To help with your choices, here is the definitive list of 15 trends, predicted by Home & Decor's style gurus and a panel of internationally acclaimed interior designers, which will dominate the furnishing and design scenes in the months ahead.
1. Curvy Design - A Ladylike allure
A sense of serenity is achieved through the combination of simplicity, function and beauty – particularly true when it comes to pieces of furniture and accessories with curves.
Whether one’s home style is classic or contemporary, incorporating curvilinear shapes creates a soft, feminine atmosphere.
Based in Copenhagen, the Gubi brand exemplifies that. “A design has to be beautiful and sculptural,” explains Jacob Gubi.
Curvy design evokes a feeling of relaxation, cosiness and fluidity at the same time, and it works for everything, from a chair to a mirror or a vase.
(Photo: Top left: Wendelbo Lobby Lounge chair. Bottom left: Bump vase (tall), by Tom Dixon. Bottom right: Tacchini Roma sofa. Top right: (from left) Bat chair, Beetle table, 5321 lamp, Turbo pendant, Adnet Alcantara mirror, Revers sofa, Multi-lite lamp, TS console and Pacha chair, by Gubi.)
2. Matte Black - Dare to go black
In addition to being visually strong, black makes other elements pop.
“Painting with matte black doesn’t feel overpowering,” says Jae Joo, founder of Jae Joo Designs in New York City. “The muteness provides a calm vibe to the space. Even choosing something small, like black faucets or cabinet hardware, will give strong modern character to your space,” says Jae Joo.
Black has a lot of other advantages. It makes any room feel larger; it is the perfect backdrop for colourful artworks and decorative accessories; it helps create a cohesive look; it can either be subtle or make a statement; and, it will never go out of style.
Used on a whole wall, a piece of furniture or a few details, matte black is always a good idea.
(Photo: Left: New York City project, by Jae Joo Designs. (www.jaejoodesigns.com). Right: Studio pendant lamp, by Muuto.)
3. Grey Foray - Bold tones of grey
Grey has been dominating home palettes for a few years now, with each year spotlighting a different tone of grey or a different way to use it.
Colour experts are speculating that grey will still very much be in the interior decor scene, but this year, it will take a back seat as a backdrop colour.
Focus will be turned towards cheerful pastels and bold-coloured accents that will complement a grey canvas.
In the Pantone’s Home + Interiors Guide for 2019, its key palettes feature harmonious combinations of warm tones amidst easy-going neutrals like greys to bring out the bolder colours.
For instance, in the Classico palette, graceful swan white and camel-coloured tan coexist effortlessly with deep teal, chic grey flannel, burgundy red, and caviar black, as well as rich gold and apricot brandy.
(Photo: Top left: The H15 Boutique Apartments, by Design Hotels. Bottom left: Miniforms Colony armchair, Caruso sideboard and Kiki lights, from Go Modern Furniture.)
4. Labour of Love - Handmade Decor
As an extension of the ecochic trend, DIY or handmade decor is making its way into homes as a highly valued feature. From handcrafted wood furniture to smaller accessories meticulously made by hand, these charming handmade products offer a unique personal touch in contemporary interiors.
“DIY projects (should) focus on affordable, sustainable uses of natural materials such as wood, metal and concrete,” says Ben Uyeda in his book Homemade Modern: Smart DIY Designs for a Stylish Home.
“Making careful decisions about the materials you use will prevent you from overspending, or using anything unsafe for the environment.”
(Photo: From left: 2017-1215 rug, by Tom Dixon. Ohleaf vases. Vase, from Mudrock Ceramic.)
5. Mixin' Patterns - Multi-coloured & Textured
In 2019, we will see homeowners delving into mixing and matching colours, textures, materials and patterns, and there will be no limit to creativity.
“We are seeing our clients more willing to experiment with colours, prints and patterns in their soft furnishings, as this is an easy way to take risks without the long-term commitment,” says Jeremy Bull, principal at Sydney-based studio Alexander & Co.
Pillows, wallpapers, curtains, tablecloths and bed linen are some of the many possibilities with which you can experiment and put together in a bold way. Just keep the look you want to achieve in mind, such as floral, tropical, eclectic or feminine.
