Cover Frag Privè sideboard by Christophe Pillet, from P5 Studio

Mark the start of a new decade with a fresh look for your home—peruse our trend forecast for the key colours, patterns and styles to know

1. Inspiration: Artistic Intent

More homeowners are now paying attention to the use of art in their abodes, by selecting thoughtful pieces that add character and soul to each space. “The use of contemporary art is becoming more significant—we love that design is evolving around art with recent clientele becoming more aware of its significance and many wanting to incorporate their growing collection in their new homes,” says Jennifer Murray, designer director of The I.D. Dept (IDD).

If you’re unsure of where to begin, the art consultants are happy to assist. Zak Lo, founder of Living with Art and Gallery 1819, considers the art selection process akin to matchmaking; he would typically visit the customer’s home to understand their needs and personal taste. “Our art consultants would find out what type of art the customers are looking for and also the interior design of the spaces that they are decorating,” shares Lo. The gallery can also recommend artists to commission for works created based on feng shui advice.

Another way to integrate an artistic element into your home is through your choice of wallpaper, such as from French upholstery brand Pierre Frey, which regularly works with illustrators for its wallpaper and textile collections.

(Related: Living With Art Founder Zak Lo Found His Creative Calling By Opening A Gallery)

2. Pattern: Abstraction

The retro-infused decor trend continues, with the ongoing clamour for mid-century modern furniture. Besides the geometric patterns typical of the era, abstract art and design can go as beautifully with these historic pieces. “We’ll see more heritage-inspired furniture such as rattan chairs and the use of abstract-print upholstery will help to contemporise such pieces,” says Terri Tan, founder and design director of Designworx Interior Consultant.

According to Winnie Heimgartner-Wong, managing director of upholstery purveyor Cetec, abstract styles can be used for both contemporary and classic designs, and can serve as transitional visuals that bridge the two styles. “Because abstract designs fire up our imagination, they provide a strong point of visual interest within a space,” she says.

(Related: Watch: Tatler Design Awards 2020 Embraced Retro Style And Feted Inspiring Homes)

3. Material: Velvet

Sumptuous and sensual, velvet has long been used to add a touch of opulence to the home; the new velvet fabrics have also become easy to maintain. “In recent years, technological breakthroughs have led to the creation of velvet textiles that are much easier to handle,” says Heimgartner-Wong. “Zimmer + Rohde’s Infinitive Plus range, for example, allows for the easy removal of tough stains, including those from lipstick and nail polish.”

Rowena Gonzales, founder of Hong Kong-based firm Liquid Interiors, recommends using velvet panels to add blocks of colour and texture to a room. Before you purchase velvet fabric, the designer suggests getting a sample of the fabric and seeing how it looks in the place you intend to use it. “Velvet can appear much darker or lighter in different environments and different lighting,” she says. “Place the swatch where you plan to put the upholstered furniture, and observe throughout the day to see if you still like the colour in different gradations of light.”

(Related: Home Tour: An Artistic House in Perth Made For a Family That Loves The Mid-Century Modern Style)

4. Accessory: Vases

With verdant plants continuing to be a mainstay of many homes, consider picking up more beautiful vases to better showcase the thriving greenery in your home. Pinterest searches for “garden room” have gone up by 104 per cent in the past year; this is a space you can easily create in your home whether in an enclosed balcony or a cosy alcove in your bedroom.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, minimalist vases can be livened up with an array of fresh cuts or a bouquet of dried flowers. House your petals of choice in these sculptural vessels that are also objects of beauty; such as the Split vase by Lim + Lu which was created by fusing two Ming vases, or the Ridge vase that’s crafted with fine lines by Helsinki-based practice Studio Kaksikko.

(Related: Home Tour: A Modern Tropical House In Singapore That's Designed With Family In Mind)

5. Pattern: Bold Botanicals

Nature-inspired textiles will continue to be in vogue this year. “Floral and leaf prints speak to our need to connect with nature; even representations of nature can increase our sense of well-being. Biophilic designs also respond to our growing concerns about environmental degradation,” says Gonzales, who predicts bolder botanical prints replacing the smaller pastel flowers of yesteryear.

Tan concurs. “The old floral prints tended to follow country or romantic themes,” says the interior designer. “The modern versions are much bigger in terms of proportion to the furniture itself; a good example is Pianca’s Calatea armchair, which we paired with an antique telescope in one of our latest residential projects.” Heimgartner-Wong points out that these new botanical prints are lighter and show more base cloth. “The new botanicals have fewer but larger motifs within the pattern—the designs are less cluttered and have a fresher, more calming aesthetic,” she says.

