Design Trends 2014

For those of you who know me well, it’s no surprise when I mention that my passion for design is also what I like to call my ‘sixth sense’.  Design is a part of who I am.  I look at objects and environments beyond their conventional use.  To me, design is a universal language that has a profound effect on our lifestyle.  Good design should be accessible to all and remain ever evolving.

I am pleased to share my ’2014 Design Trends’ report with all of you today.  It is my forecast of the many design trends emerging in the weddings of this year.  Design trends in weddings are greatly influenced by the worlds of fashion, interior design, and architecture.  Event designers across the globe keep their pulse on all design industries to remain at the forefront of their craft, but more importantly, to continually fuel inspiration and creative ideation.

The following are my favourite design trends of 2014:

1) Colour.  I am particularly excited about the shift in colour palettes for 2014.  Referred to as the ‘new neutrals’, the muted, smoky tones of pastels evoke energy and lightheartedness.  Blush pink, soft yellow, mint green, and cornflower blue remind us of sunny meadows, spring blooms, and summer entertaining.  Fresh, airy colour palettes will continue to dominate the weddings of 2014.  In great contrast to this, the nostalgia of the 1990′s is evoked through the vibrant tones of green, purple, and deep blue.  Primary colours will begin to re-surface during the course of 2014 re-enforcing the dramatic art of colour blocking.

Pantone Colour of the Year: Radiant Orchid 18-3224.

2) Metallics.  Burnished brass and antique/distressed metals with weathered patina’s will emerge as the metallic of choice for weddings in 2014.  Rooted in tradition, the classical styling of metals lend themselves to an old world charm that brings warmth to a wedding design scheme.  An object that evokes history, adds character to an event environment and offers much room for personalization.

3) Pattern.  Pattern is a dynamic and impactful way to add depth, texture, and overall visual interest to a wedding design scheme.  The leading patterns in 2014 take inspiration from the outdoors and style icons from many of the leading design houses across the world.  I am particularly drawn to the beautiful pattens found in blue and white Chinese pottery, the French patterns of chinoiserie, the beauty of Mediterranean floral motifs, and the high contrast schemes of geometrics.  The foremost trend in pattern for weddings in 2014 leans towards whimsical botanicals/foliage prints; evoking memories of casual garden parties, sleepy summer afternoons, and our love for easy, outdoor entertaining.  The use of botanical/foliage prints will be most prevalent in linen and stationery design.  Updated trellis patterns, contemporary floral and foliage silhouettes, and topiaries (yes, topiaries!) encompass this trend in natural patterning.

4) Decor.  Although several design aesthetics will emerge and evolve over the course of the year, there are four that stand out for their versatility and ability to add character and personality to a wedding design.  These include:

a) The use of distressed furnishings.  Weather woods and distressed metals evoke a handmade, homespun quality to a wedding design.

b) The use of contemporary design and decor elements that are classically styled.  There is an inherent beauty to the contrast and visual tension created by combining contemporary and tradition decor elements, ultimately creating ‘transitional’ event spaces that appeal to all the senses.

c) The return and popularization of antique furnishings in decorating.

d) The re-interpretation of traditional wedding design schemes and spatial planning.  The weddings of 2014 (and moving forward) are viewed as elegant dinner parties and a natural extension to entertaining at home.  Head tables are replaced with beautiful harvest tables celebrating family and friends.  A central axis floor plan encourages inclusivity of all guests and places great emphasis on elegant entertaining.  The ‘cocktail’ style reception becomes more prevalent.

Customization continues to be the defining design tool in creating a distinctive wedding design scheme that is truly personal to the couple.

5) Floral Design.  Floral design continues to centre around floral artistry and floral installations.  The theory and principles of floral design are applied to built structures; creating ‘form’ in an event environment by defining space and establishing focal points.  Suspended floral design and floral ceiling treatments create dramatic floral statements.  Floral design moves beyond dining table design.

The use of foliage is my favourite design trend of 2014.  The natural textures of foliage add interest to a wedding design scheme and allow the form of a composition to stand out creating a sculptural quality that is quite dynamic.  The beautiful tints, tones, and shades of foliage enhance the overall design.

