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On trend

The fast-moving field of interior design is always awash with new ideas and inspiration to pluck from for your own homely spaces. And for all the irregularities of recent times – this fact remains unchanged, so Metropol has scoured the mood boards of the world’s most style-minded to discover what’s trending in interior design for 2021.




A collective obsession with houseplants looks set to keep skyrocketing as fans of biophilic design continue to embrace bringing the natural environment indoors. Being in nature is scientifically-proven to boost our mental health, and when combined with the visual appeal of greenery and flowers – it’s an interior win-win.

If you’ve noticed architectural and artistic vases around the place, it’s probably because these furnishings are among the most covetable furnishings of modern aesthetics. Not just perfect for holding fresh and dried (also trending) blooms, these receptacles are sculptural artworks on their own.

A hit on the home circuit last year, appeal is not waning for furniture that makes you feel as if you should be in a bungalow overlooking the Hollywood Hills. Argued by some as timeless, there is little doubt these low slung lines, natural woods and retro vibes are everywhere right now. And don’t pair too badly with a houseplant (or seven) either.


Office-al business

What was once considered a novelty has now, with recent times, transitioned into more of a necessity – the home office. Whether it is a designated room or partitioned off area, Metropol has compiled some tips for helping you create a productive home office hub.



When designing a designated home office space, we tend to focus on what’s in our peripheral and not what classmates and colleagues can see on Zoom. Interior designers expect this year will bring stylish backdrops – from walls, intricate bookshelves and well-styled frame galleries to quirky-looking lamps that double as great backlighting.

A humble house plant, or five, will always be the co-workers you never knew you needed. Experts say plants help to increase productivity and provide a leafy link to nature, which was what a lot of us were lacking when cooped up inside for so many months. Having a reimagined green screen is always a Zoom meeting ice breaker.

Gone are the days of crisp white walls for a home office, it’s time to express yourself with a bit, or a lot, of colour. Liven up your space with bright hues, natural woods, or a feature wall. Don’t stop there – bring in fun décor, bright rugs and interesting art.


Designing wellbeing

Creating homes which are sanctuaries from the uncertainties of current life is top of mind for many, and the driving force behind a movement named, “wellbeing design”. Which is, as the name suggests, curating spaces to promote wellbeing. Metropol looks at ways you can incorporate some well-designed wellbeing in your own spaces.



Home habitats should be a full sensory experience. And while attention has long focused on colour and shape (sight), delicious aromatic candles and diffusers (scent) with atmospheric music playing (sound) – incorporating touch into lived spaces is trending. Textured wall papers, plush upholstery and raw woods are being celebrated for invoking the comfort of touch.

Make the most of the healing powers of vitamin D by boosting the natural light in your home, especially ahead of winter. If you have a remodel or new build on the cards, consider installing additional windows or a skylight to maximise those health-boosting rays. Or, if such a dramatic change is not on the horizon, use a clever mirror system to reflect the natural light and make the sunlight, quite literally, go further.

The non-negotiable working from home enforced by lockdown resulted in many employers more than happy for staff to continue working away from the office. With less distractions, many are seeing a rise in productivity and wellbeing. However, it’s important to ensure work and home zones are kept separate – if you can’t close a door to keep the home office hidden, use plants and furniture to zone it off.

We touch on biophilic design on page 49 as an interior trend to watch in 2021. This act of incorporating elements of the outdoors, in, is so popular in part because of the positive effect nature has on our wellbeing. Plants help calm and relax us, as well as reduce anxiety and increase focus – so incorporating stunning greenery into interior design is a wellbeing no-brainer.


Immaculately authentic: DJ Hewitt

A modern barn-style build with a village lifestyle was the dream for a Scotsman and his Kiwi family. By
enlisting DJ Hewitt Builders to do it once and do it right, their complete wishlist was granted.


Immaculately built to look  authentically imperfect, the board and batten exterior plays with different widths, under a sizeable single-pitch roof. Designer Darren
O’Neil’s concept of a 310sqm barn on the 726sqm Tai Tapu section perfectly soaks in views and sunlight.

The grand roof space created a full-height second story, where one lucky son is in his element in the 86sqm studio/bedroom and ensuite, which would someday make a perfect space for a home business.

Choosing open entrances, the master bedroom’s walk-through ‘robe lies behind a duck-egg blue floating wall.

Similarly, the kitchen opens to the scullery with display shelves, and adjoining laundry, which can be closed off.

Down the hallway, you are guided to the powder room by the illumination of the back-lit mirror, which leads to the bathroom and separate toilet.

