By Kerena Berry
When it comes to self-expression, interior design has become every bit as important as the outfit you’re wearing right now (hopefully you’re not reading this while wearing an ancient pair of trackie dacks). Like fashion, design trends change with the seasons, but here are 10 movements in interior design that will be making waves for the next 12 months.
1. Two-tone kitchens
Stark and bold, the two-tone kitchen purposely limits colour range to create diversity in other ways, most notably finishes. From afar, the simple palette is deceptive because on closer scrutiny, brave combinations of textures reveal the complexity of the design. Rustic finishes on cabinets may not marry well with marble benches in your imagination, but in reality can work beautifully, creating a dramatic textural statement brought to life by the two-tone approach.
2. Wall tiles outside the kitchen and bathroom
Wall tiles are on the move, no longer trapped in their traditional domains. They’re migrating from kitchens and bathrooms to become features in common areas, and the effect is stunning. Now that they’re making their mark as ornamental bling in living areas, the humble tile is now enjoying a rapid evolution as designers compete to think outside the box and produce work that is aesthetically and practically superior. Tile designers are pushing the boundaries of shape, colour and functionality.
3. Mirrors as decor
They’ve always been a handy way to trick the eye into believing a room has greater dimensions (or simply to make sure we’re gorgeous), but mirrors are now being used much more creatively. With an increasingly diverse range of shapes and colours, you can throw out your old notions of where a mirror belongs, and start considering them as a feature that will add vibrance to any room. As with the more unorthodox use of tiles, consider using mirrors as decorative elements rather than functional items.
4. Wallpaper becoming more a part of the room
Finally shedding the yolk of tradition, wallpaper is making a comeback by becoming a more active element in a room’s styling. Rather than a backdrop, it becomes a partner for furniture by matching wallpaper pattern with fabrics. This brave combination generates a striking effect on the eye that is currently inspiring a wallpaper renaissance.
5. High-gloss cabinetry
Always preferred for its durability, high-gloss is now producing startling results in modern designs. Rich and vibrant, high-gloss is a finish that continues to surprise, using its relationship with light and reflections to offer a range of bold and unpredictable effects.
6. Pendant lights
Initially used to produce clean lines and hidden sources of light, pendants have evolved and are refusing to be concealed. With rising popularity, they’re being used more creatively and can now be seen creeping into design plans as decorative elements. No longer limited to select spaces, we’re seeing pendant lights as a general preference, even in powder rooms. With the right planning, it’s easy to use these lights more artistically by creating interesting sequences and patterns.
7. Moody colours
Expect deep and moody colours contrasted with two-tone walls. This is the trend of the year and although it may seem brave, this stark juxtaposition seldom fails when designed well. The same combination can also create a lighter, upbeat atmosphere but there’s no doubt that the use of deeper colours creates a sense of comfort. For added impact within the darker tones, a feature mirror can add spark.
The customer is always right and more clients are insisting on materials that satisfy their ecological standards. Although designers don’t usually embrace limitations, we certainly welcome sustainability. The preference for organic, recyclable and upcycling materials is now a mainstream trend. Aesthetics and textures are no longer enough. Rather than a hurdle for designers, embracing this trend can lead to the use of materials with greater character.
-Kerena Berry is an interior designer and co-founder of Designbx, Australia’s online interior design solution.