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Sophisticated psychedelia : A fad or the best new interior trend of 2020?

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Your probably associate ‘psychedelic’ with the bright colors and patterns of the 70s and 80s. But in the interior design world that’s changing. For decades psychedelia has was seen as over-the-top and edgy. Now interior designers are turning this connotation on its head with a new sophisticated and undoubtedly stylish approach.

Sophisticated psychedelia, or modern psychedelia, is about to have its moment.

What is “sophisticated psychedelia”?

In short, this new approach to design defines anything that makes you look twice – that is not what it originally seems. More importantly, bold, brash color swirls are out in favor of black and white patterns, single-color blocks and prints, and even deco-style metallics.

This trend could be the best new hope for interior designers looking to add interest to their designs without succumbing to long-running tropes.

Designers who are already embracing the trend

Just because this trend is only now taking hold, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been around for a while – it has, just to a lesser extent. There are numerous interior designers around the world who have created sublime projects with a sophisticated but psychedelic edge…

Much of Madrid-based architect Andrés Jaque’s work has a multi-faceted approach that’s incredibly playful. His design for the restaurant ‘Romola’, also in Madrid, features an abundance of black and white marble, which covers the floor and hangs from the ceiling. This design forces you to look at the restaurant from every angle, and yet the furnishings are that of un upmarket New York hotel.

Modern Cement Tile

Texas-based interior designer Julie Bradshaw loves neutral palettes and large open spaces. On the other hand, she often breaks up her designs with striking contemporary art with a psychedelic edge. She uses large oil and acrylic paintings on canvas and sculptures to add interest to her otherwise classic approach. Her practice is an excellent show of sophisticated psychedelia – parred-back yet still striking.

Olga Tcherednikova’s interiors are more traditionally psychedelic, yet rather than using large color swirls, Olga carefully selects colors which she then blocks like a Matisse painting. This approach embraces color but is not about bombarding the viewer. Instead, the designer selects complementing hues that sit in harmony with matching furnishings for a thought-out finish.

Will this trend stick around?

We think so. Classic psychedelia will always be nostalgic and will remain the go-to for some interior designers whose clients demand big and bold, but there’s no denying that sophisticated psychedelia offers an element of timelessness and refined personality that will remain stylish for decades.

sophisticated psychedelia

How you can introduce “sophisticated psychedelia” to your home

There are a few things you need to bear in mind if you’re to pull off this trend in your home.

  1. Choose timeless patterns

It’s important that you avoid patterns that will age quickly. Despite that, to keep your home’s interior timeless, you’ll want to turn your head to the past. Art deco, for example, boasts many otherworldly patterns that are just as popular today as they were in the 1920s. Woven black and gold patterns, like our brass marble waterjet decos, work especially well.

  1. Consider unconventional finishes

Psychedelia is all about making you look twice, right? Well one way you can do that is with unconventional finishes, such as off-kilter tile patterns. Our temple brick tiles would usually be laid horizontally but combine this with sporadic vertical laying too and suddenly you have a wall, or floor, that makes you look again because something doesn’t seem quite right.

  1. Location is everything

Sophisticated psychedelia is all about large surfaces and patterns that make an impact. But to make an impact you need to be able to see the full extent of the surface. Therefore you should only lay patterns where they can be seen – not behind bookshelves or wall decorations. Our Antequera tiles work brilliantly for bath surrounds, for example.

Black and White Marble

A note from our designers

Don’t be afraid to mix and match. Psychedelic design is about serving up the unexpected… Just because you have a black and white room doesn’t mean you can’t go against the grain and add a handful of pink or purple tiles into the mix. Unexpected details like this will help to emphasize your theme. Better still, you can coordinate subtle details like this with your room’s furniture, artwork, or window coverings for a finish that’s purposeful and in-keeping with the rest of your home’s design.

Browse our full Status Antequera collection and get creative.

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