belong to specific groups of consumer anymore. Research shows that consumers are not afraid to mix motifs and designs that are not unique to their own culture. “Moroccan-inspired Bedouin rugs are ideal for contemporary interiors,” says Pierre.

Urban living / cosmopolitan – Cochet reiterated that today’s urban lifestyle is characterized by limited space with not much green space. Design follows the strong lines and shapes of the urban environment but is often complemented by softer nature-inspired motifs. According to Pierre rugs with subtle floral designs can easily bring life into a room.

Multiple use of rooms and furniture – Limited space requires multi-functional rooms and furniture. Furniture and décor items like rugs need to fulfill this need. “Be clever and colour your rugs in a natural tone that lives comfortably within the majority of your rooms. Then they can be moved around easily,” says Pierre.

Open to personality – Consumers give interiors a “personality” that reflects their own. The popularity of bespoke rugs is an example. Pierre says the trend to customize décor items is on the increase. 90% of sales at Fibre Designs are bespoke items.

Outdoor and indoor flow / outdoor living (even in bad weather) / Green living – Outdoor furniture takes interior design elements and motifs to the patio. Similarly rugs from durable, eco-friendly yarns like hemp bast fibre moves from the indoors to the outdoors, and vice versa, says Pierre.


Pièce unique – Consumers surround themselves with bespoke items that they design or that has been designed specifically for them. According to Pierre consumers take inspiration from design icons such as William Morris up to family heraldry to include in their rugs.

Aggression – Bold colours and in-your-face textures and designs depict this strong emotion. Pierre says saturated reds, blues, saffron and gold are great examples of these.

Neo baroque – Neo-baroque, a design language made for luxury, are included as voluptuous patterns, floral ornaments and embellishments in all shapes and sizes. It showcases strong, dramatic light and dark contrasts. Pierre uses the example of Fibre Designs’ new range of jacquard patchwork kilims that merge the old design with an array of light and dark colours.

Exaggeration / scale / excessively /oversize – Minute details are blown up to exaggerate a theme or look. “Small detail like the veins of a leave can be blown up and translated onto a rug,” says Pierre.

Ostentatious – Designs are flamboyant and showy to impress consumers. They make a statement, are brash and even offensive, just to get consumers talking. “A stylized and oversized paisley motif in a contemporary setting will get everybody talking,” says Pierre. Another great example he says is Fibre Designs’ extra long pile lengths and extra thick yarns that is not used very commonly.

Decontextualisation / strong statement – The unusual placement of objects in the home results in their losing their normal frame of reference. Books become doorstops, a TV becomes a case for glasses, and a rug finds its way onto a chair.

Tongue in cheek / juxtaposition – The act or an instance of placing two or more things side by side to make a subtle statement about their similarities or differences. Antoine mentions that placing Fibre Designs’ new range of square hemp floor cushions on a round hemp carpet will not only show the difference in shape but also the similarity in yarn.

“It is clear from the above that today’s décor trends are dictated by the consumer and that clever designers keep their eyes to the ground to capitalize on word from the street,” says Antoine.