Sensual homes— on-trend in 2015

On-trend ideas on how to decorate, live and share

Already, 2015 is shaping up to be a vintage year — there’s a discernible vitality across inner-Sydney. Ever thirsty for the new, we’re always reinterpreting the way we live, redefining our spaces in function of moods and changing fashions. And our homes are not only a refuge from the vagaries of the day — they’re the place our personality is best expressed.

With this in mind, we asked a handful of tastemakers what they think the year is going to look, feel, sound, smell — and yes, even taste — like. If you’re rethinking your home, or looking for a new one, here’s a crop of brilliant ideas on how to decorate, live and share.

It starts with space — opening, maximising, freeing it up.

Spaced out

“As people are demanding so much more of their spaces, the new luxury really is space itself,” says interiors stylist Megan Morton.

“There’s a definite move away from overdoing it with French salon hangs and overly elaborate styling.” But we’re not talking a return to minimalism here, more a thoughtful reevaluation of the way rooms are articulated. Open, airy, chic — sight lines undisturbed.

Inside out

Throw out that large-screen TV! — “aka the Space-Invader”, laughs Megan Morton. And while you’re at it, move the furniture outdoors. Or at least, kit your outdoor areas with furniture of superior quality, as tactile and sensual as the stuff you have indoors. “Australia is making real strides in the outdoor furnishings category,” says Morton. “Innovations in materials and finishes mean that at times there’s almost no discernible difference between inside and out. Add new-generation outdoor floor coverings and perhaps a designer fire pit – because there’s nothing quite as sensational as the smell of an open fire!”

Multi task

Adding to the very bearable lightness of being is the new generation of objects that use technology to multitask in a wireless environment. By reducing the ties that bind, they also reduce visual clutter. Chris Sanderson, of London’s Future Laboratory trend forecasting agency, for instance, is excited about a new Symphonic Light Speaker: streamlined, sleek, the combined LED bulb and speaker combo streams music direct from smartphones — and combined as a chandelier or multiple spots the sound is positively orchestral.

Then, time to finesse, with a fine eye to texture and finish.

Smooth stoners

In New York, Felix Burrichter, editor of Pin-Up magazine says he senses a new fondness for polished concrete, stone and marble: “It’s as if people are seeking a new solidity as we enter an increasingly disembodied, virtual era.” And there’s something quite wonderful about the silky touch of cool, polished stone that just feels right for now. In Sydney, it’s being felt in a new appreciation of sandstone, rendered brickwork, poured cement. Let it rock!

Puffin’ stuff

To humanise all these hard surfaces and clean spaces, soft furnishings are getting softer, plumper, more rounded. Paris trend forecaster, Li Edelkoort refers to it as “the need to cuddle” and “cocoon”. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola is the mama of the movement with her work for B&B Italia (imported by Space Furniture).

Painterly palette

If that’s not enough to soften things up, interior designer Thomas Hamel recommends a silk rug in a painterly — not geometric — pattern. “They are true art pieces,” he says, “especially in silk since they shimmer and constantly change colour.”

It’s the kind of nuance that adds allure to even the harshest industrial space.

Now sit back, invite a few friends over, and relax.

Kitchen consequential

As we all know, Sydneysiders love to eat out — but are increasingly inspired by restaurant trends to influence the way they dine at home. Here are a few tips from food writer and author, Jill Dupleix on the way we’ll be eating this year.

“Stock up on spices — the restaurant-based trend for all things Indian and Bangladeshi will inspire the home kitchen as well. But this is modern Indian, so there will be buffalo milk mozzarella slathered on toasty roti bread with coriander relish, and slow-braised brisket tucked into puffy naan bread sandwiches (aka naanies). Daal and curries and yoghurt; perfect food for sharing with friends and family.”

“Casual home dining will involve groups of friends getting together in the zeitgeisty spirit of collaboration, each contributing food, wine, a pop-cocktail bar, or the offer of cleaning-up, to a shared meal.”

So, big, open spaces filled with soft, sensual furnishings and a lot of friends chipping in. 2015 — the year the senses come alive!

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