Architectural Design Trends To Watch Out For In 2017
Mixed metals and plaster finishes



The industrial look is set to remain popular into the coming year, but with a softer and more modern twist. White plaster coating for metal fixtures is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in architectural design – especially for light fittings, railings and even furniture. It gives a clean and light edge to otherwise dull nickel and brass, and is a very versatile way to add sophisticated style to a room or space. Designers such as Bernhardt have been experimenting with the white resin finish, which is a great alternative to plaster for fittings that might take a lot of wear and tear. Apply this style along with clear glass panels and big windows, exposed masonry and dark matte feature walls in grays and navy blues. “Mixed metals are a bold and daring look which doesn’t always suit a living space,” says Belinda McMahon of Your Home Today. “You can take the edge off a harsh fixture with a softer and more appealing white finish.”



Retro materials coming back



Two previously loved and now neglected mediums are making waves in the design world once more. Terracotta and cork may feel like they belong in decades past, but both are making a modern resurgence – with a few reforms, of course. Consider chunky terracotta tiles in kitchens and conservatories, or even in living rooms where the fire can warm them on cold winter nights. Distressed edges and faded, chunky tiles are a must to pull off this look: clinical, straight clean tiles will leave a room looking dark and old. Cork for wall coverings? It may sound a little unusual, but the thick, soft material is ideal for soundproofing and insulating large spaces – and it can be very useful for pinning and tacking up artwork, reminders and other wall pieces. It also looks great when used for feature walls, or to break up large expanses of flat, dull space. Consider cork under glass for a natural, blended approach to furniture and architectural features. “We recently created cork and glass counters for a client’s kitchen,” says Home-spaces’ designer Marcus Bilson. “It was at their suggestion and we had to admit, the usual but stylish finished piece was incredible to look at.”



The new black is… black



Instead of the bright white kitchens of the past few years, matte black is back with a vengeance. Smooth chrome and finished steel are 2017’s preferred finishes for everything from walls and flooring to appliances and counter tops. Offset with lots of open space, bright white LED lighting and an abundance of windows to make a striking statement in black without losing light and visibility. Keep it simple and clutter free if you choose this trend – over-filling a black space will make it feel claustrophobic and cramped. Instead, use fold-away worktops and hidden drawer and cupboard space with easy-access push panels to make best use of the space while still keeping things open.



Natural bathrooms for organic relaxation



Bathroom spaces are getting a big design makeover this year. Travel trends can be spotted in the upcoming bathroom design world – millennials’ influence is apparent in exotic furnishings, specific ‘wellness area’ designs and the influx of natural materials. Stripped hardwoods are a popular choice for bathtubs and showers, as well as for floors and wall paneling. Where space allows, bring nature indoors with large, sumptuous planters of greenery or encourage climbers and creepers on an indoor trellis wall. Ceramic is an excellent partner for this natural wood look, if you need a more robust surface. It suits shower trays and sinks well, but can also be used for innovative counters and vanity units, and even as quirky flooring. Pick out specific features in wood if the whole look is a little too much for you – towel rails, cabinets, window sills and kick boards look beautiful in cool pine or warm rosewood. Reclaimed materials, re-purposed for the bathroom are also a big part of this eclectic trend: barrels, buckets and pallets can be adapted to make almost any feature.