Thuja’s Top Trends for 2014

Well 2014 is now upon us, and along with ‘lose weight’ and ‘drink less alcohol’ many peoples’ New Years resolution is to finally finish off that kitchen/bathroom/office refurb that got put on the back burner while Christmas festivities took over.

It may seem like a daunting task, but fear not – Thuja Design is here! And we have scoured our sources to find our favourite Interior Design trends for 2014, to help you to create the perfect design for your space.

1. Colour Flow


Colour flow can be used in a few different ways, whether it is picking a few key items all in the same colour to create a continuous effect, using various shades of a colour, or graduating colours to create a visually striking rainbow effect. Be as bold as you dare.

2. Dark Wood Flooring


Using a dark wood effect for the floor finish in your bathroom or kitchen can add warmth and a feeling of luxury to a scheme. It is a very practical colour as the shade will show less dirt, and if you are worried about the practicalities of wood in a bathroom there are many wood-effect tiles on the market to choose from. Team it with stark white and a feature colour for a striking effect.

3. Geometric patterns

Patterned tiles and wallpaper are set to be all the range for 2014, taking influence from various historical periods such as art deco and 60′s retro.

Geometric patterns 

If the idea of geometric patterns scares you don’t worry as you can be as bold or as conservative as you like- patterns can be used sparingly just on cushions or a feature tile strip and in neutral colours, or can be bright and cover a large area.

4. Monochrome


Using a monochromatic colour scheme creates a stunningly elegant design, and can be modified to match any personal preferences. It can be kept simple with starkly contrasting blacks and whites, can be dressed up with ornate patterned wallpaper and glittering silver accessories, or can have hints of colour brought in too. The world is your oyster.

6. Denim Blue


It is set to be one of 2014′s most popular colour trends, as Denim blue goes with so many schemes. It looks great with raw industrial materials, or let it shine by keeping the rest of the palette bright white. Kitchen cabinets painted in dark navy denim add a pop of colour without being overpowering.

6. Copper


Copper is set to make a big come back in 2014. Forget it being old fashioned-  it is the must have material as it adds glamour and luxury and has a rich colour that will enhance any scheme.  A little goes a long way, so use it sparingly as a feature, such as pendant lights, brassware in bathrooms or a statement piece of furniture.

Work Space Design vs Function



So what do you believe is more important in the work place, the design or the function?

bringing-a-picnic-green-inside-ssA common debate in the work place seems to be whether design takes over function in most modern offices today? It would seem that way at first glance when looking at the likes of Google, Toms, dropbox and many more where there are obvious elements of fun design in there offices. Google for instance have slides in several of the offices from floor to floor, but what actual purpose do such objects play in the work environment apart from making you feel like a child again as you wiz your way down?

Tom3889Well that’s a good question, although at first it may seem all a bit silly and misleading, but such creative environments in the work place are proven to actually increase the potential of the work force. A colleague is most creative when happy, but also has surroundings that are inspiring to feed their creative minds.

timthumb (1)But it’s all well and good having a pretty work place that you can show off but it does in the end of a day have to serve a purpose and that is to produce work, so there does have to be functionality as well. It’s a good idea to find a happy medium and balance between the two to get the best of both worlds. As in life a happy medium is always a good rule of thumb as cheesy as that may sound.

timthumbEach agency will have different needs in the work place but as long as its designed to function correctly and provides the staff with inspiration and the motivation required then that’s pretty much a job well done. If you mix the correct amount of style and function then it will perfectly allow you to focus and deliver work that needs high levels of concentration but with the added bonus of being able to escape the screen and crash out in relaxing zone as you rewire your brain ready to go again.



Meeting Pods

With open plan offices being the trend for office design, and space at a premium, where to have a slightly more intimate conversation has become a bit of an issue. Meeting pods offer an excellent solution to this problem- creating a private space in a small area, without breaking up the streamline feel of an open plan floorplate.

They can be as solid or as flexible as is required- ranging from a complete room within a room, or simply a seat with a high back. Here is a selection of our favourite meeting pods that offer a great mix of practical use of space, flexibility of design and construction, and look visually stunning.




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Shelley Street designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects


JWT Amsterdam

Ad agencies are well-known for being a hot bed of creativity and the new offices of JWT Amsterdam perfectly reflect that. Housed inside a former department store building in one of Amsterdam’s hottest neighborhoods, the new space is now open for some seriously surprising business, thanks to design director Alrik Koudenburg and designer/artist, RJW Elsinga.









