With the end of June, we’re now officially in the latter half of 2018, and if you haven’t gotten around to that home makeover (along with your other forgotten New Year's resolutions), it's time to get to work!
Plus, there’s good news if you've been procrastinating. In the past 6 months alone, there's been plenty of up-and-coming home products, built-in ideas, and more. Here's what they are, and why you should include them in your updated renovation plans.
1. More inspiration for your home surfaces
What’s durable, decorative, and more appealing than ever? No prizes for guessing the right answer, but laminates are all set to kick things up a notch in the home décor department.
Already capable of emulating the look of other materials like wood, metal, and even fabric – on top of offering protection for more fragile home surfaces – it’s not a stretch to say that laminates will be sticking around for a long time to come.
New-age versions of this versatile material, like Lamitak’s recently-launched artäk collection, even feature rare designs such as quilt-like patchwork prints as well as classic terrazzo patterns.
Interior Designer: Meter Square
Fancy laminates aren’t your thing? For extra-functionality, you can also choose to cover your walls with writable, magnetic laminates (which Formica sells) to create an extra-large ‘notepad’.
2. Electrical switches that you can customise
Similarly, in the category of ‘new home products that you should keep an eye out for’ are these customisable switches from Schneider Electric.
Aptly named ‘AvatarOn’, this new line of electrical fittings offers homeowners the option to customise their light switches as they please.
Doing so isn’t hard either, just remove the press-and-pull cover and swap it out with one that suits your mood for the day, or week, or month… you get the idea.
On a side note, if you ever decide on a design that matches your walls, there’s no need to worry about ‘losing’ your AvatarOn switch either.
Soft luminescent LEDs are built into the base of each switch as a visual aid, which will also save you the trouble of fumbling around in the dark every time you wake up for a midnight drink/snack/visit to the loo.
3. Clever, more personalised storage
It’s almost impossible these days to find a house that doesn’t come with a space-saving storage solution or two. However, what’s changing is the level of personalisation involved in their design.
Interior Designer: The Orange Cube
Take for instance, this travel-inspired home for two, which was designed by The Orange Cube. Here, a row of hallway storage cabinets (tricked out to look like a stack of luggage) serves as both useful stowaway space and an art installation-worthy décor feature.
Interior Designer: Aart Boxx Interior
On the practical side of things, here’s another carpentry idea that’s worth stealing. What Aart Boxx Interior did for a recent project is this seemingly ordinary dresser cabinet that comes with a concealed storage compartment on the inside, complete with mirrored front panel. Talk about being sneaky!
4. TVs that stay out of the way
Samsung’s newest TVs may be capable of camouflaging themselves with the help of a ‘magic screen’, but if you aren’t keen on getting one, here are some trending ideas that you can copy to keep your TV out of the way.
Interior Designer: Mr Shopper Studio
While it may look just like a singular slab of dark granite, the feature wall in this recently-renovated condominium home actually slides open on both sides to reveal not just a TV, but also a series of overhead cabinetry.
Interior Designer: Mr Shopper Studio
Working along the same line of keeping things concealed until they are needed, having a projector screen at home is another trick that is growing in popularity, because of how it reduces the amount of visual clutter present in a room.
5. Walls are back… kind of
With all the talk about open-concept spaces (in particular, kitchens) earlier this year, it’s a surprise to see more walls popping up in homes BUT these certainly aren’t your usual blocks of concrete.
Interior Designer: Uno Interior
Interior Designer: KDOT Associates
Taking the trick of using bookcases as room dividers one step further, what homeowners are doing these days are replacing existing walls with recessed versions of these handy fittings.
Faced with the headache (or perhaps, blessing?) of organising a large library, this is an idea that any bookworm will want for his/her home.
6. Feature walls? Why not a statement ceiling instead?
As important as walls are, let’s not forget about the ceiling. Short of fans and lights, this piece of vertical real estate is seldom utilised because it’s in a hard-to-reach place.
But if the homes that we’ve seen in recent months are any indication, this is gradually changing with more owners choosing to focus on what’s above their heads.
Interior Designer: Fatema Design Studio
One method that has been gaining in popularity is layering a ceiling with hardwood, both as a way to draw the eye upwards and to add an element of cosiness to a space.
Interior Designer: Interior Times
OR if you are feeling more adventurous (than usual), building an Oriental lattice ‘door’ into the ceiling is another option that you can explore!