Want to give your home decor an update to keep it looking on-trend? There’s something about a new year that makes the idea of a fresh look and fresh approach so appealing. If you have been feeling like your home interiors could do with a refresh, you are in luck as Hong Kong is home to some amazing interior design and homewares brands. We spoke with some of the leaders about what are the top interior design trends for 2018.
The increased popularity of multi-functional spaces in the home will be one of the key interior design trends for 2018, according to Ellie Bradley of interior design studio, Atelier Lane. Ellie, the studio’s chief executive and creative director, also predicts that earth tones and neutral shades of blues, greens, greys, and ochres will dominate when it comes to colour.
Another trend will be the use of unexpected fabrics and materials for homewares, such as concrete for pendant lamps, linen for bedding, bamboo for floor rugs, and marble for surfaces. Ellie says there are many ways to incorporate these trends into your home, even if space is limited! One way to do so is to consider a smaller piece of furniture, such as a sideboard or a bookshelf.
And what’s the advice if you feel your home is looking dated? “A coat of paint always does wonders to refresh your home,” says Ellie. “Choosing colours such as clay is a great way to add warmth to your interior while being neutral. Another way to update your home is adding new decorative cushions to your living room. If your budget stretches a bit further, you can add a rug.” She also says artwork can be an affordable way to update the look of your home. “You don’t need to spend a fortune!”
Altfeld Interiors was founded by Amanda Clark and David Halperin, and stocks many of the world’s leading fabric, wall covering, hardware, leather and lighting lines, as well as producing its own furniture and homewares. Amanda says we should expect to see geometric print fabrics and sophisticated stripes dominating this year. “They can break up large monochrome spaces and add pattern, without being too fussy or feminine,” she says. Another strong theme in interior design trends for 2018 will be incorporating a mix of cultures in interior schemes. “Mixing cultures and patterns can create a lot of visual interest and reflect where people have travelled and represent a global outlook,” she says.
Amanda recommends employing some of the new styles in Hong Kong’s smaller homes through cushions. “Colourful and patterned cushions are a wonderful way to incorporate the geometric fabric trend into Hong Kong homes,” she says. “Cushions are a quick and accessible way to add interest to the interiors, and can be easily replaced and refreshed, if necessary.” Amanda says another good way to update interiors is through the use of trimmings, which she describes as like “jewellery for the room”. This can be done through contrasting coloured piping to upholstered furniture, for example. “Another tip to update the look in smaller homes, such as those in Hong Kong, is to consider using unlined curtains, or contemporary sheer fabric at the windows which give privacy but allows light in,” she says.
DSL Furniture offers beautifully crafted, affordable, high-quality furniture designed with European influences and built to the standards of the European and US markets. Owner David Lambert says: “For 2018, we’ll see more colourful and bright interior design using shades like red, purple, orange, and green.” He adds that he expects soft and comfortable sofas with down filling with lots of colourful accent cushions to be the go-to for living rooms. “Some trends never go away, such as the classic marble table and solid wood furniture,” he adds. “On the other hand, we’ve been getting requests for stainless steel finishes for our customers who like the ultra-modern in their tables, TV units and desks.”
According to David, easy ways to brighten up your home to usher in the new year and incorporate interior design trends for 2018 include adding some colourful accent cushions or patterned throws to your sofa and hanging some fun artwork on your walls. “Either way,” he says, “being in Hong Kong means we get a fusion of styles from the East and West, and there’s always room for experimentation when it comes to design.”
Interior design and furniture services company Indigo Living has been operating for more than 30 years in Hong Kong. The company’s head of image and style Ana Olazabal says the key trend in 2018 will be around materials, rather than colour. “There is gold or brass in all shades, matte finish or glossy, mixed with minerals, marbles and stones,” she says. “Style-wise, the first half of the 20th century will continue to trend, especially the 1920s to 30s.” She also says the prevalence of green in the last couple of seasons will slowly drop away. “Now we’re seeing a lot of neutrals as a backdrop, with all shades of greys, off-whites, stone and beige juxtaposing colourful statement pieces.”
