“Keep up with the trends or make your own trends. That’s what I do”, said the late visionary designer Alexander McQueen. Now June, it’s time to take stock of the biggest design trends of 2016 so far, and look at what's in store for the remainder of the year.
Perhaps it’s a sign of turbulent times, but much of what was forecast for this year was reactionary. The formal dining room was championed, fostering a vision of shared meals and human interaction versus the modern stereotype of dining with the company of a smartphone. Classic tableware, right down to the gravy boat, accompanied this return to tradition. Living room furniture arranged around a fireplace – whether working or not – was favoured over television sets as focal points. Pegboard storage, reminiscent of an item your grandfather may have used in his shed to hang tools, and cane chairs were two more throwback trends that are set to remain popular.
The ‘tiny house’ movement continues to flourish, promoting minimalistic and sustainable living. The average size of one of these minute properties is between 100 and 400 square feet. Further ingenuity is being implemented into these miniscule units combining clever storage, loft sleeping arrangements and even balconies and hot tubs. Often constructed with salvaged materials, these compact properties are becoming a familiar housing solution worldwide as environmentally conscious individuals opt to downsize and live a simpler existence.
Leading design creatives continue to move away from functional and featureless kitchens, encouraging a more eclectic approach. Mismatching cupboards are in vogue, with the latest surfaces and textures on offer eschewing uniformity. Black stainless steel is now the design trend for appliances, in defiance of the pastels of previous years – which have in turn migrated to the bathroom.
Minor changes, maximum impact
Tough fabrics on walls are a current trend, including canvas and other fade- and stain-resistant materials formerly considered for outdoor use only. Another welcome touch is the craze for heated hallways. Entrances are often neglected as heavy traffic areas, yet underfloor heating can transform the experience of stepping through the front door, adding an instantly cosy atmosphere to the home.
Bidets are back
A continental personal hygiene mainstay, the bidet is obligatory in Italian homes and is a regular fixture across much of Europe, South America and Japan. Yet it never really caught on in the United Kingdom, nor the USA. This is about to change, however, as consumers are beginning to accept the environmentally friendly benefits of less waste. The bidet is expected to experience a revival and become as commonplace as it was in the 17th century as a result.
Whatever your home décor and design preferences, our team of experts at Engel & Völkers will provide you with up-to-date guidance on the latest housing trends. Our in-depth knowledge of the global property market can be relied upon whether you're considering buying or selling.