Décor: Inspiration for 2015

by Tania Wannenburg
Decor inspiration

The décor trends for 2015 are influenced by both natural elements and technology.


The décor side of the built environment leaves a lot of room for interior architects and designers to create exciting, truly creative building interiors or to come up with ingenious ways to push boundaries and implement clients’ ideas and design standards innovatively.

When starting to conceptualise an interior space, interior designer Salomien Pieterse, from Boogertman + Partners, believes that form follows function. “A space needs to be functional and practical, but at the same time induce a great sense of emotion for the end-user,” she says.

According to Pieterse, the main trends to look out for in 2015 are the use of natural, authentic materials and metal finishes such as copper, brass, pewter, steel and gold. Printed fabrics with plant and animal themes will feature in contrast with geometric prints and tie-dye may even make a reappearance. “All in all, a really interesting and exciting combination!” she exclaims.

In addition, she expects applications of writable wall paint and printed cloth wall coverings to adorn vertical surfaces.

Local is “lekker”
“Locally sourced products are also becoming more and more the norm. With the launch of the Green Building Council of South Africa’s interior pilot tool, suppliers are being challenged to come to the party and it has resulted in great local products becoming available on the market, whether one is going for a Green Star rating or not,” Pieterse adds. She in particular looks forward to working with creations from up and coming local furniture designers, such as Neil Grantham.

Trend expert Dave Nemeth says his research shows that awareness for the environment as well as major advances in technology currently has a huge impact on these evolving trends.

Environmentally aware
“Energy conservation will play a hugely important role on the aesthetics of a structure, whether it is a home or an office block,” he says. This means that windows will be larger and in many cases entire glass walls will capitalise on using natural light.

“Curtains and window treatments have certainly seen a decline in popularity over recent years and this trend will continue,” Nemeth predicts. Instead, roller blinds and shutters for windows, doors and room dividers, which can also be automated, are gaining popularity.

Natural wood
Wood will continue to be a key element, especially in as much of its natural form as is practical. “A new trend is for natural and even reclaimed wood to be used within the kitchen, from cabinets to work surfaces; this area of the home is becoming more rustic and less clinical,” Nemeth says.

Hi-tech balanced with plain finishes
With building automation becoming more affordable and accessible and buildings becoming more mechanised, the aesthetic appeal is starting to revolve more around natural, authentic materials and finishes, according to Nemeth. In addition, designers continue to look for inspiration from yesteryear.

“Recent years have seen a move towards a look that can only be classified as industrial,” he says. “This is a simplistic approach where we see elements such as raw concrete floors, upcycled furniture such as palette tables, reclaimed timber furniture, old rusted filing cabinets and exposed light bulbs being the order of the day.

“The psychology behind this styling is definitely a backlash to mass production and apathy for the environment, and we will surely see this styling become a little more refined. The value of items is no longer simply determined by the materials and brand heritage, but also by the process in which it was manufactured, with human input and time being key drivers of product appreciation. The age of mindless consumerism is over!”

Digital and 3D printing
Corresponding to the influence of technology, digitally printed fabrics will be used for anything from furniture upholstery to lampshades. Nemeth points out that since small quantities of customised designs can be ordered, designers can experiment much more with the application of fabrics. Similarly, 3D printing will allow for innovative patterns and forms to be created.

Personal taste as anti-trend
One of the overriding trends, according to Nemeth, is that interior styling will revolve around personal interest and experiences where the significance of pieces for the end-user will override other style trends, resulting in a mix of styles from classical to ultra-modern. “This endeavour to create unique spaces is somewhat of an anti-trend, although many key attributes such as walls and floors will follow the tactile aesthetic of being true to materials,” he explains.

The colour palette
Nemeth predicts that the popular colours will remain within the “fondant palette” – a range of fresh pastels, which are somewhat fresher and brighter than their past appearances, and that the key colour for 2015 will certainly be coral and shades thereof. He also mentions that tones of grey have become exceptionally popular for large surfaces such as walls, ceilings and furniture where bright colours are reserved for accents.

“Blue and white colour combinations will again rear their heads and this combination works exceptionally well in South African light. This is also a great colour combination for informal areas where a cool coastal feeling can be appreciated all year round,” he states.

Richard Nuss, marketing manager at Johnson Tiles, a division of Norcross SA, echoes the safe popularity of grey, but says that it is not as cold as before. Bolder brighter tints are also used more to provide a pop of colour, often in the form of accessories. Bicycles in particular are common décor props this season, he says.

He also adds that monochromatic combinations of black and white, grey and white, or blue and white, both in tile displays and décor designs, are back in business.

Commercial display
In terms of the display of commercial products, cleaner minimalistic designs are what it is all about, according to Nuss. The product is the star, with less big frames, garish display items and other noise retracting from the central piece.

Overall, the current trend themes play a lot on sustainability and organic ideas, with subtle, natural, handmade looks. Nuss expects interiors to feature a lot of upcycling, modular systems and prominent exposed lighting.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Dave Nemeth, Boogertman + Partners (www.boogertmanandpartners.com) and Johnson Tiles for the information given to write this article.

Evolving décor trends:
–    Natural materials.
–    Environmentally friendly.
–    Building automation features.
–    Metal finishes, especially copper and brass.
–    Printed fabrics.
–    Minimalistic display.
–    Individual preference and experience.
–    Fresh pastels.
–    Coral.
–    Grey.
–    Blue and white.

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