On the Surface

As the Design Centre Manager for The Laminex Group, Lorraine Brigdale covers trend forecasting, colour and range updates and showroom design. With a feel for local fashions and an innate colour sense, she develops trend directions for Laminex products so they’re suited to the distinctive Australian style. Lorraine speaks to Selina Gordevich about her work and what to look out for in the seasons ahead.

Four words to describe Laminex?
Colour and style. Today and tomorrow.

Tell us about Laminex
The Laminex Group delivers fashionable surface solutions. Colour is a major drive behind not only the richness of what we offer but the breadth of design choice and range of products. We provide a total design solution for our customers, helping them bring their ideas and thoughts to life.

What does trend forecasting involve?
Trend forecasting flourishes when constantly fed with current creative and practical information, along with knowledge of the history of design and a healthy dose of intuition. A good trend forecaster gets an inner hunch about new ideas and just knows how it will be. It’s about constantly gathering information – sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it. You notice the way women are wearing fashion, the way leaves on a branch look in a drought, the way colours look divine in a sunset but don’t look good when used in a synthetic way. It’s hard to define the qualities necessary to be successful at this career – trend forecasting is born of being in touch with something termed by philosopher and poet Goethe as “exact sensory imagination”.

What projects are you currently excited about?
I’m excited about the Laminex colour palette update. The introduction of some clear citrus brights will bring a spark to it, and we have a range of woods, linears and patterns that are on trend.

Loving …
The way Australian designers are up there mixing European trends and designs. This was observed at Saturday in Design in Melbourne – Laminex is a partner to this success, producing forward-fashion products and surface materials for designers to create these directions.

Sick of …
Safe selections of white on white kitchens – thankfully, I’m not the only one who is.

What kitchen and colour trends are you seeing for 2010?
We’re seeing the last of all-white kitchens – finally. The influence of grey is strong. Grey with colour brings out the ‘new neutrals’, used in a sophisticated way, and makes subtle, elegant colour combinations flow. Also, pleasing naturalistic elements are used to soften the slick lifestyle we sometimes think we want. We continue to build our interior landscape with a layering of scale, height and surface finish.

For more information on Laminex, call 132 136 or visit www.laminex.com.au

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