Suppliers play a leading role in the creation of personal or community spaces. Surfaces and edge treatments provide an appealing look and feel, while hardware delivers comfort, functionality and accessibility. Fitout design can have a positive impact on your home or workplace and getting it right is crucial.

Fitout is a term used to describe the process of providing the requirements and final decoration of an interior living or workspace, making it suitable for occupation. A fitout can include the finish to floors, walls and ceiling, and the furniture or cabinetry within the space. A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing and is often used in relation to design or fashion.

This year, according to international designers, trends for private dwellings include furniture with softer curves, a throwback to the popular Scandinavian designs of the 1950’s; anything furry or cosy, corduroy, velvet and bouclé, preferably made from eco materials; matte finishes, glass, semi-transparent materials, and open grids and mesh where cabinet contents are seen. We will also see a return to handmade and imperfect items; multi-functional furniture; and high-quality statement interiors or furnishings.

The current pandemic has given rise to whole-home health designs with antimicrobial properties, like copper and other hard materials that gain antimicrobial properties from smooth, non-porous surfaces. Trends are also to unique, personal spaces where people feel comforted; to quality furnishings that can evolve with them and their homes; to products that are well made, durable, and long-lasting; and interiors that make people feel like they are on holidays.

Barbara Rui is Surteco sales director (Italy). She said, “The pandemic changed our personal relationships by compelling us to refrain from contacts with other people. We went back to living an old-fashioned lifestyle that gives our existence a different value. I firmly believe this pandemic enriches our lives and that we will appreciate many things far more in the future. We recognise that leisure does not simply mean traveling round the world, but we can also enjoy being at home and savouring our family-oriented existence.”

In the workplace, the trend is to comprehensive office solutions that considers the changing requirements for attractive, often hybrid office workplaces. Many people who worked from home have not returned, resulting in a trend to strengthen employee loyalty to the company, to make the office culture evident and real, and to present the company as an attractive employer.

On-Trend Materials

Wood is a renewable raw material that sequesters CO² in furniture. Wood plays a decisive role in defining the feel of nature in a modern living space; be it the living, kitchen, bathroom or bedroom. While there is still some sentiment to leaving trees in the forest, the use of timber from certified, sustainably managed forests is changing the way people think. Wood is a unique piece of nature that can be experienced in solid wood furniture, wood surfaces, flooring and wall panelling.

With an operating history of approximately 100 years, Big River has established itself as a diverse manufacturer and distributor of timber and building products. Big River is an integrated Australian timber products business that operates across the full continuum from procurement of raw materials through to sale of finished products to end users. One Stop Shop for Building Products, Formwork, Flooring, Plywood, MaxiWall and MaxiFloor.

Deco Australia was established in 2004 by CEO Ross Doonan who saw potential in ground-breaking powder coating sublimation technology developed in Italy. Ross’s philosophy was to deliver a unique high quality, aesthetically pleasing durable finish for aluminium building products whilst delivering exceptional standards of quality and service. DECO continues to innovate with DecoWood; a textured wood grain powder coating for aluminium cladding and architectural features. DecoArt reproduces custom and decorative images on powder coated aluminium used for kitchen splashbacks and signage and is low maintenance and highly durable.

Elton Group is committed to supplying timber veneers and panels in accordance with advanced environmental standards for forests, water utilisation and raw material utilisation. The group is tuned into international design trends, and the changing face of the Australian interior fitout and cabinet industries. Max Mascitti, the group’s trade manager said, “We are definitely in a fashion industry, every product we bring to the market has a point of difference. We thrive on being first to market, discovering new opportunities and curating a sustainable range of hundreds of products that last.”

Polytec is an Australian decorative board and laminate brand with 30 years’ experience. Forever the creative thinker, Polytec invests in pioneering new product and range developments to equip cabinet makers, architects, designers and consumers alike with a palette that’s contemporary, forward-looking and comprehensive.

With ongoing investment in the production of ABS edge-band, Surteco Australia are committed to creating the highest quality product through local design, materials and manufacturing. Phil Nankivell is decorative sales manager Surteco Australia. He said, “From the reality of Covid life, to creating happy new interior environments there have been significant changes in interiors and design in the last few years. Product development will need to align itself with healthcare benefits and expand beyond just good design. Client spending has increased in residential projects as clients are willing to spend more money on their home projects. To combat the sense of pandemic anxiety and unrest, colour trends will instil a sense of comfort and reassurance.”

Wilsonart is recognised as one of the global leaders in decorative engineered surfaces. With manufacturing facilities in 16 locations including Australia, Wilsonart has developed an enviable reputation in solutions for healthcare, aged care, education, office, retail, hospitality and residential market segments. Wilsonart is known for its innovation in decorative panels, high pressure and specialty laminates that reflect the latest trends, through a focus on colour, texture and performance.

On-Trend Hardware and Software

Colour and material trends continue to evolve and include recent releases of design-focused hardware typified by innovative drawer systems where sides can feature glass, metal or wood. Hinges now consider improved accessibility and storage space typified by thin, self-closing designs that in some cases are mounted within the wall of the cabinet, becoming almost invisible to the user.

With a company history spanning almost 100 years, the family-owned company Häfele is a globally positioned and experienced specialist in intelligent hardware and fitting systems, lighting and electronic locking systems. Häfele has always evolved as times change and is focused on the future; moving forward and thinking ahead.

Hettich creates a combination of intelligent technology, functionality and design by developing and producing a huge variety of fittings for different functions. Hettich is intensively involved with trends and innovations because even the smallest details of a room should express the architect’s basic idea. Hettich see three megatrends shaping change with extraordinary intensity: globalization, digitalization and new mobility.

Established in Brisbane in 1986, Lincoln Sentry has evolved, grown and expanded to become one of Australia’s leading suppliers and distributors of hardware and components to the cabinet and furniture making industry. Their integrated approach results in the company’s unique ability to bring together multiple elements required by cabinet makers, furniture makers, designers, builders and renovators; to provide a single source of reference, specification and supply for all types of residential and commercial projects.

Nikpol is an 100% Australian owned and run company supplying hardware, decorative surfaces and appliances to the renovation, RV and building industries. Mission to provide superior value to our customers by leading the market in innovative, high quality, environmentally preferable interior solutions for residential and commercial applications throughout Australasia.

Pytha Lab has become a market leader in the field of 3D CAD systems using real time visualization for interior design, wood working industry and architecture. The PYTHA software company PYTHA Lab was founded in 1978 powerful 3D CAD system for interior design – no matter whether you design singular objects or private luxury interiors. PYTHA is also used for planning school interiors, kindergartens, hotels, sports venues, and ship furnishing.

The need for comfort and stability drove many decorating and design choices during the last few years, and these trends will continue to dominate interior design in 2022 and beyond. The last two years have given people in all walks of life the opportunity to reflect on who we are and how we want to live. Innovative fitouts and people-focused trends will play an important part in how people achieve their new goals.

Article by Philip Ashley