Deep into the dark depths of winter, we tend to spend a lot more time inside than the other seasons. This comes with many benefits, like draping ourselves in layers of plush rugs and throws, sipping on hot herbal teas and watching the elements rage outside while we stand on top of the ducted heating vent. It also comes with more colds and cases of flu, as we silo ourselves with our germs and gift them between one another like pass-the-parcels at a 3-year-old’s birthday party.
There also comes an inexplicable and innate biological need within many of us to make some changes to our homes. We just want to “shift things ’round a bit”, but inevitably end up with a much cosier sofa set with a Moroccan theme.
We asked some local interior design experts what they were seeing during these colder months, and picked up on some definite trends.
Plush textures and sustainable materials
“Velvet is a big trend in 2019, and especially in the cooler season,” says Junie Lin from Hamptons Home. “Plush velvets make for a perfect decor accessory for a lush, cosy living space. For a more selective approach, choose a few velvet touches like cushions scattered around the lounge or bedroom. They can be easily switched up to other fabrics when the winter exits. ”
Christina Parker, Interior Design Teacher at Box Hill Institute, has noted a clear trend by both consumers and students towards incorporating sustainable materials into home designs.
“Wanting what’s best for both us and our planet is an important part to consider for each design decision. The desire to have our home as our own personal retreat is something I think we can all relate too.
“Linens, wools, and silks are trending, as well as everything that is natural or as tactile as possible. Varying patterns of all shapes and sizes are also found mainly in the accent items, like rugs, cushions and throws. Timbers are curved on furniture pieces and accessories are organically shaped, all adding to the detail within a room.”
Jordan Prainito, Managing Director of Canningvale has noticed a growing trend for consumers to seek transparency in their purchases.
“Industry-wide we have seen a sharp spike in the consumer demand for businesses to promote environmentally sustainable products,” says Jordan. “It is not enough to simply label something as organic these days.”
Jordan points to a recent survey by HP and Green, which found that 71% of consumers and 77% of businesses stating a willingness to pay a premium for environmentally sustainable products. This is why you will see an increase this winter in materials and homewares that use sustainable materials, such as PET yarn (sourced from recycled plastics) which is used by Jordan in some of Canningvale’s products.
Light but snug
“Large-scale mirrors are a great décor item to impact light levels and make your bedroom feel bigger,” Justine Wilson, Director and Principal Stylist at Vault Interiors, tells us. “A floor-length standing mirror or large wall mirror hung vertically can instantly brighten up a space and bring warmth and light to your bedroom.”
If using mirrors to create space and light during winter, play around with how the mirror captures light at different times of the day (making sure you consider when you use the home most) as well as how it captures and reflects warmer accent lights within your home, whether they be ceiling lights or standalone lamps.
ANZ Editor at Houzz, Vanessa Walker has seen an increasing number of bespoke couches that soften the geometry of rooms during winter.
“This year Houzz saw its community making use of plush couches and modular sofas, utilising the corners of the room to create a warm and inviting space. Slubby, sectioned and squishy sofas were softly upholstered in leather, velvet and fabrics and styled with throws and cushions in soft or textured materials.”
Interior designer Linda Swanepoel from Modern Concepts has noticed an increase in confidence this winter from her clients, with a number of trends appearing. One highly popular trend is towards washed linens.
“From furniture and sofas through to bedding and soft furnishings, washed linens look great but also present a practical element for homeowners as often linen slips over furniture can be easily removed and washed,” says Linda.
“The relaxed feel of washed linens works well in any space particularly those that have hard surfaces needing to be balanced such as clay, raw timbers and concrete finishes.”
Natural tones and textures
Lauren Keenan is a Sydney-based interior stylist who works on projects around Australia. We asked her what palettes people are featuring during the colder months.
“This winter we’re still seeing a lovely handmade quality to interior spaces. There’s a really strong emphasis on texture and materials,” says Lauren.
“I’m designing spaces with earthy palettes, including colours like terracotta, smokey blue, and eucalyptus green, and pared back with beiges and light greys. Overall the look is very textural. I’m still seeing lots of self-patterned wool for rugs and a healthy dose of rattan and cane in lighting and accessories. Decor pieces like vases and ornaments play up to the natural colour scheme and often feature some kind of hand-stamped embellishment. During winter I find that clients like a cosy space, but still one that feels light and bright during the depths of winter. Happy spaces!”
Other designers are seeing a similar demand for softer, natural tones.
“I am seeing quite a turn around in trends in the Sydney area for people moving towards natural colour palettes (not neutral necessarily) with a focus on mixing natural textures,” says Courtney Younie, Interior Designer at Allure Property Styling.”This is what we are being asked for by our interior design clients and we are seeing the properties staged for sale in this style selling faster as well.
“An example of this would be if you had a tan or brown leather lounge, you could layer it with a few feather-filled cushions in beige, rust and petrol blue linen, to create a balance of colour and tone, but also to add a softness and warmth to the leather. Pairing the lounge look with items such as a black timber coffee table, lamp tables, linen ottomans, a pair of statement table lamps and a navy and beige tightly woven floor rug, will bring this look together in a sophisticated manner.”
Andrea Lucena-Orr, Colour and Communications Manager at Dulux, notes that this deman for natural colours and textures comes from a desire to bring the outside in during winter, rather than shutting ourselves off from the elements.
“As the weather cools and our thoughts turn to retreating indoors, the look is all about bringing the outside in and creating cosy, joyful spaces that nurture and inspire,” says Andrea.
“Set against a backdrop of warm timber and honeyed leather, expect to see soft grey-green – this season’s ‘new neutral’ – paired with shades of olive, dusty pink, and invigorating accents of rich, blue-green and ochre to create a sumptuous look that’s grounded in nature.”