(Related: This Boutique Hotel In Japan Is A Must-Visit For Nature Lovers)

6. Material and Pattern: Marble and Natural Textures

Murray of IDD anticipates the continued popularity of marble on feature walls. “When these stones are bookmatched, they create a perfect backdrop, whether as flooring or a wall feature,” says the design director. “These natural elements are durable and stunning, be they the gorgeous stone varieties of marble from Italy or the classic white-and-black Arabascato marble from Brazil.”

Stone-effect tiles are another option; top picks include the Onyx&More collection from Casa dolce casa – Casamood. Available from Florim, this collection celebrates the beauty of onyx with patterns inspired by the organic textures of the mineral stone.

(Related: Italian Brand Florim’s Inspiring Showroom Displays New Ways Of Using Porcelain Tiles In Your Home)

7. Devices: State of the Art

Enjoy a movie marathon in the comfort of your own home with top-notch audio-visual (AV) devices. Pinterest searches for audio rooms and home theatre design have risen by as much as 803 per cent and 368 per cent respectively in the past year, demonstrating that good sound and design can go hand-in-hand. Gone are the clunky AV systems of the past, with television sets getting slimmer and sleeker.

Take, for instance, the Serif 2.0 TV designed by French siblings Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Samsung, which has an I-shaped silhouette and an ambient mode that can display artworks on the screen. The Beovision Harmony OLED TV and speakers by Bang & Olufsen are as chic. Inspired by mid-century cabinets, the collection features oak veneer detailing; the TV also features blinds that partially conceal the screen when it is not in use.

(Related: These Gadgets and Appliances at CES 2020 Give Us a Glimpse into the Smart Homes of the Near Future)

8. Material: Dark Wood

While light wood will still be popular with homeowners who desire Scandinavian and Japanese-inspired interiors, the use of dark-stained wood is gaining popularity among those who seek a more moody palette. “Dark-stained wood such as wall panelling or in furniture adds elegance and a touch of luxury to the interiors,” says Tay of Prestige Global Designs. Match these with metallic accents to elevate the look. “Metals such as brass, gold and silver never go out of style. These bring an added brightness and luminosity to any space.”

(Related: Home Tour: A Chic Apartment With Monochromatic Spaces And Industrial Details)

9. Colour Palette: Pastels

Pastels are still in vogue, but applied more sparingly on accent pieces. Top hues include pale pink, one of the trending shades of the 2010s. “Light pink gives a refreshing and airy feel to any space, and will continue to thrive in 2020. It also matches well with other colours,” says Tay.

This soft shade complements other light tones such as Tranquil Dawn, the pale green selected as the Colour of the Year by AkzoNobel. “We looked to the soft, fluid colours and tranquillity of the morning sky for inspiration,” says Heleen Van Gent, Head of AkzoNobel Global Aesthetic Center. “Tranquil Dawn has an air of calm and clarity that perfectly reflects our theme. Inspired by the dawn horizon, it is a delicate, fluid shade that sits somewhere between green, grey and blue.”

Van Gent recommends combining this honeydew-like colour with other pastel shades and materials such as pale wood, suede and velvet in the living room; this brings a sense of lightness to the social space.

(Related: Home Tour: This Stylish Apartment Combines Pastels With Playful Accents)

10. Colour Palette: Into the Blues

“I find it particularly interesting that three of the world’s most prominent colour experts have chosen very similar hues as their colour of the year for 2020,” observes Nikki Hunt, founder of Design Intervention. “Pantone has chosen Classic Blue, PPG picked Chinese Porcelain and Sherwin-Williams chose Naval as their official colours for the year ahead, and the similarities are astounding. All three are strong, confident blues with great depth of colour.”

According to Hunt, the popularity of this deep blue palette indicates a desire for calm and tranquility, in uncertain times. “These are uniform blues—all strong, faithful and dependable, and responsible. In a world where the political climate is uncertain, where technological advances are moving faster than our ability to understand them, and concerns about climate change loom large, it is perhaps only natural that we are looking for calm, clarity and stability.”

Pick accent pieces in deep blue as an easy way to incorporate this trend into your home. “If you are not ready to embrace the bold colour movement just yet, perhaps take it slow and try a statement piece of furniture like a blue sofa against a neutral background,” recommends Hunt.

(Related: How Nikki Hunt and Andrea Savage of Design Intervention Create Beautiful Interiors)

A bold blue wall may seem daring at first sight, but it can also add to the sense of serenity in your home. “Just as the deep-coloured lining of a jewellery box shows off its contents to best effect, so too, a strong-coloured wall can become a fabulous canvas for art," adds Hunt. “One of my personal favourites is bright and fun kitchen cabinetry. And I will often use a dark hue on a low ceiling; if you paint your ceiling alcove a darker shade, it can give some depth to the room, and thus the illusion of height.”

(Related: 10 Ways To Rock Classic Blue, The 2020 Pantone Colour Of The Year)

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