This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.MORE INFO
Menu Close

With the new year right around the corner, there’s nothing like a home makeover to start the year on the right foot. For some expert guidance, we caught up with design maven Peggy Bels. Originally from France, Bels set up her eponymous firm in Hong Kong in 2008 and has been beautifying residences and commercial spaces ever since.

While Bels tends to lean into a modern and minimalist aesthetic, she doesn’t go overboard on cool tones; rather, she balances comfort and sophistication with pops of colour and personality-packed decor. To help you press reset in 2020, Bels shares a few of her insights on the most coveted palettes, textures and furniture styles — plus a few styling tips.

On interior design trends for 2020...

‘The trend ten years ago was more about industrial style — raw materials and a black and white palette. But now we’re seeing a shift towards more natural, organic materials such as wood floors, stone and soft, organic fabrics. As for colour trends in the new year, you can expect a lot of navy blue and deep green with brass accents. We’re also seeing a lot more interest in warm colour tones on the walls — I also suggest adding accent walls to break up the space and give depth to the room.’

Image courtesy of Peggy Bels

On injecting new energy...

‘For simple ways to fill your home with fresh energy, I always first recommend decluttering. This can make a huge difference and immediately make the space feel much larger. You can also upgrade a major piece of furniture, such as a coffee table or sofa. For coffee tables, I look for materials like metal, brass or marble to contrast the soft tones that I usually choose for walls and flooring. For sofas, I like to use soft fabrics like linen or velvet, which offers a more elegant look. When you’re deciding where to place your sofa, I’d about ten centimetres from the wall, which will actually make your space feel larger.’

Image courtesy of Peggy Bels

On worthwhile renovations...

‘Lighting always comes first in architecture, so I’d suggest extending the windows as large as possible to let natural light flood in. And since Hong Kong apartments are often tight on space, I recommend knocking down any wall between the living room and kitchen, which will make the home feel larger. Once the space is open, I like to frame the living room with a very large rug that encloses the sofa, side chairs and coffee table. This helps to differentiate the living room from the dining or kitchen area. Small accessories like candles are also essential to create a warmer, more welcoming environment.’

Image courtesy of Peggy Bels

On the importance of lighting...

‘Lighting selection is essential to ensure your space has a lot of character. Even if you simply add a couple of lamps or lighting fixtures with brass accents, that will make a big impact. But I normally incorporate multiple lighting points — a combination of floor lamps, table lamps and downlights from the ceiling — and use recessed spotlights to bounce light off walls and open up the space. Put all these lights on dimmer switches so you can adjust them depending on the time of day, event or mood.’

Image courtesy of Peggy Bels

On stress-busting spaces...

‘If you’re hoping to create a really relaxing space, choose natural, warm colours for the walls and emphasise one feature wall in a darker colour like navy blue or deep green. For a touch of organic modernism, you can also incorporate some brass fixtures — like a brass stool or small decor items — which will really pop. This will instantly update your living room.’