Earlier this week The Australian posted an article that outlined writer Claire Carponen’s predictions for top interior design trends of 2015 (you can read the article here). I found it interesting that the article had actually been syndicated from The Times in the United Kingdom.

While many trends are global, I firmly believe that context and environment must be considered to in order to create a design that is functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. Just because it looks great in London or Dublin doesn’t mean it will be the best decision for interior design in Brisbane, Queensland or Australia.

With that in mind I decided to do a response of sorts to Claire’s top trends article for my local friends. You can absolutely design a beautiful Australian space with the trends Claire has outlined – my suggestions will just help it suit our climate and context a little more!

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THE MOODY BLUES

2015 is all about deep, moody blues paired with rusty reds, according to Claire. She points to The Dean Hotel in Dublin as proof – interior designer Mhairi Coyle has used a warm blue on all the internal walls in this hip hotel to great effect. I totally agree with her choices. This muted blue palette would be equally at home in a classic Queensland or worker’s cottage as it is in dreary ol’ Dublin.

Many designers around the world will pair these blues with Marsala – the rich, earthy red that Pantone has named as the top colour for 2015. I would advise Queenslander’s against this combination. Firstly, to many Australians on the east coast, the pairing of blue and rust might be too reminiscent of the State of Origin colours. Secondly, while this moody palette might work in Dublin or even Melbourne, it might be too dark for homes in sunny Queensland.

In Queensland interiors, I would suggest pairing your blues with a colour that adds some energy – a vibrant green or pink would be perfect. If that sounds too bold, go with a white or subtle cream.

You can also reduce the intensity of the moody blues with furniture, flooring or accents made from natural fibres. Natural cane, timber and sisal would all work well.

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DEFT USES OF DELFT

This is a prediction of my own that closely follows on from the the rich blue colour palette. I’m beginning to see a resurgence in the popularity of delft pottery – those beautiful white ceramics adorned with painted blue details. While the famous Delft plates are being used to great effect, there are also more innovative uses of delft-style designs on non-pottery pieces. Throughout 2015 we’ll see more delft styling on fabrics and wallpapers, which I’m really excited about.

Delft styling holds a special place in my heart. Like me, delft pottery and designs have Dutch heritage. Secondly, my home as a child was brimming with beautiful delft nic naks. When I see delft now, I am reminded not only of the happy times of my childhood, but also of my family heritage.

TRADITIONAL BATHROOMS

The bathrooms of 2015 will heavily feature traditional Victorian-era elements, according to Claire. This trend will suit Australians perfectly, particularly in renovations of Queenslanders or worker’s cottages. The interior wood paneling in these older houses lends itself perfectly to a period-styled bathroom.

I would caution against going completely traditional though. If you’re like me, your bathroom will be a sanctuary of sorts – a place where you can go to escape and get centred. For this reason, the bathroom still needs to have personality. Pair your clawfoot tub and ornate fixtures with patterned wallpaper, familiar artworks and soft furnishings to ensure your bathroom space still has character.

COMMUNAL KITCHENS

Claire suggests that the increasing appreciation of foodie lifestyles will see kitchens becoming more like living rooms in 2015. Kitchen spaces will spill out into sitting and dining areas so that the act of cooking and the act of eating are not separated.

I totally agree. Kitchens are one of the most important focal points in a home. We tend to gather in the kitchen with our closest friends when we entertain, so it makes sense for these spaces to become more inviting.

Unfortunately, many Australians aren’t in a position to completely remodel their kitchens again. We’ve just gone through a renovation boom and many of us spent a lot of money to install the ultra-sleek, ultra-modern styles that were popular a few years back. Many of us don’t have the time or energy to redo our kitchens again, even if we’d really like to make them more livable.

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There are a few small changes that can make a huge impact. The simplest thing you can do is to replace your light bulbs. Warm lighting will do wonders. Consider bringing a lamp into the kitchen that you can use instead of the down lights to create an inviting mood when you’re entertaining. (I’d do all the chopping and cutting in the bright light though – mood lighting and sharp blades don’t mix.)

If you’ve got a little bit of money up your sleeve, I would look at removing that cold, clinical glass splashback. Simply tiling the splashback area can bring life back into the kitchen, particularly if you can work in some of those rich blues and whites I was talking about earlier.

The chrome should go too. Replace your sinks, taps and handles with something that’s got a little more life. Bronze or black fixtures are really popular at the moment, have a lot of personality and can be sourced easily.

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Overall, Claire has been right on the money with her style guide for 2015. The trends she’s outlined are beautiful and will make for inviting spaces, particularly if you consider your local context during the planning stages and make a few small alterations to suit.

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