With 2018 at its end, it seems only right to look both back and forward to see the trends that have shaped the year and the ones that will inform the next.
By Iain Aitch
Home trends tend to move slowly, not least because we don’t buy a new dining set or have a new extension every month.
Many predicted trends fall by the wayside, but those that strike a chord stay with us. This is why the stripped-back look has stayed with us all year-long. Furniture with minimal fuss in lighter woods has been making its mark and will be with us for a while yet, with the Shaker look and pieces such as Ercol’s Modulo range producing pieces of furniture elegant enough to be noticed whilst looking almost generic in style.
The UK has long had a love affair with Victorian and Edwardian properties, and that doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon. After all, these sturdy and comfortable houses have set the standard for our architecture and what constitutes a home.
Our love of the past has sometimes stopped us looking forward, but this is definitely one thing that has been shifting over the last year, as more and more home-owners are embracing open-plan living and modernist extensions on period homes, swapping side-returns for dramatic glass boxes at the rear of their property.
“More and more people are desiring modern open plan properties,” says Robby Du Toit, Managing Director of property investment business Sellhousefast.uk. “They are not only spacious but allow individuals to split the floor plan into different zones for cooking, relaxing, socialising, studying and working. This type of free flow living is often complemented by mellow colours, dark woods, simple fixtures, vibrant lighting and well-designed furniture”.
Storage is an issue for most of us, but it has often taken a back-seat when it comes to our thinking or our spending. But recently, more of us have been abandoning the often-fraught trip to Ikea in favour of hiring a carpenter or cabinet maker to create bespoke pieces or simply buying storage that is also decorative. Enter any designer’s home and you will find Dieter Rams’ Vitsoe shelving systems, which are things of industrial beauty. This year, though, we have seen a real comeback for the Nils Strinning-designed String System, which is not cheap, but usually less expensive than the Vitsoe range.
“In terms of easy-to-add design touches, we are seeing a move from bi-fold to sliding doors,” says Kelley Malcher, Refresh renovation expert and Director of Aubree Limited. “We are also seeing aluminium windows again. People have always assumed they are poor, but the modern ones have a thermal break in now and are very efficient. Aluminium doors are fashionable too and I would certainly like the larger sliding doors myself.”
Greys and greens have held sway for most of the year and show no sign of stopping. Grey started at the front door, wormed its way into living rooms and is now one of the most popular colours for bathrooms and kitchens. The grey ceiling is here to stay, too.
If you are thinking about housing trends for the coming year, then you need to start thinking from the floor up, or even a touch lower. Underfloor heating was once something exclusively seen in the homes of architects and designers, but it has reached a popularity and price point that is taking it into the mainstream. Large format tiles atop the space-saving heating are on-trend and wood-effect designs have the advantage of being visually stunning whilst conducting the warmth exceedingly well. For those looking for a retro flooring trend, there is the return of onyx tiling.
Wondering which heating options can work for your home? Check out this article on heating options for your home
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