Singapore Tatler Best of Singapore
Experts share the coolest home trends to update your space this year
The new year is here–time to explore the newest decor trends. From big upgrades to the littlest details, here are the best ideas from interior design and home experts that will transform your abode into an inspiring, stylish and luxurious space.
Purple reigns in the year ahead. “Both Pantone and Dulux have declared a purple tone to be the official colour of 2018. For two colour giants to agree on a colour choice, that is something to note,” says Nikki Hunt, principal of Design Intervention.
What works well in our tropical climate is a lighter shade of purple. “For our hot, humid weather, Dulux’s Heart Wood is preferable to the strong, bright Ultra Violet from Pantone. I love how Heart Wood has a grey undertone, giving it a smoky, mysterious touch without any heat at all. I would use it as an all-over colour. It will feel almost like a neutral but with a bit more zing. I have used lavender in the past in my projects as I like how it can bring a cool serenity to homes.”
TAKE THE EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH
To achieve a cutting-edge look now, adopt an unorthodox approach by experimenting with different layouts, shapes, art and materials, advises Michael Ong, founder of Prestige Global Designs. “Linear lines are timeless, but an elegant curve carefully applied at strategic areas adds a nice twist to break the monotony and conjure a sense of elegance.”
Curves look set to make an appearance in 2018, Hunt from Design Intervention adds. “Forget simple rectilinear shapes, this year is all about curvaceous forms. Expect to see curved walls, rugs and sofas.”
GOLD METALLIC TOUCHES
Goodbye, silver. Hello, yellow. Gold, that is. Since 2015, rose gold and copper tones have dominated decor colours, but designers are moving towards yellow-toned golds, says Hunt from Design Intervention. “Warm metallic hues have now well and truly replaced silver and chrome as the popular choice for metallic finishes. This trend is set to intensify in 2018.”
Fans or other white noise generators near the bed can help mute sleep distractions and mask unwanted sounds. White noise helps the body and brain relax.
Use room darkening shades or dark curtains to reduce the amount of light in the room. Eyeshades may also do the trick.
25°C is the ideal temperature for sleeping. A warm room or too many blankets can interrupt your sleep.
SLEEK SOUND SYSTEMS
To ensure that their home harmonises with their well-being, homeowners are increasingly paying more attention to audio equipment when creating their home environment. As a result, says Jane Blanloeil, marketing and PR manager for Bang & Olufsen Emerging Markets, “home audio is moving away from traditional and bulky speakers”.
She points to the brand’s wallmounted, modular Beosound Shape speaker system, which offers “a reallife wall of sound with an immersive music staging”.
“It is the perfect mood setter while at the same time offering unique resonance dampening features,” she says, adding that it is ideal for any room and can be placed creatively on the wall “in every imaginable size and pattern”.
Other sound system experts adopting a more minimalist look include high-end British audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins. The new 803 D3 speaker is the slim version of the iconic 800 D3 Series and the most compact-headed model the brand has ever made. Yet, it boasts many of the qualities of its larger siblings, but in a room-friendly size, says Janice Chew, brand director of The Experts Group, which distributes Bowers & Wilkins in Singapore. Also recently launched is the Bowers & Wilkins 704 S2 speaker, the slimmest model in the new
700 S2 Series.
Bathrooms are being transformed into lavish private spaces with refined finishes, bringing even more joy to these sanctuaries, says Isabelle Oh, assistant manager of branding and public relations for Hansgrohe Singapore: “Fine-grained natural stone, non-slip wood, marbled tiles and the pattern of small mosaics and tiles please the eye and turn the bathroom into a luxurious and inviting space.”
Apart from material, lighting can create that luxe feel for the bathroom. Her advice is to use different lighting for different purposes, such as brighter light for showering, shaving and putting on make-up, and softer lighting for the overall ambience. And don’t forget to scent the space with your favourite aromatherapy candles and reed diffusers. “After all, the bathroom is a private space for rejuvenation and it would be a more pleasurable stay if the bathroom offers an inviting scent,” she says.
INDUSTRIAL MINIMAL BATHROOMS
A favourite style in modern interiors, this trend has now made its way into the bathroom. Draw inspiration from the private spaces at The Warehouse Hotel, a beautifully restored godown that’s been turned into a 37-room boutique hotel in Robertson Quay.
“These offer an edge over typical bathrooms with their clean and minimalist styling of concrete and metal,” says Oh from Hansgrohe Singapore, pointing to the shower products designed by AXOR and FRONT. “Nothing is hidden—not the steel pipe, couplings or valves. The ‘archaic’ funnel on the hand shower ultimately releases the water in two jet types, oozing authentic industrial charm in perfection.” The result is a timeless yet modern space that looks warm and welcoming.
Our love affair with modern tropical prints on wallcoverings and fabrics looks set to continue and will be even bolder, says Hunt from Design Intervention. “Bordering on brash but still overwhelmingly happy, bold, fun and colourful prints are here to stay in 2018.”
Parrots and flamingos will still be popular but will be joined by a menagerie of other animals, she adds. “For instance, Cole and Son launched a new wallpaper collection that celebrates the animals of Africa while Clarke and Clarke’s new Animalia collection of fabrics and wallcoverings was launched in January and is a rhapsody of a maximalist jungle.”
Clean monochrome palettes in the bathroom continue to be popular but warm tones are also on their way up. “While standard colours like white have dominated interior design for years, they have become insufficient to meet the changing needs of homeowners, who are seeking to individualise their bathroom in various ways, including adding different hues and tones into this private rejuvenation space,” says Oh from Hansgrohe Singapore.
Think fiery red and orange tones, not just for accessories but also on tiles and walls, that suggest energy, strength and intimacy, she adds. For a more calming and soothing effect, try warm blue hues (yes, they exist), like teal and deep blues, which create a cosy ambience and evoke nature and the ocean.
Apart from bathroom tiles and walls, bathroom fittings can also come in different colours that give the contemporary luxury bathroom extra character and appeal, she says. For instance, the AXOR brand offers a customisation service, AXOR Finishplus, for bathroom fittings in special finishes, such as bronze, nickel or red gold, brushed or polished.
INTO THE WOODS
With our hectic lives and reliance on technology, many of us want to reconnect with nature. This desire to return to a simpler way of life will be increasingly reflected in the design and style of our homes, says Terri Tan, design director of Designworx Interior Consultant. “Organic materials and traditional handcrafts will continue to gain momentum. Earthy tones and dark woods will also make a comeback. It is a shift from the blonde woods and Scandinavian style that have been popular in recent years.”
HANDSOME AND HARDWORKING
Kitchen appliances today don’t just look sleek; they also have more useful functions and features than before. The latest kitchen appliances are minimal and clean-looking, but are also more multifunctional and adaptive than ever, says De Dietrich marketing manager Angeline Yeo. For instance, the Horizone Play’s sophisticated and innovative design available across a wide range of zoneless induction hobs lets you use a single hob for multiple different cooking methods. Optional accessories such as a specially designed detachable grill or plancha sit securely onto the hob surface.