Thursday, April 21, 2016

8 Key Interior Design Trends for 2016-17

The analysis of the changes that Milan Design Week 2016 brings to interiors. Exclusively by Simply Sofas.

We've pinpointed eight defining trends for the year ahead. While few are logical advancements of the trends of the last year, most are bold and afresh for the time. Here they are, may you enjoy working with them in your design projects.

One. Warm Grey.
Warm grey is the new brown, beige and khaki. A neutral tone that allows only specific combinations to work, this is the defining colour that's going to hold good for years. The subtlety of this colour, which is really a mid-tone grey infused with varying shades of brown, gives rise to class and sophistication effortlessly, when used right. It straddles the affected heritage look and the contemporary, which makes it perfect for almost any style of interiors you choose - art deco to minimalist. See it on permanent surfaces such as floor and walls, and even upholstery and wood finishes. A base palette of new-age tones that works for some accent colours and textures, but not all.
What to do. Use a dark and light tone in cahoots. Combine with white. Work with the other elements outlined here, such as motifs and stone to gain consistency in your interiors. We've seen it in flooring tiles in India for years.

Two. Duotone Motifs.
Geometric motifs are back in a big way, but as a boxed pattern often alongside another pattern. These two-tone, high-contrast, simple patterns are finding their way onto all surfaces - fabric, metal, laminate and wood. Printed surfaces that echo the 'urban tribal' nature of design today, an anthropological influence we see flowing into the west from African and Oriental art. Traditional art deco motifs can also work with the warm grey, but are less hip. We see this bold trend staying for a while, enabling a transition to a new way in the future.
What to do. Cluster a set of motifs together in small volumes. Use neutral white with black or an accent trend colour. Digitally print on light fabrics or on wood for wall panels. Use art.

Three. More Wood.
Oak, oak with oil whites, walnut, eucalyptus, lights and darks and reds, ebony, greyed wood - almost all colours are now part of the stream. High gloss and matte finishes are both en vogue, and real wood is being used more creatively. Wood-finish laminates are being printed on and particle boards are growing in use, longevity notwithstanding.
What to do. Use two tones of wood in the same space, in contrasting measure. Flooring, doors, windows and panels. use full-plank wooden topped tables with metal bases. While all this makes it more challenging, it is good for the result - where sharp design counts for everything.

Four. Bold Blue and a new Palette of Colours.
The shades of blue are many, from the dark, royal tones to the light ice blue and blue-grey. Golden yellow and mustard come next. Dark red, the offshoot of last year's fashion colour marsala, is stronger than before. Ochre, crimson and light pastels, especially pinks and greens follow. All these colours work beautifully with warm grey. White remains a balancing tone, used in moderation. These dominant trend colours have evolved beyond accents, and are today a permanent feature in leather and fabric upholstery, kitchens and cabinets.
What to do. Get the latest designs in bright tones as soon as they become available. Accessorise with vases, cushions, wall hangings, sculpture and pop-art posters.

Five. Stone, Metal, Composites.
Heat and scratch-resistant Ceramic table tops, and Marble with fluid patterns, throwing up 3-4 tones - are standard in table tops. Whites and browns mainly. Metals in the warm grey tone, with a high-gloss or copper cast, are also popular in tables, and composite materials like jesmonite, which offer a mottled optic, are growing in use for various elements - from bathtubs and lights to table bases.
What to do. Break a static ambience with a standout table combination of marble with grey metals or copper. Choose tables with composite bases and glass, marble or ceramic tops.

Six. Stripes.
We saw the re-emergence of stripes last year, mainly in upholstery and other fabrics. This year stripes moved onto product surfaces, flowing across all dimensions, and carpets, but not wall coverings. The colour combinations are many, but very tasteful, with yellows and blues dominating. This enables easy coordination with different coloured accents in the room.
What to do. Vary the widths of stripes in a sequence. Use contrasting tones. A large oil painting of stripes on the wall can make all the difference.

Seven. Green the Room.
Real plants, not fakes, are in. Tall ones, short ones, and largely non-flowering, so that colour design isn't affected. Dropped from the ceiling where you least expect it, or across entire walls. Used as partitions, or a design theme.
What to do. Go green inside and out. Nothing is better than the natural beauty of plants, and it's also good for the planet's changing climate. Cluster a mix of tall and small plants in neutral (warm grey) planters.

Eight. Luxurious Compact Living.
Multifunctional furniture is in, as rooms sizes get tighter or people want more. Functional furniture have additional utilitarian features, and serve as a substitute for something else. Sofas with flexible modules and discreet reclining mechanisms, extensible dining tables, coffee tables with unusual storage and built-in lighting, colourful adjustable shelving systems, and so much more.
What to do. Get furniture that enhances the experience of comfort. Most features are designed for convenience and ease. Furthermore, the odd functional seater or table adds to style and conversation.

Simply Sofas will be amongst the first in the world, and India, to have furniture on the floor that work with these trends, from the brands that drive them globally. We already have a selection in our stores now.
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