Creative interior design

Creative interior design

The Prahran Hotel

A rear of a small inner city Melbourne pub has been transformed from a tiny add-on back extension into a voyeuristic playground by Techne Architects. The clever rethinking of the space has effectively turned the 130m2 back area of The Prahran Hotel into 300m2 over three levels. The star of the design is a series of 17 ½ concrete waterpipes. These concrete culverts dominate the striking street façade. For architect Justin Northrop, the pipes add a lot more than drama to the hotel’s exterior. “Inside you are climbing over the pipes, sitting in them, or on them at various levels. They have a lasting impact on the space.”

Booths can be seen from the street, and throughout the interior of the hotel. Each booth, that seats up to 12, features leather upholstered banquettes and is lined with recycled spotted gum slats and acoustic absorption mats.















Buildings with personalities

We have always felt that building have portrayed a certain personality or characteristic, well the street artist Nikita Nomerz has captured these perfectly with his series of graffiti pieces. He very cleverly uses the surrounding building features and applies them to the face such a broken bricks for teeth or boarded up windows as eyes. He is defiantly a street artist worth checking out.








Forgotten Architecture

We have always been fascinated by the remains of buildings that have been forgotten about in time. Sometimes what has been left behind can produce a stunning piece of imagery, from the derelict looking structure to the additional pieces of graffiti added sometime after the building was first abandoned. All the elements come together to create something visually pleasing to the eye, well for some anyway, giving the building a second purpose form it’s original intended use.









Concrete Jungle

It’s strange that when one changes there view or angle of an object, in this case a piece of architecture, it gives us a whole new outlook and perspective. It turns something from an everyday piece or architecture into something more beautiful with a slight degree of art to it. Concrete is usually seen as a very dull and bland material used in the city but in the instance it is far from it, showing images of how concrete can actually create a beautiful foreground to the larger picture.


This billowing roof sits, in the words of the architect, ‘floating above the site like slowly drifting clouds.’ Its gentle, calming undulations give the building a subtle presence, entirely appropriate to its role as a crematorium.



Preferring form to mass, Candela used four thin hyperbolic parabolas to strengthen the combined wall and ceiling of the building.



One of the most highly regarded scientific research centres in the world, the Salk Institute sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Founder Jonas Salk aimed to create an environment that would entice the best researchers from around the world. Kahn helped him to choose the site and created something approaching a secular monastery for science.



Briefed to ‘capture the spirit of flight,’ Saarinen created a building of such futuristic virtuosity that it still looks modern 50 years on. … Reinforced concrete embeds a grid of steel rods. In a slab this is a bit like oversized chicken wire and enables gentle rolling curves like those seen here.



“The fluted facades of this art centre feature lace impressions set in precast concrete, referencing Nottingham’s nineteenth-century lace industry.”

Beautiful abandoned places

Have you ever wondered what happens to most derelict buildings or forgotten about structures? Well, some of these formations turn from beastly things into beautiful objects. The outcome from the combination of man and nature can be pretty spectacular sometimes creating something more stunning than intended.

The Kerry Way walking path between Sneem and Kenmare in Ireland


Abandoned dome houses in Southwest Florida



The remains of the SS Ayrfield in Homebush Bay, Australia



Fishing hut on a lake in Germany



Abandoned city of Keelung, Taiwan



Cooling tower of an abandoned power plant


Just goes to show there can be beauty found in everything from derelict architecture to forgotten about place’s in time.

Doors of Ireland


Here at Thuja Design we have a small obsession with architectural details such as doors and windows. We also love bright colours, and seeing as the newest member of our team, Graham, hails from Ireland, the colourful doors of Ireland seems like a perfect thing to blog about.

It isn’t confirmed exactly why the portals to these buildings were painted in such colours, but two popular theories are:

Due to the death of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, she went into such a state of mourning that she ordered all doors in the entire British Empire to be painted black. The Irish, being opposed to caving to such orders, immediately painted their doors as colorfully as was possible at the time


There is also a story that the women of Ireland were tired of their husbands going in the wrong doors when they were drunk, going up the wrong stairs, into the wrong bedroom and sleeping with the wrong women, so they painted the doors different colours to help them distinguish between them.

Whatever the reason behind it, we think they look great!