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“At 23:56 on 23rd October 1963, Zambians rose in reverence of the Union Jack, the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom, for the last time as it lowered, signifying the end of British rule in Zambia.”

― Precious Mwansa-Chisa

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Need to create more space in your room? Try removing the doors to create doorways. It makes the room look bigger.

Don’t shy away from colour either, paint your walls in soft hues like blue and green to make your room seem larger and more inviting.

A house is only a home once you invest time in it, the space has to be welcoming and have your imprint on it. Interior design is the key aspect to making any house a home. As it is with Art and Fashion, Interior Design has its trends, some that are timeless and others that are decided upon by the industry leaders. For 2018, don’t be surprised if trends from 2017 carry over into the year. The main ones to observe are Colour, Texture and Wallpaper.

According to The Lux Pad, “Greenery has been a rising trend for a while now, with more and more people filling their homes with foliage in a bid to counteract our increasingly urban lives.” So be ready to see neutral or white spaces with touches of green, whether that’s in the form of painted walls, wallpaper, sofa cushions or other accents.

Arighi Bianchi, a UK based furniture store, predicts that the sage green colour palette will be extremely popular as it can also be mixed with neutral colours. If greenery isn’t your thing (we do live in Lusaka which has beautiful landscapes and back gardens) then perhaps jewel tones are the 2018 trend for you. Jewel colours are basically colours based on jewel tones such as amethyst, emerald, sapphire, ruby, garnet and citrine. These colours can be very soft and welcoming when used as accents alongside white or neutral spaces.

2018 is not the year of minimalism in terms of colour, it is the year of eclecticism, with dark and moody colours taking centre stage. What will take the place of dark blues and bronze shades as well as deep yellows will be grey, beige and the combination of the two ‘greige’. Any of these darker colours can perfectly offset a white environment or sit well with the sage green colour palette.

“A year or two ago colour blocking was in, now the colours are toned down. People are using greys or turquoise which is a new colour I find clients are still learning about. Its new to them. The other great thing about toning down your colours in terms of paint is that you can now use accessories that are bright.” Ackate Kalaba from Zambian Interior design company, Black Apple Décor explains.

Ackate notes, “In Zambia not a lot of young people can afford to live in a big space, a lot of people live in flats. But there are tricks you can use to make the space bigger, such as using mirrors to create the illusion of space. You also have to be careful about what colours you use. Don’t paint a small space with a dark colour throughout. Introduce white and then accessorise with colour in terms of carpet or cushions.

Texture in 2018 will be defined by three trends, Metals, Concrete and Wood. These will create the mood and set the tone of your space. Mixed metals is a trend that will be carried over from 2017, the use of brass, bronze and our very own copper will be popular as there are subtle ways to incorporate them into your home. You can add metallic accents in the kitchen or bathroom with copper sinks. For more subtlety you can use any of these trending metals on your door knobs, lighting fixtures, window settings or bar stools.

Contemporary cabinet and cups

Wood has already been used in creative ways over the last three years with the rise of palette furniture, which is a form of upcycling wood. Wood is back in the form of sun-bleached or dark focusing on the contrasts of outdoor/natural versus stained and rich.  Cork accents will feature in interior design, in fact Zambia’s own The Letterist  recently did a Valentines collection of cork drink coasters that featured song titles from the likes of singers Sade and Bruno Mars.

Concrete is no longer about leaving raw unfinished concrete walls in your interior, but you can add different finishes and textures. Concrete can be incorporated as seen at the Lusaka Latitude 15 hotel as a base for a bed, using a hollowed out or slab as the base you put your mattress onto. One could also incorporate concrete into the kitchen and bathrooms as a counter top, bathtub or sink. The thing that makes this texture individual to your home is the finish, you can use edging, broom finish, expose aggregate finish, salt finish, concrete stain and many other types of finish.

Wallpaper follows suit with the colour trends, with tropical wallpaper taking centre stage featuring green leaves. Pastel shades in wall paper will also work well within the sage green palette and will reflect in a minimalist home.

The fourth trend is Art-inspired wallpaper. This is wallpaper that incorporates the works of your favorite artists whether it be Monet, Van Gogh or Picasso.  Ackate insists that in Lusaka wallpaper is becoming popular even though it is not the most affordable material, “It doesn’t limit the kind of décor you can put in your house, and you can now clean and wash the new style of wallpaper as it is more durable. If you are renting a space its easy to use wallpaper as it won’t damage your wall or paint.”

All in all, trends come and go but one thing remains the same, your house has to be a reflection of who you are. Consult an expert, think about what you like and what you don’t like and then incorporate the current trends. After all your home is the space you inhabit.

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