If you’re planning a major renovation or building a new home, we’re sure you’re currently drowning in design magazines, have 150+ browser tabs open and are probably no less decided than you were 4 hours ago when you started (yes, it’s already been 4 hours!). To make things a little easier, we’ve gathered up the latest living room design trends for the rest of 2016, and into 2017, and put them right here in one place. Below you’ll find what’s in and what’s timeless, allowing you to start to sculpt the living room of your dreams.
Metallics are definitely on-trend this year, with a huge push continuing towards bronze and copper metal furnishings, sculptures, artworks, and fittings. While these metals generally work with every colour scheme, they are better with darker shades like darker greys and blacks where they can truly stand out in a bright but texturally interesting way. The beaten or hammered look is particularly striking for artworks like plates or sculptures and picture frames. Combining metallic fittings with natural materials like wood and stone is also a great option. Try combining live edge furniture with ornate metal capping, or adding metal edges to rustic furniture pieces. Metallics other than silver are also becoming incredibly popular in bathrooms and kitchens as taps and faucets, or other traditionally metal fittings.
Don’t be afraid to mix metallics either. Done right, it can add a whole new level of style to your home. Image source.
Bringing the outdoors in is particularly popular in Australia where our landscapes are so diverse. There are many ways to introduce nature into your home, so here are some of our favourites;
- Nature feature walls – Forget colours and images – Why not bring a wall to life! Line it with shelves of wooden panelling to store small potted plants in and allow them to grow, sending a gorgeous scent through the home and adding immense depth and character to your living room. If shelves aren’t your idea of fun, try lining the wall with lattice and planting vines at the base then watch them slowly take over your wall in the coming months. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can combine a stone feature wall with plants and a water feature to create an inside oasis.
Bring your walls to life – literally. Image source.
- Feature Plants – Having large indoor plants throughout your living room adds beautiful scenery and ambience. For added aesthetics, try clever light that highlights not only the plants themselves, but transforms your plants into floor or bench lamps. If you’ve ever seen a garden lit up at night, it’s pure magic, so imagine the effect inside.
A giant, oversized plant becomes the focal point of a room and adds a pop of bright, natural colour to space.
- Live edge furniture – Live edge furniture has an amazing effect as each piece is unique. These pieces not only present beautifully but become great discussion pieces for you and your guests. Combining these live edge pieces with plenty of plant life, wood and stone throughout your home truly introduces the great outdoors to your living room.
Live-edge doesn’t have to stop at furniture either – we love these gorgeous wooden shelves become a feature in a combined living/kitchen area. Image source.
Smart home technology is ever-increasing in its popularity and it’s no surprise why. As technology advances and assimilates into our life more and more, it’s no wonder people see the huge benefit of being able to control lighting, air conditioning, security and audio visual equipment all from multifunction wall panels or your smartphone. The best way to go about this is to create a list of what you’d like to control and then speak to a specialist to see the possibilities and how they align with your budget. As popularity grows, prices fall, so you may be pleasantly surprised what some smart home options can cost. Some tips to make your smarthome more personal are;
- Lighting zones – Aside from your standard on and off functions, you can program in particularly lighting combinations or ‘moods’. For example, you could have a ‘dinner party’ mode that turns on dim lights above the dining table and highlights artworks in a soft glow but keeps other brighter lights switched off to maintain ambience. There’s a huge range of combinations to choose from, so be sure to think of the ways you use the room and what you’d like to control at the touch of a single button
Set the mood with the click of a button. Image source.
- Linking it all – how about pressing a button that turns on certain lights, switches the air-con on to a certain temperature and switches on your favourite music to designated rooms?
- Master functions – Look at functions like ‘leaving home’ where you can ensure all the lights and the air-con are off while at the same time turning the security system on. No more running around checking everything is locked/off/on/open/closed – it’s just a simple button as you head out the door.
