SURTECO Design Statements - The year 2020.

What happens when a global crisis tips the world out of its normal orbit? How should I deal with crises, changes and uncertainty? What opportunities can I see for myself, my surroundings and the world as a whole? And: what effect does this have on the styling of spaces and in very concrete terms on new decor trends? 

We collected statements on these issues from SURTECO colleagues in Europe, Australia and the USA.


// Barabra Rui 

Life itself continued to inspire me even in this exceptional year of 2020. The people. Individuals who live their lives, think about the future and dream.


The pandemic changed our personal relationships by compelling us to refrain from contacts with other human beings. But we identified opportunities for fostering our friendships, working and relaxing. We went back to living an old-fashioned lifestyle that gives our existence a different value but doesn’t really change anything.  I firmly believe that this pandemic is enriching our lives and that we will appreciate many things far more in the future. We recognise that leisure does not simply mean travelling round the world but we can also enjoy being at home and savouring our family-oriented existence.

Textile trend decors: Oxford, Tessuto, Haithabu

And much more importantly: We have not stopped planning our future, only the manner and approach to the future has changed. This means we are continuing to develop new decors and following new trends. For example, the upturn in mobile travel or innovative furniture for relaxing that we are seeing with increasing frequency. This new need for cocooning requires warm colours and textile decors like Oxford, Tessuto or Haitabu. Elegant, natural woods seek out soft contrasts. We are reinventing our dream home, with elegant walnut decors like San Marco or exceptional fantasy woods. Our conviction and zest for life are key factors here.


// Artur Rybkowski

During these exceptional times, two things are providing me with support, inspiration and sanctuary: my family and nature.

The family gives me a sense of security, it is the foundation even during tough times. And I am learning a lot from nature. It has undergone regeneration after every crisis and produced new manifestations. When I’m out and about in nature, I recharge my batteries and I’m encouraged to have confidence that crises also engender change. The coronavirus pandemic has led me to reflect a lot on the concept of “closeness”. The actual physical proximity to people is absent, but social networks are playing an increasingly important role. The lockdowns mean that we are thinking, planning and working local. For example, there’s no question of travel and we are tending to do our shopping closer to home or on the Internet. I notice a big difference in my work, which has been transferred from the real world into the virtual world. Video conferences are the order of the day. As far as the development of decors is concerned, I expect we will see more calm, well-balanced, very natural textures and surfaces. This describes the yearning of individuals who aspire to have calm and natural materials in their home.


// Martin Failer

 I’m also observing that the restrictions are sharpening our perspective for what is essential.

Since the pandemic struck, people have spent much more time at home and they have had to combine a home office and family life under one roof. I’m convinced that convertible, smart furniture will experience an upturn. Overall, people will be investing more money in their interior spaces because they are no longer able to travel as much and they want to have a beautiful home. There will be a focus on terraces and balconies where a lot of people will set up their very own private holiday resort. In the world of decors, I expect some deceleration for changes in trend and in the number of new developments. The search will be on for timeless, easily combinable decors that should by no means be perceived as uninteresting. A change from cool, grey colour shades and purist furnishings is in the pipeline and this will give way to warmer colours and more homely styles. In the sector of solid colours, pastel shades go well with this. People will move towards higher-quality furniture, partly for environmental reasons.


// Susie Darrah

Historically, design has had a way of repeating itself, just with new life. This has been a guide that drives my thoughts as well.

Social media, trade magazines, blogs, fashion shows and organic elements of the natural world are a few sources that I’ve relied upon more heavily than normal. The visuals of social media have a huge impact, scrolling you see color, pattern, texture and wood grains. Trends or movements in a particular direction are soon easily spotted. I still bounce ideas and thoughts off fellow designers, but now it’s virtual interaction. Sharing screens, just talking design. Being such a visual person, I am learning to listen to my intuition about design. The swing towards biophilia (the love of living things and nature) has been a big influence. The need and want for designs that bring the outside in, whether in pattern or color are important. Specailty finishes, such as non glare, antimicrobial protection and durablity are becoming more prevalent. However, it is an instinct to have a „zest for life“.  As desingers we can never lose sight of this as we move through the creative process. The „visual eye candy“ in enviroments that stimulates the soul. In the past few years most have looked for experiences to enrich their lives. Now the shift has become inward, how to make oneself better – whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually.


// Phil Nankivell

Inspiration for me comes in all shapes and sizes. Usually able to find inspiration through travel as it exposes me to new cultures, people and experiences and also challenges some of my deeper rooted assumptions.

But with limited travel in 2020, new sources of inspiration come from everywhere; walks around my neighborhood, Instagram, watching my two little ones grow and communicate their interpretation of the world around them, pinterest, photography, design, architecture, interiors and fashion. It comes from conversations with clients, family, architects and designers. This all happens around me, all the time, and I don’t even have to leave my city. Covid has totally changed our lives and especially how we live at home.  The simplest of things like as our basic experience of space; our usual mobility has become harshly restricted.  In a short period of time, our homes have become a place to work, exercise, relax and even remote learn. I think this has been the biggest single influence on design trends this year and will continue into next. From the reality of Covid life, to creating happy new interior environments there will be significant changes in interiors and design in the coming years.  Open plan offices are on the way out.  Product development will need to align itself with healthcare features and benefits and expand beyond just ‘good design’ as we already do. Client spending will increase in residential projects and clients will be willing to spend more money on their own home projects.  To combat the sense of anxiety and unrest the pandemic has caused most people, I think colour trends will be influenced be instilling a sense of comfort and reassurance – biophilic design will be ubiquitous.


// Pere Gómez Morell

Restrictions on going outside, bans on contacts with other people, compulsory wearing of masks. Nobody would ever have expected that this could be part of our day-to-day lives. This is a huge challenge especially for people in Spain, where we love to spend time with friends and family out in the open air.

We are now spending more time at home than ever before. Our own home is becoming the centre of our lives. As a result, we’re starting to style our houses and apartments to be more comfy, warmer and more elegant. Aristocratic and calm oak, ash or walnut decors are becoming increasingly popular while the rustic woods of recent years are disappearing. Harmonious combinations comprising natural stone decors, textile impressions and precious metals are gaining importance. They lend each room a special character of wellbeing, as a workspace, family meeting point or oasis of refuge. If I can take away something positive from this exceptional year, then it would be that we have learnt to look after our relationships even without a comforting hug – using digital media. As a sales manager, my work thrives on personal contacts and emotional customer presentations. The coronavirus has forced me to adopt a completely different mindset. At an early stage, we started to record our design presentations and stream them digitally. This was a success. In this way, we managed to stay close to our customers even at a distance.