From powder pink bedrooms to tropical kitchens, the latest trends in interior design have one thing in common: impact. Here’s how to adapt the latest key looks in your home.
LIVING: Urban geometrics
One of the key trends of the season is the use of geometric patterns. Whether you give a nod to the theme by adding in directional accessories – think hexagonal shelving and chevron-print cushions – or invest big with flooring or wall-coverings, these simple but bold designs make a big impression.
Hexagons, triangles and squares in interesting shape combinations are essential to this trend, and, although they have a 1970s-retro feel about them, there’s nonetheless something intrinsically modern about this look.
Specialist in handcrafted furniture, The Sofa & Chair Company (020 8752 8938; www.sofaandchair.co.uk), supplies a wide selection of luxury furniture for the home and its interior design consultant, Martin Slabbert agrees that the geometric print is currently having ‘a moment’: “Geometric prints are almost never-out-of-fashion,” he says, “and this year, they are more on trend than ever before. But you don’t have to go big and bold to master this style, as classic monochrome prints are the perfect way to add interested to a living room.
“In 2014, patterns are more delicate than have been seen previously – almost as though they have been sketched,” he continues. “This is perfect for smaller rooms, and keeps this look up-to-date and far from the typical 1970s aesthetic. For an easy update just add some printed scatter cushions, or to make a real impact, go for floor length, patterned curtains.”
For inspiration, fabric and wallpaper specialist Harlequin (0845 123 6815; www.harlequin.uk.com) has a range of abstract patterns available, from its just-launched Zambesi collection – a sumptuous range of velvets – to its Landscapes wallpapers, which feature statement, horizontal stripes.
Continuing the bold stripe theme is the popping Chromatic Stripe selection of wallpapers available at Cambridge-based Farrow & Ball (01223 367771; www.farrow-ball.com). Its Parquet wallpapers will also give a room interest, taking the traditional ziz-zag pattern from floor to wall.
For a more fine-tuned take on covering your walls, however, Galerie Wall Coverings (01892 700730; www.galeriehome.co.uk) has a selection of geometric wallpapers, including the Art Deco-inspired Chicago, which are a more subtle take on the theme. For a whole selection of graphic designs, check out the huge range available at Paint and Paper Emporium (01223 506136; www.paintandpaperemporium.com).
Innovative shapes and intricate patterns on textiles and rugs are also an easy way to translate this trend. For an utterly committed take on the look, however, choose a floor covering, such as Brinton’s new Padstow Candy Spot carpet (www.brintons.co.uk) or floor tiles, such as the bold Artist Palette collection from the Stone and Ceramic Warehouse (www.stoneandceramicwarehouse.co.uk).
Renowned for their fashion forward tiles, Fired Earth’s (0845 293 8798; www.firedearth.com) tile category manager, Caroline Gow comments: “There’s a noticeable trend towards using bold, geometric pattern throughout the home. Walls and floors have tended to be given the role of neutral backdrops but they offer endless creative potential if you let them take centre stage. Fired Earth’s latest ranges include everything from eye-catching 3D-effect Graphix tiles, to the exotic curves of the Arabesque collection which can be mixed and matched or used in striking blocks of colour to create very different effects. The Casino range offers a contemporary, decorative take on monochrome, and all three of the new collections are made from low-maintenance and hard-wearing porcelain so they’re ideal for busy households.”
LIVING: Playful mood
Mix-matched furniture, clashing colours and ombre-effect walls all combine to create a playful twist on a living space, giving a youthful, current feel.
Source eye-catching accessories and home décor from urban lifestyle stores, such as Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.eu), which has collaborated with painters Lauren Walcott and Ashley Longshore on a range of fun, painted animal cushions.
Furniture at home-emporium Out There Interiors (www.outthereinteriors.com), meanwhile, includes French-style armchairs upholstered in funky, stripy fabric, gold cabinets and vibrant, postage stamp rugs.
“I am not a fan of serious sitting rooms,” Out There Interiors director Jenny Hurren says. “Playful pieces and pops of colour draw the eye, bringing life to your space. Try a bold rug or non-matching stripy armchair to sit alongside your sofa, play with scale by placing a huge lamp on a small table, or hang a flamboyant chandelier off centre or in an unexpected place. If you don’t want to take the risk with an expensive piece experiment with cushions and lamps, they are brilliant, non-permanent ways of ‘quirking up’ your space.
