Trend Predictions for 2016 by Christopher Mills

At Cranberry Blue we work with some truly incredible suppliers and each and every event that we design, plan and create is a combination of the hard work and expertise of specialists in their own field.  We’re always open to brainstorming and discussing ideas when it comes to the creative aspect of planning an event, to ensure the best possible outcome. Christopher Mills of The Events Mill is incredibly creative and is known for producing luxury multi-sensory experiences that are truly extraordinary.  For today’s post we’re delighted to feature Christopher talking about his design trend predictions for next year…

“It’s that time of year when us designers and makers are in our element. As the festive season approaches, our ears are fine-tuned to the tap tap tap of the hammer and chisel, the rush of swooshing luxury ribbon whirling around decorative crackers, and the rumbling of great stove ovens casting elegant porcelain and crystal-coated, glass figurines to dance upon the tree. It is an extremely exciting time of year where decorative design fills the hearts of many people.

Image  1

Image from Flickr

We are always curious when we learn of the Christmas best sellers, especially amongst gift-ware and children’s stocking-fillers. We are discovering  our inner child at Christmas time, with our senses heightened by the sheer volume of inspiration everywhere you look – from the famous Christmas tree so generously gifted to the U.K by Norway, to the frosting on an M&S Yule log – it’s not hard to smile and gather ideas for your own personal trends at this time of year.

Image  2

Image from Flickr

Trends impact our lives both consciously and sub-consciously. Trendsetters shape our identities and enable an opportunity to be part of a bigger revolution across an array of products, ideas, lifestyle choices or even our health. Trends, from a business perspective, are considered well in advance, often reclaiming popular moments of history, evolving these and making them “trendy”. The same can be said for the way that we sub-consciously style our own work, especially with the birth of platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Whether we are conscious or not, trends are very much present in our every day lives, often acting an official sub-conscious, feeding us information that shape the decisions we make.  So, here are our design trend predictions for 2016:

Design-focused planners are searching for both the modern and unique, especially when considering options for wedding and event stationery. Handwritten typefaces were the choice for 2015, which will continue to have a big presence in 2016, with more clients searching for their own custom font, often non-traditional and at times 3D, rather than print.

Image  3

Image from Pelfusion

Image 4

Image from Design Bolts

Image  5

Blending illustration and materials is sure to take off throughout 2016, especially with the reintroduction of more figurative design. Canvases, voile and silks are forecasted to appear heavily in set design, with added tapestry and stitching techniques taking centre stage threaded through paper.

Image 6

Images from Image from Shaun Kardinal and the Creators Project

Service ware is continuing to develop from season to season, from charger plates to canapé trays. Clients are crying out for contemporary equipment, in a range of materials that can be tailored and branded accordingly. Copper has played a big role in 2015, often being the material of choice for most designers, but we are seeing a re-birth and demand for warmer metals, such as engraved brass. This material is hardy, but elegant, easy to decorate and effective to produce at volume.

Image 7

Image from the Ace of Space blog

Sustainability throughout design is growing in popularity, especially amongst brands that are conscious of their green policy. Up cycling is a guaranteed trend for 2016, with repurposing and reusing sub-trends in their own right. We are bound to see more demand for recycled furniture in the industry.

Image 8

Images from Design Milk & Furniture on the Move

Image 9

Images from This is Colossal

From the glorious 1950s through to the 1970s are incredibly popular right now, especially seen throughout new fashion collections. A surge of bling and retro will be seen throughout interiors and amongst design that is created using mixed materials.

Image 10

Image 11

Image 12

Image 13

Images from Mid Century LA

Pantone have literally just released their prediction for the ‘colour of the year’ which is a combination of ‘rose quartz and serenity’ (blush pink and soft, pale blue).


Image from Pantone

It’s important to think ahead to consider what colour and textures we can expect to see throughout 2016. Exploring the transitions between the 1950’s to modern day, we are expecting to see a reintroduction of muted tones, including ivory, reminiscent of the keys on a baby grand piano, through to bronzed yellow and dusty blue that will make you think of a David Hockney painting.

Image 14

Image from Interior Zine

Image 15

Image from Paintdrops Keep Falling

Bringing the outside in will still remain a safe place for events, but we expect to see more authenticity when considering foliage and natural materials. To complement this popular trend, expect to see more blends of materials, object d’art and conceptual themes that we surely push this popular trend into a new comfort zone.

Image 16

Image unknown

For those dreaming of warmer climates we know you’ll get some satisfaction from the introduction of tropical design, botanical chic and specimen specific prints that are sure to make you crave sun-filled locations.

Image 17

Images from The Ace of Space blog

And finally we expect to see a huge surge in immersive event experiences, incorporating all of the senses and creating physical representations of brands and their identities. The sudden increase in 2015 has laid the stepping-stones, but expect more requests for intelligent and beautiful design.”

Image 18

Images from The Event’s Mill, shot taken by John  Nassari

Thank-you Christopher, that certainly gives us all a fantastic insight into 2016 and what we can expect to see and use as inspiration for a wide array of events…