Creating styles, making statements

01 Apr 2016 / 14:24 H.

    ALONG with the rise in social media and the need for networking sites, visual bookmarking website Pinterest has been gaining popularity. Late last year it sent out a board called "Pinterest 100 for 2016", a "platform" featuring a collection of trending pins under the "popular" theme focusing on various aspects of life. Interior decor for the homestead was included.
    SOPHISTICATED LUXURY
    Metallic wallpapers are receiving growing interest, an alternative that is rich in texture to its flat counterpart.
    The "soft posh" look is achieved by using widely spaced motifs of organic patterns that work well in a neutral-coloured room. Grasscloth textures are a popular choice for halls due to its rustic texture.
    Damask patterns are reminiscent of high-end hotels, and are frequently used in one of the most neglected parts of the home, the bathroom. Metallic wallpapers can also be used to accent walls, but some more creative homeowners have used metallic wallpapers to create art panels in bedrooms, such as gold branches to match an oriental-styled bedroom.
    There are 50 shades of grey (or so, they say...) and chances are, you can implement every one of these hues in your home in some way or other.
    While gunmetal grey is marked as the "it" colour of the year by Pinterest, its lighter counterparts are better aligned with our weather. Use light greys to create the bright feeling that comes with a white room.
    Tones such as these also add a soft touch to interiors. To play it up, use two different shades of grey for a duo-tone wall, using the lighter shade on top to add more height to the room.
    A dark grey accentuated wall can be used to draw attention to a particular object, such as a reading nook or a photo gallery. This also adds some character to interiors.
    Sophisticated and chic, with a touch of modernism, black and white interiors are still very much in. However, this year's trend gravitates towards softening the harsh effects of the hues by introducing natural elements into a room.
    Give a much-needed colour boost to black and white interiors by adding small potted plants, as vibrant greens not only stand out, but is refreshing and brings about a zen-like ambience.

    HINT OF MOTHERLAND
    For a little Malaysian touch, bring in some light-coloured rattan furniture such as armchairs or coffee tables.
    You could alternate this with other small elements like little pieces of decoration from home or your kampung. These not only add character, but induces some charm and warmth into any black and white interiors.
    Fur rugs ... preferably those that resemble one, in light neutral shades add a hint of cosy comfort and is perfect for places of relaxation especially in bedrooms and living rooms.
    This adds some "exotic" to interiors, commanding a sense of adventure, drama and excitement to muted interiors. However, the most important thing to bear in mind when decorating a black and white room is to ensure sufficient natural light comes through.
    Scandinavian interiors are basically decorated in black and white, playing heavily on white walls and floors. These are complemented with wooden furniture that feature clean-cut lines and smooth curved edges.
    Although this inspiration has been around for some time, it is still the fad and does not seem to be dying out anytime soon.
    Its modern minimalist design is simple to recreate and comes as a perfect start for budding interior designers.
    GET GRAPHIC
    While base colours seem to be pretty mild for 2016, flooring predictions are making a statement this year with geometric tiles.
    When walls are painted in white, black or grey, geometric tiles give the otherwise bland room a strong personality.
    The wide variety of geometric tiles available in the market makes it easy to complement whichever theme a room dons, be it contemporary or neutral.
    An added benefit in using tiles is its resilience and durability, ease of cleaning, and better dispersing of heat, which is a great help in keeping cool during the hotter months.
    Bathrooms also seem to be on the receiving end of this trend, with a particular interest in cube patterns that offer a 3D illusion or hexagons for a colour splash.
    With predictions of black, white and grey as the go-to colours for rooms this year, decorations in the room will have a bigger role to play in ensuring there is a balance in colour.
    Graphic throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to do so, as they can be purchased from almost anywhere and are affordable in price too.
    HOMEGROWN AND ARTISANAL
    With a growing number of shops promoting local goods, geometric throw pillows could be one way of showing support for homegrown artists and their designs.
    A batik throw pillow adds a truly Malaysian touch to the room with its intricate designs and bold colours.
    Go for geometric patterns if you are looking to complement the whites and blacks of any room. In a Scandinavian-inspired interior, grab a few pillows in striking colours such as glittering gold or neon pink.
    These help bring about a vibrancy to an otherwise muted interior.
    The nomadic tribes of Africa are a big source of inspiration this year with their bold textiles, artwork and home accessories.
    As the world's second largest continent in the world, Africa offers a myriad of inspirations when it comes to decorating one's home.
    Congolese "kuba" cloths are complex embroidery on palm leaf fibres. These make perfect statement wall pieces in the living room with its intricate and geometric patterns.
    For something different, Pacific Island masks can also be hung on the walls, in place of the usual photo gallery that lines the stairway.
    Add a traditional African touch to the living room by using coffee tables inspired by d'jembe drums or wooden ones carved with tribal designs.
    Moroccan rugs are also available in various designs, making it an eye-catcher and an easy choice to decorate any room, whether you are looking for neutral (Beni Ourain rugs) or bright and lively colours (Berber rugs).
    A TOUCH OF COSINESS
    Break out from the mundane by hanging tapestries instead of framed photos.
    Tapestries are intricately woven wall hangings that, in olden times, recorded historic tales and stories, which are sometimes used as portraits.
    Such intricate tapestries, however, would cost a lot more time and money to produce; which is why Pinterest suggests smaller scale woven wall hangings that invoke a 70s feel.
    The best part about this trend is that it is simple and can be done at home with the right materials and instructions from online tutorials.
    To add a little vintage pop to the room, hang up a woven wall hanging above the bed or table.
    Woven wall hangings come in every size, design and shape, so you can be sure to find one that suits your taste.
    With such a diverse option of trends to attempt, it is best to always start small instead of going all-out and implementing all trends at once. Trends are merely suggestions after all.
    It is simply the latest in-thing. For a sense of your own style, decorate your home how best you like it, as a home should reflect the people who live in it.

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