Say goodbye to dark, poky rooms and hello to open airy spaces decorated with comfort pieces and eco-friendly design.
South Africa is a diverse country which plays host to many different people and cultures. Interior design trends reflect this diversity and although no one home may be the same, there are some common interior design ‘threads’ which tend to manifest across the spectrum.
According to Carla Cronje of Prime Home Design Studio which offers home staging, professional organising and interior design services, there are several key trends which are currently making an appearance.
Says Cronje: “Gone are the days when homes were a rabbit warren of poky rooms and dark, separate spaces. Over the years there has been a shift towards light, airy, open plan living which seamlessly incorporates multiple spaces. Today, it’s not uncommon to see a dining room, living room, TV lounge and kitchen all linked together in one big space. In line with this, we have seen a distinct shift towards clean, linear interior design softened by soft ‘comfort’ pieces which complements open plan style living.”
Cronje points out that used badly, open plan living can have its drawbacks. Where open plan living goes wrong (in Cronje’s opinion) is when open plan bathrooms are incorporated into master bedrooms. She says that while this may appeal to a niche market, it tends to put a lot of people off given the associated lack of privacy.
Another trend which has taken off is the ‘eclectic’ theme says Cronje. This theme makes use of items from different genres, eras and countries which are then artfully and seamlessly incorporated into a home. In certain parts of the country where this trend has a following, the eclectic theme is typically characterised by a mix of antiques blended with modern furnishings and fittings which serve to create interesting conversation points and make a statement.
Vibrant wall colours are also ‘in’ in certain parts of South Africa says Cronje. “The use of vibrant wall colours has come to the fore. Although striking and memorable, it’s important to keep in mind that the use of such colours on a large scale can limit the ‘usability’ of certain rooms. Bright, bold colours could also potentially limit your ability to sell the home quickly one day. That said, if you really like the idea of bright colours and you plan on living on the premises for a long time, by all means go big and use bold colours. You can always paint over walls in a neutral colour if necessary at a later date.”
Cronje says that increasingly, clients are also keen to “go green.” She says the green home trend has really gained traction in recent times as more people want to re-connect with nature. In line with this, Cronje says interior designers and clients are increasingly incorporating natural elements such as trees and rock formations into their homes and surrounds. Natural materials and sustainable building techniques are also very much ‘in vogue,’ she adds.
In terms of Cronje’s general approach to interior design, she explains that work on such projects typically begins with a mood board and design report following which an action plan is executed in phases which allows for greater flexibility for everyone involved.
Claire Clarke of By Dezign Interiors also commented on some of the trends she is seeing ‘doing the rounds.’ According to Clarke, there has been a big shift towards all things gold including gold fittings and fixtures. Colour wise she says white and neutrals punctuated by jewel-like colours such as teal are currently very popular. She adds that wallpaper featuring grass, bamboo and cement-like textures are fashionable and geometric patterns are coming across strongly in fabric designs.
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