(Photo: Imperial Up restaurant and bar in Sydney, Australia, by Alexander & Co. https://alexanderand.co)
6. Art Deco - making a big statement
Originating in France, Art Deco – popular from the 1920s to the 1940s – is characterised by strong angles and sleek surfaces.
“A designer must always look at history in order to formulate her own (sense of) aesthetics and point of view,” says Kelly Wearstler.
“The geometric patterns, gilded materials and natureinspired forms of the Art Deco period are evergreen. By introducing classic motifs to their contemporary counterparts, it is possible to create a tension that engages, with a rich dialogue.
A style of design, architecture and visual arts, Art Deco contrasts with minimalistic design trends, finding its foundation in geometric shapes, rich colours and strong angles.
Big statements, comomonly, found in Art Deco, can be achieved both through the use of sleek surfaces such as lacquer, gold, steel and polished wood, and light fixtures including chandeliers, sconces and floor lamps.
Sophisticated and timeless at the same time, a black palette is a perfect match for gold and brass touches, as well as mirrored furnishings and accessories. From floor to ceiling, bold and geometric details can inject personality into every nook of a home.
7. Touch me, Feel Me - Texture Everywhere
Materials that invite touch, and decor items with a distinctive tactile quality, are rising trends this year. Rough or plush, textures create a hearty interior space that has depth and its own sensual aesthetics.
During September 2018’s Maison & Objet in Paris, materials and textures dominated the fair, indicating that this year’s home trends is going to be about how it feels as much as how it looks.
Textures that are on-trend include natural, rustic fibres with a craft-like characteristic.
At 2018’s London Textile Fair, the fabric trends on display leaned towards a natural and authentic quality. Raw cotton, jacquard weaves and basket structures along with wool, cashmere and alpaca were predicted to be top favourites.
As a material for interior decor, natural, sustainable fabrics are perfect as upholstery, rugs and soft furnishing elements – complementing the eco-chic style that is still making waves in the decorating world.
(Photo: From left: Mood Board Neutrals, by Tom Dixon. Shelby throw, from Crate & Barrel)
8. Flower Power - Simple floral pieces
Simplicity rules in floral decor. It’s time to say goodbye to huge bouquets of blossoms or complicated flower arrangements, and make way for simpler, minimalist floral decorations at home.
Less is truly more – aim for Ikebana-inspired compositions or Scandinavian-styled floral decor.
“Emphasise one flower, one branch. Create the arrangement as an essence of nature,” said the late Sofu Teshigahara, founder of one of the first ikebana flower arranging schools in Japan.
The choice of vases and flowers is crucial too. When selecting flowers or plants, stay within a neutral palette, with single bold hues.
For instance, white orchids or Easter lilies offer a minimalist appearance. It doesn’t always have to be flowers, you can use palm fronds, a single banana leaf or even twigs and branches as part of your floral decor.
(Photo: Broadwell Vase, from Garden Trading)
9. Picture Perfect - Abstract Rug Designs
Persian rugs with elaborate designs featuring animal or floral shapes are beautiful, but, in 2019, interior trends are diverting from those designs in favour of rugs with abstract art featuring nature-inspired themes.
Much like what we see being framed and hung up on walls, contemporary abstract art now has a place underfoot, with rugs resembling a fullfledged painting.
Each piece tells a story, interpreted in colourful weaves with an artistic quality. For example, “The Rabbit Hole” collection from The Rug Maker features an entire series of rugs depicting the true nature of reality.
(Photo: From left: Ferreira de Sa’s rug design (available from Flexform). Oscar and Mira rug, from Rug Society)
10. Velvet - Tactility at its best
While velvet in dark, brooding hues has been trending in furniture design for the past three years, the luscious fabric now comes in softer and muted shades of coral pink, beige and cream. And homeowners are still drawn to its sensual appeal and luxe look.
“Velvet is one of the few fabrics that is sensual to the touch and visually holds colour in a way that is bright yet deep”, says India Mahdavi, who designed the True Velvet collection for Pierre Frey.
Says potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler: “Velvet is the ultimate luxe texture. It’s a little bit ’70s and a lot today, and can instantly ‘swank up’ any pad.”
Velvet tones can be applied in a variety of ways, including on cushions, rugs and upholstered walls.
