Trendspotting: Take a long-term, heirloom approach

Objects with history and backstories are sometimes more engaging than brand new, easily replaceable ones.

Pixel cabinet. Courtesy of Boca do Lobo
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When I first moved to Dubai, I was fascinated by the newness of everything. I came from London, and it was refreshing to be surrounded by the clean and the shiny. But over time the idea that everything is replaceable began to trouble me. An attitude of "replace, replace, replace" doesn't hold much weight with a trend forecaster when the mantra of the future is "reduce, reduce, reduce".

At international design shows, we often see frivolousness and design for design's sake, so at Index this year we were thankful to see reliable favourites such as the Barcelona-based designer Jordi Mila, who never fails to delight and intrigue, and the Italian lighting company Variazioni, with its wonderfully inspired backstories that pay homage to the world's most exceptional women.

We were especially glad to see the Portuguese furniture artists Boca do Lobo. Established in 2005, it has quickly proved itself as one of the world's key furniture companies. Each piece is crafted in Portugal by a team of artisans who "strive to encourage sensational experiences through the creation of exquisite pieces, stirring a genuine emotion in their admirers".

Boca do Lobo's pieces are packed with personality and prestige. These are statement pieces, each with its own strong character, bringing a unique and intense sense of drama to any room.

Much of the company's work is based on the study of historical styles of furniture, which it reinterprets by combining the latest technological methods with traditional manufacturing techniques. It creates new classics to be invested in and cherished, and to be passed down through family lines.

The limited-edition Pixel cabinet epitomises the spring/summer 2012 trend for colour, and is my favourite piece from the collection because it honours the union between design and craftsmanship.

The 1,088 triangles that make up the piece include a combination of gold and silver leaf finishes as well as lacquered colours and 10 different types of wood. It has a sense of dynamism and carries the colour across its surface with energy and style.

I was encouraged this year to see so many young people, particularly women, at Index with a passion for good design and a genuine interest in the stories and inspiration behind the product.

As we begin to engage with and have a relationship with the products we surround ourselves with, we will create more meaningful spaces that we can enjoy and share with friends and family in a whole new way.

Shelley Pond is the creative director of Scarlet Opus. For more information visit and