“Playful and eye-catching pieces are also great for drawing attention away from unattractive elements such as UPVC windows or woodchip wallpaper,” she continues. “There’s a lot to be said for creating a feast for the eyes – it can cover a multitude of sins.”
You can also bring a room to life by choosing vibrant textiles to frame a window or to upholster a key piece of furniture as a focal point to a room. For instant impact, team Hand Made to Measure’s (01625 837 404; www.handmadetomeasure.com) Ferdinand Sunset fabric – a vivid orange and purple stripe – with oversized florals.
Not for the shy, is the latest trend in ombre-effect walls. Start with the darkest colour at the bottom of the wall and graduate the shade to a lighter tone towards the ceiling. While candy or flouro colours give the wow-factor, a more sophisticated take on this is to use lighter colours – washes of pale greys or blues – so the effect is more ‘watercolour’ rather than ‘poster paint’.
LIVING: Dramatic glamour
Dark, moody walls set off with metallic or mirrored furniture is an instant hit if high-end glamour is your goal. Paint walls black or midnight blue and contrast with Chinese lacquered furniture, such as the teal and pink cabinets available at Shimu (01274 610961; www.shimu.co.uk). Make a focal wall with mirrors, such as the vintage set of mirrors or the black and cream flower versions at stylish homeware store Oliver Hayden (0844 3350 710; www.oliverhayden.com).
Oliver Hayden’s director, Bernice Say, comments: “If you have a flair for the dramatic, a black and red colour scheme will appeal. It offers a bold palette with the ability to create a variety of different styles. Silver and mirrored surfaces are a wonderful compliment to this scheme. This look is pure glamour.”
Sumptuous furnishings – such as the handmade velvet chairs stocked at John Sankey (www.johnsankey.co.uk) – and decadent pieces, such as the deep fuchsia ottomans, black cocktail chairs and orange velvet Demi Lune sofas at The Sofa & Chair Company (020 8752 8938; www.sofaandchair.co.uk) are the ultimate ways to make the look work.
Interior design consultant, Martin Slabbert, at The Sofa & Chair Company, comments: “Interiors have become far more glamorous this season, moving away from the shabby-chic aesthetic which has been so popular in recent years. The use of clean and classic colour palettes; black, whites and even mirroring is a great way to add a subtle touch of opulence to your home. High gloss black flooring is also making a come-back, a trend I am happy to see return!”
SLEEPING: Layered textures
Cosy is key to the latest bedroom styles. Use an assortment of different textures for a modern approach to a traditional aesthetic and go for a blended, mis-matched look. Contrast cushions in different fabrics and don’t be afraid to mix modern with the new – a floral eiderdown on a silk covered duvet, for instance, works really well.
Traditional iron bedsteads, such as those available at The Original Bedstead Company (020 7351 1955; www.obc-uk.net) are perfect for this look – giving an old-time sentiment to a bedroom. To add in a contemporary twist, choose unusual textiles, such as Vanessa Arbuthnott’s (www.vanessaarbuthnott.co.uk) Bohemian range with its natural scenes in a grey and chartreuse colour palette.
To create the ultimate retreat, layering is crucial – but keep it neat. Set up small tableau of curiosities or collectables on chests of drawers or occasional tables, pile on the bedcovers in contrasting prints and create feature walls with vintage hand mirrors or small oil paintings in a similar colour palette. Check out Oliver Hayden’s quirky accessories for inspiration (0844 3350 710; www.oliverhayden.com).
SLEEPING: In the pink
Whether it’s soft blush or rich raspberry, pink is making a comeback. Taking its cue from last season’s catwalks (where the shade was featured by virtually every designer), the colour – used correctly – can look modern and sophisticated.
Director of Out There Interiors (www.outthereinteriors.com) Jenny Hurren, comments: “Pink bedrooms don’t have to scream Barbie! Soft pink and grey is a wonderful colour combination, for instance, and creates a relaxing, sophisticated room. Think pastel pink bedside tables with copper lamps and sumptuous textiles – gorgeous! When it comes to hot pink, don’t go overboard. One piece is perfect, a statement chest of drawers or sumptuous upholstered linen box for example. Allow it to own the space, then choose complementary neutrals to sit alongside.”
