One Interior Designer’s Opinion on Current Trends

By Rana Kamaly

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With the summer season coming up, many people are looking to design or redesign their homes.  We all dream about that glamorous house that feels comfortable, classy and modern.  We tend to consider the budget and durability when considering a trend, as many can be very costly.  To help you create the most stylish and modern home, Community Times talked to Ahmed Bakr, design manager and partner at Dar Group; a design, construction and project management company.

Home Automation 

Automating your home and controlling everything from a single switch or even through a mobile app has become very popular. From lights, to air conditioners, to water heaters, to curtains and doors … the list is endless. Other than watching movies at a click of a button, controlling garden lights from your bed, heating the pool from your office or turning on security cameras from the bathroom is all convenient.

“It is also fairly cost efficient, as you will save on electricity. It is the future of home design because of how fast it is evolving and how adequate it is. However, the initial installation costs may be quite expensive,” Bakr says.

Eco-Friendly Appliances 

“This is not necessarily becoming a trend because people really want to preserve the environment, but mainly because of how expensive electricity has become and is going to be.

Five years ago, we started offering people solar heaters, and at the time they would frown upon it, but today they have seen how essential it is. Putting the eco-friendly label on anything makes people assume two things: for one, it is more expensive in the short term, but cheaper along the line, which in my perspective is actually true.”

Lighting

The mix of indirect and statement lighting pieces are a major trend in 2017. “This allows you the flexibility of directing and focusing your light wherever you need without drawing too much attention to the source, while on the other hand it gives you the elegancy of directing all the attention to one master piece in your home, be it a an artistic chapeau or a painting. Warm lights are also popular now, because they are easier on the eyes and bring out the real colors in everything, unlike the white lights which make everything appear cooler.”

Velvet or Fabric Wallpaper

Wallpaper with velvet or fabric texture is this year’s fashion. “The old sixties patterns and colors are also back. Wallpaper is a great way to cut the plain color of the walls and add some texture to it, if done correctly. If you decide to use wallpaper then make sure your furniture is mostly plain, so the room does not feel too busy.”

Bakr warned us about applying wall tattoos. “They are just like stickers that peel off very quickly, leaving you with an unappealing wall. This trend started appearing this year after the rise in wallpaper prices. My advice is to disregard this trend as it is risky.”

Wood

Solid wood and laminated HDF are this year’s craze, especially in kitchens. “Even though wood prices are tripling, some people still go for it. However, those with a smaller budget turn to the more modern choice that offers them a wide variety of colors and designs. You will find that most new kitchens are either solid wood with the raw texture visible, or laminated HDF with its colorful variations.

HDF is the practical, stylish and more affordable choice, while wood is the authentic and more durable choice.”

Dark Colors

Dark walls and dark glazed doors are also very ‘in’, especially with colors like grey and emerald green, that sometimes are accompanied with colorful accessories if people are looking for a more refreshing, bold look.

Capitone

Capitone is back, especially in sofas. Especially when you mix this old-fashioned trend with other modern furniture.

Velvet and Silk Furniture and Contrasting Accessories

Unusual fabrics are becoming very popular. “This is actually a highly innovative trend, as they add a luxurious and warm feeling to your home. Plain sofas and colorful or plain cushions are also many people’s go to this year. The mixture of a dark sofa along with colored or patterned armchairs is a trend that is spreading very fast.”

General Advice

“Make sure that your home is evident with your own taste and not a mix of only what is trending. Apply what you love and feel comfortable with, as you will be living with this home for longer than what is fashionable now. Pick what feels right for you, and make sure all your family members are comfortable with the choices.

I also encourage hiring an architect or designer to inform you on what suits your space, and what would fit in harmony together. One shade of color can make all the difference, one wall brought down can open up space and one piece of lighting can bring a room to life.”

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