„Please touch!“ is the motto of the new living trend

At the www.vincentvanduysen.com " alt="At the "Biennale Interieur", the designer Vincent van Duysen presented a minimalist living box, with a charisma that is characterised by natural materials." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright lazy" copyright='www.vincentvanduysen.com' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/themes/inspirations-by-haro/media/gfx/pixel.png" data-src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/postimage_wohntrend-naturmaterialien-minimalistische_wohnbox-vincent_van_duysen-biennale_interieur-1-900x600.jpg">

There are trends that just pop up: „Neon Pink“ was one, and for 2017 the trend colour „green“ is up and coming. Others are just suddenly there, like the „touching design“ trend that you can now see – or rather feel – everywhere. It does not depend on one specific, clearly recognisable feature, but rather on subtle understatement: furniture and design objects now want to appeal to our sense of touch with haptically appealing materials and expressive surfaces.
Explore this trend and find out how to implement it in the home…

 Fine-pored concrete, cool marble, grainy wood, fluffy velvet… Designers are experimenting with a spectacular variety of materials in all sorts of ways.  Matching this trend, the Swiss product designer Dimitri Bähler recently developed the award-winning accessory series „Volumes, Patterns, Textures and Colours“. Its ceramic objects are discrete in terms of shape, but appeal to the sense of touch with their textured and expressive surfaces. The internationally renowned „Marianne Brandt Competition“ has also recently turned its attention to the topic of „material effects“. Among the applicants was the designer Jonathan Radetz from Frankfurt, whose „Annapurna“ carpet looks different from every angle due to the use of two materials that reflect in different ways, making it seem as if it has grooves and ridges. „It would certainly be possible to weave a photorealistic mountain landscape, but I have chosen to create a carpet landscape made from natural yarns with different haptic characteristics, which makes it more abstract,“ Mr Radetz explained. „It was important for me to appeal to more than just one sense.“ A similar approach is being followed by others, such as the British design studio Custhom with its „Contour“ design, in which graphic patterns are embedded in coarse woollen fabric. This creates a relief-like texture and a sensory experience for those who touch it.

The design brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are also on this new path of „touching design“: with their latest table design, they have paid particular attention to the aspect of haptics and equipped the tables of the „Copenhagen“ series for Hay with linoleum panels (a material characterised by its velvety feel). The design motto „Please touch!“ is not only being pursued by many designers, but also by stylists and interior designers. Two of the best, Ilse Crawford and Vincent van Duysen, have recently been awarded for this. Ilse Crawford, interior designer, ex-Elle-Deco editor-in-chief and something of a „promoter of sensual living“ with books like „Sensual Home“ from the Rizzoli publishing house, was honoured as „Designer of the Year 2016“ by the Paris-based „Maison & Objet“. At the „Biennale Interieur“ in the Belgian town of Kortrijk, Vincent van Duysen was honoured: in all his designs, the Belgian designer leaves out formal embellishments and design frills. Colours and patterns are not his thing, either. Instead, he subtly focuses on the power of materials, combining rugged and delicate, warm and cold, traditional and modern materials – this is perfectly in line with the current trend.

What a „sensual home“ feels like can be tested, for instance, in the apartment and concept store Graanmarkt 13 in Antwerp, designed by Vincent van Duysen, who is known as the „Material Man“: Here you find orderly architecture, reduced shapes, sensuous materials and muted colours with a common message: home is not a place, but a feeling which has to be gently lured out of its hiding place.

