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Living room trends for 2017: Chic, inspiring and practical

Many of today’s newly built homes, space is often at a premium – especially for those living in clusters. Picture: Supplied

Many of today’s newly built homes, space is often at a premium – especially for those living in clusters. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 10, 2017


If you are thinking of redecorating your living room, Claire Gibson shares her top insights into latest tends that are set to shape living rooms across South Africa in 2017.

Claire Gibson, from furniture manufacturer, La-Z- Boy, says that the living room trend forecast for the year ahead is exciting: “The latest living room trends are chic, inspiring and, most importantly, liveable and practical – and they are comparatively easy to achieve.

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They are particularly exciting to me, as I believe that unlike many décor trends of the past, the majority of them will also offer great longevity of style.” She offers the following summary of what’s trending in the design world at the moment:

Dynamite in small packages:


Many of today’s newly built homes, space is often at a premium – especially for those living in clusters, townhouses or apartments. As a result, the creation of smaller furniture with streamlined elegant design lines is in big demand says Claire: “When you’re living in a small space, it becomes even more important than ever that the things you own are not only functional and space-saving, but they are beautiful as well. 

Lovely and chunky: 

Although homes are getting smaller, there are still lots of larger, spacious homes in South Africa, which need larger furnishings. Says Claire: “For the last two decades or so, living room furniture has been inspired by the design trends of the ‘50s and ‘60s – full of straight and streamlined lines.

However, this took a major swing in the ‘70s and ‘80s, where there was more of a focus on comfort and inviting, big, rounded styles. The latter is making a modern comeback in a big way. I am not saying that mid-Century is out – I don’t think it will ever be, but big is most certainly back! Large, chunky sofas that beg you to sink in for optimum comfort and hours of Netflix-marathons have never been more in demand. 

However, the modern designs have a twist – they look and feel comfortable and inviting, but they also offer more sophisticated lines than their predecessors and better reclining technology. Now you can have the best of both worlds – comfort and style in one package!”

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Organic inspirations remain a big driver when it comes to décor – a trend that has remained popular over the years, and seems to gain momentum annually, notes Claire: “As a society, we have never been more in touch and in tune with the world around us and our love affair with nature seems to be growing exponentially. A fact that is clearly evident in how we like to decorate our homes. 

Not only are we including lots of natural materials in our décor, such as leather, wood, stone and metals, but the trendy colour palettes also reflect those inherent in Mother Nature. Earth tones remain a key design trend – adding warmth, depth and comfort to our indoor spaces. Shades of browns, greens, greys, and off-whites have never been more popular. 

Accents in brighter natural hues such as sky blues, grass greens and coral reds are used widely to create pops of brightness juxtaposed against the more relaxing, muted natural tones mentioned prior.

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Marvellous metallics: 

The design world is seriously in love with all things metallic at the moment, explains Claire: “Metallics go a long way to adding a sense of heavy glamour and industrial weight to any space they grace. Look for brushed, satin or matte finishes to add extra visual texture. Aged copper, brass, gold or stainless steel can be used to great effect in the living room to take the décor to another new level of chic – but only touches of it. The trick is to include noticeable metallic accents and not being too heavy-handed here. 

Less is more: 

Minimalism has always been trendy, but the ethics behind this kind of décor are set to make a big stand in 2017, says Claire: “Today, there is a big move towards valuing quality over quantity, which is evident in the way we decorate our homes. The minimalism of the past that we are so familiar with is still apparent, but it is not just being done for the sake of a clean and streamlined living space. Today, it is all about including a few select statement pieces that mean something to the owner or that stand out because of the fact that they are so well crafted – and not drowning them in a clutter of beautiful items, but letting them shine and stand proud on their own.”

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