Living in the Future

Rediscovered classics, innovations, ‘appropriate’ gardens and the color Marsala. A look ahead.

The Future

What might your future look like? The L.A. Times has been featuring stories that focus on trends in Food, Mind & Body and Home & Design — and how those trends might allow you to recharge, reboot and enjoy your life a little bit — or a lot — more. Some of what we have reported is happening right now; other stories anticipate the coming months and years. Scroll down or click the images below to explore our predictions.

Home & Design

Rediscovered classics, innovations, 'appropriate' gardens and the color Marsala.

Mind & Body

The visions of '60s sci-fi flicks aren't that far from today's fitness and wellness world.


Is it back to Chinatown or back to luxury?

Home & Design

Living in the Future

Illustration: Sarah Wilkins / For the Times

Rediscovered classics, innovations, 'appropriate' gardens and the color Marsala. A look ahead.

Southern Californians are obsessed with the design of our homes, the details of how they are furnished and the patches of green that we plant and water. There are fewer rules here; we are free to mix colors and lacquers, woods and carpeting, antiques and flea-market finds. We reach for new technology as soon as it’s on the market. So how will all this play out in the future?

From old-school florals to brand-new innovations, here's 15 easy pieces and smart ideas to improve your house this year. »

My work is no longer about doing additions. I’ve had a series of midcentury projects over the past two years where clients didn’t want to add square footage. We were charged with the task of reasonably and sensitively integrating these dwellings with modern living. It is more about an interior remodel. For all intents, it is about maintaining the original and iconic look of the houses.

John Bertram, architect, Bertram Architects

While attending Las Vegas Furniture Market last week, I got some nice validation after seeing some of my favorite new elements on display: Rose gold accents, barely-there blush pink, and navy blue lacquer were shown everywhere! ... I was pleased to see manufacturers finally moving away from reclaimed wood to a more finished look and warmer tones. Hooray for walnut!

Heather Ashton, principal, Heather Ashton Design and creative director of HD Buttercup

Sustainable designs can be as vibrant and varied as L.A.’s architecture. Our high-end clients want ... design that minimizes their footprint while maximizing their lifestyles.

Cassy Aoyagi, landscape designer, FormLA Landscaping, Inc.

One big trend I’m seeing for 2015 is very unique and artistic details. ... The character, creativity and detail you can now find in kitchen and bath surfaces are astounding. We’re currently pitching tiles shaped like cassettes, others comprised of vintage leather belts, and all sorts of other imaginative products.

Kishani Perera, interior designer

Whether the residence is small or large, the kitchen is disappearing. In apartments the micro-kitchen is en vogue, since they take up less square footage. In luxury housing, the kitchen is still the gathering spot, but the appliances disappear, overhead cabinets are removed and the feeling is more open plan.

Elizabeth Lowrey, principal and director of interior architecture Elkus Manfredi Architects

The ascent of sustainability bodes extremely well for the housing industry and interior design. It takes architecture back to the basic elements, the rudiments of place and design and quality and life: fresh air, massive natural light, strong visual and, if possible, physical indoor/outdoor connections.

Michael Lehrer, founder and principal of Lehrer Architects

Transformative spaces are in. The sharing economy is redefining how we design environments and objects. People want flexible, modular seating that allow for perching.

David Rockwell, architect and interior designer, Rockwell Group

I’m seeing an increased appreciation for 21st Century decorative artists and artisans. Up until now, vintage pieces were really the star of the show, but now contemporary pieces of makers such as Herve Van Der Straeten and Mattia Bonetti are being coveted and collected more than ever.

Natasha Baradan, interior designer

19th century American and English Regency antiques are poised to make a comeback. They’re extremely undervalued and they could be mixed in with just about anything, if you know what you’re doing.

Louis Navarrete, interior designer

More views and photos: Designers and architects sound off on future trends


Mind & Body

Fantastic Voyagers

Illustration: Sarah Wilkins / For the Times

The visions of '60s sci-fi flicks aren't that far from today's smart-, micro- and meta- world of ways to get fit, feel better and know ourselves.

The future of your health is literally in your hands, from the food you make to the gadgets you hold. And we're moving in two directions simultaneously.

Many experts are sending us back to basics: Take a walk, eat vegetables and fruit — no "Jetsons" pill for dinner. At the same time, a recently unimaginable array of inventions and advances gives us the ability to track our bodies like never before. Take a look at the possibilities.

Future of healthcare: Sensors will lead to highly personalized care

The future of health looks a lot like the fitness tracker you might already wear on your wrist or your waistband. But instead of just keeping tabs on your activity level, high-tech sensors embedded throughout your home, your car and maybe even under your skin will keep tabs on your every waking moment. »

Insurance companies are going to look at the amount of money they are paying out in treatment for chronic diseases, and they will determine that prevention pays better than treatment. They'll realize they can make more money from healthy clients than sick ones, and they will finally take the plunge.

Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist at UC San Francisco and author of books including “Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease”

Cities and states are looking for ways to change the food environment to make healthy choices the easy choices. My list includes restrictions on marketing junk foods and beverages to kids, getting vending machines out of schools, committed implementation of the new school nutrition standards [and] food and nutrition education in schools with gardens, whenever possible.