Ana says one of the easiest ways to refresh your home décor in line with interior trends for 2018 is to move furniture around and find new places to display your accessories. “If the budget allows apply a fresh coat of paint and buy one new statement piece and/or new cushions.” She also has a word of inspiration for those who feel restricted by the small apartments common in Hong Kong. “Small apartments can be just as interesting or more than large ones! It also forces you to be more creative and functional. Buy the large artwork and the large sofa; just because the flat is small doesn’t mean your furniture or artwork has to be!”
Catherine Trotman, of furniture and homeware store INSIDE, sees some very pretty options in interior design trends for 2018, with the Pantone colour of the year being Ultra Violet. “There is still a big movement with retro prints, so think 1950s naive designs; but texture is also important, so expect stubby, characterful fabrics. There’s a huge focus on craft, so the blockprints for which INSIDE is recognised are right up there.”
Catherine says cleaner, more minimal designs tend to be popular in Hong Kong interiors, which makes strong, statement colours a good choice for furnishings. “Cushions and rugs are a quick and easy way to update a room, and in bedrooms a bedcover does the same trick. Equally, lampshades can add a splash of interest.”
A good way to start a new year update, adds Catherine, is to remove offending furniture and furnishings and then “layer in some newness”. A new wall colour can also be transforming. Overall, though, she urges staying true to yourself when it comes to the look of your home. “I think it’s dangerous to talk too much about ‘fashion’ and ‘trends’ in furnishings. Our homes are our sanctuaries and should reflect the people we are. For some, that is a clean, minimal space without clutter; for others, it means a characterful abode, filled with pieces collected through travel, telling the story of a life.”
New Yorker Michelle Koller founded home furniture store Tequila Kola in 1991. She says the store’s latest home décor collection, ‘Luxurious Cosiness’, consists of high-end materials, sensual shapes combined with warm brown wood, leathers, golden metals and textured stone. Textiles in warm gem colours also feature. “Combining different elements can help create
elegance and luxury,” she says.
Michelle’s ethos is that interior design should be about maximising and enhancing living space. In the smaller homes common in Hong Kong, she recommends selecting pieces that are functional yet comfortable. “Sofas are the focal point of most homes – a place where everyone demands comfort and durability; so they’re also one of the focal points in our showroom,” she says. “We also develop styles with maximum flexibility in mind. Dual-purpose pieces, such as storage beds and sofa beds, are the current staples in every home. Other options include the use of stools that double as coffee tables and nesting tables that can be tucked inside one another when not needed.”
And her tips for refreshing your home for 2018? “A quick fix is to update your cushions and bedding to bring instant freshness and change of colour to the living space without heavy cost,” she says. “Look to your walls and consider adding a new piece of art; this can uplift any tired area. If you want to create a bigger bang, consider re-upholstering your sofa, bed and dining chairs with the latest fabric.”
Sustainable furniture store TREE is well-known for its eco-chic range. Managing director Kate Babington predicts 2018 will be dominated by the interior design trend of a growing need to connect with nature, either through furniture pieces crafted from natural materials such as reclaimed wood, or by incorporating greenery into the home. “Textures have also been a central focus this past winter as they add a tactile softness and lovingly layered appeal, and, when done with natural fibres such as raffia or rattan, can be easily updated to suit the warmer months,” she says. According to Kate, it’s easy to incorporate these looks in Hong Kong homes. “Sustainable style can work for any home, no matter how large or small your space is!” she says. “When investing in solid, eco-wood furniture, keep an eye out for space-saving design, such as nesting tables and modular wall boxes.” Kate says greenery is a wonderful, natural way to update your home’s interior in 2018. Meanwhile, other quick updates can be made by rearranging the display items on your shelving and your art. “Colour coordinate your literature by keeping the same coloured book spines together, and, for added interest, turn some of your books horizontally. Complete the look with a mixture of finishing touches, such as bowls, sculptures and framed artwork or photos.” Painting an accent wall can bring new colours into your home.
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