Amanda Talbot has some serious design credentials: editor, design consultant and author, blogger – she’s the real deal when it comes to interiors, living and style.
Over the years, Amanda has worked for some of the biggest décor magazines and design firms on the planet, including Livingetc and British ELLE Decoration, as well as consulted for brands such as Ikea and WGSN. She is currently editing her own collection of design ideas on her blog and, this month, joins the Uocmas Design School to host a class on her designs and the global shift in living and design.
Amanda shares some of her thoughts with us in anticipation of her upcoming Uocmas Design School Speaker Session:
As a design consultant and editor working overseas, how would you define the Australian aesthetic? How does Australian design stand out on the world stage?
Europe and the UK are ‘old mixed with new’ and Australia is ‘new mixed with old’. In the UK they spend a lot more time indoors so are more likely to use warmer colours to create a cosy environment and style mis-matched furniture and objects from a mix of periods.
In Australia our life is surrounded by the outdoors and we love to connect the inside and out together. As well, Australian’s are definitely more conservative when it comes to interior design and more likely to stick with one kind of look when designing. We don’t tend to layer so many textures and colours in Australia because we want a space to feel light, bright and have a clean, simple flow. Since being back home here in Australia, I have seen reclaimed timber, clean lines, and modern craft appearing as decorative trends.
What are some of the big decorating and design trends coming from overseas? What are people getting excited about?
Colour! Expect to see furniture and homewares arriving on our shores soon bursting with blues, greens, reds and yellow hues. Design is becoming more playful and stepping away from the minimal style of design we have been seeing over the last few years. It’s becoming more wild, textural and raw. Expect to see coloured timbers, leathers and stone.
You have expressed there is a recent change in traditional living globally: what does that mean and what can we expect?
Good design is no longer just about colour, function and aesthetics. It is about creating a product, an idea, a space that can enhance our life and help us deal with what obstacles this changing world is throwing at us. Our houses are no longer simply homes but places where we work, study, socialise and shop. We demand dwellings that celebrate the rituals of domestic life and allow for privacy and change of mood.
More and more people are choosing to live in apartments in the heart of the city rather than family homes in the suburbs. The option to live in a big house that accommodates all family members is becoming less and less of a possibility. The new “downsized” home however presents a challenge when there’s a shortage of bedrooms, bathrooms, storage, communal areas and gardens. Privacy and space is are now considered a luxury and creating them is the biggest challenge architects and designers face.
The future home is going to be smaller, smarter, and sustainable. In the future home, standard buildings will include low carbon emission technology, reliance on renewable energy and the use of clever design incorporating elements like solar panels. Materials will be either recyclable or will not end up in landfill at the end of their cycle. The future home is also about individuality and the push away from the mass-produced or current fads in design.
How do you pick the trends and spot inspiration?
I think a lot of people think forecasting is looking into a crystal ball. It’s not. I keep up with global and local trends regarding the environment, economics, technology, and politics. When you understand what’s going on with people’s psyches you can predict how they react when shopping and decorating. My belief is we can only fulfill people’s needs and desires when we understand what they are. We need to dig deep and understand their priorities, values, inspirations, likes and dislikes.
Experience plays a big part in what I do. Being in the industry for such a long time and having an obsession for design, like I do, makes it easier to spot new ideas and trends.
I also spend a lot of time on social media, keep up with what young designers are producing, street fashion, trade fairs, and just walking the streets and going to movies and galleries.
Want to know more? What does this all mean to you? Book your place in Amanda’s upcoming Speaker Session at the Uocmas Design School. Sessions are on Tuesday 14th May 6pm and Friday 17th May 10am. Enrol Today.