We have to be connected to the world around us, right now for instance living responsibly is trending. The challenge arises when we try and bring that lifestyle into our own spaces. Bielle Bellingham, editor for Elle Decoration advises homemakers to interrogate what they’re being told. Don't just see a trend and think, "great, I'll do it" without any cognitive thought behind it. There is an abundance of information at your disposal and there is absolutely nothing stopping you from being your own trend forecaster.

A quick look at what's trending in general

As we saw at the Homemakers expo this year mixing elements, such as ceramic with wood and metal is gaining popularity. Other materials that are the talk of the town are copper, brass, chrome or stainless steel. Geometric shapes are buzzing up a storm from octagons, polygons, 70s and Greek style, you can use the geo trend anywhere in your house, from your couches, pillows, chairs, kitchen splashbacks, bathroom tiles to living room rugs.

Smart furniture continues to make ground, with clever bedside pedestals that charge your phone, to chairs that know how long you've been sitting in them and how you should correct your posture – fancy!

According to Dave Nemeth in Homemakers trend 2016 issue, "The biggest trend, however, lies in individuality." He firmly believes, "The true trends for 2016 will be a rebellion against the norm," and "true innovation will develop more from the consumer and the average homeowner than they will from the trained designer."

Trends in the kitchen

Clutter is not attractive in the kitchen, it's why those big draws that hide all kitchen utensils away are so well sought after. "There is now a focus on clean lines, flat doors, sleek finishes and an overall less-is-more approach," says Philip Richards of blu_line. A mashup of contemporary meets vintage is taking centre stage in kitchens, this may seem contradictory, but homeowners are buying new innovative products that transport us back into the past. To keep the kitchen contemporary, use a bright coloured coffee machine, blender or fridge topped with a neutral paint for the walls to keep everything sane.

Living room trends

Use floral designs for your dining room chairs and incorporate tropical designs for your throw pillows on your couch. Make these patterns pop by adding bright flowers and pot plants, keeping true to the outside-in trend. Be wary of overusing these patterns, keep the look clean by adding neutral toned designs such as a clear glass coffee table and a single colour toned leather couch.

How to incorporate the outside-in trend

Bielle Bellingham states, "Research indicates that certain building features such as daylight, connection to nature, and spaces for social interaction, appear to have a positive psychological and social benefit." You can bring the outside in by using this clever trick. Place air plants in copper accents, bowls, hang them up by string or place them on a pallet wall arrangement. This also means that consumers are looking at outdoor furniture that they can use inside and visa versa. I saw a lot of consumers at the Homemakers expo looking at the patio furniture on display and asking consultants if they can use it indoors.

-  www.windowart.co.za
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