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Q&A: 2024 Interior Design Trends

Samantha Rayl Interior Designer

Article Date: March 27, 2024

A Conversation with Interior Designer Samantha Rayl of R3A Architecture

Interior design trends are impacted by a wide variety of factors – technology, a growing desire for nature, and even the lingering effects of the global pandemic.

BLD Marketing sat down with interior designer Samantha Rayl of R3A Architecture to discuss the latest interior design trends, what is influencing product specification, and how personalization is driving change in the industry.

Q: What are the emerging interior design trends for 2024, particularly in terms of materials and textures? How do these trends reflect shifts in consumer preferences and lifestyles?

A: Trends will differ between residential and commercial applications. For residential work, the latest trends for 2024 include color drenching, deep red hues, and the appreciation for the beauty and imperfection of natural, handcrafted materials. For commercial applications specifically, sustainable materials are a huge driving force in design.

I am also seeing a lot of unique patterns of tile, both in the shape of the tile itself and the pattern in which it is installed.

Finally, as it relates to office spaces, we are seeing employees returning to in-office, so renovations are taking into account flexible workstations and varying environmental settings. In all settings – office included – we are seeing an increase in authentic, real materials.

Q: Can you discuss the influence of sustainability on today’s interior design choices? How are designers integrating eco-friendly materials and practices into their projects?

A: Sustainability is a huge factor in material selection. As the group of new emerging leaders in the industry begin to find their voice, we fully recognize that the wise use of resources is critical for our future. In particular, our organization, R3A, is making a conscious effort to specify renewable materials, vinyl and PVC-free flooring and wall finishes, Cradle to Cradle® and Declare labeled products, and Red List free finishes. We are educating our customers on the impact of selecting sustainable materials, which helps justify the potential higher cost. All in all, material health is not just about current resources, it is about the future of those resources and considerations such as durability and maintenance.

Q: In terms of color palettes, what are the popular choices for interior design projects these days? Are there any unique color combinations or themes gaining traction?

A: Every paint company is going to give you their “trending palettes” and “color of the year.” These are not “new” colors. They are more so a spotlight on something that may be forgotten with a twist or a fun name.

In terms of popular colors, deep moody reds and earthy greens are finding their footing in residential applications along with earthy mixes of warm and cool neutrals. In commercial applications, we are seeing more neutral color palettes mixed with branding.

Q: How are smart technologies being incorporated into interior design concepts? What are some innovative ways designers are blending technology into living spaces?

A: Technology is always evolving, and one way we are witnessing that is the evolution from motion sensor lights to homes that now respond and react for us in planned ways. In offices, workplace furniture such as seating and tables are incorporating power receptacles, which means more energy used and more coordination with electrical engineers.

Finally, users want to have complete connectivity without wires tethering them to a seat. Therefore, we are seeing more items with Bluetooth® capabilities and an increase in apps to customize and personalize anything a user can think of. There are even apps to turn 2D wall art into three- and four-dimensional pieces.

Q: In the face of rapid technological advancements, are you seeing any resurgence of traditional craftsmanship or artisanal techniques in interior design?

A: Yes, absolutely. Something that is often forgotten is that we are not using calculated robots to build homes and buildings and install finishes. These tasks are done by hand by skilled trade laborers and the margin for inconsistencies or irregularities exists. There is a true beauty that lies in those margins, the imperfections, and the uniqueness of hand-made quality. For example, Zellige tile and encaustic tile are increasing in popularity in addition to unique and intentional tile installations. Pair that with custom, handcrafted cabinetry, furniture from local woodshops, or countertops with carefully chiseled edges, and your renovation can parallel a purchase from a local arts festival. The juxtaposition of handcrafted elements alongside evolving “cookie cutter” technology is a delicate balance, but one that is necessary for good design.

Q: What role does biophilic design play in contemporary interior design? How are designers incorporating elements that increase connectivity to nature?

A: We have noticed more integration of plants and natural materials (wood, stone, moss, living walls, etc.) being requested and implemented into designs. Bringing the outdoors in has an effect on the mind and nervous system that you cannot replicate indoors alone. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this as we were all in our homes for months. We spent so much time alone, and the outdoors was one of the few safe escapes to get a moment of fresh air. As renovations began to gain traction again, we found that the connection with nature can be brought indoors and aid mental health and occupant well-being.

Q: How are interior designers adapting their approach to accommodate the evolving needs of remote work and flexible lifestyles in 2024? Is this a trend or factor in today’s design?

A: Remote work is definitely here to stay. Organizations have learned that employees can be trusted to work remotely. The potential for greater productivity increases when individuals are given flexible work hours and the freedom of location that caters to their life needs. Even with the recent push for a return to the office, workplaces are providing multiple options within the office environment. This includes traditional, hoteling, lounge-type, and collaborative work spaces all within an office’s footprint. When it is an option, the ability to provide a coffee shop setting with soft seating, background music, and a fancy espresso machine can be a great alternative to a cubicle.

Interactive collaboration zones can be a more comfortable environment for some individuals to find their voice compared to a traditional, formal conference room. Creating spaces where individuals can feel confident, empowered, and have a seat at the table can lead to increased retention rates with employers, which is a win-win for everyone. We are seeing these types of trends in modern interior design.

Q: What are some of the biggest shifts in interior design that you’ve witnessed of late?

A: In general, in both residential and commercial sectors, design is shifting to be more personalized and individualized to the end user. Interior design has become about how you can take something that is standard, cookie cutter, or common, and make it your own by honing in on the details and finding the little elements that make it unique.

Trends will continue to change and technology will always evolve. There will always be something bigger and better. But those details – the elements that make a design unique – are where us interior designers find the joy. Personalizing a design to fit the needs of the user or the homeowner is what makes each project special.

BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.