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Australians are leaving conformity behind and forging their own bold and daring statements in their own homes, says our Strategic Designer, Christie Wood.

"Australians have always been style savvy and have distinct visions of what story they want their home to tell through design."

Australian design is set to evolve like never before, taking enormous leaps ahead with hero tile trends. The evolution in home design will build on the experimentation that characterised the renovation scene throughout 2018. Going forwards, homeowners will confidently embrace and showcase their unique styles throughout their homes.

“Designs will celebrate playful colours, organic charm, easy living and healthy homes, as Australians continue to embrace indoor-outdoor living and become more environmentally conscious," Christie says.

Extra-large-format slab tiles - some as big as three metres long - will be a hard look to miss this year. Gaining popularity across the world for their larger-than-life wow-factor, slab tiles will start to feature in more and more local projects from high-end commercial settings to luxe home renovations.

after careful analysis of all 2019 style forecasts from industry trend leaders such as SCOUT, Christie points to five key to-watch lifestyle-look trends in 2019 all sure to set your next project apart for years to come.

Exposed Life

“The ethos of the exposed life trend is a simple approach to living from recycling and reusing, to the inventive use of space, creating a more meaningful, sustainable life. Think neutral materials wrapped in earthy finishes and blended with weather-worn motifs that pay homage to the power of nature,” Ms Wood said.

“Exposed Life is an incredible hierarchy of elements spanning handwoven cloth textures, romantic timber patinas, rich colour pallets of deep blues, dusty plums and bronze; then contrasted with pops of sparkle and warm ambient lighting.”

An example of Exposed Life builds on a sturdy organic base, such as Amazon timber look tile or Marmette terrazzo emulations, with lighter earthen shades such as Earth Cotto and Agrestic in hues of blue adding new dimensions. This will draw the eye inwards and up, to create an unmissable invitation to stop-on by – perfect for small bathrooms, or a cosy guest bedroom.

Melodrama Life

“Lovers of luxury from every era will be in their element, in this decadent tiling trend that celebrates the best-of-the-best,” Ms Wood said. “Australia’s love of the past has been building popularity since 2015 with no hint of slowing down. It is all about taking something old and giving it a modern twist and a new lease on life.

“Melodrama Life is the perfect blending of rich, lush colour, artfully curated furniture and furnishings from contrasting periods. Think: Deco with Edwardian, 5̛0s with Bauhaus; it all works to create a wonderful sense of theatre and fun.”

In the bathroom head towards a two-toned tile such as the aqueous look Pier 17 in turquoise and embellish it with a free-standing tub and oversized gold or matt black tapware. Finish off the space with fluffy towels and glass vase with Japanese plum blooms or orchids.

Bio-Tech Life

“This trend is the playful fusion between greening of indoor spaces, and green technology that provides solutions that are sympathetic to the environment and mindful of our health,” Ms Wood said. “Bio-Tech Life dynamically clashes tropical and urban mentalities, while always looking to draw the outside-in. It’s a deliberate juxtaposition and social statement of our time.”

From plant life to the colour green, achieving this look requires organic structures always being at the core of the narrative.

To achieve this look, opt for a marble-look slab tile such as Grand Atlantis, and green-hued decorative City Green Gloss mosaic tile as a standout feature wall. Complement with gold tapware and an oversized showerhead. Soften with woven baskets, green ferns and timber bathmat.”

Still Life

Simple Life celebrates simplicity, and careful curation creates open, fresh and calm living environments. Spaces influenced by this style, are paired back, yet premium and can be likened to a still life painting where every object within the project forms part of a carefully considered style story. The rise in popularity of this trend in tiles can be connected to Australians looking to streamline and still their busy lives.

“Keep styling modest by selecting a central feature in your area such a free-standing tub, then add colour and layers with unexpected textures like satin-finish to frame its focal point,” Ms Wood said.

“Concrete slab tiles and a geometric print are my go-to with this style. Introduce natural elements such as a timber stool or structured indoor plant in a brushed metal planter to create contrast and theatre.”

Life Line

Australians’ belong to a melting pot of cultures and stories. Life Line connects these points together with crucible like magic – removing the superfluous and exposing elements in their true, raw form.

“This style is all about regenerating the past from all cultures with optimistic colour, playful designs, and a dash of out of the box creativity,” Ms Wood said.

To achieve this look, think concrete tiles, terrazzo slabs, retro steel chairs and burnish metal fixtures. Keep artwork to a minimum and introduce warmth and softness to zones with primary coloured cushions on over-sized chairs and green succulents to tables.