Key interior design trends for 2015
Forget gold – copper was the hot metallic for 2015. The colour appeared in many products and fabrics, and also made its way into the kitchen and bathroom, in sinks and tiles.
Interior designer Amanda Neill of Designworx, Auckland says metallic copper shades are only just starting to make their presence felt.
"This trend will continue into 2016, but may become more pulled back and natural. Technology is developing further to be able to replicate true age, and combinations of texture and overlays will connect past and future."
Designer Sonya Cotter says unexpected combinations of materials and finishes, such as raw concrete paired with gilded metals, and super matt placed alongside high gloss are also in vogue.
"These dual themes are design juxtaposition at its best. As we embrace modern technology we want to live with crafted, man-made objects. Many of us are placing our high-tech gadgets, such as the iPhone in leather covers."
Designers say a rust version of copper was well represented this year, with distressed rusty elements migrating indoors to feature on large-format tiles, right alongside glossy cabinets.
Other metallics making their mark were bronze and brass, which were predominantly seen in light fittings and accessories.
WALLPAPER AND LUXE
A big trend for 2014, wallpaper continued to make its presence felt this year. Ben Lewis of Trendzseater in Christchurch says textural, flocked and subtle wallpapers were part of the trend towards a more detailed, luxurious layering of interiors.
"Simple, yet elegant trims, finials, beautiful curtain rods, sumptuous velvets and glazed linens all helped to define this look. Wallpapers create a fantastic backdrop for exquisite artworks."
Lewis says he has noticed people looking to make their personal spaces "inspiring, elegant and beautiful".
Auckland interior designer Nicola Manning of Nicola Manning Design says wallpaper is increasingly used for a whole room, not just a feature wall, where it can set the mood and provide texture, pattern and drama. "I love 'whole room' wallpapering, and using it as a contrast to the adjoining rooms."
New technology is transforming surfaces throughout the home, as images are produced on tiles and glass splashbacks. This has helped spur the popularity of busy geometric patterns, with multi-patterned tiles making a bold appearance in kitchens and bathrooms.
Tessellated, Moroccan-inspired patterns have also been strong. And hexagons have also been spotted on everything, from tiles to fabrics, rugs and even branding. Expect the tribal influence to continue over the next year.
A spokesperson for the Tile Depot says encaustic tiles, also referred to as Moroccan or Spanish tiles, are seeing a huge resurgence of popularity. "These tiles date back as far as the 13th century, originally adorning churches and later gaining popularity in the homes of wealthy Victorians in the 19th century. They were originally handmade ceramic tiles with ornate and geometric patterns that were produced within the body of the tile and over time, as the tile became worn, the pattern remained."
THE MARBLE LOOK
Advances in technology have also inspired the surge of new marble tiles and slabs that are indistinguishable from the real thing. Nicola Manning says "very realistic", natural-looking patterns and textures are being printed onto man-made surfaces. "This has increased the accessibility of the look to a wider market, by offering different marble-like products at different price points.
TImber-look ceramic tiles, which are a huge slice of the market in Europe, are also making an increasing appearance in New Zealand interiors.
Several colours have been prominent this year. There has been a surge in black and white, especially in kitchens where the monochromatic look is everywhere.
Deep, inky blues have also popped up throughout 2015, in wall colours, drapery fabrics, furniture and cushions.
And pastels have made a comeback, particularly in homewares, with soft blues a big hit. The trend towards grey-toned pastels is expected to continue through to 2016.
Turquoise, yellow, aubergine and black have been strong this year as well, and are favoured by those who love a splash of colour in their homes. So, too, is the Belo Rio look – part carnival, part Amazon rainforest. Bird prints, hot colours, including dark pink, gold, mauve and emerald green create eye-catching interiors.
Wellington interior designer Libby Beattie talks about a strong "painterly" influence in fabric designs. "These are reminiscent of a scene from an expressionist painting," she says.
Beattie also says the year has been defined by a greater use of pattern upon pattern, with "things that are slightly amiss. Colour combinations today seem to be more of a happy clash than a perfect match."
Resene says many people have looked to create interesting paint effects on walls, including colour blocking for maximum impact.
SCANDINAVIAN AND MID-CENTURY INFLUENCES
Furniture trends show a distinct move to Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern styles, with light woods, rather than dark, and a lot of linen upholstery, natural leathers, square-armed chairs and sofas. Beattie says side and coffee tables with marble tops and a metal base are also right on trend.
"This mixing of materials is something we will be seeing more of over the coming year," she says. "Mismatched furniture is also popular - for example, mixing a retro chair with a deep-buttoned sofa."
Headboards are making a resurgence, as well, visually helping to anchor the bedroom.
Modular sofas have enjoyed a resurgence this year, suiting both apartment and larger family living areas.
WHAT ABOUT LIGHTING?
LEDs are dominant, for several reasons, including durability, energy and cost effectiveness. Most designers are now specifying LEDs in all downlights to replace halogens. LEDs are also now appearing in wall, pendant and exterior lights.
In keeping with the move towards metallics, there's a demand for copper and brass fixtures and finishes. Handcrafted detailing, such as hand-finished glass is also popular.
Other noted trends include industrial-style fittings and feature pendant lights.
TAKING THE INDOORS OUTDOORS
This is an extension of the indoor-outdoor flow concept that has transformed our homes over many years.
"Taking the indoors outdoors is all about decorating your outside spaces in the same way that you decorate your indoor spaces," says Nicola Manning. "Layering, texture and accessories are important factors. The outdoor rugs, all-weather fabrics, special finishes, louvres, blinds and exterior shutters available on the market today make this an achievable goal. They all add considerable comfort and beauty to outdoor spaces."
Throughout 2015, we have embraced crafted products and items that have an eco focus. Locally manufactured items have been preferred by many of us, along with sustainably manufactured products. Practicality has also been a key consideration. This is being picked up by manufacturers who are creating more practical fabrics, adding polyesters to help them withstand the harsh sun.
Interior designer Anna Welsh of Anna Welsh Design in Auckland says textured and tactile materials have been dominant. "This reflects our need to connect with the natural world, to create calming atmospheres for relaxation and regeneration. This will continue to be a strong trend through 2016."