INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS: WHAT’S IN, WHAT’S OUT AND WHAT’S HERE TO STAY
The fourth edition of the Dubai Home Festival (DHF) has just ended; however, it has given all home-renovators a myriad of ideas for a home design facelift and opportunity to explore the latest trends in interior products, designs, and limited-edition furniture collections to suit every style.
Homes can have a direct influence not only on our moods but our overall wellbeing. And after a period of being forced to slow down and spend time in our homes, the desire to create an aesthetically soothing place has never been more important.
“Our homes have become an increasingly important anchor in our lives; they are where we spend the overwhelming majority of our time now.” says interior designer Becki Willis, the founder of Studio Van Oliver, a UAE-based interior design studio, specialising in residential design, home renovation and styling. That mindset is having a direct impact on interior trends, with maximalist and anything warm and cosy now an entrenched interior approach that isn’t going anywhere soon.
“Our homes have a significant impact on our mood and wellbeing, and, particularly after the last three years, people are looking for warm and welcoming spaces that simply make them feel good,” explains Willis. This has seen a trend towards earth and palette-cleansing tones in furnishings and accents to mimic the harmony and serenity of nature. “Palettes and materials that are reminiscent of nature came in this year as people look to harness the calming effect of the outdoors,” said Willis.
“Warm, earthy colour palettes – tonal browns, punctuated with faded greens and moody charcoals – is a trend that is here to stay, and we are also seeing more of a tendency towards natural, raw materials – textured ceramics, porous travertine, rustic accents, veined marble – adding depth and warmth to our homes.”
The serenity trend is also impacting the shapes and styles of furniture, with people shunning sharp angular edges for sounded, rounded and curved style pieces, said Willis. “People are experimenting with organic shapes, from curved sofas and coffee tables to perfectly imperfect hand-crafted ceramics, creating a more relaxed and calming flow in our spaces.”
And while functionality and minimalism will still have a place in interior design trends, the 2022/2023 approach will combine the peace of the pared-back with a warming touch. “This year, minimalism no longer means monochromatic and sleek. It has warmed up through the use of texture and colour, but still offers the clean, open airiness people seek.”
Emirati designer Shafia Alkhyeli, founder of Soul Interior Studio based in Dubai Design District, told DHF that over the past year there has been a surge of interest in natural stones, such as marble or onyx, being used in the home. “Marble, for example, will give off light, and can be used instead of windows,” she explained. “It also gives a cosy yet luxurious and fine look.” Another trend has been the use of Iranian-made carpets which are being repurposed into striking pieces of furniture and soft furnishings, such as pillows and cushions. “This is a trend that popped up in 2022 and it will stay,” said Alkhyeli. “Another trend here to stay is the ‘new modern’ – a twist on the contemporary by mixing modern with the classic.”
After a spell of spending more time on the home, people have been willing to spend more on interior design and renovation, said Alkhyeli, from large-scale refurbishment to touches up on individual rooms and spaces in the home.
However, the designer says this is seeing a slight shift with homeowners now thinking both more economically – and more sustainably. “We are seeing clients looking for slightly cheaper materials now – such as ceramic instead of granite – and also eco-friendly materials. A boom in 3D-printed technology will affect future home style, with the use of more organic and sustainable fabrics.”
Jon Spurlock, d3-based Christopher Guy’s VP Global Creative Design and Development, says when it comes to trends, colours are changing with the seasons. “We are seeing more blues, but a different blue. Blue has been vibrant, now is softer and greyed down. We are also seeing the use of a dirty-gold symbolic of fall and musty orange colours are also being spotted.”
He said furniture remains modern but with a strong want for more aesthetically crafted designs, adding: “We have been rising the modern edge for some time. Now we are seeing strict straight lines move to clean pieces with rounded edges – but still very modern.”
Diala Al Moussawi, a designer with interior company Collide, said the wellbeing trend in interior design and furniture has been the dominant key this year. “This is especially true as many people are still working from home so there is more focus on comfort, light-on-the-eye colours and earthy items with a natural environment feel – and from outside to the indoor plants are always recommended,” she said.
“There has also been a focus on kitchens since the healthy home cooking trend has been a big thing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are also seeing a trend of brighter colours and geometric patterns take over as if it’s time to live again; a more joyful time.”