Just like fashion and beauty trends, home decor fads come and go with the season. But they may take a longer time to implement, because unless you’re rolling in dough, you’re probably not going to be repainting walls or replacing your sofa every few months. You don’t have to overhaul your interior design to keep up with the times – small, simple tweaks will do – but if it’s time to refresh your home, we reveal this year’s eight biggest interior trends according to industry experts, from the hottest hues to the most-wanted materials and accents:
1. Warm Neutrals
You can expect to see earthy palettes everywhere this year, from rich terracotta to deep shades of pink, the latter which is most evident in Dulux’s hero shade of the year, Heart Wood. “This subtle and warm tone of grown-up pink conveys comfort and ease,” explains Creative Director of the Akzonobel Global Aesthetic Centre, Heleen van Gent. It’s also extremely versatile, thanks to its neutral undertone, and can be teamed with luxe elements like leather and velvet, or with natural wood tones that imbue a sense of calm and serenity into your space.
2. The Midas Touch
Shiny metals will always be in vogue, and this year the spotlight is on brass and gold, which can transform a home from drab to fab. “In small amounts, it can be tasteful; in excess, it’s just gaudy and overbearing,” warns eightytwo’s design director Terence Neo. “Use brass and gold sparingly and only as accents or decorative pieces.
Think the little detailing of a wooden chair near the edge of the leg, or trimmings from furniture pieces such as dining table or even a bedframe.” Interior stylist Priscilla Tan (@styledbypt) suggests, “Out of five items, keep to one or two pieces with the same golden hue for consistency and balance”.
Photo: Joy Devi
3. Nail The Perfect #Shelfie
“Shelfie styling is the next big thing,” says Priscilla, and you can thank Instagram for this trend featuring beautifully curated open shelves that showcase and express your personality. Priscilla’s go-to items include art, faux plants, vases and bowls, books and collectibles.
“Most importantly, the colours should be in the same colour scheme. If they clash, the shelfie might end up looking too messy,” she says. And you don’t even need to spend a bomb by using things you already own. “Decorate with pieces you’ve picked up from your travels, or even gorgeous dinnerware collected through the years or passed down from your parents,” Priscilla suggests.
Photo: Joy Devi
4. Purple Reign
If you love lavender, this is your year! Pantone’s colour of the year, Ultra Violet, is a bold and unconventional hue that’s very versatile and evokes sophistication. Art director of Mong Design Studio, Maena Mong, suggests pairing purples with white, cream and a touch of light wood. “Keep the base colour neutral to allow the accented colour to shine without being overwhelming.”
Terence adds: “Select purple home accessories and collectibles as decorative items, or use the colour loosely as a featured wall or area to add a pop of colour, so it can more easily replaced once the trend is over.”
Photo: Essential Home
5. Wainscoted Walls
More homes are adopting the French or Classic Modern aesthetic, Maena reveals, which features a seamless and sophisticated blend of old and new elements that look effortlessly chic. An easy and relatively inexpensive way to achieve this is with wainscot, an 18th century-inspired wood paneling detail that instantly lend an air of understated elegance to the room. Keep the palette neutral with lots of cream and white and incorporate simple modern furnishings.
Photo: Maena Ong
6. Natural Accents
Yes, the greenery and urban jungle trend of 2017 is still in vogue. “Indoor plants, succulents, creepers and the like bring life to simple spaces – and let’s not forget their health benefits too!” Terence says. But while it’s always refreshing to infuse your space with plants, the spotlight this year is on natural and organic elements like concrete, stone and wicker in small doses.
7. Low-Maintenance Floors
Move over, marble! This year, step out onto high quality vinyl or ceramic Italian tiles that are very durable and easy to clean. “Vinyl floor tiles are economical and ultra-resilient,” says Terence, “and being man-made, you can expect a wide selection of designs and colours to suit your preference.” Vinyl is known for being stain- and water-resistant, making it a great option for families with young children.
“Italian hand-made ceramic tiles come in big pieces with interesting patterns and grains. Unlike marble tiles, they are not porous, making them very easy to maintain, though they can be quite costly,” Maena explains.
Photo: Terence Neo
8. Smart Lighting
When it comes to illuminating your space, it’s time to look to the future. LED technology bulbs and light fixtures that are smart home-ready will be on the rise, says Terence, thanks to rapid technological innovations like the Amazon Alexa, Samsung Connect Home and Google Home.
“Think smart lights that can turn on and off automatically with smartphones. Lighting the way are the Philips Hue bulbs [pictured above] that allow toggling of different light settings according to the type of ambience you desire,” Terence says.