We interviewed Maria Romeo of Distinctive Interiors, Perth, for her insights on upcoming trends in colour, fabric textures, décor and furniture design. Here’s what Maria had to say.

What style trends inspire you at the moment?

  • In 2017 we can expect to see more of a bold colour palette.
  • A luxurious and vibrant feel in terms of rich hues and texture.
  • Natural and raw elements mixed with a more polished and refined look involving environmental consideration.

The following trends are quite an interesting and exciting addition to our interior spaces for the coming year.


A trend that takes inspiration from natural curves found in nature as opposed to the geometric patterns that we have adopted lately. This trend may present itself in the form of soft furnishings, kitchen island bench tops, tabletops or art/prints.


Cork will be the new marble for 2017. It is eco-friendly, versatile and adds much warmth and texture to a space. Cork is also great at absorbing sound. Do not be surprised to see a cork feature wall in the home office or kid’s playroom. Cork furniture such as stools and coffee tables will be very on trend and affordable. You might even be able to snap up a cork handbag if you are lucky!


Pantone have announced that one of the colours for 2017 will be KALE. This colour brings in the rich hue and shades from the outdoors in. Expect to see it paired with fur, tanned leather, natural linen, timber and brass. Imagine a Nordic winter scene.


Need a break from the hustle and bustle? Create your own special retreat at home. All you need is a hidden area like a small reading nook and you are half way there! Include some comfortable cushions, a deep sofa or love seat, a chunky knit woollen rug and presto, you have your very own sanctuary for some R&R.


Add a sumptuous touch to your interior by introducing rich tones inspired by eastern design. Get a real feel of extravagance and sophistication with the use of amethyst, emerald, opal, raw quarts and Lucite. Team it with gold metallic and velvets for a touch of sparkle and interest.


Add instant opulence and get that lavish hotel feel in your bedroom. Exquisitely upholstered and detailed headboards made from luxurious fabrics. You too can feel like a celebrity in your own home.


Designers are looking positively on rustic Italian materials such as Terracotta. Gone are the 80’s terracotta border tiles and shiny floor tiles. The 2017 look is about raw matte finish tiles that add warmth and charm to a space. Think of fireplace cladding or bathroom tiles.

Tell us about your journey as an interior designer

Interior design has continually been a passion/obsession of mine. From Instagram to Pinterest and my collection of home decorating/design books and magazines. I can’t get enough! Apart from my family and close friends, it comes a very close second.

Finding the time to act upon my passion was a tad difficult. Before my two beautiful children arrived, my husband and I decide that I would be a stay at home mum – a job that requires long hours, creativity and sleep deprivation.

Before my daughter started school, she referred to certain colours as lilac, violet, fuchsia, turquoise, which was cute coming from a 3-year-old! She continues to amuse me with her interior design prowess, describing her bedroom as being modern with a vintage twist. My job is done, I am happy with that.

In 2012, I completed my Interior Design certificate. This inspired me to follow my dream and I have made many great contacts in the industry. The highlight of my career thus far was meeting Interior Designer Greg Natale and editor of Belle Magazine Tanya Buchanan (such inspirational people that shared some great advice with me).

The journey to date has been a most enjoyable and gratifying one. Looking forward to an exciting future in this industry!

Do you have any tips on how a customer should choose fabrics, leathers, colour palettes and designs? What should they look out for or keep in mind?

Whether you are choosing fabrics, leathers, paint colours or design you must consider the following. First and foremost is knowing your budget.


When choosing fabric and leather, you need to ask yourself, do you want quantity or quality? You get what you pay for! Form, function, colour and style need careful consideration.

How the materials you choose will suit your family lifestyle? Do you have pets or children? Is the fabric stain resistant? Is the fabric/leather appropriate for the room? Will it fade if exposed to sunlight? How will the colour look in the space? Understand how to care for the fabric/leather. Then finally, ensure you purchase from a highly regarded store/manufacturer.

There are several types of leather. If budget permits, always go for top grain leather, as it is a far superior product. Considerations when choosing the appropriate fabric are; width, pattern repeat, mildew resistance, thread count, fibre content and chemical finishes. Do you prefer lightweight or heavyweight fabric? Whatever fabric or leather you decide on request a swatch so that you can get a cohesive look.


Colour is an essential component of interior design and should never be underestimated! It is the quickest and most cost effective way to add interest to your interior. Colour inspiration can be found in the form of art, rugs, fabrics etc. Whether you decide to go it alone or consult with a professional, there a few points to consider when choosing the suitable colour for your home.

• The level of illumination
• Environment
• Spatial proportions
• Room function
• Age of residents
• Colour psychology
• Colour theory
• Consider existing furnishings and accessories

With colour schemes in 2017 becoming more innovative, unique and imaginative, there is no time like the present to confer with an interior designer to incorporate the latest colour trends into your home. Best of luck!

What is your favourite Torrance & McKenna design and how would you customise it?

I am a huge Art Deco enthusiast, so the Alpine couch appeals to me the most. With its beautiful contoured edges, timber frame and tufted back, it looks so sophisticated and comfortable.

For an organic feel, team this couch with Vanuatu Linen drapes from the Warwick Fabric collection.

Add a touch of warmth with a cork feature wall. Some indoor plants in terracotta pots will provide an organic element. A beautiful contour-style piece of art will add colour and create a restful atmosphere. To finish the look add some glam with a clear quartz chandelier.

View Maria’s suggested swatches on her Pinterest Board for Torrance + McKenna.

About Maria

Maria Romeo describes herself as a ‘design-a-holic’. Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Maria has established herself in her niche world of interior design in this beautiful city.

In 2012, Maria completed her studies at the School of Interior Decorating and Design. Maria describes her journey as a designer:

“It was something I needed to do for myself. Interior design has always been a passion of mine from as far back as I can remember. My knack for decorating and space planning became apparent when I was old and strong enough to re-arrange my bedroom furniture – and I still do to this day!

Over the years, I have collected many interior design books and magazines, they are my prized possessions. I also follow trends from Instagram and Pinterest.

To call design an obsession is probably an understatement. Interior design is literally something I lose sleep over.

You will note my Instagram profile photo is a beautiful blue door. For me, a door has a certain mystery about it. Doors stimulate curiosity, beckoning us to open them to discover what is behind them.”

Maria likes to help clients discover the design possibilities that can be created ‘behind your own door’, as she already has done for so many of her clients.

Find out more about Maria on her Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/distinctive_interiors/