It’s difficult and a bit daft to break the changes in products, interior design, decoration and architecture into firm 12-month bites, but there are some marked favourites and new market flutters taking us from this year to next.
Choose established quality, proven technology and classic restraint before seasonal fashions, and you simply cannot go wrong.
The move towards digital, polite, one-touch operation balanced with the balm and beauty of naturally inspired materials continues in the smallest room in 2017, (is it really that small anymore?)
The dominance of the high end, walk-in shower provides some of the most luxuriant possibilities, and although braver in our choices in this space than anywhere else in the house, less-is-more aesthetically.
Frameless shower surrounds in toughened 10mm glass hover light as air on clips, or dissolve into tanking submerged into floor tiling. Semi-matt fossils and glossy large (40x60cm plus) rectified tiles continue to wow in 2017 (see our style predictions sidebar).
Merlyn, a proud Irish design and manufacturing house, gifted us probably the most exquisite imagery in this department this year with their Arysto shower collection. The Arysto Airglyde dual track door offers liquid smooth, whisper quiet motion in a Mershield Stayclear coating.
Their patented Halo handle lights under the hand for a sexy glow during showering. Match this lovely to thermostatic, in-hand touch controls with the EcoSmart Raindance Select 120 Unica Puro set (head/hose/bar/dish) 90cm, from €250.
Adjustable light sources are vital in the bathroom of 2017. Take a look at the work of Oliver Schweizer in his Legato range for Villeroy & Boch, villeroy-boch.co.uk
For the master, soften the functional and decorative lines between dressing-room and en-suite to be on trend in 2017 and practically savvy. Walk-through layouts offer the ultimate hotel chic flow and separation where you have the room to play.
Quality of materials and integrated storage really count. Corian, resins, wood and sleek, handle-free built-ins with bump operation can complement sleeping quarters. Bauhaus Bold units with flat 80s inspired recessed handles, checks all the boxes, see citytilesandbathrooms.com.
In crucial comforts, natural body temperature has become a key phrase in bed technology this year, and Irish makers are providing some beautiful new beds that kick back against the heat of standard memory foam. To experience the difference, take a breather from the Christmas charge about, kick off those shoes and take a sprawl on the Kaymed K3 Gel at Harvey Norman.
With edge-to-edge reinforcement, pressure relief with three-dimensional cell structures and manufactured with natural mineral oils, and 1600 springs, it’s supportive and refreshing. I’m keeping these beds in mind for my next super-king. 4’6 Kaymed double from €1,499.
For air quality in all humid rooms, MVHR (mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) is now standard in passive new-builds and as nearly passive standards are now in force with Part L of the Building Regulations, expect to hear the option of ‘recirculation’ when you go to buy a quality cooker hood next year.
Previously used in flats, or where an extractor wasn’t possible these hoods, rather than spewing the hot oily air back outside through a vent, scrub it clean with carbon active filters and use is to warm the room.
However, and despite not being vented outside, these cooker hoods are swingeingly expensive in the main, with one exception — Ikea’s Lackerbit — which is a mere €400 compared to €1,400 plus you’ll be expected to pay for branded models.
Now, while re-engineered by companies including Siemens (CleanAir) recirculating hoods and extractors are not perfect — redistributing 10% of the steam and odours. Downdraft (rim) extractors take the extractor down off the ceiling and onto the counter, great for keeping that open feel uninterrupted by hanging cabinetry and explored for the past two years. They are still feted for 2017, but reaction is mixed from home owners.
In off-the-peg-kitchens from this year, my money is not on any of those glossy contemporaries but Cash & Carry’s genuinely lovely Lyndale in-frame, starting from €5,000. Well done. The company with their headquarters in Castlemartyr, also started a collaboration with celebrity chef Catherine Fulvio this year, so expect to see some interesting design moments for them in 2017, cashandcarrykitchens.ie
The interruption of mid-century
Too much of a good thing? Sterile mid-century, Scandi-inspired everything is starting to bore and stylists for many design houses including Made.com are quietly mixing up the iconic lines with late 20th century re-inventions. The new look books for 2017 are a blessed relief.
Combine styles with similar great lines rather than building a retro-run museum from one decade — you can still enjoy that minimalist chic, just keep clutter to a minimum. Starting with chairs, we love French style Paesana rush seats at Meadows & Byrne,(€99.99 a pair) and Made.com for their chrome 1970s Astons (€113 a pair).
Gentle other areas of the house with indoor plants and in-house horticulture. Hydroponic gardening, now brought mainstream for cultivating herbs and even vegetables, deftly softens up all those hard surfaces in the kitchen and corridors. (See Jamie Oliver’s latest kitchen set as an example).
Cherishing a growing thing not lashed by the Irish weather can really reduce stress. Give it a go this spring with starter pods and pumice-fed containers by Helena Karlen and her team at IKEA. Complete Kydrra/Vaxer 15 pot kit €93.
The 2017 Concept Catalogue at BoConcept (magazines.boconcept.com) shows where continental style is going next year – gloriously metropolitan. Aptly introduced as ‘Hello Beautiful’ their velvety Hampton sofa with build-in storage inspired by the skyline of New York City is fresh, sumptuous and my must-have for that big splurge.
From €2,984, boconcept.com/en-ie.
Hard, cool style for 2017
Tiles are an ever-present feature of our homes, so with help from TileStyle’s Retail & Creative Director, Gerard McNaughton, (who has recently returned from a trip to Cersaie, the world’s biggest tile fair in Italy),we give you his exclusive trend predictions for 2017.
Extra-large format tiles have become increasingly more popular year upon year for use in the home. This trend is set to continue and only get bigger for 2017. Sizes such as 80cm x 1.8m & 1.2m x 2.4m are selling really well and the fact that there a very few grout lines means you get a smoother, better flow and more sense of space with the finished result.
With improved digital technology that our manufacturers have access to, wood effect tiles replicate real wood exceptionally well now. The grooves and the knots of a real wood floor can be replicated so well, that even to touch, people can barely tell the difference sometimes. One of the more recent trends is wood-effect porcelain tile panelling, which is another step-forward in design and featured at this year’s Cersaie fair.
Puzzle stands for the infinity of combinations in tile paterns. There’s been huge growth in demand for geometric tiles in simple bold colours and patterns from designers like by Barber and Osgerby for Mutina.
Increasingly popular and will continue to be so, as a strong trend for 2017. The chevron pattern for walls and floors is a style that not only adds character and depth to a space, but also an element of charismatic design.