Marion Nestle, nutrition activist, author and Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University

Lifestyle medicine will become a global movement. I predict (and am working to create) a future in which the public increasingly rejects fads, quick fixes, false promises and pixie dust — in favor of fundamental, actionable truths about dietary pattern, lifestyle practices and health. The 'fad diet' will die, and people will live better.

Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale Prevention Research Center

Meditation is going mainstream. As a result of both scientific studies plus pop culture icons, it seems everywhere you look someone is talking about "the M word." At Unplug, we are seeing people from 6 to 60 — first-graders to their school principals — looking to break away from their electronic devices for a mental timeout.

Suze Yalof Schwartz, founder and chief meditation officer of Unplug Meditation in L.A.

There's been a real cultural shift in what is considered to be aspirational, or beautiful. It used to be that people wanted to be these skinny little waifs. But now they want to be toned. Really, truly healthy. Athletic. They want to be superhero kind of girls. The starving to get skinny? That's over.

Jennifer Cohen, author of "Strong Is the New Skinny"

In five years, everyone will have knowledge of the bacteria growing in their stomach. Knowing that will be considered as important as your basic vitals, as your heart. The wrong type of bacteria can amplify your fat storages. [For tests,] you'll use a tiny lancet, get a tiny drop of blood, drop it in the mail, get results back in a couple of days. There's no reason why you can't do it on a regular basis.

Dave Asprey, author of "The Bulletproof Diet" and "biohacker"

What I see happening is the continued focus on sugars as the prime dietary suspects in the cause of obesity, diabetes and their related diseases. [I see] a continuing decrease in the amount of sugars that we consume and, more important, our children consume, particularly sugary beverages such as sodas and fruit juices.

Gary Taubes, science writer, author of "Why We Get Fat" and a founder of the nonprofit Nutrition Science Initiative

I think that some of these misconceptions will be much more clear about gluten, so we understand who will benefit from a gluten-free diet and who will not. Gluten-free diets are used by people with fibromyalgia, autism, schizophrenia. Are these people really on the right track or not? We will have a much clearer idea if, when and how a gluten-free diet is good for you.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, founder and director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital

People will come to realize that they have the power to control their health with nutrition and fitness. We're going to see the ability of the individual to literally self-diagnose and cure through low-tech strategies, by adjusting diet and lifestyle.

Mark Sisson, author of and creator of "The Primal Blueprint Diet"

Full text: What do health experts see in our near future?

Five ways to improve your health starting now



Days of Future Repasts

Illustration: Sarah Wilkins / For the Times

Is it back to Chinatown or back to luxury? Fridges that mop your floor or farmers who come to your door? We look at 2015 and beyond.

Is Los Angeles the greatest food city in the country? There are a few other places that might dispute that boast. But it is safe to say that we live in a city unequaled for food invention and innovation. New ingredients, new dishes, new types of dining experiences, many of them pop up here first before spreading through the rest of the country. Here we present a series of stories on what we might be seeing in the food and dining scene this year and further into the future.

Here in L.A., if you do great food, use great product, cook with integrity and represent who you are as a chef on that plate, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been cooking 10 years or 2 years. That is to say I see Los Angeles like the Wild West; you cook your own future and nobody really looks at your past anymore.

Wes Avila, Guerilla Tacos truck

Things change in Los Angeles every five, six, seven years in terms of restaurants and according to what guests want to eat. Even the restaurateurs change the name or definition of their restaurants.

Donato Poto, co-owner of Providence

Everyone keeps saying fine dining is dead and then you rebel. Because as soon as you have a busy day, you realize how nice it is to see people smiling when you serve a favorite dish or put together a special dinner for someone.

Piero Selvaggio, owner of Valentino

The hip restaurants in any big city now are probably not very comfortable for anyone, which may mean that comfort means less than it used to.

Colman Andrews, editorial director The Daily Meal website

Before there was OpenTable, we really needed how to understand where to place people. It was an art form. I learned from the maitre ‘d how to seat the room, who not to sit next to so and so, how create the atmosphere.

Jannis Swermann, restaurant publicist and former maitre d’ at the original Spago

If it’s a perfect thing, you don’t need to gild the lily. It’s the level of care that can elevate even very humble ingredients. Simplicity at the end of the day is what helps people appreciate the quality of what the raw materials are.

Michael Cimarusti, chef-owner at Providence

You have to know how to properly cook the product, but if it’s not delicious to start with, what’s the old saying, ‘You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.' No matter how good a cook you are not going to make it taste like truffles.

Gary Menes, chef-owner at Le Comptoir

What’s old is new again. Whether it's butchering a whole animal, farming heirloom grain varieties, or baking bread, the emphasis is on respect for the ingredient and trying to bring out the best tasting most nutritious and most beautiful final product possible.

Zack Hall, baker-owner of Clark Street Bread

L.A. is challenging the idea of fine dining. What’s exciting is experimentation. Now the chefs are offering options and coming up with different levels: pop-ups, diners, food at airports.

Jessica Koslow, chef-owner of Sqirl

What I’m seeing is a real diversity of food. More talented, classically trained chefs are using their skills to elevate their own native ethnic cuisines. The modern L.A. diner has changed too. They’re more excited than ever to try things that we chefs love to eat, allowing us more creative license.

Josiah Citrin, chef-owner of Melisse


Produced by Sean Greene