Design trend: back to nature

We look at the rise of designers using nature as the inspiration behind their products and interiors.

While design trends may vary from year to year, there is one style that has continued to stand the test of time. From the Romans to Romanticism, designers and artists have always used nature as one of their biggest sources of inspiration. Whether it is because of our growing awareness of the danger our natural environment now faces, or because we have always been interested in the world around us, even now nature continues to play a huge part in design. 

With this in mind, we have found five examples where nature has been the designer’s biggest inspiration. Ranging from products to interiors, some designs might take use this inspiration more subtly, but every example has nature at its heart: 

Mei Ume Restaurant, Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square
AB Concept

Red and pink blossoms adorn a statement screen as guests enter the Mei Ume restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, London. Celebrating and delighting in Chinese culture, the screen is the first eye-catching step into the restaurant. Ed Ng, the co-founder of AB Concept, tells us about his inspiration for the design. “The restaurant's name itself, Mei Ume, means 'plum' in Chinese and Japanese since the restaurant offers a fusion of both cuisines.”

“We designed the screen to pay tribute to traditional displays of plum blossom, which represents the end of winter, purity, endurance and perseverance,” Ng continues. “We wanted to capture the medley of old and new, bringing a new essence to the history of the two cultures. As guests enter the restaurant, the screen hints at the experience that awaits them.”

Lily Cocktail Table
Tom Faulkner

Inspired by the English summer and celebrating the warm weather, Tom Faulkner has recently launched two new designs; the Berlin easy chair and the Lily cocktail tables. Whilst the Berlin chair is well known for being an innovative piece of British craftsmanship, and for having a clean, confident silhouette, it is the Lily cocktail table that has been truly inspired by nature.

“Reminiscent of lily pads, the Lily cocktail tables offer the perfect marriage of playfulness and elegance,” a recent Tom Faulkner release states. Available in a variety of materials, the Lily cocktail tables feature organically shaped tops, and look “gorgeous in a group, or stand-alone”; placed together, they almost look like real lily pads, floating on a lake.

The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
Jean-Michel Gathy

The Chedi Andermatt hotel’s signature style carefully balances nature with tradition, featuring elements of ‘Alpine chic’, taken from the hotel’s surroundings, and ‘Asian zen’, from the brand’s heritage. Designed by luxury hotel designer and architect Jean-Michel Gathy, the hotel was inspired by its natural environment and also uses natural elements throughout each space.

Director of Sales & Marketing at The Chedi Andermatt explains, “The Chedi Andermatt's luxurious design uses Alpine wood to create a relaxed atmosphere and cosy warmth throughout. [For example], the bathrooms feature a combination of different types and shades of wood panelling, adding texture and giving an almost sauna-like feel. Guests love that the dark wood contrasted with the bright white of the ceilings and our oversized, freestanding bath tubs, really reflect the hotel's surrounding in the winter months.”

The Nephale Collection
AB Concept and Tai Ping

Launched at the beginning of this year, luxury carpet specialists Tai Ping collaborated with international design practice AB Concept to create Naphale, a collection of couture carpets. Each carpet reflects a different element of nature; the carpet pictured, Syrinx, takes its inspiration from high grass in the wind.

The collection was inspired by founders Ed Ng and Terrance Ngan’s experiences of looking down at different terrains from an airplane. “I wondered what you would see if you looked downward; it’s beautiful terrain, it’s the mountains, and you see the oceans,” says Ng. “Seeing the beautiful horizon - it’s just something that is endless inspiration of colour and texture.”

Mayfair Park Residences, London
Jouin Manku for Clivedale

For the interiors of their Mayfair Park Residences, super prime property developer Clivedale London, chose to commission international design studio Jouin Manku. However, it was services of internationally renowned lighting specialists that created the statement, leaf inspired chandelier situated in the entrance of the development.

The chandelier works as part of Jouin Manku’s nature-inspired interior scheme. Discussing the statement piece, Clivedale’s sales and marketing director Fred Scarlett said, “We called Lasvit to design a bespoke hand-cut crystal chandelier which adorns the entrance lobby of Mayfair Park Residences. Acting as a focal point of the developments reception area, the chandelier is flanked by two sweeping installations consisting of more than 1,000 hand-painted porcelain leaves inspired by the nearby Hyde Park.”

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