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There was a time when home trends were rigid, dictated by set design guidelines and, to a certain extent, the lack of creative options. It was easy to identify a set of clearly defined palettes, prints and products that were updated every few years.
But today we live in a time of high consumerism, unlimited choices and the desire to express our style and individuality not just through our wardrobe but even our homes. And while there are always key trends that dominate a particular year or season, all designers agree that these are far more fluid.
''We are seeing modern styled interiors and a reinvention of classic luxury to create serenity and versatility in furniture design and interiors,'' says Adel Sajan, Director at Danube Home.
''Contemporary design ideas are being combined with traditional themes. Add to that metal details, fresh shades of olive greens, light greys, pinks and blues to bright patterns, and you have the breezy contemporary look for 2015.''
Home accessories will play an even more important role next year because they are a unique expression of the things we love and who we are, says Sajan. ''Furniture and design can only take you so far. A beautiful house, no matter how well it's designed, is simply a house.
To make this into a home, we turn to accessories. From art collections, lights to decorative tea pots and candle holders, they give your home personality.''
While designing your home think about what is right for you — your lifestyle, taste and what you want your home to reflect, says Raj Khaneja, Managing Director at Rectangle Interiors. This combined with sophistication, is perhaps the biggest trend we see for now and the coming years.
Mix it up
Thank design gurus for this direction, which allows much leeway when choosing a look for your room or home. Call it eclectic or plain old mix-and-match — it is all about mixing old and fresh design ideas by incorporating a fusion of styles, materials and patterns to create stylish and comfortable living spaces. You can play with textures, prints, colours and even styles of furniture.
''More than ever before, we're seeing fusions of different styles. Whereas before clients asked us for contemporary or Arabic or retro we're now seeing interiors that have elements of a few different trends, which gives a space its own, very unique identity,'' says Merete Broen, Founder and General Manager at Zen Interiors.
The idea, when going eclectic isn't about just throwing it all together but reinterpreting the classics and fusing trends, especially the traditional with the contemporary or the rustic with vintage. For instance, this could mean blending the indoors and outdoors by incorporating nature into your interiors, suggests Broen, by blurring the divide between inside and outside or introducing botanical prints and natural woods into your home.
Go Andy Warhol
Yes, like every season there is a predominant colour and one has to be grateful that it is not tangerine. But before getting to that, just remember that when it comes to colour this year — pretty much anything goes. Opt for every imaginable combination, tone, contrast and shade you love. Think Andy Warhol prints, rich renaissance paintings, Greek islands, tropical forests, Victorian vintage and magical sunsets.
Colour is used to highlight or simply cheer up a room. Use big bold splashes of pinks, purples, aqua, and olive green. The star colour for the year is blue, but darker shades such as deep navy, indigo and inky blue are also popular, as well as ocean-inspired tones from aqua to teal.
Michelle Dinsmore, Head Visual Merchandiser at Home Centre says that blue is the year's statement colour. ''A deep shade of Patriot Blue or touches of Grecian sea — this primary colour in all its glory is here to make a statement this year. The easiest way to welcome the hue to your home is by adding a choice of accessories.
Accent chairs, a statement chaise and a striking lamp in tonal blues are other exciting ways to include the colour. There's plenty to explore in the depths of the colour blue.''
And while the dominant colours are definitely in the green-blue neighbourhood you can go all pastels or even neutral, except this season it is all about going grey, while whites are being used with just the slightest hint of blush pinks.
Get the gold
Gold is certainly taking centre stage this year. Gold in all its warm glory is everywhere from fittings and fixtures to walls, picture and mirror frames, upholstery, accessories and even furniture. ''Gold is the new chrome,'' says Khaneja, ''And although gold has never been far from the traditional taste here, we now see its tones in contemporary furniture.
Warmer than steel and ranging from copper through to the brightest sparkling shades, it works particularly well with natural open grain timber.''
Now homeowners will no longer be limited to silver or stainless accessories and can experiment by adding touches of gold all over the house.
This year, Homes r Us has a whole new line of bright, bold spring colour interiors with a tinge of gold. If the thought of using gold is daunting, then extend it to anything with warm metallics such as brass and copper finishes that are just as warm and luxurious.
Dinsmore says it is time to commit to gold and submit to metallic splendour with subtle touches in the form of accents or a whiff of glamourous shimmer. ''The great thing about gold and metallic tones is that it lends itself beautifully to spectrum of styles from traditional to modern,'' she says. ''Mirrors, lamps, wire frames on furniture or even vases and cushions can bring out the glamourous golds and meteoric metals which are on-trend in 2015.''
Print it up
Do not underestimate the power of pattern, where everything from paisley to palm leaves and plaid is making an appearance on fabrics. From psychedelic graphics to sharp geometrics and striking chevron, prints continue to be popular in every room.
Combined with this is a new wave of ethnic prints from all over — ikat from India, oriental-inspired blooms, American Indian patterns or African tribal — all reflect a shrinking global geography. Prints and patterns whether in cushions, throws, rugs or wallpaper lend a cool sophistication when tastefully combined with muted palettes, stark wood, raw metals bare floors and Scandinavian minimalism.
The most basic facelift to any room can be achieved by the clever use of prints, use an exotic bird feather patterned throw on an old sofa or green botanical prints paired with stark white furniture for a tropical feel, go retro with bold black and white photographic images for that hint of drama, or cheer up a study nook with colourful geometric designs.
Rules of thumb
1. Versatility is important: Always keep in mind that rooms need to be multifunctional and adaptable and while choosing furniture and accessories always combine practicality with aesthetics.
2. Quality counts: People are making wise purchases for their home, where they're willing to invest in more expensive pieces that will really stand the test of time — both in terms of their quality and timeless appeal, says Merete Broen, Founder and General Manager, Zen Interiors.
3. Don't follow fashion: Opt for things that personally appeal to you. Don't buy items just because you think visitors to your home will be impressed by it. You have to live with it every day, not them, so buy for yourself.
4. No breaking the bank: Spend as much as you can afford on any piece of furniture or accessory. If the price seems ridiculously cheap, then chances are you're not going to get years of use out of it, cautions Broen.
5. Make a statement: Try and choose one or two items in each room that make a statement about your style, it could be an oversized pendant light over a dining table, or a beautifully engraved console in the hallway, whatever it is, make sure that you love it, adds Broen.
Source: Sanaya Pavri, Special to Property Weekly