With the 55th Salon Del Mobile recently held in Milan, the international design world discovered which materials will be the in high demand this year. Some of them are brand new and have never been seen, but mostly, they are contemporary reinventions of materials that we have been using all along. Here are 7 trends in interior finishes that you need to know about in 2016.


1. Going for Gold

interior finishes trends 2016

Elle Decor & Home And Interiors

Copper has been a firm favourite for the last few years, but this year, its more traditional cousin gold has taken centre stage. The only traditional thing about it though, is its yellow lustre. The applications are ranging from hardware and sanitaryware to furniture, fabrics and cladding. Whether you use it sparingly with accents around a room, or clad an entire wall in gold, this metal is a must. Like Midas, we shall deck it all in gold in 2016!

 2. Cement and raw finishes

interior finishes trends

Miss Renaissance

Based on the industrial trend that developed over the last 15 years, raw finishes are now making their way into sophisticated interiors as well. Floors, walls and structures are all being left bare to reveal their natural beauty. Juxtaposing these raw textures with polished materials create a beautifully contrasted interior that is a sign of the wonderfully varied world we live in. Furniture designers, architects and interior designers are all taking on this trend to bring you raw luxury pieces and spaces.

3. Two-tone woods

interior finishes trends

Home Designing

This is new trend that hasn’t been seen for a while: using the same wood in 2 different finishes or contrasting 2 different woods. It was unheard of a few years back to combine light and dark woods or wood with different grains. But this new trend is all about unique application and coming up with a space that has interest and a variety of colours and textures in wood.

While the use of veneers is as old as 4000 years, modern technology has given us ever more sophisticated veneers and a massive variety. This allows cabinets or furniture pieces to have the same wood grain in raw and high gloss, or stained to two different colours, while being a cost-effective alternative to solid wood. The result is a modern and interesting space where light plays of the different finishes and textures.

4. Mix & match finishes

interior finishes trends

Design Milk & IdesignArch

There is such skill in the combination of styles and finishes in the same object or room, that it is very difficult to get it right. Pioneers of this curated thrown-together look have inspired us to throw caution to the wind and go with what we believe to be good design. Or so it would seem! There are a few basic guidelines to follow when choosing an eclectic style:

  • Pick an anchor piece. A carpet, focal wall or art piece is usually a great option for an anchor. Something that embodies the space – and this is also a great starting point.
  • Choose a common denominator. This could be a theme (geometric or floral), a style (retro vintage as in the first image above) or a colour scheme (white with contrasting orange and blue as in the second image above). This does not mean that you cannot add other items to the space – the contemporary Tom Dixon light fittings in the first image are a good example – but it will give you a broad guideline to work to.
  • Keep the overall picture in mind. Unless it is your specific intent to make things clash, try to create a cohesive picture.
  • Follow your instincts. Ultimately, any interior space is a personal one so as long as the client and the designer are happy, it works.


5. Fabric wallpaper

interior finishes trends

Luuk Magazine & Scion

Texture and tactile finishes have become a big trend in interiors, and now wall finishes have also joined the movement. Fabrics are increasingly being used as wallpapers, not only for their texture, but also for its rich opulence of yesteryear. The palaces of Versailles and the Forbidden City were all adorned with richly woven silks and damasks. Now the option is to have an actual fabric wall (without the imperial price tag), or to have a wallpaper that is printed and embossed to mimic the real thing.

6. Natural Stone

interior finishes trends


Composite stone products have been popular for their versatility and easy maintenance. But recently, more and more clients and designers are opting to use natural stone for its beauty and luxury. Marble counters, unfilled travertine, raw slate and even natural crystal formations are all making their way into residential and commercial interiors alike.

7. Geometric tiles

interior finishes trends

Retail Design Blog & Decoist

The popularity of the metro tile had opened up a whole new style of tiles being produced. Not only are tiles being manufactured in different geometric shapes, they are also being used in combinations that would previously have been frowned upon. Floor to ceiling, from retail establishments to restaurants, this is a very exciting development for interior design. The materials are also being varied with vinyl, metal, plastic and other manufactured materials being used as well as conventional ceramic, porcelain and stone.

We look forward to sharing some more trends in interior finishes and design with you in the coming weeks. Join us on our social media channels and be sure not to miss anything!