Which trends in interior design for the condo are in, and which are being tossed aside, for 2018?
Developer Sam Mizrahi, president of Mizrahi Developments, has a courtside seat to the trends. His company has just started construction of The One, the 85-storey tower going up on the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor. It’s also behind the projects 1451 Wellington in Ottawa, 128 Hazelton (sold out), Lytton Park (sold out) in Toronto and also builds custom homes for clients.
Mr. Mizrahi’s first advice when it comes to trends is to make your condo a reflection of your personal style, not follow a hot trend. But buyers should also do their homework on what professionals are saying.
So what is Mr. Mizrahi seeing?
“There is a lot that is happening now,” he says.
“A lot of people are going for very light colours. I am actually seeing a lot of units going for what I call extremes in colour – either going very light, or going very dark,” he says. “Before, the trends were warmer pastels – greys, taupes and beiges – but now we are seeing people going for whites or layered whites, or dark colours like chocolate brown, mixed with variations in light colours.”
Stephanie Dimopoulos, director of design and decor for The Daniels Corp., says they generally guide their clients into selecting a neutral colour scheme, whether it be a warm or cool palette, for the permanently installed items, so they can add colour with furniture, accessories, wall paint and art.
Designer Samantha Pynn, a host on HGTV Canada, says overall interior design in condos is about going much softer – more natural materials such as natural stone, washed woods, textured rugs and linens. Floors are paler with a raw, washed or white look. Cabinetry wood also has a washed or even slightly cerused look, with colours ranging from ash to oyster, says Ms. Pynn.
When talking about flooring – the more unique, the better these days, Mr. Mizrahi is finding. Herringbone and ash floors are particularly big – geometric and abstract patterns and designs. It’s all about “pizzazz.”
“It’s no longer about just putting in 12x24 or 12x12 subway tiles or squares,” says Mr. Mizrahi.
Herringbone or chevron-patterned hardwood flooring have a, “chic Parisian apartment flavour that’s perfect for the luxury market,” says Suzanne Dimma, an interior designer and consultant and former editor-in-chief of House & Home magazine. Interior designers have moved away from dark hardwood floors in favour of lighter (and more practical) white oak in a no-sheen, oil-rubbed finish, for a modern edge, says Ms. Dimma.
Dawn Chapnick, Creative Director at Dawn Chapnick Designs, agrees that patterned flooring is big, and how the transition from indoor to outdoor flows seamlessly.
“Ethnic and tribal patterns are very relevant this year as well for flooring,” Ms. Chapnick adds. “It’s all about how it is paired up with the neutrals. And don’t forget to include the fifth wall – the ceiling. With metal or plastic tiles or paint, or lacquered, you can make the ceiling look larger.”
Brian Gluckstein, a principal in the firm Gluckstein Design Planning and a top interior designer, is also seeing washed flooring in grey and taupe colours.
“In the bathroom, think tile shape and texture. Diamond-shaped marble tiles with a grooved surface shake up the look of plain Carrera tile floors in the bathroom,” says Ms. Dimma. “Or at the opposite end, hexagonal tiles in a mix of colours lend an old world feel.”
Mr. Mizrahi says stand-alone soaker tubs are more prevalent. “The soaker tub is a centrepiece – almost more of an art piece in the bathroom, more of a display of individual style,” he says.
Mr. Gluckstein agrees, and adds rain-head showers are de rigueur, while “brass options for hardware and plumbing fixtures feel very luxe right now.”
Is the all-white kitchen on its way out? “We are not seeing any more of the white kitchens, like we used to,” says Mr. Mizrahi, adding bronze accent details are now being used in kitchen cabinetry and knobs.
Ms. Dimma agrees. “We have moved away from the one-note kitchen, where the same counter material and cabinet colour runs throughout. It’s all about the layers and unique details. We’re mixing things up with different door styles for the top and bottom cabinetry, or opting for different surfaces on the island versus the periphery cabinetry.
“Incorporating open shelving and display in cabinetry or in an island leaves room for personality to shine through.”
Ms. Dimopoulos says kitchens have become more streamlined in their design, with flat panel doors, integrated hood fans, and panelled appliances. “The trend for this year is a shift away from the dark woods like espresso to the lighter airy looks of white, grey and warm-toned woods,” she says. “Within typical sized condos the kitchen islands double as the dining table and as an alternative to the multiple pendants we have seen in the past these fixtures create a focal point against the sleek design of the cabinetry.”
“Lighting is minimal, sculptural and sleek in warmer brushed brass, gold and copper,” says Ms. Pynn. “The goal is to have the architecture of your home seamless, which works especially well for smaller spaces.”
LED lighting set into the drywall of ceilings and corridors is also trending.
“Boutique-style closet spaces, displaying your clothes, is huge in condo living,” says Ms. Chapnick. “Modern minimalism” is also popular, she says. Modular storage systems can be built into pillars, columns or loft stairs.
Ms. Chapnick echoes what Mr. Mizrahi is seeing in metals, particularly in furniture. Brass, chrome and silver are big, “a mix of finishes that signifies the industrial and minimalist time we are now in.”
She also sees art deco and eclectic style re-emerging. Wallpaper, with different textures and pattern, is big as well, while keeping the rest of the room simple. It can be on the inside of a closet shelf, for example.
This content was produced by The Globe and Mail’s Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.