6) Design Themes.  Design themes continue to be a point of inspiration during the initial stages of the design process.  The prevalent design themes of 2014 take inspiration from nautical influences, botanical gardens around the world, resort lifestyle, and modern architecture including the many beautiful hotels around the world.

7) Hot or Not?  Hot: Beading, foliage, blue and white pottery, botanical patterns, colour blocking, natural fibres and distressed finishes, pastel colour stories, and laser cutting.  Not:  Crystals, pearls, stripes and chevron, mason jars, striped straws, and mirrored surfaces.

Hope you enjoyed my ’2014 Design Trends’ report!  Please comment below, what are your favourite design trends of 2014?  Do you agree with my forecast?  What do you see in wedding design for 2014?

Remember to join us for our twitter party on January 13, 2014 at 7:30pm EST!  Follow along with the hashtag #2014DesignTrends.  Co-hosts Christopher Confero (@conferotweets) and Cory Christopher (@artdesignliving) will be joining me as we discuss the most prevalent wedding design trends of 2014.

Have a wonderful week!

Paras (@paraskmehta)

Back To Basics

2013 has been a roller coaster of a year.  Like every year, a 12-month journey of continuing personal discovery and growth, both in business and in life.  2013 was a year of increased awareness of who I was, my resilience, my perceived limitations, my boundaries, my insecurities, my challenges, and my ability to persevere.  Most importantly, it was a year of evolution as I began to lay the foundation to self-transformation and truly understanding what I want.  Beyond all, 2013 was the year I vowed to ‘get real’.

2013 marked the tenth anniversary of PARAS Events.  I started when I was twenty years old, had just left school, and like many my age, had a vision for my future.

The business was started from scratch.  Our living room, basement, and garage became our inventory storage facility and the dining room was our consultation space.  I presented some of my very first weddings from this space and didn’t have a portfolio of work yet, so I rendered all of my concepts and used design boards to communicate my ideas.  I learned the fundamentals of managing and operating an event services business, the art of the presentation, and honed my design ability and aesthetic.  There was an innocence and air of simplicity to our small business that was truly ‘grass-roots’.

As I reflect upon those first few years, I begin to distinguish the key differences between my business today and how it was then, but more importantly my approach to the business and my role within it.  I am able to develop some key points, including: a) rediscovering the roots of why I am passionate about weddings and design, b) recapturing the innocence of my business and my true purpose as a creative person, c) rekindling the integrity with which I design for my clients and the self fulfillment it provides, and d) balancing the scale of ‘designer’ and ‘business owner’.

I used to operate my business thinking that the ‘big breaks’ in business were based solely on winning awards, being published in magazines, landing the ‘luxury’ clients, and fitting in.  Turns out, the greatest successes in business are fundamental: a) understanding your business, b) having your pulse on its health, c) establishing your unique signature and a recognizable brand, d) exercising your craft daily, e) nurturing your relationships and partnerships, and f) giving back.

In 2013, I gained some perspective on the next stages of my career.  These include education, sharing my experiences, and exploring international opportunities with my business.  I wrote about this in great detail in a post entitled ‘Lessons Learned’ highlighting my ‘Strategy for Change’ in 2014.

Part of going ‘back to basics’ is re-investing in yourself.  In 2013, I began to focus on my personal health (physical and mental).  I returned to the gym, managed a diet of healthy foods, and finally began a journal (all things that I didn’t make time for in the past).  I enjoyed a renewed sense of clarity, purpose, and fulfillment.  I slowly began to identify and differentiate the sources of happiness in my life.  By no means had I mastered the art of ‘living well’, but I tried my best and continued to strive to be the best version of myself that I could be.

I created a vision board to further communicate my personal and business goals for the year.

My new years resolution?  Go back to basics, learn from the past, and move ahead into 2014 with a renewed sense of direction for my business, where I want it to be, and understanding my universal role along the way.

Happy New Year everyone!  Wishing you immense success in 2014 and beyond.


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