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Sept. 21, 2017 | Natalie Noble

New year, new look

Alykhan Velji talks top design trends for 2018

Whether planning a design overhaul or revitalizing a favourite space, award-winning designer Alykhan Velji has his finger on the pulse of what's up-and-coming in the design world. With that in mind, here are three of his predictions for Calgary's top design trends in 2018. Retro Refined


"Most people think that retro is outdated. However, I am seeing a huge resurgence in the mid-century style in all aspects of design," said Velji. "Not only is it a style I adore, but I think it can be incorporated into so many different design styles."

Essential elements of this design style include walnut or teak wood tones for cabinets and wall applications, as well as wallpaper applications that give a nod to the retro, but take the look to another level.


In order to avoid completely replicating a space from the past, Velji suggests adding unexpected pieces that heighten interest and variety. "I always find that curated spaces with a mix of styles help to create dynamic spaces, and ones that have interest and personality," he said.

Featuring heavily textured and coloured marbles, such as Kenya Black or Verde Borgogna, and incorporating macramé or woven textures in accessories and rugs keeps this look interesting and fresh. All this texture can be balanced with simplified window treatments.

"The key to this look is not to over do it," said Velji. "Using retro elements in small doses and pairing them with other styles make it all work and look refined."

Velji draws retro inspiration from his visits to Palm Springs, which he calls his happy place. "It's the mecca of mid-century design," he said. "They have really come to fine tune the ways to make the retro look more refined and in the now."


Navy State of Mind

Courtesy Klassen Photography

"Navy has become the new neutral in design," said Velji. "We are seeing it on walls, furniture, cabinetry and accessories. It is a lovely tone that adds sophistication and regality to a space."

Courtesy Klassen Photography

To add impact when working with this style, navy pairs beautifully with other bold colours. Velji and his team like to pair navy with a variety of colours, from oranges and purples to pinks and greens. "This makes it a versatile colour to suit so many different styles of spaces," he said. "I love seeing navy on the walls, and I feel it is a great way to add some drama, especially in a dining room."

When designing a space with navy, accents in brass and very dark or light oak wood tones compliment the colour and energy.

Velji says an added advantage to navy is its versatility – it can be used in children's rooms as effortlessly as a grown-up retreat. "The possibilities with navy are endless," he said.

The New Organic

Courtesy Phil Crozier

"This look has a more casual sensibility and less rules to follow," said Velji. "It's more care free."

Courtesy Phil Crozier

The organic ambiance is achieved through key elements, such as lighter wood tones (e.g., white oak), black-metal accents and woven textures. Velji prefers to add interest by contrasting these elements with modern art pieces and tribal or Persian rugs.

"Think bohemian meets modern, with lots of textures, patterns and wood tones mixed with clean-lined architectural elements and furniture pieces," said Velji.

Tagged: Alykhan Velji | Alykhan Velji Designs | Design | Feature | home and design | House & Home | interior design | Palm Springs

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