December 5, 2023

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The Top Interior Design Trends in 2017

The Top Interior Design Trends in 2017

If you were paying attention, 2016 was the year of mid-century cues, indoor plants, distressed timbers and rustic metallics in the home.

Luxe looks were some of the biggest interior trends, along with the revival of marble, mirror splashbacks, rose gold and copper.

Will these design trends survive? Or will they be ushered promptly out the back door?

Three interior designers reveal their predictions about what a stylish home will look like in 2017.

The panel:

  • Vivian Panagos, interior designer and founder of Ish & Chi
  • David Hicks, interior designer and author of Intimate
  • Narelle Cuthbert, head of interior design at Plus Architecture


Pantone named ‘Greenery’ the colour of the year for 2017. The bright and zesty hue might be hard to digest for some people, but it’s been warmly embraced by the world of interior design.

Narelle Cuthbert says we will see a lot more green in 2017 – “I think it’s popular because people are embracing that indoor-outdoor way of living”.

A tropical inspired table setting with lots of indoor plants

Expect to see a lot more green in the remainder of 2017. Picture: Alida + Miller

Narelle says blush and pink tones, complemented by jewel tones such as cobalt blue, emerald green and ruby red, will also be prominent.

“It’s more about understated luxury. Also a strong trend are desert and sand tones – almost a hallmark to the terracotta we used to see in the ’70s and ’80s – but in more of a matte texture,” she adds.

See more: The biggest interior design trends in 2018

Living area with blush pink and gold design trends

Blush pinks and golds are bigger than ever. Picture: H&M

In 2017, Vivian Paganagos says pastel shades won’t be going anywhere, but will morph into softer and more neutral versions that will be complemented by “earthy colours, warm wood tones and tropical greens”.

David agrees pastels will follow through from 2016, and adds metallics will remain at the forefront in the form of silver.

“There was a trend towards coppers and even gold (in 2016) but I think silver is going to make a comeback,” he says.

Eighties colours – think peach, rusty orange and aubergine purple – will also feature heavily, David says.


As the obsession for metallics winds down, matte and satine finishes will take centre stage.

A more understated version of luxury is set to emerge with golds and metallics used sparingly in combination with natural timbers, stones and textures.

“We’re definitely seeing a move away from shiny objects. Two years ago it was all about gold finishes on everything. Now you might just have one or two objects in the room  – it might be a beautiful gold trim or light fitting. It’s more minimal,” Narelle says.

Gold candelabras

Metallics aren’t going anywhere. Picture: H&M

David says the hunt will be on for unusual and bespoke materials in 2017. Marble remains popular, but it will be rarer more hard-to-find marbles that will be truly sought after.

“I think after the Global Financial Crisis people were a bit scared of luxury but I think now people aren’t so ashamed of having beautiful things,” he says.

“The use of patterned tiles, rugs and wallpaper combined with matte finishes like brushed gold and terrazzo flooring will be a hit next year and I think we will be seeing less copper, rose gold and marble in general,” adds Vivian.

Narelle and David say people will continue to embrace marble – but in a honed finish rather than a polished version of the luxe stone .

“People are more going for your Carrara and Calcutta marble, but we’re also seeing a bit of a resurgence to the emerald green marble from the 1980s,” Narelle says.


Patterns taken from natural form – in marble, timber or terrazzo – will reign supreme in 2017.

All three designers referenced terrazzo in particular, a textured material that uses cuts of marble sprinkled into concrete, as the next big thing.

“Terrazzo is a material that stands the test of time – it suits both a classic and contemporary application depending on what you pair it with. The texture suits a variety of palettes, and you can also get different aggregate size,” Narelle says.

An apartment with terrazzo flooring, a big design trend for 2017

Terrazzo flooring will feature at Milieu’s Napier St, North Fitzroy. Picture: / Artist’s impression

Old techniques like marquetry, where a starburst pattern is created in timber grains, will also make a comeback.

Geometric patterns will continue from 2016, but rather than referencing Moroccan or Peruvian styles they will be more of the mid-century European style, inspired by Italian architect Gio Ponti, David says.



The laid-back luxury of some of the world’s best hotels will be a key style influence in 2017.

“Our homes will become more ‘resort’ style, taking inspiration from around the world and still harking back to the ’50s – ’70s eras,” Vivian says.

“A tropical-cuban-retro inspired home is on my dream list at the moment. I’m also really inspired by Hacienda bar in Sydney drawing on similar themes.”

Table setting with tropical-themed decorations

Tropical musings. Picture: Alida + Miller


If Pantone’s oh-so-green colour of the year is any indication – indoor-outdoor living is here to stay.

“Indoor plants and open plan living will still rule in 2017 as we continue to want to feel connected with the outdoors from inside our homes and to offset our busy lifestyles,” says Vivian.


Luxury is no longer ostentatious – it’s just more about quality than show.

An obsession with eating out has forced hospitality and retail outlets to up the ante in terms of design.

This has given people a better understanding of design and of how things are made and, as a result, more retailers are offering customised products.

“Because we live a throw-away life, particularly with fashion and homewares, luxury is now something that is beautifully made with beautiful materials,” David says.

“Lots of designers are now embossing and monogramming their products – people want to feel individual again.”

Marble MacBook case, an example of the luxury design trend

When luxury becomes accessible: A marble laptop case. Picture: Neue Blvd


Yes – mid-century design is here to stay, but with an added contemporary twist.

“A lot of the European luxury brands are doing interpretations of mid-century designs. Italian Baxter references mid-century but is doing it in a very contemporary way. Gubi, out of Denmark, are bringing nostalgia back into their product in mid-century form,” David says.

Interior designer Simome Haag's beach home with mid-century influences

A delightfully 70s rattan lampshade for this low-key space. Picture: Derek Swalwell. Styling: Simone Haag

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