Design retrospective: The hottest looks in 2012

What were the key trends in 2012 and who were the stand out designers? What were the best looks in design this year? We take a month by month look back at the design highlights and trends of the last year...

January: Pantone announced that Tangerine Dream was to be the colour of 2012, and the first show of the year, Maison & Objet, delivered. It wasn't long before orange looked set to replace yellow as the perfect accent colour to team with grey.


February: The Stockholm Furniture Fair just in time for Spring. Grass green popped up as a colour to rival orange and with it bought a certain freshness to everything in sight. It promised a year of brightness in our interiors if not in the weather.

March: This was the month of design across the pond at the New York Design Festival. Whilst there, ACHICA Living toured the D&D building, which demonstrated the trend for natural textures - something we could not get enough of at Fortuny and Anichini.

April: All eyes were on Milan where London’s very own Lee Broom launched his crystal bulb - a fabulous take on cut crystal glasses made with a little help from Britain’s last manufacturer.

May: Saw a little sunshine - thank goodness - and of course Clerkenwell Design Week. Very Good & Proper finally showed us where all these colours were going, with a celebration of bright primaries. Rather than settling on one colour this year, it seems the industry ran with all of them.

June:  Was the month the design community set off to Basel for the confusingly titled Design Miami / Basel. Craftica, a stand from Fendi, further demonstrated the trend for natural materials with a homage to leather.

July: New Designers showcased the graduate talent of the year and we saw that wood was everywhere. It seems that the next generation of designers are finding new ways to work with wood and creating designs that show a genuine respect for traditional material.

August: Was the month we all became sports fanatics. The whole world landed on our doorstep and we welcomed them all with open arms. After the Jubilee, the Olympics sealed London’s fate as the capital of the world for 2012. Everyone wanted a piece of British design and we couldn't get enough of Michelle Mason’s Decca range.

September: The doors to London Design Festival swung open. The nine-day event was packed full with shows such as Tent London, Decorex 2012 and Design Junction. Dare Studio’s lamp is a good example of the metallic trends we’ve written about so much on ACHICA Living recently. You can watch our full trend report here.

October: Saw the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping, so it was perfect timing for an exhibition of all things Scandinavian at London’s Earl’s Court to give us all some winter inspiration. Morso were keeping it cosy with its incredible range of wood-burning stoves.

November: The 'mid-century modern look that's been popular all year really came into its own as we embraced warm and cosy, yet sophisticated interiors. Cole and Son shows how to do it best with an uplifting sunny glow using its stripes wallpaper and topping off the look with a gilt-framed mirror.


December: With a focus on Christmas, homely colour combinations were making their mark. We love these red and white decorations from Linum, which were the first to adorn the ACHICA Living Christmas tree this year.

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Katie Treggiden, Guest Editor

View all posts by Katie Treggiden, Guest Editor