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April 18, 2018 | Geoff Geddes

Five hot design trends to make any room pop

Given our climate, it's no surprise that Calgarians spend a lot of time indoors. Fortunately, the latest design trends offer some exciting ways spice up your home's interior. From colours to curves, let Alykhan Velji of Alykhan Velji Designs and LeAnne Bunnell of LeAnne Bunnell Interiors walk you through a range of options to keep you on the cutting edge. Colour
"Muted colours in pale pinks, greens, blues and terracotta are becoming very on trend," said Velji. "They help provide a more organic look to a space and can be used as accents or on all walls. The light tones make them easy to use as neutrals or paired with other colours."

Another popular approach to colour these days is also turning heads.

"Along with classic black and white, we are finding ourselves selecting more saturated jewel tones like deep dark teal, rich masculine oxblood and strong sapphire blue," said Bunnell. "These colours show up in paint, wallpaper and textiles, and create a vibrant, sophisticated palette. Mix in a strongly patterned area rug and a signature piece of art and you have instant character."

Ethnic Influences
"Introduction of more ornate or tribal pieces mixed with modern is a look that you are seeing a lot in design," said Velji. "The mix adds some contrast and a little friction so that spaces don't look boring. I love using textural elements, such as carved side tables, or textiles, such as kilims (flat tapestry-woven carpets or rugs), to add a textural element to a space and help break things up."

With her clients, Bunnell is finding Persian rugs, especially vintage and traditional styles, making their way back into interiors.

"Whether it's a runner in the kitchen or a statement-making area rug in an office, we love them all!" she said.

According to Velji, curved furniture pieces are a hot item these days.

"You are seeing the curve design detail on chairs, coffee tables and even accent pieces like mirrors," he said. "It is a very organic look and brings softness to spaces. I think for so long we were all about clean, square lines and now we are moving away from this."

Velji is also seeing the influence of curves in architectural elements.

"I think we are so used to seeing curved entryways in architecture from either traditional homes or in late-'90s architecture, but now it is done in a more modern way," he said. "Helping to break up the hard lines of modern design, the curves create a softer look."

The return of curve appeal is seconded by Bunnell.

"Sinewy curved furniture is all the rage," she said. "We are designing a curved kitchen nook banquette for a project right now, and with the organic trend we are seeing a softening of previous crisp, rectilinear lines."

From succulents to large palm trees, Bunnell finds that greenery is really growing on her clients.
"Calgarians are embracing life back into their homes – fun planters and vessels only serve to personalize our green friends more," she said.

It's a trend that Velji is embracing in a variety of ways.

"Plants are everywhere, especially tropicals," he said. "They are a fantastic way of adding in a natural element to a space, and just as every space needs a hit of black, it now needs some greenery. From large tropical plants with big palms, to succulents done in a terrarium style, they are as low or high maintenance as you choose."

Whether in floors, textiles, showers or backsplashes, Bunnell sees Calgary homeowners becoming more tolerant of adding interest through checks, hexagons, stripes and herringbone. For his part, Velji says that's a good thing.

"Patterns are my favourite element. We use them in all different ways for designing," he said. "However, you are seeing more and more patterns being introduced with tile. Patterned tile is where it's at when it comes to design trends in entryways, mudrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. It's a great way to add either a geometric look or a Moroccan vibe to a space."

Overall, with interiors, Bunnell finds that a more pared-down aesthetic is resonating for many people.

"Personalized style and tailored living is strong, with less spaces identifying as a specific design 'style' as was the norm in the past," she said. "There is evidence of a move to more casual living and entertaining when we develop floor plans, as we see an emphasis on creating a strong character in each home. Our climate increasingly impacts our interiors, and we see comfort as the leading request."

Tagged: Alykhan Velji | Alykhan Velji Designs | colour | Design | furniture | greenery | House & Home | interior design | paint | pattern

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