Trend report: Sneha Divias rounds up the top residential design trends to look out for in 2018

Trend report: Sneha Divias rounds up the top residential design trends to look out for in 2018

Design trends, Design trends 2018, Interior design, Residential design trends

Commercial Interior Design and designMENA asked Dubai-based interior designers to contribute to this year’s trend report that looks at themes and socio-economic events that are set to shape interior design industry in the coming months of 2018. 

At Sneha Divias Atelier (SDA), we see the home as arguably the most important building one inhabits – a place of comfort and retreat, a repository of memories and a generator of dreams. As such, the first thing we do when we start a residential project is understanding the people who will live there, as well as their lifestyle.

Each of our clients is presented with a unique and individual design solution. This is the reason their residential projects are extremely bespoke and bring a fresh approach, combining design, technology and functionality.

READ MORE:  Sneha Divias discusses design style, architecture and running her own business


Gone are the days of thick dark frames and an inward looking lifestyle.

Seamlessly connecting the interior with the landscaping and even juxtaposing both is a must in contemporary interior architecture. This allows light to flow in adding brightness and freshness to the spaces. Advanced glass specifications allow us to select a finish that is energy efficient and eco friendly.

We have recently completed a full architecture and interiors renovation at a villa in Palm Jumeira where we opened up most of the walls in the ground floor to create a connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. The large windows completely transformed the spaces and added a lot more emphasis in making the most of the privileged view and the selection of materials has this vision in mind – natural, light and textured. In the same way, the outdoor living spaces have an indoor feel in terms of furniture and fabrics.


Automation and digital technology allow us to track and control the use of AC, light, water, shades, entertainment and electricity smartly. To be aware of what we are consuming is the key, as without these mechanisms we can’t fully understand what is using energy in the residential environment.

There is an increasing concern about the environment, ways to optimise utilities bills and make good use of the devices available. Home automation doesn’t have to be the complicated process that people assume; it is the next frontier for sustainable living. We liaise with automation experts and advise the most suitable solutions for individual needs. For example, opening a window can automatically turn off the air conditioning in that particular area and shades are lowered when the sun is at its peak to keep the space cooler. Users can also monitor the power consumption of all devices.

As our lives revolve around devices, we creatively incorporate charging docks.


Bathroom design is taken to another level with spa and hospitality influences and luxurious attention to detail.

The areas are bigger, there is more light and the feeling of a relaxing area rather than a small standard compartment. Designing master bathrooms brings an array of possibilities – interesting bespoke vanity counters and space planning, lighting features, unusual use of materials and equipment. It is a sanctuary of relaxation in the fast paced routines of modern-day living.

From open plan concepts, state-of-the-art equipment to connection to outdoors, we have designed exquisite bathrooms that feel like a spa within the residence. We are designing a villa in Los Angeles which has access to a generous balcony with loungers, directly from the master bathroom.


Customised units for shelving, wardrobes, headboard walls, TV cabinets and built in seating make each project different and unique.

We work with the best craftsmen and manufacturers to have statement joinery pieces throughout our projects.

We use woods, lacquers, leather, metal amd glass to add rich details to the compositions. The design is thoughtful with dimensions that incorporate the client’s needs and we liaise closely with the joinery workshops to supervise the work. We also like to incorporate custom-designed screens with geometric patterns as space dividers for big living areas.


The showroom look lacks creativity and most importantly, lacks the personality of the homeowner.

We always advise our clients to select artwork that is meaningful to them and to fully brief us on what matters to their lifestyle. The clean and immaculate open kitchens that we see in photos might not be for everyone. But it’s the designers’ job to capture the essence of the concept.

In our Palm villa project we added a slightly reflective glass partition between the kitchen and the dining area which gives a glimpse to the kitchen area, but doesn’t expose it completely. The best solutions come from listening to clients and understanding their expectations, not through trying to recreate existing spaces.


There should be a unified design language through the spaces, that have a clear connection line. Balance in all the layers – whether architectural, finishes, details, furniture and accessories – is key to build an environment that is consistent. Excessive features, furniture or colours affect the flow of the whole.

In space planning, proportions and scale, it is important to define a clear path and achieve a holistic design through geometry. Each element should have the appropriate dimensions for the room, it’s all about measurements.


Trends will go, and good design does not follow trends. Timeless interiors are not only based on the aesthetic options but also on the quality and durability of the materials and products. Selecting the right brands and quality will create spaces that are easy to maintain and it is an investment for longevity.


3D printing is opening a world of possibilities and it will take custom interiors to a whole new level, leaving plenty of room for experimentation and creativity.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the world’s first 3D-printed office in 2016, a milestone combining technology and construction. Just like any creative process, 3D printing begins in the mind of a designer with technology bringing the designer’s vision into a solid object/built environment by adding material layer by layer, allowing us to control more complex shapes.

READ MORE: Sneha Divias Atelier wins International Property Award for Burj Daman project

By Sneha Divias, architect and founder, Sneha Divias Atelier

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