And this is how it can be achieved in one’s own home:

  • The layer look
    Fill your rooms layer by layer with curtains, carpets, furniture, various lamps, decoration, books, plants etc. Never think one-dimensionally: a room must have more than just a few pieces of furniture. Offer the senses more than just one material. It is the mix that matters.
  • Get dressed!
    Walls and windows do not like being bare. They prefer to dress up, or wrap themselves in soft curtains. Wooden wall coverings and artistic curtains made of wool are en vogue again. This creates a sense of comforting warmth in the home and is also audibly soothing, as it improves the room’s acoustics.
  • Floors that delight
    Feet are extremely sensitive – gently tickle, caress and tease your feet and senses with tactile floor coverings such as textured parquet or fluffy carpets made of high-quality natural materials. A different kind of foot massage…
  • Sensual living
    Naturally, furniture should foremost be functional: you should, of course, be able to sit on a chair. But is it not even better if you can go on a journey of the senses at the same time? With a cover made of tangible woven fabric or an armrest made of warm natural wood, for example?
  • Flattering the senses
    Even in fields that have a masculine image, such as the electronics industry, a warmer tone has been popular for some time: the Cecilie Manz speakers from Bang & Olufsen, for example, are covered in fabric and have leather handles. With so many technical ‚roommates‘ we already have at home, there is no need for functional coolness .

Does this mean that apartments are now being reduced to cuddle dens? Not really. After all, the aesthetic requirements remain the same, and they are still moving towards a reduced look. But what we do have is more sensual. The product designer Jonathan Radetz from Frankfurt puts it this way: „Nowadays, a decor and the real material mostly only differ by the way they feel. Laminate, for example, always remains cold, while wood is warm to the touch. In the case of marble it is the other way round: an artificial marble plate is always warmer than the original stone. What is new in my opinion, is that many people are now looking for the authentic experience of the material. Maybe we’re focusing more on ourselves again when it comes to the interior design of our homes, which is why we put a greater emphasis on it.“


An article by Janina Temmen


  • At the www.vincentvanduysen.com " alt="At the "Biennale Interieur", the designer Vincent van Duysen presented a minimalist living box, with a charisma that is characterised by natural materials." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.vincentvanduysen.com' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-naturmaterialien-minimalistische_wohnbox-vincent_van_duysen-biennale_interieur-1-300x400.jpg">
  • Carpets such as those hand-made unique virgin wool carpets from 13rugs are islands of comfort in spacious rooms.
  • The www.jonoconcepts.com " alt="The "Annapurna" carpet by the designer Jonathan Radetz from Frankfurt plays with materials and their unique effects, casting a double spell on our senses." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.jonoconcepts.com' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-sinnlich-teppich_annapurna-jonathan_radetz-individuelle_effekte-1-300x400.jpg">
  • You can live in www.graanmarkt13.be " alt="You can live in "The Apartment" of Graanmarkt 13 for a while and see how the "touching design" trend feels." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.graanmarkt13.be' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-design_auf_tuchfuehlung-testwohnen-the_apartment-graanmarkt_13-1-300x400.jpg">
  • This wall follows the design motto www.haro.com " alt="This wall follows the design motto "Please touch!": the "HARO Wall" system allows a haptic 3D design of the wall surface." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.haro.com' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-wandverkleidung-haptische_3d_gestaltung_der_wand-haro_wall-design_nevada-1-600x400.jpg">
  • The latest masterstroke of the design brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: www.hay.dk " alt="The latest masterstroke of the design brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: "Copenhague Deux", a furniture series with elements clothed in velvety coats of linoleum." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.hay.dk' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-moebel_mit_linoleum-hay-copenhague_deux-1-600x400.jpg">
  • Wicker furniture like the charming writing desk www.gebruederthonetvienna.com " alt="Wicker furniture like the charming writing desk "Allegory" by the Italian designer duo GamFratesi are experiencing a comeback - they are just so nice to touch!" class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.gebruederthonetvienna.com' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-korbmoebel-sekretaer_allegory-gamfratesi-thonet-1-600x400.jpg">
  • An accessory is rarely found alone: decoration groups with many different objects and expressive materials are in demand.
  • The ceramics series www.dimitribaehler.ch " alt="The ceramics series "Volumes, Patterns, Textures and Colours" gives everyday objects more emotion, by equipping them with haptically appealing surfaces." class="swipebox full-image-available image-with-copyright grid-image" copyright='www.dimitribaehler.ch' src="https://www.haro-inspires.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/02/wohntrend-keramik-haptisch_ansprechende_oberflaechen-dimitri_baehler-1-300x400.jpg">

Share your good taste!

You have already voted!