Detailed inlays on draws and cupboards in the kitchen and living area adds a classic vibe to neutral tones, including the sunny window-seat nook.

The base provides extra storage, as does other clever cavity spaces throughout the house.

An ode to the bonnie isles, is the whisky lounge. A dark navy feature wall, and board and batten backdrop for the gas fire, sets the scene for a wee dram or two.

The clients were glad they engaged interior consultant Tara Hewitt for her keen eye for additional details and stylish suggestions in every room of the home.

Of note, was Daryl Hewitt’s weekly critical path explaining how the project was tracking, as was peace of mind during lockdown with extra security on the site – which was always left immaculate. Everything was made easy for what the owners say is, “our happy  place.”

Phone: (03) 384 7470


Touch tones

Home furnishings are taking a tactile turn in 2021, with textured furniture following in the footsteps of fixed surfaces and turning our homes into three dimensional havens. Where clean lines and smooth exteriors have evolved on glass panes (now fluted), tiles (now raised and irregular) and wallpaper (now textured), furniture is joining in.



Where timber feature walls are taking over interior architecture; cabinetry is embracing the same mid-century inspired grooves, slats and reeded detailing over flat fronts on every-room storage from wardrobes, sideboards and buffets to drawers and desks.

Anna + Nina Twisted Candles from Ruby

Soft furnishings are also continuing to employ tactile upholstery.

Occasional chairs, sofas and seating are appearing in fluffy sheepskin, plush velvets and strokable corduroy.

Sweetpea & Willow Umage Audacious Cabinet in Silver Grey

Thickly woven wool and flax fabrics are also sitting pretty, offering more subtle yet sustainable natural fibre finishes.


Cristo Chair from Trenzseater

Even décor is getting a touchy-feely reboot for the new year. Ever-popular candles are appearing in architectural curves, glassware is fluted and ceramics are perfectly imperfect.


Divide & conquer

From free-flowing spaces to cosy, intimate zones, it seems we’re closing the door on open plan living as we look to the home trends ahead of us.



Interior design inspiration behemoth, Pinterest, is hailing “more door” as one of the next biggest trends to hit the home in 2021 and beyond, with the art of sectioning off your house plans – or in the very least, utilising dividers and partitions to create intimate spaces – the talk of the interior design world this year.

Because open plan spaces are bright, airy, inviting, great for entertaining, encourage family togetherness and offer endless design opportunities, they come too with a number of downsides – little privacy, a lack of clearly defined zones and a large space that can feel overwhelming.

However, dividing a room, either visually or physically, is the perfect antidote, creating smaller, more intimate and functional zones.

The best part? If you’re not starting from scratch, you don’t need to build permanent walls that may disturb the flow and feel of your space.

We’ve pulled together four easy ways to divide and conquer.

Area rugs are a great way to clearly define zones, such as a dining area. The lack of permanence with this option means you can change things up when you want to update the vibe.

An open bookcase or shelving unit is a quick and easy way to create distinct zones within your living area, without having to permanently close off your space – an option which is both fabulous and functional!

Wallpaper is the ultimate way to create visual boundaries, creating separation between a TV space, a reading nook and a dining area. Just make sure you support these spaces with furniture and art placement.

A privacy screen or room divider offers a space-savvy solution if you want a physical room divider that’s not fixed and easy to move. Some modern options are designed to be fixed from the ceiling.


Bedside manner

The ultimate organiser ensuring everything you need is at arm’s reach, bedside tables combine both form and function.




Whether you like to let it all hang out with an open design or tuck it all away with a drawer, there’s an option for everyone and choosing the right design can play an important role when it comes to your comfort and wellbeing.

First things first, bedside tables have traditionally been purchased in pairs. But that’s no longer the case. Choosing two different designs or simply just having one bedside table is a great way to express your creativity and mix things up.

As with all your furniture, it’s important for your bedside tables to vibe with your overall theme, whether it’s ultra-modern, rustic or somewhere in between.

The laws of feng shui dictates a preference for soft or rounded corners and these curved options are becoming increasingly popular, creating a softer vibe in this space.

Timber tables, with their natural vibes, are a strong antidote to our tech-heavy lifestyles, creating a calming effect that we’re craving right now, while whites and greens offer another option to satisfy the senses.

Meanwhile, designers are expecting bedside tables devoid of legs and bases to have a serious moment in 2021, attached instead directly to the wall to create a floating effect.


