It’s a brand new year and that means we are at the threshold of starting yet another exciting new journey in the world of design trends. You can prepare yourself for a new design language, new ways of using materials and textures, and of course, no one prepares you for those unexpected twists that keep you saying, ‘Why didn’t I think of that!’ It’s an exciting journey to see how some ideas catch on, while others die out with time. Some are timeless while others stay as a specimen of bad judgement at the time. So here, I am going to be talking about some of the trends that caught on in the last year and how they are here to stay.
It’s like a blast from the past! Remember those hand woven rugs your grandma would make using all the shards of waste cloth lying around the house? Well guess what? It’s back! Those random patterns created by the sheer availability of the fabric then, are now intricately chosen by designers across the globe to fit a certain composition. With your regular statement pieces still in vogue, a piece with random patterns throws things out of perspective in a good way and still manages to pull the place together. With runway fashion being a direct link to the trends that follow in the home interiors segment, this particular style found application in numerous ways. From quilts to floor rugs, adding a pop of random to your decor brings in that element of quirk that everyone loves. Even on larger, more permanent fixtures like the couch use different patterned fabrics neatly organised to create that perfect composition of randomness.
Brass is the ultimate accent to pretty much any material. Small hints of brass in furniture pieces in the form of handles or legs, offset the primary material beautifully. Pieces of accents such as accessories or picture frames also work wonders in an interior space. These elements are very easy to incorporate into the design scheme given their proportion and ease of workability. Of course, there are the more permanent ways of using brass in the form of brass inlays in the marble flooring or inlays in doors or wood pieces. Needless to say, this element brings a certain timeless charm to any of its applications and is a versatile tool to almost any interior style.
Here’s a good one! Realise how ‘quirky’ has been the new trendsetter? Notice how tiny little stores have been popping up selling quirky stuff at every other corner? Here’s the reason – It’s all fun, easy and most often, cheap. ’DIY’, abbreviated from ‘Do-It Yourself’, has taken the world by storm in the last few years. It’s been around for a bit, but I decided to keep this one in my list only because it is evolving as fast and steady as any of the other points I am making. The idea of ‘anyone can do it’ appeals to almost all genres of society. And the best part is, it is not necessarily amateur ideas and finishes that go around. Over the years, the ‘DIY’ community has managed to recreate easy day-to-day items and convert them into very professional pieces of art, I must say. With the older generation preferring to stick to the classic design trends, it’s the millennials that are out exploring these new design trends that add that bit of cheer at a very affordable price.
Needless to say, a tropical mood is an all-time favourite. That being said, this particular style is one of my most versatile tools, as it brings a certain element of excitement into almost any application it can find: From fabrics for couches to large format wallpapers. Don’t have a green thumb or fed up of trying to bring in that touch of landscape into your home? Well, tropical prints are your best answer! Hues of blues and green always tend to lift the spirits and what better way to do it than to have your home exuding that magical elixir!
With the use of state-of-the-art equipment and ease of logistics around the world, the entire world has been thrown wide open in terms of materials to be used: From Italian marble to Spanish tiles, from state-of-the-art German cladding materials to African teaks, the palette of materials really has no bounds with respect to the geographical location of the project. However, the point I am trying to make here is, a lot of designers have taken to ‘local’ materials not only from a sustainability perspective, but re-inventing the material to create something quite outstanding.
As I said, sustainability is a huge factor when local materials are used, but besides that, it gives a chance to the local artisan community to get back on its feet as well. And best of all, as designers, we have the opportunity to work with that local material in a way no one has done before. Local woods, stones, weaves, and art forms are all finding a very niche spot in the designer community. The local ‘kota’ stone ordinarily used in government buildings or even as pavers, now finds itself being used in some of the most luxurious villas as their main flooring. Or even the ‘Sadarhalli’ used as compound walls or drain covers now find application in the trendiest new joints in town. It’s all about the application of the material itself and of course, the workmanship that makes the difference here.
I am a personal fan of this one. Matt black has taken over the finishes charts by storm. Stepping back a bit, the idea of ‘matt’ anything has suddenly become much more appealing. From cars and bikes taking on to matt black custom jobs or wraps, to regular home appliances and bathroom fittings and fixtures in the classic dull painted finish, the idea of having a ‘matt finish’ is suddenly very appealing.
Matt black is one of those finishes that can be applied to almost any surface. Be it metal or wood, or even in the natural state as a rough finished black granite, the matt finish tones itself down to let anything around it complement itself beautifully. Remember how the whole Scandinavian style of clean lines and white finishes took over some time ago? Well, this followed in its footsteps and it has now entered almost every other interior style bracket.
Mix & Match
There was once a time when doing up a place meant sticking to one style and making sure every single piece of furniture and decor matched each other. The idea of matching pieces of the same ‘period’ was crucial to getting the balance of the room right. However, in today’s design circles, we can say a fair ‘sayonara’ to this trend and welcome the idea of mixing it all up in correct proportions.
Antiques make their way back into contemporary homes. Natural materials find place in ultra-modern interiors. The idea of offsetting a style with another works quite well together. A few years ago, a 6 seater dining table meant 6 identical chairs, or at the most, the two chairs at the end of the table a bit louder than the rest, but of course, in the same style. Today, one can almost put six completely different chairs belonging to six completely different styles together and it works! Well, it is hugely subject to the designer’s eye itself, but what I am getting at is, mixing and matching is in and we can look forward to seeing some truly inspirational ideas in this segment.
If you ask me, this one never really left. But we can expect to see a lot more uses of this material in the coming year. From new brands coming out in terracotta tiles in various colours and finishes, the possibility of exploring this material in its own unique style is very high. The classic material adds that warmth and character to a space and makes the space look complete by its sheer presence. Besides the tiles, of course, I see the terracotta earthenware coming back in the form of large format planters and accessories. With white interiors being a no brainer, terracotta offsets itself perfectly against the rest of the space.
Reconnecting With The Outdoors
Lastly, being connected with the outdoors has played an important role when it comes to styling interiors. People want to stay outdoors more and are looking for ways to do that in whatever kind of accommodation they are in. From country homes having an inherent indoor-outdoor connect, to smaller city apartments extending their living spaces into their balconies. From elaborate outdoor seating, to a small 2-seater dining table and chairs placed in a balcony creating that touch of romance, this particular attribute has been seen making its way back into most homes. We can expect to see a lot of new innovative ways this coming year.
Well, at the end of it all, that’s just my opinion. There’s a 365 leaf book lying empty ahead of us. With designers across the globe revolutionizing the way design is interpreted, one can only wait and watch. It’s an exciting time to be alive, and to wait and watch what 2018 unfolds before us.