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Home design trends to watch out this year

Ellen Bishop explains how to play around textures, lighting and other trending design elements

  • The lobby has been created to delay the sense of arrival of guestsImage Credit: Supplied
  • Ellen BishopImage Credit: Supplied
  • Masculine and feminine styles in bedroomsImage Credit: Supplied
Property Weekly

From villas in Emirates Hills and the Palm Jumeirah, to a four-storey penthouse in Mumbai, Ellen Bishop, the founder of Dubai-based interior design company, Bishop Design, has had her tryst with modern, contemporary as well as ethnic design styles. She has also worked on private offices in the region, as well as hospitality projects, international clubs, a signature restaurant and all-day dining concepts such as the California Pizza Kitchen, Fauchon Paris, Zafran and Bateel, among others. She speaks to PW on the trends that are making a mark this year.

Tricks with texture

“There are some exciting trends going on, including marble and brass/metal combinations. These materials can easily be combined with different types of metallic and fabrics and leather to create an interesting mix. Textures like cork are also quite popular and can be seen in bespoke locations, such as wall details, furniture pieces, or even accessories that create a warm, homely texture. Velvet is one of the biggest highlights this year, especially as soft furniture upholstery. Faux furs, mohair and other luxurious soft materials are also popular. We have also seen a huge shift towards more raw materials such as concrete and natural stones.”

Switched on

“Decorative lighting is more in focus than ever and is now seen as a great accessory. You could think of lighting like a fantastically designed jewellery piece that complements your outfit. I find myself using specialist lighting designers more and more, and it appears that our clients are finally on board with spending the necessary budgets for architectural lighting as they understand the effects and the importance of what we can achieve with a solid lighting plan.”

Escape plan

“The word ‘escapism’ is being mentioned a lot. This trend is meant to take us back to our organic roots and create a personal sanctuary. People want authenticity and comfort with classic charm. To create this feeling, we need to make sure that technology is as discreet as possible and completely integrated within the home, taking away from the ‘show-off’ trend, both in technology and interiors.”

Fine print

“I see the printing industry fusing with the design industry more and more. We now have the freedom to incorporate our patterns and design intent to make products such as tiles, wallpaper, fabrics and even metals.”

Get smart

“Designing a smart home has become a necessity as our clients want a space that demonstrates the latest and the most contemporary technology. The latest technology is used to enable full control of your home remotely, including appliances, lighting, temperature and security cameras. This can all be monitored through an app, even when you’re away. Walking into a space and having the lighting system adopt to a different brightness according to the time of the day, for example, fundamentally changes the way you experience a space.”

Conscious living

“There is definitely more focus on design solutions that keep energy consumption low. We have seen a trend in clients selecting more low-energy fittings, especially with regards to LED lights, sanitary fixtures and air-conditioning systems. Clients have started to realise the long-term benefits and savings that come with more advanced technology solutions.”


Oceania Residences on the Palm Jumeirah

Bishop Design recently designed an apartment in Oceana Residences on the Palm Jumeirah (pictured on this page). The opulent beachfront resort offers panoramic views of the Palm Jumeirah, with the modern home reflecting a luxurious yet contemporary design inspired by its surroundings. The homeowners, a young couple living in Monaco hoping to use this apartment as a home away from home, wanted a spacious setting. With this in mind, Bishop and her team had to fine-tune the apartment’s existing layout, carefully replanning the entire space to achieve larger rooms that offered a practical yet welcoming atmosphere.

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