Decor must-haves for the new year

Add more curves and colours, nature-inspired designs and reused furniture to your living space

December 30, 2022 03:27 pm | Updated 05:51 pm IST

COVID-19 upended the way we live and left us with a greater appreciation of zen homes, something that we are no longer willing to give up. And with uncertainty and stress continuing to rule the roost, designers believe that choices that encourage calm, comfort, and constancy, will be cultivated through 2023. What can homeowners look forward to in the New Year?

Modernist curves

Curves make us feel cocooned and create new dimensions and warm spaces. The year 2022 saw us move away from straight lines and edges to modernist curves and rounded ends, and this will continue. “Be it arched doorways and windows, curved couches, or domed lighting fixtures, curves soften a room, add interesting dimensions, and create movement,” says Adhiraj Sharma, a New Delhi-based designer.

Other small ways to add sinuous flair to your room include curved graphics on wallpaper, circular rugs, rounded chairs, and curvilinear lamps.

Bursts of colour

Time was when a neutral shade seemed to be everyone’s colour of choice, but vibrant palettes have taken centre stage since then. Beiges, greys, and whites will never truly be gone, but cheerful colours — even if they are seen as accents — are set to make a reappearance.

The colour picks for 2023 by Pantone (Viva Magenta), Dulux (Vining Ivy), and Coloro + WGSN (Digital Lavender) showcase that people want to add contrast and dimension to their homes to up the feeling of cosiness and warmth. Even neutrals are warming up as shown by the choices made by Sherwin-Williams (Redend Point) and Dutch Boy (Rustic Greige).

“I feel that a common neutral running through the home, with varied accent colours creating a splash in different rooms will be one of the best ways to create constancy and distinction in spaces,” says Sonali Lele Desai, a Vadodara-based architect.

Multi-use spaces

The pandemic gave every home many new avatars. The home wasn’t just a home; it was an office, a school, gym, a yoga studio, a bakery, a play centre, a movie theatre and more, all rolled into one. Much like the Room of Requirement in Harry Potter’s beloved Hogwarts, it was a montage of shifting spaces that kept pace with our changing needs.

Multi-use areas will continue to be in demand in the new year as we explore all spaces to see what purpose they can serve than the one they traditionally do. Think kitchens with islands that work as homework stations, home offices that double up as yoga studios, and patios that are gardens and entertainment areas.

Biophilic choices

Biophilia, which means love of nature, underlines our innate attraction to nature and natural processes. In terms of design, this translates into human-centred solutions integrated with natural elements and processes. However, biophilic design is more than just adding plants to indoor spaces. It’s designing a space in a way that enhances people’s mental and physical well-being.

“Taking its cues from nature, which has no straight lines and immense fractal complexity, nature-inspired designs can help make us happier, more creative, reduce stress, amp up focus, increase productivity, and even enhance immunity,” says Shardul Kansara, a Rajkot-based architect.

In modern homes, this translates into maximising natural lighting (more windows and even skylights) along with the use of curves, simple patterns, and natural materials (such as bamboo, cork, wood, stone, terracotta).

Sustainable homes

Sustainability continues to be a buzzword in every field, and interior design is no different. In the home, sustainability translates into methods and means that generate less waste, and involve more reuse, reduced maintenance, and lower life-cycle environmental impacts.

“The use of local and non-toxic building materials will rise. Installation of solar panels, optimum use of daylighting, recycling furniture, and composting kitchen waste are other ways that households can work towards sustainability,” Kansara says.

What else can you do? “Install low-flow taps and flushes, choose the most energy-efficient appliances, bring home native plant life, use indoor air purifying plants (instead of appliances), and try and reduce/ reuse/ recycle all that you can,” Sonali advises.

Upcycled furniture

The days of cookie-cutter furniture are long gone. A hankering for a sustainable life is meaning that most of us are looking for long-lasting options. No more shiny plastic trolleys and stools, please!

“Most of us are looking for furniture that has a story behind it, we’re embracing the craft that went into an old wooden armchair,” says Adhiraj, adding that the interest in vintage and reused furniture is good for “homes and the environment”.

Old furniture has character, and can be stripped down and upcycled in myriad ways. Sofas, chairs, book cases, end tables, centre tables, dining chairs, bed headboards — it may seem like trash on the roadside, but can be turned into one-of-a-kind treasure with some sandpaper, paint, decoupage materials (if you are the DIYing kind) or just by instructing your carpenter.

Simplifying spaces

Mary Kondo introduced us to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2011, but hasn’t grandma been chanting the “a place for everything, and everything in its place” mantra for aeons?

Simplifying your home — and consequently your life — means you have fewer things vying for your attention, time, and energy.

Extreme minimalism may not be for you, but simplifying your rooms can make you happier and help you find peace. How can you do it? Set up a home maintenance plan (daily, weekly, monthly, six-monthly) to ensure that your rooms are always tidy and welcoming.

Get rid of duplicate items in your kitchen, keep kitchen and bathroom counters clean, keep a decluttering box handy (for all those things you don’t need), make (and follow) meal plans, keep your wardrobe on the sparse side, and keep only the books you love.

Joshua Becker, who runs the widely-followed Becoming Minimalist blog, says he was “weary of the time and energy being wasted on cleaning, organising, repairing, and maintaining our home”. Minimising brought intentionality in “our values and passions, finances, health, diet, spirituality, relationships, work, and pursuits”.

Apart from these trends, others we are likely to see in 2023 are wooden trim on walls, decorative borders and stencilling, enclosed kitchens, statement lamps, and craft rooms/ stations.

Whatever your home décor choices may be, the idea isn’t to create a hotel-like ambience; it’s to set up spaces that showcase perfectly imperfect charm. Much like most of us!

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