This fabric adds texture and warmth to a space, and is sumptuous and glamorous. Using it carefully and balancing it with other materials is recommended.
11. The Bohemian Look - The Art of Layering
Blending old and new decorative elements harmoniously, and layering textures and colours, helps to create a joyful and spirited home, according to Australian designer Louise Walsh.
“As we lead such busy lives, we’re seeing a calling back to an authentic and individualistic design approach,” she says. “The tactile nature of a true boho style encourages the use of handmade and organic elements, rather than mass-produced furnishings. People now want their homes to be a reflection of their lives, travels and loves, rather than a contrived interior lacking in heart.”
For Barcelona-based designer Jaime Beriestain, the bohemian style is also accompanied by the return to the authentic and traditional.
“Handmade works and the concept of uniqueness are starting to be valued again,” he says. “It is, for example, the case for natural materials such as ceramic, rattan, linen, stone and terrazzo. You can see that through handcrafted items, wallcoverings such as tiles produced piece by piece, or textiles with natural fibre and traditional motifs.”
(Photo: Hotel Jardín Tropical in Tenerife, Spain. (https://beriestain.com)
12. Shades of Green - The future of design
Combining sustainability and style through the use of ecofriendly products and design techniques is a new way to improve our home lives.
The ideas of seamlessly connecting exterior and interior, and creating a unique harmony with the environment, without neglecting the importance of comfort and aesthetic, are booming.
Choosing locally sourced and reclaimed materials such as wood; integrating plants into interior spaces; and using green decorative accessories that introduce visual freshness and mimic the natural surroundings are key to achieving this flourishing aesthetic, which paves the way for the future.
It is possible to minimise our impact and be respectful of the environment, while simultaneously maintaining a sense of style.
(Photo: From left: Dual tone three-seater sofa, from Commune. Little Beach House Barcelona. (www.littlebeachhousebarcelona.com/en)
13. Terrazzo stays Strong - Versatility is Key
Originally from Italy, terrazzo is a composite material made with chips of marble, quartz, granite or glass poured with concrete or epoxy resin.
Today it is favoured by design lovers because of its versatility as it complements all types of decoration. Floor tiles, tables or candles – terrazzo can be seen everywhere.
For Swedish designer Daniel Enoksso, who created the indoor and outdoor Terrazzo Table for Hay, the material was “an obvious choice to use as the base, partly due to its excellent durable properties, but, more importantly, (because) it has such a unique and distinctive finish that makes an effective contrast against the stark simplicity of the tabletop.”
14. Big is Beautiful - Large Format Tiles
Tiles are getting larger, and homeowners are loving it.
Thanks to advanced technology in the tiles industry, large format tiles rose to fame in 2018 and are speculated to last into 2019 and beyond. There’s a distinct charm to these bigger-than-average tiles, which can be used on walls and floors.
The top choices include slab-sized porcelain sheets and large-sized natural stone tiles which offer a modern and cleaner look.
“Large format tiles can make a dramatic difference to a room and create a sense of creative freedom,” says Italia Ceramics. “There was a time where 600x600mm tiles were considered huge but, now, we are seeing tile slabs as big as 4m x 1.5m, which is enormous!”
With larger sizes, there are less grout lines, making large format tiles perfect for a seamless look. Maintenance is also easier.
“With large format tiles, less joinery is required, thus lesser lines can be seen,” says Priscilla Ng, creative director and founder of Paul+Pris Interior Design Studio.
“This helps to simplify and bring out the material surface quality even better.” The tiles are available in different finishings, which allows for more design possibilities.
(Photo: From left: Frozen Terra Landscape, from Caesarstone. Toronto Off White Matt tiles, from Original Style Tileworks.)
15. Metallic Accents - Glamorous Shine
Touches of silver, gold, brass and copper exude refinement and perfectly combine with different styles, textures and neutral tones.
“The effective thing about a metallic accent on any form is that it reflects our reality, which is a good way to head into the new year,” says industrial designer Lindsey Adelman who, with her team of about 40 plus a small network of local artisans both in New York City and Los Angeles, aims at maximising lighting to capture the ephemeral beauty of nature in a sensual way, through sculptural and elegant chandeliers.
This article was first published in Home & Decor Singapore.