That smooth satin finish is on-trend this year, and while some will say it’s taken over from metallics, we believe the combination is the true winner. The contrast of textures and colours are glorious. Hammered copper, mixed with smooth black or rustic bronze with smooth white – these rich and vibrant colours mixed with sophisticated duller tones produce an aesthetic that’s lively and varied. Light fittings and chalkboard feature walls are great examples of matte finishes growing in popularity.
A matte grey wall may seem too heavy in theory, but here’s it’s executed perfectly, combined with a hint of metallic and marble, and plenty of texture from the rug and throws. Image source.
Pastel colours throughout the living room are gaining in popularity. The combination of retro flashback and modern style, pastels like pale greens, blues and pinks are used extensively for feature walls, as well as standard wall colours. The pastels also refer to furniture choices, with 70’s retro furniture making a strong comeback. Generally speaking, pair your pastels with lighter colour woods, lighter shades of primary colours like whites, skin tones, and light greys.
Pastels bring a bright and airy feel to this small space, and make it feel bigger. Image source.
The eclectic style, sometimes referred to as ‘messamilist’ is the art of throwing together furniture, art and colours seemingly at random to create a truly unique and ‘out-there’ overall design. While it may look like you just walk into a textiles shop with a blindfold on and point at what you want to purchase, there is a method to the madness. Generally, you should be aiming to do one of two things – match basic primary colours but change textures and overall design categories, or deliberately choose something so starkly contrasting it’s obvious it’s intentional. Perhaps unsurprisingly, antique and op-shop stores are going to be your best friend. Look for furniture made with natural materials, and look for art that’s vibrant and ‘unusual’. Happy hunting!
High-end and op-shop style come together to create a perfectly polished yet not too “done” look. Image source.
Black & White
In absolute contrast to eclectic, you could go for the minimalist style of black and white. Creating a unique and lasting impression using just these two shades isn’t as difficult as you may think. The key is textures. Firstly decide on the surrounding walls, then choose the opposite for your primary furniture. Use textured paint to bring the wall alive, then use smooth black leather sofas and rustic black cabinets and bookshelves for example. Or the exact opposite if you like! The key is to keep the two tones contrasting, equal amounts of light and dark, while changing textures like fabric, paints or textiles to create the difference.
You’ll never need to worry about clashing colours when sticking to black and white. Image source.
Think chesterfield sofas, ornate wooden cabinetry, minimal technology, natural earthy tones like browns and tans. This style is great to recreating traditional elegance, just minus the servants because that’s definitely out of trend. Look to pair these furnishings with beautiful silverware and servery to complete the look. Alternately, combining some of these furnishings with a very modern style room is the key to achieving the ‘New York Loft’ style. For example, you can match a chesterfield sofa in front of an exposed brick wall with some vibrant artwork (like comic style). Completing either of these looks may not be cheap though, so make use of antique stores and online marketplaces if you’re on a restricted budget.
Remember that traditional doesn’t have to mean uptight. This living room looks classy and classic, while still looking cosy and cool. Image source.
If you prefer the tech-free homely feel, then cottage-style rooms are back in trend regardless of whether you’re in your home surrounded by acreage or in an apartment surrounded by…well, more apartments. Exposed floors, preferably stone or brick set the style, with rustic and/or antique furniture with their natural colours making up the furniture component. Look to mix fabrics and these natural materials to create the right country-fuelled design. Metal-wire styled artworks, lighting and chairs are perfect, with fabric sofas covered in cushions. And if floral is your thing, you have our permission to go wild!
Vintage florals and a plush couch Create the perfect place to cosy up with a book.
For some parting words of wisdom, remember that these trends exist individually, not in combination, so if you’re planning a high-tech nature-filled pastel metallic low-tech cottage black-and-white eclectic-traditional living room, you might’ve missed our point a bit! Explore these styles and then hit the stores with a clearer design at the front of your mind. Be inspired, be excited, and most of all be you – uniqueness can be the ticket to creating something always on-trend. Oh and just in case you’re wondering, BetaView’s range of aluminium doors and windows work with all the above effortlessly. Yeah yeah, we know, we have it easy, but hey at least that’s one less thing to worry about! Good luck, designers!