Nikkita Palmer gives her 2019 forecast for interior trends, and explains how successful design is more about people than ‘stuff’.
With 2018 coming to a close and the glamping season slowing down, we’ve had lots of enquiries about redesigning spaces for 2019. As the industry continues to grow, so does the competition and sites are now looking for more unusual ways to draw in customers.
As trends continue to move, I can’t help but feel that interiors are becoming more about people, how they feel and how we want to make them feel. While colour, pattern and surface helps to embrace and communicate this, movements in society effect how we as humans want to spend our time, and this trend in itself sits beautifully with the glamping industry and the growth in popu-larity of this type of holiday.
Experiences over things
While the expression ‘experiences over things’ gives the impression of little to no ‘stuff’, I like to think of the trend as a quality over quantity scenario. As a culture, we are removing ourselves from consumerism, as it has been previously known, by thinking more practically about the things we own, buy and invest in. As an experience in itself, glamping offers the perfect getaway for those in search of more experience outside of their day to day lives. While the structures you choose for your site are important, interiors can play a huge part in making your site stand out from the rest, creating an atmosphere and adding to the overall experience.
Think carefully when dressing your interior. Think what is necessary to create the type of holiday you are marketing – is it luxury, is it aimed at couples or is it families you want to attract? Use these key customer profiles to help you decide what will work and what won’t in your space. With glamping now replacing old-fashioned camping for many, these holidays no longer involve packing ‘everything but the kitchen sink’. And with mini-moons, staycations and weekends away becom-ing even more popular, it is essential to provide your guests with everything they need for their break to create a true sense of escape, experience and luxury.
Sourcing products and homewares can be tricky when on a budget, and the cheap and cheerful option is unlikely to bag you your ‘ideal client’. Choose your accessories carefully and from quality sources and suppliers; with thousands of start-up small businesses, the array of unusual prod-ucts available is forever increasing.
We’ve been lucky enough to spend the last few months working with Universal Glamping on its brand new structure, the GlampLoft (pictured) creating on-trend interior furniture and homewares for release in 2019. We worked closely with small UK businesses to choose the best, most cost effective and trend-based items, which are ‘easy care’ and functional – think quality enamelware for dining and cooking; it’s non-breakable, well made and beautiful. Using this type of product promotes a sense of nostalgia, a call back to childhood camping, with the added modern touch of luxury that glamping now stands for.
Create a storyline for your guests
Pulling on the strings of nostalgia and creating a story for your guests is essential and this can be easily achieved with carefully selected interior pieces. Use photography to promote your site ac-cording to how you want your guests to feel when staying with you. Following a huge rise in winter stays, pull on elements of hygge by incorporating soft cosy blankets (we love Neat Homewares’ self clean lambswool luxury throws), soft pile and velvet cushions and burnt reclaimed wood furni-ture for the ultimate winter nest.
Small additions also make a big difference. For those of you that supply hampers, consider little furry friends when stocking treats, with dogs now members of the family a gentle nod of acknowl-edgment is sure to please your guests. Add handmade winter or autumnal wreaths to doors – these are really fun to make and can be made from natural pickings; we use willow branches for the structure and add thistles, corn and threaded conkers to decorate.
Adapt your spaces throughout the seasons. With technologies ever improving, invest in heating systems for your structures to prolong the season into the autumn and winter months. Another innovation from the team at Universal Glamping is the GlampRad. Proving that heating doesn’t just have to come in ugly white units, it can be stitched into canvas or encased in steel panels depending on the space you want to heat.
When making the furniture for the GlampLoft we were keen to make the dining table and benches lightweight so they could be moved outside in the summer. This was enhanced further with the sides of the canvas structure opening to create an indoor/outdoor space for those warmer sum-mer evenings. Play with these ideas so that they work with your location and bring the personali-ty of your site out; consider the best views, wind shelters and adaptable spaces to ensure your guests get the best out of their stay.
When working with colour, darker matte shades of blues and greens are still on the rise, with the addition of softer sandy shades like Dulux’s colour of the year 2019, ‘Spiced Honey’. This earthy, jute warm tone can be made to reflect soothing, cosy or vibrant moods depending on the pallet it is combined with. Add playful pops of colour with tasseled or pompom fringed blankets, lampshades, scatter cushions or mirrors. These key, on-trend colours also work great with canvas and wood tones – think carefully about the colouring of your structure and how to pair it with accessories to give a comfortable and warming environment.
It is always important to consider light to avoid overly dark or synthetically light spaces. Try to stay clear of clinical surfaces, shiny or bright plastic accessories. Instead opt for matte and tac-tile materials promoting a reconnection with the environment and a deeper physical grounding to the world around us.
Sustainability and wellness
As sustainability and wellness becomes ever more prominent in society, we are now more aware of the products we consume and the effect of the things that we do. Alongside this, the resur-gence of craft means people are investing more in products made from honest materials and those which portray a sense of traditional and modern craft techniques. Again, adding a storyline to your site, promote yourself on what you provide. Market the sustainable aspects of your loca-tion, structures and internals, comment on the local makers who helped to make the space, or leave directories of locally sourced products available in the area so your guests can take a piece home for themselves – this could be for anything from local honey to a furniture maker.
Sourcing sustainable products is also key and doesn’t need to be expensive. Try to use organic bed linen, natural soaps, environmentally friendly washing detergents and consider likely market groups such as vegetarians, vegans and those with high risk of allergies, all things now continually on the rise.
Workshops or courses can also be a great way of marketing mid week or out of season stays and this fits beautifully with the rise in wellness and sustainability. Yoga and makers’ retreats are continually popular with those wanting to escape the rat race of modern life. Be sure to sell the whole package by adding elements to your internals during these events, maybe provide a yoga mat and herbal tea to each space or create a shared, cosy dining space for large groups in the evening. Small touches such as lemoned water and rustic tea light holders through the centre of the table help to create an atmosphere that will draw guests back again and again.
Thinking outside of the box
In order to set yourself apart in the industry, thinking outside of the box is essential. Be sure to spread your creativity and theming across your site to avoid having one beautiful space and the rest letting you down. Gone are the days of white tiled campsite bathrooms, and whether it is a shared facility or not, it is key to make these areas as aesthetically pleasing as the rest.
I love bathroom design and trends because you really can transform a space with accessorising on a very small budget. With new products on the market such as tile paints, grout pens and wood effect linos, it really doesn’t need to be a complete reconstruction. Concrete is particularly popular in bathrooms at the moment, however can be imitated with concrete effect finishes or accessories. We also love dark blue and green metro tiles which give a clean and trendy finish. Brass it back and vintage brass taps on an up-cycled drawer sink unit can make a huge impact. Add trendy but playful elements by incorporating fun tropical print shower curtains or towels.
Other areas to consider are outdoor spaces, shared alfresco kitchens (which can be a real statement), fire pit areas and dog wash facilities.
About the Author
Nikkita Palmer is an expert in the trend of small spaces and is passionate about ‘slow design’ reconnecting with nature, the importance of community and the trend of experiences rather than things. Visit www.nikkitapalmer.com (@nikkitapdesigns on social media) to view her furniture and interior work or get in touch at email@example.com / 07766 827997.
To view Nikkita’s collaboration with Universal Glamping, visit www.glamploft.com