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Decorating ideas: Hot living room design trends

By: Amy Brook-Partridge

Trend: Global Living
Make Room owner Barbara Fritsch

Make Room
315 Outram Road
#10-01 Tan Boon Liat Building
9113 1274

Technology and a global economy have made the world so much smaller, and whether you have the opportunity to travel extensively, or you simply dream of doing so, creating a worldly home that reflects your personal interests and passions is easier than you may think. Global chic has had a recent upsurge, and international design in every imaginable form is only a few keystrokes away. Globalisation has certainly helped to provide access to a diverse range of interior design styles and products.

Global living style goes far beyond maps on the wall and trinkets on the shelf. Richly layered and very personal, it honours the customs, cultures and resources of countries around the planet. A modern global style encompasses many elements: natural materials, handmade pieces or works of art, exotic textiles, bold pattern designs, extraordinary colours and shapes, and unique furnishings and accessories.

Having a global living style doesn’t mean every nook and cranny of a home has to be filled with exotic finds. Unexpected elements mixed in with your home’s main style work, too. Try patterned rugs, such as a Kelim or a Persian rug, paired with a Moroccan bedside table lamp, or place an Oriental porcelain stool as a bedside table for your master bedroom.

Alternatively, apply this trend in your living and dining space, by decorating your sofa with tropical print cushions, or combining it with an Indian recycled coffee table. Accentuate the dining room with Middle Eastern hammered-brass pendant lights, and top it all off with Native American saddle stools for extra seating.

Trend: Pre-loved, Recycled and Repurposed

Red Saga Seeds owner Jeremy Taylor

Red Saga Seeds
21 Ubi Road 1
#01-01 Cambridge Industrial Building
6744 8682

In a world of mass-produced furniture largely dominated by a particular Scandinavian company, it’s no surprise that people are looking to the past to add a bit of style and character to their living rooms. Pre-loved furniture comes in so many forms, from high-grade, expensive antiques, timeless vintage pieces and quirky retro stuff, right down to some of the more basic rustic items. There’s always something that can be found for different tastes and differing budgets.

Apart from enjoying its aesthetic appeal, buyers of pre-loved furniture can normally be reassured that the quality of the workmanship is far superior to many of the modern pieces produced today. Aside from the craftsmanship involved, many of these pieces will be unique and difficult to find in today’s market and, unlike modern furniture, they will also be far more likely to retain their value.

One tip when creating your personal living space is to mix a few styles to create your individual style; a modern painting can go well with an antique writing desk and can be further set off by a vintage lamp or retro telephone. Also, the clever use of re-purposed furniture can be surprising and delightful, like doors re-used as tables or large dark-wood Chinese scroll holders used as pots for big leafy palms.

To make a difference in the style and character of your home, delve into the past to pick out a few select pieces to accent your living room. Try to be playful, witty, bold and imaginative in the way you choose and mix pieces for the particular space. By doing this, you will develop your own “patois” style that will be sure to thrill your visiting friends.

The Modulo is ideal for seamless indoor-outdoor living
The Modulo is ideal for seamless indoor-outdoor living

Trend: Indoor-Outdoor Living

OHMM’s Kevin Boland

Riverside Point
#03-09, 30 Merchant Road
6836 2747

Indoor-outdoor living really suits this tropical lifestyle; with the constantly hot weather, it’s nice to sit inside on something that’s made for the outdoors. Staying cool is essential, and when you want natural air circulating indoors, using outdoor furniture, with its cool, breathable fabrics, helps maximise comfort. Even in cooler climates, having outdoor furniture inside can still project a little of that relaxed, fresh summer feeling.

Outdoor furniture is built to withstand the outdoor elements so it will last a very long time inside. It’s also relatively child-proof; you needn’t worry about that expensive sofa and the rough and tumble of kids playing, or about spilling food or wine on the cushions and upholstery.

Typically, outdoor furniture is more lightweight and easier to move around for redecorating and cleaning purposes, so it can be a lot less expensive than equivalent-sized interior furniture. If you choose well, a classic design will last and look good for years. Yet it’s versatile too – you can easily change the colour of your cushions for a fresh new look if you change your décor; this is in addition to choosing the weave fibre colour of your choice. As for style, in the modern condos and landed properties of Singapore, a light, modern, tropical feel fits far better than heavy-looking European furnishing.

Add natural materials to subdued greys and create warmth
Add natural materials to subdued greys and create warmth

Trend: Urban Flair

Galanga Living owner Kristin Papasolomontos

Galanga Living
211 Henderson Road, #01-02
6475 2633

Concrete is a new trend in interior design, and is becoming more popular as designers experiment more with using industrial materials to create contemporary, clean and stylish pieces. It’s a solid, durable material which, as well as being utilitarian in look, is hardwearing and versatile.

The muted nature of concrete means it fits with many different furniture items, creating a modern but homely look, which easily complements existing furniture while adding an unexpected twist.

It’s very durable and hardwearing, making it ideal for homes with high usage; it’s also easy to maintain – perfect for those seeking a modern, practical lifestyle.

This story first appeared in Expat Living’s July 2015 issue.
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