‘tis the season to be crafty: RESENE

As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, why not take the same positive approach to your festive flair? Before you go crazy at the shops on everything from too much tinsel to over-the-top ornaments, consider an eco-friendly approach to your home’s festive décor.


** Styling by Vanessa Nouwens | Images by Bryce Carleton


The best part is that creating a consistent holiday look throughout your home while spreading Christmas cheer is surprisingly easy to achieve with little more than a few Resene testpots.

Whether balls, stars, hearts or angels are your cup of tea, dazzling Christmas tree ornaments can be achieved for far less than the cost of brand-new items.

By taking a creative approach, almost anything destined for the recycling bin can enjoy a second life as a Christmas ornament.

If you’re feeling crafty, upcycle some wood offcuts from a previous project and turn them into simple shapes using a jigsaw or scroll saw.

Paint them in your favourite Resene colours, drill holes near the tops, run through some ribbon or twine, and you’ll have everything you need to trim the tree in no time.

The best thing is if you want to change your theme colours next year, you can just paint them again.

Or, grab the kids and take them for a walk to the op shop and hunt out some old ornaments that could be made new again.

You’re sure to find some quirky treasures that will quickly become family favourites.

Get inspired at your local Resene ColorShop,

**Walls painted in Resene Merlot; floor in Resene Half Spanish White; coffee table in Resene Merlot, stars on the back shelf in Resene Triple Concrete; the tree ornaments in Resene Quarter Spanish White and Resene Merlot; star trays in Resene Triple Concrete; small bowl with sweets in Resene Ebb; boxes in Resene Merlot, Resene Ebb and Resene Triple Concrete.


2021 in colour

Colour has long upheld the ability to soothe, to comfort, to uplift and even to enliven, making its use in the home critical to the psychology of a space. As we prepare to wave goodbye to 2020 and welcome in a new year, we look to the colours that we will be embracing in 2021.




We’re all about natural beauty as we optimistically eye-up 2021 and all it has to offer for the home. With a collective longing for earthly connection stemming from increasing technology use, we can expect to see plenty of natural tones within the home, from soft, earthy neutrals and muted greens to gentle mauve-greys. Top picks include turmeric, terracotta, and touches of tan and ochre.

Linen House round tassel cushion


Adairs cord cushion

Beige and taupe are quickly becoming the new go-to neutrals for 2021, as we crave the comfort of chocolate. Offering the ultimate escapism, there’s little to frown about when it comes to brown. From beige and burnt umber to chestnut and cocoa, this composite colour was a favoured colour choice in the ‘70s and it has stood its ground.

The Montauk Lighting Co ceramic lamp


Linen House floral cushion

It’s not surprising green is the colour most closely associated with envy, because when it comes to the colours of 2021, the green-eyed monster in us is running rampant. With a general shift towards sustainability, plant-based materials, healthy homes and conscious consumerism, any shade of green goes, but expect to see plenty of soft, neutral grey-greens such as sage and olive.

Mustard Made side table


Fenton and Fenton Side Table

If you’re all about the bold and the beautiful, never fear! It’s not all greyed out, muted tones in 2021. The colour experts are clear… no hue expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow. It is, after all, the colour of sunshine, sunflowers and happiness and is an easy way to bring fun and energy to enliven and invigorate your space.


A beautiful simplicity: Ingrid Geldof Design

Ingrid Geldof Design never ceases to enjoy its ability to change lives by transforming living spaces.



“You could call it Feng Shui, to feel calmed down and at peace within the spaces we live. My clients most frequent comment is that the spaces are, ‘so easy to live in’,” says Ingrid Geldof.

Ingrid began Ingrid Geldof Design (IGD) in 1992 and won her first award that same year; since then, she’s amassed over 55 awards, culminating in the September announcement she had won three awards: kitchen distinction in the $40,000 to $60,000 category; Canterbury chapter kitchen recognition award; and the Kitchen Design 2020 runner up in the Certified Designer Society award.

Professional respect and recognition of Ingrid’s work is reflected in that at least 50 percent of her business is repeat clients; Millbrook Golf Resort is a major client of 18 years, while other repeat clients have engaged Ingrid on five kitchen projects.

Integral to IGD is Rachel Barnes, who is based in Queenstown. With over 17 years of commitment, provides a strong design and technical aspect to the business.

Ingrid says IGD is about simplicity of form. “It’s about the little things that bring joy, and understated, uncluttered designs that create a beautiful and harmonious environment.”

Phone the Christchurch or Queenstown office on (03) 377 2557.