The focus in 2018 is about creating aspiration spaces, with a shift in designing spaces based on how people want to feel. Pictures: Supplied

Sandton-based Dorothy Van’t Riet of Dorothy Van’t Riet Design and Décor Consultants has outlined some of her top interior design trends for 2018.


More is more with colour usage this year. The trends for 2018 are about anything but neutral tones - it’s a year to push the boundaries of pattern and colour, something which personally resonates with me! I have a deep love for playing with bold colours and patterns. 

I believe people have become bored with neutral, comfortable pallets so I’ve been creating bold spaces using orange, saffron, millennial pink, teal green, violet and yellow – strong 2018 trends. Teaming these colours adds such effervescence to a scheme.

Aspirational spaces

The focus in 2018 is about creating aspiration spaces, with a shift in designing spaces based on how people want to feel.

Design has become more about creating an experience and less about creating a space that is supposed to impress the world. People no longer seem to want spaces copied straight from Pinterest or magazines. It’s about bringing through the inhabitant’s personality and creating a space at home that will make a person feel relaxed, energised or intimate.


Design and theatre are also a strong trend with music, drama and performance making a big comeback. Louis Vuitton showed us a spectacular scenario where we saw art transcending design at the Milan Fair this year.


The two concepts of modern and traditional, while seemingly opposite, are actually working together to create a sense of timelessness, elegance and quality. An example is metallic hues which make an elegant contrast while beautifully paying tribute to the Neolith Bronze age. Marrying these two concepts takes a living space to another level!

Wall art

Wall art is huge this year. This trend takes the form of an extra-large piece of art; bold-patterned wallpaper or a wall clad in an interesting piece of marble, onyx or strong dark wood. These bold statement pieces form the focal point of a room. It is then paired with a statement piece of furniture.


Screens are big this season. This was evident when I visited the new London Design Museum, where the fashion designer, Alaia’s, collection was intersected with beautiful screens in metal and glass. Screens provide new and stimulating visual connections.

Dorothy Van’t Riet of Dorothy Van’t Riet Design and Décor Consultants

Statement sofas

Statement-shaped sofas and shapely furniture have overtaken the plain neutral sofas. We see strong curves, with velvets and diamond buttoning being big trends this year. There is a celebration of furniture reflecting the uniqueness of the inhabitant’s personality - furniture being unique, handcrafted and captivating with intricate decorative details.

Giant patterned plants

Giant patterned plants are even bigger this year, adding life and energy into a design scheme. Living plants are being seen hanging with shapes. The need to counteract our increasingly urban lives, can be seen with people reconnecting with nature, spilling over into wallpaper and fabrics.

Mixed metallics

Metals are still being mixed in all areas, from furniture, kitchen and bathroom fixtures to lighting, cabinetry hardware to accessories. Brass has made a comeback, overtaking copper and rose gold. Metallic handles and furniture legs add glamour to a design scheme.   

Geometric designs

Geometric forms are very much with us still. They have a modern simplicity. They are familiar and create a strong presence.

Dark woods

Furniture and dark wall cladding is in for 2018, showing a resurgence for retro glamour.


Texture is a big trend in 2018 - creating spaces that are warm, cosy and layered. This can be seen in fabrics and furniture. Wicker – a soft material which communicates welcome - is also back in a big way this year. 

Rattan is a key trend with successful use of either natural rattan or its synthetic equivalent. Minotti and Hermes have featured this at the Milan Fair.