Last Updated Jan 24, 2017 · Written by Richard Kempthorne
The new year is finally here, and what better way to welcome it than to freshen up your interior with a splash of colour or some brand new accent pieces?
To provide you with some inspiration for your upcoming home improvement projects, we talked to a few interior design experts and lined up the biggest interior design trends 2017 – from funky geometric patterns to lush greenery that brings the serenity of nature into the home.
One common feature of many of the interior design trends this year is a greater emphasis on functionality, whether it’s multifunctional furniture that’s ideal for smaller homes, outdoor spaces that serve more than one purpose or bold statement pieces that liven up minimalist interiors.
Luxurious finishes and glamorous fabrics like velvet and faux fur are set to be big this year. Some of the ways they’ll be introduced is through the use of throw pillows, rugs and upholstered bed heads.
“For 2017, we're moving away from the pastels that have formed the popular colour palette of the past couple of years, towards more pigmented tones inspired by Asia,” says interior design blogger Emily Osmond from Get In My Home.
“These rich tones will be introduced in high-end finishes such as upholstered chairs, luxe linen and touches of velvet. Rooms will be more oriental and ornate in feel as opposed to the minimal, Scandinavian aesthetic we're used to.”
This year the retro vibe is making a comeback, and one of the 2017 interior design trends will be adding visual interest to areas of the home with geometric patterns, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can make a bold statement by adding geometric patterned tiles or wallpaper, but if you’re not convinced this would work well with your current interior, you can still add small small nods to this trend with pillows, floor cushions, rugs and bedspreads.
“For 2017, I think we’ll be seeing an increase in the use of wood tones, brushed or matte metals and terrazzo will be a hit in various soft colours including white, greys, pinks and blues,” says Ish and Chi interior designer Vivian Panagos.
Dark woods like ebony and mahogany will slowly be replaced by lighter and more modern-looking types of woods such as birch and oak.
Terrazzo, a wall and floor treatment made from cement mixed with chips of exposed marble, is another newcomer, and although it’s traditionally been used as a flooring material, this year we’ll likely see it in everything from kitchen countertops and backsplashes to bathroom walls and sinks.
Bringing plants into the home can have a calming effect, and according to interior design blogger Penny Craswell from The Design Writer, one thing we can expect to see more of in the coming year is the use of greenery to enhance indoor spaces.
“Interestingly, Pantone's colour of the year is not “green” but “greenery,” while in fashion, the hot new colour is "kale,” she says.
“The most significant trend I foresee is the increased use of plants in interiors, from hanging pots to creeping vines to terrariums, especially when teamed with glass, timber and white finishes.”
As well as increasing the number of plants used in their interiors, designers will also bring greenery into homes, offices, restaurants and shops using patterns featuring foliage and plants in fabrics and in other, unexpected ways, such as large-scale murals.”
Many of the 2017 interior design trends centre on warm, neutral tones and natural building materials, which is why cork walls are expected to a big hit this year.
Aside from adding warmth and texture to a room, cork also absorbs noise, which makes it ideal for bedrooms, home offices and kids’ rooms. Of course, cork walls also provide the ideal surface for pinning up notes, drawings and recipes, so they can work well in kitchens too.
“Australians will continue to be inspired by indoor-outdoor living and the blend between both will become blurred as we invite nature in and continue to open up our living rooms, bedrooms and wet areas to the outdoors,” says Vivian Panagos.
With this in mind, in addition to using potted plants and vines to create greener indoor spaces, many of us will be looking to enhance and increase our outdoor spaces too.
This can be done by adding floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, building decks and patios, investing in creative outdoor light fixtures and designing outdoor kitchens or even bathrooms that connect to outdoor spaces while still maintaining privacy.
Are you planning to tackle any home improvement projects this year? Check out these ten kitchen design trends for 2017, or find out how much each type of home renovation may end up costing you.