Some of the gifts of the New Year are the never-ending barrage of trend reports. Like clockwork, brands and PR agencies start clogging in boxes with that ‘they’ think will be the creative direction for the year. Luckily for you, dear reader, I have gone through the many pitches to establish what would work for us, here in the Middle East.
Design Trends is a vast subject and certainly home design is one that can’t be covered in a single page, so we are splitting must-haves for 2019 into two sections based on the public and private areas of the home. In this section we tackle the part of the home that faces the world, the places that receive guests and where you entertain.
Of course, take heed to these recommendations with a pinch of salt — apply your own lifestyle and taste to your new design investments. If there is one big trend for 2019 that I wish everyone adopted, it would be conscious spending. Which means: be careful of how you spend and what you spend on. Invest in less — buy things you genuinely love, things that are of reputable quality and invest in original pieces. Not only will this attitude be good for your wallet, conscious consumption means lesser contribution to the landfills.
IN THE LIVING ROOM
Two concepts — the 1970s and modularity rule this year’s living room. Rounded back sofas in plush velvets are back — signalling an obvious desire for luxury, especially when rendered in gold hued trims. On the other hand is pure practicality that responds to modern day living — reducing apartment sizes and a nomadic lifestyle, where we move houses and countries more frequently than ever before — have led us explore modularity in large-scale furniture. Hem has introduced flat pack to the high-end design market with its new Kumo Sofa. A ship-smart modular system designed by Norwegian studio Anderssen & Voll, it arrives as a series of constructed pieces, which can be simply slotted together in a row or corner configuration. The concept of modularity is applicable to storage and display units as well. When selecting shelving try to opt for units that will adapt to your life. Units that can be added to or subtracted from without compromise to stability and those that can be easily transported add practical value, while looking chic.
IN THE DINING ROOM
Forget the chandelier. The piece de resistance in the dining room is the table itself. Finally, it makes sense. After all, it’s the table that traditionally has been the centrepiece of food display, eating and socialising at home. I am happy to see, that after years of drab, and frankly, badly mass-produced apologies for dining tables, the tide has turned for this staple of home design and good living. From marble and wood to treated glass and metal frames, the new dining tables are nothing short of sculptural pieces. Case in point, the new Plinto collection by the Italian fine-furniture makers, Meridiani. A plinth-like metal base in matt black or bronzed brass forms the main framework, supporting a solid marble or lacquered wood top. For extra drama, any portion of the base frame can be concealed in stone or wood. And when you have a table so dramatic, only the sleekest of lights and chairs will do.
IN THE KITCHEN
Simplicity is key for the kitchen in 2019. Pared down designs, sleek lines and integrated-but-concealed white goods respond to an overall desire of humility and sacredness when it comes to the heart of the home. When the design demands this level of de-clutter, technology has to step up — look for new age white goods that come with smart-tech integration, cooking tops and kitchen sinks that conceal under automated worktops. For a quick refresh, opt for white or salmon cabinetry — any light non-textural finish will do. Add to it a white stone or light wood counter and basic white metro tiles to achieve a look that is deceiving simple. Lighting plays an important role, especially now when the kitchen has become an extended entertainment area. Invest in a statement lamp. Suspended above the kitchen island, or sat on the floor in a corner, it will instantly lend a moody tone to the heart of the home.