21 Feb 2016

2016 is a year of practicality. The home is getting more livable, and we’re melding the concepts of beauty and function to create the ultimate space in which to live. If you’re looking to see what trends are at the forefront of the new year, we’re going to be exploring just that.

First and foremost in 2016, as just mentioned, is practicality. Over the course of the year, however, expect to see a return of Konmari Minimalism in interiors, and then a whole host of design trends from there.

Hold onto your hats, because it’s going to be a year of upheaval. Although this year’s trends are continuing on from last year rather than bucking and starting fresh, the philosophy behind the ideas is coming from a new angle.

1. Minimalism is here to stay… sort of

The Konmari Method was the buzzword to end all buzzwords in 2015. Marie Kondo’s bestseller paved the way of the ‘keep only the items that spark joy in you’ philosophy, and we’re still getting the final parts out of that mindset in 2016.

In contrast to the pristine white surfaces and stripped down minimal rooms of 2015, however, this year the Konmari is being reworked. Items that spark joy don’t have to be barren and simple; while there is a beauty in serene minimalism, this year we’re trying to make those few objects in your home stand out as the set-pieces themselves.

2. Agile working

This one started out more in the field of ergonomics, but is slowly starting to invade interior design.

Agile working and agile space refers to the design of practical implements – chairs, computer desks, kitchens – to give them a form that better suits the human body rather than ease of carpentry.

It continues on from the practicality theme discussed above, and making a space liveable doesn’t mean forgoing style. The house is a lived in space and a visual space, and it’s time we started thinking of those as indistinguishable concepts.

3. Functional decoration

Another stem from the trend of practicality, turn functional items into accessories. This year, expect to see mundane things jazzed up to become room pieces in their own light.

You’re going to see a lot of projects coming through the pipeline asking for mundane objects to take the focus. Expect couches to shine, dog-beds to sparkle, and bedspreads to catch the eye. There are some things that a house has to have out of necessity – why waste space covering up a practical eyesore when you could just make it look good instead?

A practical guide to this is simple functionality. What a living room needs is a place to recline, and optimally a wall to shove a TV screen on (there are a lot more houses forgoing this completely). That’s really it, at its core.

You can add to this, but at its heart, you can forgo a whole load of trappings if you just concentrate on the core element. The living room is a room in which to recline, so make your couch (or your beanbags, or your jumping castle — it’s your house) a stunning focal point in itself.

Add a garden to the shower, a screen to the worksurface, or fold out your living room in your garage.

This’ll come in handy on our next point, because…

4. We’re doubling up

Smarthomes aren’t going to be in this list until we actually get them right, but while we’re stuck in this awkward interim period we may as well do something about it that works.

As we approach the mythical all-encompassing black box of technology, processes are being folded in on each other and automated.

I’m sure you’re familiar with this happening outside of interior design. Your phone is your MP3 player, your planner, and your book. Your tablet is your laptop, and sometimes your phone as well!

Things-that-do-other-things is in vogue, and there are two main ways to do it (that are still divulging). We’re seeing wild and wonderful advancements from people wiring the absolute limits of their house, automating through voice and button like Rube Goldberg’s TV remote. We’re not quite up to the House Of The Future yet, but we’re getting there a lot faster than you’d imagine.

On the other side of the screen, we’re seeing people eschew redundancy, and start packing all that they need into one piece. Your TV screen and computer screen can either be the same thing, or can remote-share to each other for a similar effect. Heck, your bedroom window can be a screen, if you’d like to catch up on some natural shows before you nap.