The biggest interior design trends of 2018

The year that was defined by millennial pinks, terrazzo tiling and resort-style living. But the design-savvy are predicting a shift in the way we’re set to decorate our homes in 2018.

Those who followed our interior advice in 2017 will be happy to hear that marble, jewel tones and understated luxury are here to stay, but the few who purchased a millennial pink couch on a whim may want to go digging in that miscellaneous kitchen drawer for the receipt…

Here, three Australian experts put forward their interior design predictions for the year ahead.

The panel:

David Hicks, interior designer and author of Intimate
Nat Wheeler, co-founder of Norsu Interiors
Mia Lake, interior design director at Vic Lake Architecture

Colours of the earth are embraced

The Pantone Colour Institute named ultraviolet as 2018’s hue of choice. The whimsical purple, described as a “dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade”, gives a prolific nod to the feminist movement. As Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the colour authority, stated in a press release last month, ultraviolet promises to “take our awareness and potential to a higher level”.

“When we deal with fashionable colours, we suggest using them in items that can be interchanged later,” David Hicks advises.

“Accessories are a great start – from glass vases to bowls and cushions, even throws and smaller upholstered items such as chairs also work, as they can be changed in the future quite easily.”

Classic Modern Scroll Arm Velvet large Love Seat Sofa. Picture: Amazon

All experts agree that pastel pink will make way for more natural, peachy, and earthy tones. Think terracotta, watermelon red and sienna. “Even stronger rust and reds will be popular as the year goes on,” David adds.

True blue homes are also invited to take inspiration from the Australian outback. “Bring warmth and calm to your interiors through the use of dusty blues, burnt oranges and dull greens in homewares and decor,” says Mia Lake.

Sienna and peach tones are perfectly complemented by sage greens. Styling: Bree Leech. Picture: Lisa Cohen / Dulux Australia

Textures take a luxurious turn

Expect to see luxurious velvets take centre stage in 2018, particularly in feature jewel tones, says Mia.

“Create opulence through soft furnishings and upholstery. Look to emerald (great to complement natural surroundings), ruby (a rich accent colour to showcase in entryways), and sapphire (more suited to bedrooms for its relaxing and calming effect).”

We’re to see a surge in the layering of textures, too, says Nat Wheeler. “The desire for natural linens, plush fabrics and chunky throws will remain, providing homes understated elegance and cosiness,” she explains, adding: “This soft layering evokes a casual and chilled vibe.”

While cushions are seen as a gateway into the velvet trend, bold decorators may be daring enough to invest in a velvet couch. Picture: Freedom

Patterns take place in natural forms

While geometric patterns and bone inlay had a moment in 2017, David predicts that these will phase out, making way for marble to reign in the coming months.

“Terrazzo marble and particularly those with a honed, matte finish will continue to be a hit,” he says.

Nat agrees, and foresees a huge increase in the use of pink and earthy-toned terrazzo, particularly in the bathroom.

Decor drops the rules

In 2018, a room won’t just be defined by its four walls; rather the ceiling will be used as a fifth.

Patterns or wallpaper can make for a statement ceiling, while a more solid hue can lift your ceiling to new heights. Timber beams offer a more natural alternative and add character to any modern space.

”We will gravitate towards darker woods, which evoke moodier aesthetics with less blonde timbers – ready to challenge our Scandi friends,” says Nat.

“There’s very much a ‘no rules apply’ approach to decor in 2018,” says Mia. “We will be collating by colour instead of style and introducing a more eclectic mix of decor based on personal style, not trend.”

But perhaps the biggest and most drastic change of all will be seen in the bathroom and kitchen. It’s no secret that white has been the go-to for the last decade, but all black kitchens and bathrooms will command attention this year, David affirms.

Those thinking of embarking on a bathroom or kitchen renovation should be aware, however, that the time for rose gold tapware and fixtures has now passed. Instead, gravitate towards brushed gold or simple silver.

An all-black kitchen is modern and moody. Picture: Three Birds Renovations

Homewares are the window to the soul

While the showroom-look has dominated Pinterest boards over the last few years, our experts can agree that 2018 is the time to showcase personal style in the home. Of course, the easiest way to do this is in the finer, more interchangeable details.

“Feature dinnerware is definitely making a comeback,” says Mia. “With a mix and match attitude, dinnerware with character and impact will be embraced.”

Invest in vases, bowls and sculptures that reflect your own style values. Picture: Freedom

“We’re moving away from structured and measured interior design into more free-flowing rustic and boho styling using organic materials,” seconds Nat.

Scatter cushions that feature a mix of unexpected and contrasting colours are a great place to start, as are luxe vases, bowls and small sculptures.

Furniture features both form and function

“In 2017 we saw an abundance of wicker and rattan furniture and lighting incorporated into spaces to suit our summery and laid-back Australian culture,” Nat recalls. “We don’t see this trend ending soon.”

David agrees, and sees storage and display coming together harmoniously. “We can expect to see organic shapes in furniture, lighting and cabinetry. Not only that, but we’ll see concealed storage take a back step for more freestanding cabinets, glass doors on cupboards and feature shelving.”

Pull it all together by keeping tonal clusters in mind. “For the brave, this may be through bigger pieces such as occasional chairs, rugs and art,” says Mia. “For those less brave, a small cluster of ceramics on a dining table, kitchen island or bookshelf is a great way to be ‘on trend’ without impeding on a space.”

Don’t hide your possessions, display them with pride. Picture: Designbx

Originally published as The biggest interior design trends of 2018 by Katie Skelly. Author at