South Africa may have been a little design backwater a decade or two ago. No longer. We take international trends and bend them. We grow our own, too. And not surprising, seeing as we’re one of the most colourful and diverse nations on the planet.

We also import much of our conceptual thinking, and influence world design trends.


Black black black

Not just black, but matte black. Such class. Such sex appeal. Such sophistication. Matte black’s going into the kitchen and the bathroom. And we couldn’t be happier.

Texture mixes

Right now, the most popular textures to mix and match are wool, leather, fringe, natural woods and metallics.

Hygge and Lagom

You’ve seen ‘hygge’ all over the internet. You may even know how to pronounce it. If not, it’s ‘hugh-gah’. It’s a trend category, more than a trend. It covers everything that is cosy and comfortable. Hand-knitted gloves and homemade cocoa are hygge.

Giant ‘arm-knitted’ throws are hygge, and they’re also still huge!

And lagom? Another Nordic concept. Quite simply, it means ‘simplicity’. Not stark. But rather, the curation of fewer, meaningful items that are beautifully functional and functionally beautiful. The de-clutterisation of hive-like busy-ness The trick is to resist filling a space with stuff. Let your rooms breathe.

Of course, it’s possible to combine the best of both worlds. The Scandi dream of comfort and simplicity, hand in hand.


The Plascon Colour of the Year. A neutral, earthy, yellow-tinted hue that works to bring a space together while the neutral character brings in a harmonising, grounding energy. A magnificent backdrop to build your spaces around.

The jungalow

The garden’s full of furniture and the house is full of plants. How’s that for tipping the world on its head? Vivid tropical fabrics and wallpapers, plants in pots, in vases, you name it. Lush, botanical themes are happening like crazy. Geenery’s red hot.

Four hot tile trends

Tile trends is a blog in itself. But for now, here are four super-duper-divine trends:

  • Move over high gloss, here come the mattes for quiet, satiny, understated elegance.
  • Different shapes, for drama: hexagonspebbles, herringbone, you name it.
  • The textured tile brings 3D drama to any space. The wood look: from real wood, to engineered wood, to incredible, low maintenance, durable digitally printed porcelain tiles that reimagine all the feely touchy beauty of wood.

Gigantic wall art

Forget one polite piece lot in a sea of wall. Now it’s big, bold, showstoppers that cover a wall, whether a huge canvas, or a custom wallpaper.


Bring nature home to nurture you and yours. Textural linens, jute carpets, re-purposed wood and bamboo. Raw, unfinished, rough and real, organics help you live a life filled with authentic energy.

The open closet

Rip off your closet door right now and reveal your fashionables in all their glory. Of course, not just trendy, the open closet is a brilliant solution for small apartment living.


The joy of so many trends is that we can all express our individuality in so many diverse ways. As much as Lagom is the ‘less is more’ décor, there is the glorious profusion of maximalism. More is more. More patterns, more colour, more layers,  more contrasts… it’s all about inclusivity and eclecticism. This needs a careful eye and a guiding hand, to make your spaces sing rather than shriek!

Pastel power

Powdery pales have swept winter’s velvety darks away, and they’re going to take us gelato-lovers right into 2019 and beyond. Pastels are the new neutrals. Lilac and Lavendar, the softer, gentler sisters of Pantone 2018’s screechy Ultra Violet. Tea Rose rather than bubblegummy Millenial Pink. Peach, the love child of Pink and Orange. Celadon, celery and avocado – the new greens. And lemon yellow, more muted than you’ve ever seen it before. Mix them, match them, like you would with a triple scoop of ice cream. Mmmm. Delish.

Choices, choices, choices! But fear not. The design doctor’s in the house and she says… at the first sign of design dizziness, go and speak to an Italtile design-certified sales adviser. Together, you’ll put together mood boards with the looks you like, and you’ll leave with samples to try out at home… with a glass of vino to steady the nerves.

The trends don’t end here. In fact, we may need to have a part two.


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