Hot design tips to ensure your home interior is right on trend this year
New Year's resolutions most often apply to ourselves, but what about applying some to our homes?
Perhaps this year is the time to make a few changes to our home interior. And let's face it, our immediate living environment directly impacts on the way we feel.
But it's helpful to know what's on trend for home interiors this year. After all, it's better to catch the wave as it starts, rather than jump onto a trend when it's virtually over.
With this in mind we have come up with a list of resolutions, straight from the heart of your home, which hereby resolves to:
1. BE MULTIFUNCTIONAL
Rooms are no longer just for one thing only. Designer Sonya Cotter says this is the biggest trend for the year ahead. "We are always looking to save space and money, so spaces that can be used for dual purposes are ideal. Kitchens are dining areas, bathrooms are workout spaces or wellness retreats and verandas are treated as rooms."
It all comes down to the way these spaces are decorated. They need to make us feel welcome enough to hang around, not just a space we pass through.
While a home office is often best suited to a corner of the family living space, it can be set up in any room.
2. PROVIDE A GREAT LIVING ROOM
Consider what type of seating you need and how it can be arranged. There is no rule that says chairs and sofas must be up against the wall. If possible, pull them into the room and create a more free-flowing circulation. And make sure the furniture is close enough to allow for easy conversation. Invest in small side tables that you can move around when you need somewhere to place a glass.
Mis-matched furniture has replaced the traditional lounge suite. Interior designers are even putting together clashing colours and looks, with the layering of patterned fabrics.
Contrasting glossy surfaces with textural elements adds plenty of visual interest. "The mixing of materials is something we are going to be seeing a lot more of," says Wellington designer Libby Beattie.
And remember, it is perfectly acceptable to incorporate antique or vintage items alongside modern – in fact it is to be encouraged. "Mixing a retro chair with a deep, buttoned sofa is typical of this mis-match of furniture styles," says Beattie.
Furnishings that have a story to tell are especially worthy.
3. KEEP IT LIGHT
Scandinavian design, which has influenced interior styling from the Mid-century to the present, is continuing to prove its popularity.
Myelz Moss of Freedom Furniture says clean lines, minimalism and the contrast of light woods with crisp whites are synonymous with Scandi design and Mid-century-inspired furniture. "This will continue to be a strong trend for 2016."
Light furniture that appears to float above the floor has the added advantage of making a small room look light and airy, and consequently more spacious.
4. GLAM IT UP
Think Park Avenue penthouse. Metallics, especially copper, bronze and gold, luxe detailing and pearlescent and opalescent finishes were all big in 2015 and are right on trend for 2016.
Chandeliers are coming back again, but are larger and more contemporary than in previous years. Look out, too, for drinks trolleys, especially vintage versions, which are highly sought after.
Marble-look travertine finishes will remain popular this year. Wallpaper also fits right in with this trend, especially flocked and textural designs.
4. GO NATURAL
If the luxe look is not your thing, don't worry. There is a huge move towards natural, eco-friendly interiors and handcrafted items. Textural fabrics, including knotted, woven and braided, will be big.
The tribal look is also predicted to surge this year, with African patterns adorning everything from homewares to fabrics. Vintage Japanese patterns are also part of this design movement.
Cotter says the work of artisanal craftsmen will be in demand as the spotlight goes on "hand-turned, hand-blown and hand-thrown objects of desire." This is part of the move away from cheap, disposable items and towards objects that have outstanding performance and durability.
In other words, wherever possible, choose the high-quality option. It will last longer and give you a lot more pleasure.
Look out, too, for past-meets-present items, where modern technology is used to create finishes that have an aged look, especially in tiles.
5. EXPERIMENT WITH COLOUR
What's hot for 2016? Moody inky blue and rich, deep shades of blue and green are tops for this year.
Other colours to surface this year will include Rio shades. Home interiors are influenced by many factors, and thanks to the Olympics, there's a South American focus taking over this year, with carnival and rainforest colours being fashionable.
Remember also, that no two neutrals are the same, and these change, just like any other fashion. The hot look for 2016 is a colour best described as greige. Resene colour consultant Rebecca Long says this is the ultimate neutral for top-dressed homes. "Greige is a mix between grey and beige and it's perfect for those who want a grey but with the warmth of beige."
Pastels will continue to feature but will be a little more gutsy, so again, don't be afraid to experiment.
One of the hottest ways to use colour in 2016 is to colour block. For example, a bold pop of colour can be used as a backdrop to shelving or a niche in the wall, or as a bold stripe along a wall.
6. LOOK FOR TEXTURE AND HIGH FUNCTIONALITY IN THE KITCHEN
Changes are afoot in the kitchen. Christchurch designer Ingrid Geldof says rustic and natural-looking materials, including timber, will continue to dominate, but these are likely to be paired with matt black benchtops, tapware and light fittings.
Black will still be teamed with white as well, continuing the monochromatic look that has defined kitchens over the past year.
There will continue to be a growing demand for porcelain sheeting materials and tiles that replicate the look of concrete or marble. Copper and aged bronze materials will also make their way into the kitchen.
And lighting is all important. "High-quality strip lighting, in stable extrusions, with good diffusers provides excellent functional and subtle lighting in a very unobtrusive way," says Geldof.
Geldof says we can expect to see fewer glass splashbacks and flecked benchtops, although there is always a place for these in the right home.