Decorex Designer Spotlight – Dorothy Van’t Riet – Talks 2018 Trends

Sandton-based Dororthy Van’t Riet of Dorothy Van’t Riet Design and Décor Consultants will be showcasing her signature, timeless style at this year’s Decorex Designer Spotlight feature. This forms part of the milestone 25th Decorex Joburg programme that will be astounding audiences at the Gallagher Convention Centre from 8 to 12 August.


To whet the design appetite for this #rhythmoflife exhibition, Dorothy Van’t Riet has outlined some of her top interior design trends for 2018.




More is more with colour usage this year. The trends for 2018 are about anything but neutral tones – it’s a year to push the boundaries of pattern and colour, something which personally resonates with me! I have a deep love for playing with bold colours and patterns. I believe people have become bored with neutral, comfortable pallets so I’ve been creating bold spaces using orange, saffron, millennial pink, teal green, violet and yellow – strong 2018 trends. Teaming these colours adds such effervescence to a scheme.


Holding centre stage are warm and earthy tones – red, turmeric, mustard, yellow and papaya. Calmer tones have not been forgotten – millennium pink, sage, celery and avocado green – are used in the background to strike a balance of strength and delicacy. The enigmatic Klein blue and purple are also very prominent in design this year.


Aspirational spaces


The focus in 2018 is about creating aspiration spaces, with a shift in designing spaces based on how people want to feel.


Design has become more about creating an experience and less about creating a space that is supposed to impress the world. People no longer seem to want spaces copied straight from Pinterest or magazines. It’s about bringing through the inhabitant’s personality and creating a space at home that will make a person feel relaxed, energised or intimate. It is about cosiness and comfort, rather than extravagance. There are no pre-determined set of rules which gives designers a great sense of freedom to create spaces that suits the client’s personality and needs.




Design and theatre are also a strong trend with music, drama and performance making a big comeback. Louis Vuitton showed us a spectacular scenario where we saw art transcending design at the Milan Fair this year.




The two concepts of modern and traditional, while seemingly opposite, are actually working together to create a sense of timelessness, elegance and quality. An example is metallic hues which make an elegant contrast while beautifully paying tribute to the Neolith Bronze age. Marrying these two concepts takes a living space to another level!


Wall Art


Wall art is huge this year. This trend takes the form of an extra-large piece of art; bold-patterned wallpaper or a wall clad in an interesting piece of marble, onyx or strong dark wood. These bold statement pieces form the focal point of a room. It is then paired with a statement piece of furniture.




Screens are big this season. This was evident when I visited the new London Design Museum, where the fashion designer, Alaia’s, collection was intersected with beautiful screens in metal and glass. Screens provide new and stimulating visual connections.


Statement sofas


Statement-shaped sofas and shapely furniture have overtaken the plain neutral sofas. We see strong curves, with velvets and diamond buttoning being big trends this year. There is a celebration of furniture reflecting the uniqueness of the inhabitant’s personality – furniture being unique, handcrafted and captivating with intricate decorative details.


The trend is for furniture to be lived with and tactilely handled. Texture and touch go hand-in-hand with cosiness. Furniture that has texture, and is comfortable and inviting, is intended to help us find time for ourselves.


Giant patterned plants


Giant patterned plants are even bigger this year, adding life and energy into a design scheme. Living plants are being seen hanging with shapes. The need to counteract our increasingly urban lives, can be seen with people reconnecting with nature, spilling over into wallpaper and fabrics.


Mixed Metallics


Metals are still being mixed in all areas, from furniture, kitchen and bathroom fixtures to lighting, cabinetry hardware to accessories. Brass has made a comeback, overtaking copper and rose gold. Metallic handles and furniture legs add glamour to a design scheme.   


A fusion of walnut, copper bronze, brass, satin brass, gold and black nickel all work together to create a sophisticated feel, choosing one dominant metal in the room and using the others only as accents. The finishes on each type of metal is matched to visually pull them together.


Geometric Designs


Geometric forms are very much with us still. They have a modern simplicity. They are familiar and create a strong presence.


Dark Woods


Furniture and dark wall cladding is in for 2018, showing a resurgence for retro glamour.




Texture is a big trend in 2018 – creating spaces that are warm, cosy and layered. This can be seen in fabrics and furniture. Wicker – a soft material which communicates welcome – is also back in a big way this year. Rattan is a key trend with successful use of either natural rattan or its synthetic equivalent. Minotti and Hermes have featured this at the Milan Fair.


Furniture has a natural, handmade feel. Textures have lots of embellishments and raw edges, all wonderful to the touch, adding to the ethos that design should be about experience.




The use of striking rugs is very much part of 2018’s design trends.


View all these 2018 interior design trends brought to life by Dorothy and her team at this year’s Decorex Designer Spotlight.  There will also be a host of new features in celebration of the milestone event, including:


o   Rhythm Restaurant + Bar by Seatworks

o   ISCA Bathroom Trends Project

o   The Franke Kitchen Trend Project

o   Win a Kitchen Competition by Curves and Bevels

o   She Shed Project

o   Design and Textile Elements

o   Lighting Elements – brought to you by K. Light

o   Natural Elements – brought to you by Neolith

o   The Tasting Room Wine Bar furnished by Yard Seventeen

o   #withlovefromdecorex Feature brought to you by @home

o   EGO Garden of the Future, brought to you by Smith Power Equipment

o   Plascon Concept Stand and Mono Colour Café

o   SA Craft Collective

o   The Coffee Cup by Illy

o   @home Trend Home presented by Decorex

o   Terrazzo Diner + Bar

o   Thru the Chair Project



8 – 12 August 2018

10am – 6pm daily

Gallagher Convention Centre

Public holiday: Thursday 9 August

Trade-focused days: 8 and 10 August

Ticket Prices:      Adults – R 120

                           Student/Pensioners – R 100

                           Kids U12 – R20

                           Trade – R 100

                           Exhibitor – R 100


For more information, email


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