Kitchen design by German cabinetry manufacturer Siematic

New year, new design trends?

Three interior designers reveal their preference for creating functional and timeless spaces, injected with on-trend colours, products and materials. Here’s what to watch out for:

  1. Colours. Bold hues, including emerald green, will be on the scene. It is expected to thrive in homes through fabrics, accessories, and lush vegetation.
  2. Products. Timeless white kitchen, laundry and bathroom products, including vanities, will share the limelight with vibrant versions.
  3. Materials. Natural materials, like timber, bring warmth and texture to interiors. Dark timber finishes will be called on to provide character and sophistication.

Meet the designers, influencing interiors across our region


1. Kier Gregg, The Dept. of Design

Meeting designer Kierr Gregg, influencing interiors across the Canberra region

Kier Gregg
Director, The Dept. of Design

“Good design doesn’t date”


The Canberra-based interior designer believes the key is not to get too caught up in fads. Instead, she is a proponent of a classic approach, using a neutral palette as a base and applying pops of on-trend colour through accessories.

Move aside Millennial pink, Kier says “moody, richer colours” will lead the way this year.

According to Kier, this year’s hottest colour is emerald green. While it has been on the interiors scene for about 18 months, the saturated colour will continue to make a bold statement in 2018, thanks to its recent uptake by the fashion industry.

It is not just the colour green that’s thriving in residential interiors – it’s greenery, both real and artificial. A fresh take on bringing the outdoors in, Kier is working on projects where lush vegetation is being integrated into interior spaces, including bathrooms.

Integrating greenery in interior design is good and calming for the soul

Falper Quattro Zero Freestanding Bath

“Greenery is good for the soul – it’s calming,” she says. “People now spend so much time indoors and still want to feel connected to nature.”

As an interior designer, Kier sees her role as facilitating the hopes and dreams of her clients by developing a liveable, functional and creative interior. In her view, a home has soul when it tells the story of its owner’s life and journeys.

Timber and natural materials bring warmth to a space and is easy to work with.

apaiser Lotus Basin

Kier’s design picks:

  • Metallic tapware. If done well, Kier says brass tapware will not date.
  • Texture. Tactile textures inspire an organic, relaxed feel.
  • Natural materials. Timber brings warmth to a space and is easy to work with.

Natural materials bring warmth to a space and is easy to work with. Builder: Wayen Goodwin Building Services Interior designer: The Dept. of Design Joiner: Simplicity Kitchens Photographer: Vision Photography

Builder: Wayne Goodwin Building Services Interior designer: The Dept. of Design Joiner: Simplicity Kitchens Photographer: Vision Photography


2. Natalie Baker, Ruby + Soul

Meeting the designers, influencing interiors across the Canberra region

Natalie Baker
Director, Ruby + Soul

“Colours are on the agenda again”


Like Kier, the Albury-based interior designer is not a stickler for current trends. She favours the use of classical and timeless products in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry, incorporating colour in an eclectic way.

For Natalie, “an interior must have character, history and tradition” for it to feel like a home.

“Keep it simple. It is easy to get overwhelmed with what’s out there,” says Natalie. “Having one item that has history, or means something to you, can set the tone of your home.”

According to Natalie, parquet flooring will be forever at the top of her wish list – lust-worthy because of its refined, intricate beauty. While parquet flooring has never gone out of style, Natalie notes red bricks are making a comeback – and are increasingly sought after.

She also tips big things for rugs this year, complemented by artwork.

“Try and allow for a dynamic rug and a piece of artwork in your budget,” she says. “By placing the furniture on the rug, it defines the space and creates a feeling of grandeur.”

GFRC from Slab Culture

Natalie’s favourite materials:

  • Laminex. New-improved finishes prove this oldie is a goodie.
  • Terrazzo. Now being used in residential applications with stunning results.
  • Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete (GFRC). A light-weight, precast product used to create furniture and benchtops.

3. Lauren Sharman, Studio & You

Meeting the designers, influencing interiors across the Canberra region

Lauren Sharman
Director, Studio & You

“We are seeing more confidence in the use of colour in bathrooms and kitchens”


According to Lauren, neutrals will always have a place. But the emergence of a braver approach to interior design is super exciting, including colour blocking.

Rich, Australiana-style colours drawing on nature are on trend – mustard yellows, eucalyptus greens and earthy terracottas,” she says. “Deep burgundy and navy blue are also popular.”

These sophisticated palettes will extend to materials and finishes this year. Lauren says dark timber – walnuts and black stains – are the pick for flooring, joinery and furniture. The moody feel will be complemented by metallic finishes in tapware, and even joinery.

Prioritising collaboration and communication on every project, Lauren is an advocate of injecting some fun in the work, too. By making the process enjoyable for clients, the design becomes the best reflection of them – and that’s what it’s all about.

Dark timberand sophisticated palettes are back in interior design trends

Lauren’s style highlights:

  • Organic forms. The hexagon pattern will be replaced by organic forms and other geometric shapes.
  • Return to sophisticated palettes. Dark timber and bolder use of colour will replace the light and airy interior look.
  • Metallics. From joinery to tapware, the metallic look is turning heads.


We recommend:


Visit your local Southern Innovations showroom in Canberra, Goulburn, Albury or Wagga Wagga, and speak to a consultant for the full range of products available to fit your interior design needs.


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