Loving Life and Wanting “To Be”

Loving Life and Wanting “To Be”

by Tara Rae Hill ASID, IIDA, RID


Without debate, our last decade has been a time of sweeping change and circumstance. Unlike yesterday’s trend analysis, today’s faceted societal shifts do not fold into a neatly “bow-tied” forecasting box. A shift away from traditional demographics heavily influences our collective thoughts and actions. To keep reporting’s tidy and digestible, many forecasters chose sides for 2018-2019. One side forecasted our continued, entrenched skepticisms in an unpredictable, chaotic world with hesitant lifestyle choices and desires for muted-earthen hues. While in great contrast, another side forecasted an optimistic, free-thinking outlook towards positive change, human advancement, radical self-love, and happy life with yearnings for poppy, saturated colors.

For today’s forecasting, our MEGA trends are comprised BOTH of our socio progressions, as well as, our continued lingering stagnations. This has caused us to arrive at a convergence of paradoxical thinking and consumer desires.

Regardless whether looking pragmatically backward or favorably forward, we are leaving behind the last decade’s tribulations and springing towards a “LOVE OF LIFE,” a “TO BE” attitude, and a focus on personal experiences, including, unapologetic free thinking, amplified expression, self-actualization, personal well-being, connections to mother nature, and an enthusiastic leap into our futuristic tomorrow.

A Deeper Dive Into Today’s Trending Influencers

Our convergence of paradoxical thinking it best understood within today’s fast changing, complex movements.

We continue to experience unprecedented income inequality and wealth distributions partnered with a rich dichotomy of peaked cultural diversity, a five-generation workforce, growing identity group advocacy, gender and sexual orientation revolutions, and sci-fi nerdylicious technologies.

If that’s not enough, the quick rise of digital interfaces has modified our human anthropology. We now have a new modus operandi which includes relentless access to each other, avoidance to amalgamate information, and an acceptance for new discourteous social etiquettes. Even more so, digital platforms continue to illuminate our governmental, financial, corporate, entertainment, and religious institutions.

In positive contrast, as we enter our Fourth Industrial Revolution with our “on the verge” futuristic technologies (AI, quantum computing, autonomous robots, Crispr), we are enthusiastically revolutionizing how we live, work, engage, and trade. On the verge technologies are creating exciting times as we hyper plug in, push further into space explorations, leap into pioneering technologies, and collaborate between borders as never before. Yet as these technologies quickly fold in their intelligence, we also challenge their potential weaponization and the importance to protect our privacy.

All Is Creating A Nexus Of Paradoxical Thinking

Today’s multi-complex change is creating a nexus of faceted belief systems (regardless of age, creed, wealth, culture, or gender) which are inherently sparking contradictions within each of us and trend forecasting to be as multi-complex.

It’s true paradoxical thinking. For example, we hunger for handcrafted and high-tech, simplicity and the elaborate, authentic and imitation, raw mother earth (including the cosmos) and man-made, high tech engineering.

We continue to be romanticized by nostalgia yet leap to futurism, we search for our inner child yet discover our new self, we cherish our home roots yet embrace unfamiliar homelands, and we yearn for lone escapism as we also grow in group collectiveness.

With this, we hold on to our past and traditions, the conventional and classic, we embrace the unorthodox and adopt new culture and customs. We search for personal equilibrium, candlelight evenings, and afternoon picnics as we equally rally for social disruption and discord as paths to social corrections. We rise towards lively cathedral thinking as we also indulge in peaceful inner self-worship.

For 2018 – 2019 our paramount of paradoxical thoughts is being expressed in a variety of styles and the fusion of art, object, fashion, and interiors. Our love of tame remains with maximum-minimalism and understated simply chic – while contrarily – many expressing their inner mustang with quirky intermingling’s of pattern, scale, and color block. We continue to nod to the 60’s and 80’s as we move to radical design and personal expression. We keep our appreciation of vintage, chalk/wax paint finishes, embrace natural textiles, textural velvets, and upcycled treasures while we also rocket into our supernova future with space odyssey glitter, neon, and metallics.

Just In Time, Panolam’s 2Be Collection

Perfectly timed to be right on trend, Panolam Surface System’s 2Be Collection (created by Debbie Sulewski, Senior Director of Design) launched in April with modern woodgrains, expressive color-blocking solids, feel good linens and metallic abstracts. 2Be is a classic palette of well-partnered offerings designed to embrace our yester-year, bring forth our inner playful child, and look to our future while we – pause, breathe, engage, and savor life’s special moments.

The 2Be Collection offers an assortment of trending designs beginning with linear woodgrains and sun-bleached “Love Letters” with weathered grey “Old Friend.” There are warm woodgrains perfectly named “Picnic in The Park,” “Catching Fireflies,” “Dining by Candlelight,” and “Sleeping In.”  And, walnuts “A Good Book” and “Walnut Grove,” which range from warm sunset to dark chocolate undertones.

2Be harbors four jewel tone’s ranging from “Summer Vacation,” a vibrant lagoon blue, to “Fresh Cut Grass,” nature’s green, “Sweet 16,” a lavish magenta, and “First Kiss,” a lovely blend of red and pink.

For the beachcomber in all of us, the 2Be Collection offers four convincing, subtle linens with showstoppers “Daydreaming” dressed in a cool grey, “Happy Hour” in a denim blue, “Beachcomber” in a sandy beige, and “Jumping in Puddles” in a stormy grey.

Panolam’s 2Be Collection is designed with flexibility and careful consideration to inspire designers to achieve their visions with trends representing our past, present and future.


Tara Rae Hill, ASID

Founder + Creative Director of LittleFISH Think Tank

Tara is a state registered, NCIDQ interior designer and the FOUNDER, OWNER, + CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF LittleFISH Think Tank, an “interdisciplinary” creative solutions company specializing in think-tank strategies + dynamic design and trending for Products. Space. + Brands.