Top 5 Design Trends for Renovators in 2018

February 8, 2018


If you are planning on renovating your home or investment property in 2018, here are the top design trends you should know. By sticking with the on-trend upgrades, you’ll be able to add value to your home or make your rental property a more desirable place to live for tenants.

Here are the design trends for 2018, as predicted by experts in Australia and around the globe.

Paint and Decorate with Earthy, Warm Colours

Last year’s whimsical pinks and watermelon hues are expected to disappear in 2018 in favour of more earthy tones. If you’re thinking of changing the paint colour on the walls, stick with more neutral earth tones like soothing browns, peach, and soft greens like sage and olive, which are more likely to fit within next year’s design trends than intense earthy colours. Save those – the reds, rust colours and terracotta – for your statement pieces.

Mia Lake, interior design director for Vic Lake Architecture, suggests looking for colour design inspiration from the Australian Outback, using dusty blues, burnt oranges and dull greens in homeware and dcor. Combine these hues with your more muted earth tones in your paint colours to achieve a warm, calm ambiance with your renovation project.


Create a Rustic-Luxury Feel with Organics

Fitting for a soft earth colour palette, 2018 interior design and renovation projects will centre around the use of natural materials. This trend is also a direct response to our high-tech lifestyle overload. Woven baskets, glass jars, clay pots and plenty of greenery are a welcome relief to smartphones, smartwatches, and even smart homes. It’s about disconnecting, a reverse from the shift in the past couple of years towards more gadget-equipped living.

For a simple renovation project, install wooden shelves on the wall. If you have reclaimed wood, even better. This will help to save space whilst also adding an attractive rustic warmth. Another area where you can make a profound shift with timber and other organics is with handles and joinery. For example, using wooden door knobs for metal cabinet doors will create a very earthy feel in a contemporary home.


Tell Your Home’s Story with Wabi Sabi

If you’re into renovating, you’ve probably already heard of Wabi Sabi – a design trend imported from Japan that a lot of designers are falling in love with. Wabi Sabi isn’t just an approach to design. It’s a life philosophy. The idea is to find beauty in imperfection. It includes handcrafted pieces that tell a story, sustainably sourced items and furniture that screams humble simplicity.

What does this mean for your home renovation plans? When picking out materials, look for items that can – or already are – ‘time worn.’ Opt for originals instead of mass-produced items. Think weathered brass fixtures as opposed to bright, shiny chrome, for example.

London-based designer Victoria Redshaw explains, These products actually become more attractive and interesting over time from use; revealing new layers of colour and texture, crackled effects, weathering and oxidisation.


Upgrade the Kitchen with Dual Countertops

Thinking of renovating your kitchen this year? This is a 2018 design trend that will make your property stand out: dual-material benchtops.

Instead of the standard luxury of granite or marble countertops or the more contemporary timber counter, designers are blending materials, creating a layered look and an architectural point of interest. From a functional kitchen perspective, a stone or wood combination is remarkably practical. Wood counter tops are more suitable for the wear and tear of preparing food and eating, whilst stone is nearly impervious to water and stands up well to high temperatures.

You get the best of both worlds, plus a kitchen feature that will make your kitchen design stand-out. This is an option to consider if you’re investing in a renovation project to boost the value of your home to make it easier to sell in a few years. A lot of homeowners will refinance their mortgage to do a major kitchen or bathroom upgrade, and then make their investment back when they sell their home.


Design with Functional Features

When renovating, another design trend to keep in mind is functional furniture and architecture. Finding creative ways to transform interior features into something practical – built-in wall shelving, cabinets and seating, heated flooring, mirrored cabinetry, sliding room dividers, staircase shelving, alcove sinks. The possibilities are endless when you think outside of the box.

2018 is expected to be a nod to the famous design quote by 20th-century architect and designer, Louis Henry Sullivan, form ever follows function. By looking at what purpose different areas of your interior could have, you can include some truly unique features when you renovate. If done well, you’ll have something that potential future buyers and renters will be willing to pay more for.


Explore these design trends to see what makes sense for your home. Whether you are renovating one room, enhancing your entire house, or are simply looking for ways to add value and interest through small changes, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found with the expected trends for 2018.

If you’re not sure where to start or what will give you the most impact for your renovation investment dollars, consult with a professional designer. With careful planning, you may be able to stretch your renovation budget and still pull off a fantastic home makeover.

Take a strategic approach to your renovation financing as well, and you may make back your renovation investment by adding value to your property. As long as you have built up enough equity, you can refinance your mortgage and include your renovation in your new loan, leaving you with simplified finances and the renovation you want.

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