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Interior Design Trends for 2017: Urban Warrior

I said in my first post on interior design trends for 2017, that some of the styles that are landing this year are ramped-up versions of looks we already know and love. The Extreme Nature trend, which you can read about here, is a perfect example of this.

But the trend I’m showcasing in this post is less of a reimagined look. This one meshes an array of interior design aesthetics to create a vibe that feels completely new. It also feels a bit unexpected, which always excites me to no end. And yes, I get legitimately excited about new trends. Don’t judge.

graffiti apartment with tribal influences and post no bills art

Urban Warrior is Global meets Graffiti

The global interior design style has been a popular and evolving one the past few years. We’re travelling more, we’re collecting and collating decor more, and we’re getting more adventurous with displaying mementos at home.

Urban Warrior takes that earthy, tribal, ethnic-inspired base and gives it a kick of colour. Predominantly pink. And the hotter the better. Barbie pink as we know it is no more. We’re relabelling it, showcasing it with pride and a sense of power. And we’re matching it with dramatic geo patterns to create a home that feels eye-catching and colourful.

Street style is also woven into this look, so expect graffiti-inspired art, loud cushions and other irreverent decor working its way into this aesthetic. It’ll give this more mature style a much-needed youth injection, which I’m all for.

black bathroom with hot pink towels and ethnic decor and art

“This look is bold, colourful, gritty, rebellious and unapologetic. There’s a ‘f*ck you’ sensibility here, for lack of a better term.”

tribal bedroom with street art influences zebra rug

No Boho Permitted

The bohemian interior is another style that’s been huge the past five-or-so years. This post on boho-meets-coastal is a stunner if you veer toward this interior style, but it’s important to point out that Urban Warrior isn’t bohemian at all.

The tassels and embellishments, the handcrafted baskets, the beadwork… there is none of it in the Urban Warrior look. I only say this because its so easy to take that tribal interior in a relaxed, laidback, Tree-Of-Life direction. But that’s not what Urban Warrior is about. This look is bold, colourful, gritty, rebellious and unapologetic. There’s a ‘f*ck you’ sensibility here, for lack of a better term. And the furniture and decor reflects that.


A little Gritty, a Little Industrial

So we’ve ticked off a tribal vibe, street style, a sense of eclecticism and rule breaking. But what we haven’t touched on yet is that this look also features harder, industrial elements. Think older, New York lofts; brick walls, dark timber floorboards or concrete, exposed pipes and Edison bulbs (yes – I still love an Edison bulb and they’re not over yet!).

On top of those hard materials we drape tactile textures; cowhide, tufted chairs, woven cushions, chunky wool throws. An animal print would feel right at home here, so don’t be afraid to introduce one!

black and pink warehouse apartment

Make it your Own

The best thing about this trend is that it has that sense of Eclecticism. It’s about getting that ethnic base right, and then adorning it with whatever crazy patters and tactile materials you like. I also love that this look can be dark and black or white and bright; both are sensational.

If you just remember to keep the base global and industrial-inspired, you can splash zesty pinks and turquoises on top. Throw in a little bling (brass would work well), add a few irreverent (and even offensive) quotes or symbols and you’re done; Urban warrior transformation complete.

Interior design trends for 2017: do you reckon Urban Warrior will take off? Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts!

Image credits: 1 here. 2, 4 and 6 here, 3 here, 5 here.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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2 Responses

  1. I am in love with this look and really hope it takes off! Another I’m desperate to see in the mainstream is Ecoluxe – luxury look with sustainable products. Really love this post though!

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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