Essentially a romantic colour, using too much pink in the bedroom is in danger of being too ‘frou frou’ and feminine, especially if you are sharing with a male partner. Keep it modern and subtle by dressing a clean-lined ottoman bed, such as the Cameron Ottoman bed at Cambridge’s Feather and Black (01223 366282; www.featherandblack.com), with the Poetica range of fabrics –faded glamour in style – from Harlequin (www.harlequin.uk.com).
For bolder schemes, use bright, fresh detailing – such as the oversized floral Tamika wallpaper, also from Harlequin (www.harlequin.uk.com) and contrast with gold or mirrored furniture for an atmospheric boudoir. Minimalist lovers need not shy away from the shade, either. Contrast a clean, sparse aesthetic with a candy-pink wall colour, such as Farrow & Ball’s (01223 367771; www.farrow-ball.com) Nancy’s Blushes – and your room will be instantly updated.
SLEEPING: Keep it zen
Like no other room in the house, the bedroom is all about calmness and serenity. Echo this feel with your furnishings and décor. A combination of complimentary pastel colours – think aqua, pale blue and grey – look elegant and understated.
Highlight areas, such as a dressing table, with clever lighting – source antique bronze lamps or gilded bedside lights for a sophisticated contrast against light wall colours. And hide away the clutter. Fitted wardrobes, such as those supplied by Rencraft (www.rencraft.co.uk), in contrasting pastel colours to the rest of the room, will give a seamless, peaceful look.
Soft fabrics and vintage-style wallpapers with pale prints also create a subdued backdrop. Cambridge’s Paint and Paper Emporium (01223 506136; www.paintandpaperemporium.com) has a fantastic selection to choose from, such as the 1950s-style Hampstead by Little Greene – a fine detailed paper in black and white.
Window coverings are also key. For high-ceilinged rooms, hang curtains – in silks and velvets – that drape along the floor for a decadent, sumptuous look. Alternatively, shutters can create a beachy feel to induce a laid-back holiday vibe.
Ryan Jarvis owner of Cambridge’s Shuttercraft (01223 581 339; www.shuttercraft-cambridge.co.uk) agrees: “Interior window shutters are a highly versatile window covering that can provide the perfect balance of light and privacy to help create a tranquil atmosphere to relax and unwind in.Shuttercraft Cambridge offer the widest range of premium window shutters and can even custom colour match their shutters to compliment customers unique style and zen.”
KITCHEN: Shine and shimmer
Kitchens have come a long way from simply being a practical hub of the home. They are now being ‘dressed’ just as any other room would be; and the more glamorous the better. Cabinets in gemstone colours – think emerald and sapphire – are accentuated with brass taps and mother-of-pearl splashbacks. Meanwhile, glimmering surfaces in bold hues, such as the Cristallino Blue and Cape Cod Green, available at Granite Transformations (0808 271 6672; www.granitetransformations.co.uk) elevate the kitchen to the most design conscious room in the house.
The use of glass in a kitchen can also bring a polished look to the space. A bank of glass cabinets, such as those available at Nicholas Anthony (01223 368828; www.nicholas-anthony.co.uk) can house statement vases or crockery, while pretty glass chandeliers can contrast nicely with sleek, modern cabinetry.
A white on white look (think: white flooring, cabinets and lighting), matched with gleaming white tiles, such as the Magma stone tiles available at The Stone and Ceramic Warehouse (020 8993 5545; www.thestoneandceramicwarehouse.co.uk) can make as much of an elegant statement as a colourful scheme does.
Meanwhile, gold, silver and copper elements – taps, practical accessories and ovens – are key materials for those looking to stay one step ahead when it comes to interior design.
Tony Nicholas, managing director at Cambridge-based Nicholas Anthony kitchens (01223 368828; www.nicholas-anthony.co.uk), also identifies the trend: “Silver is a soft, sleek iridescent element in a kitchen. In fact, the use of metallics will enhance an expression of modernism and glamour while shimmering surfaces deliver opulence. The use of metallic increases a sense of warmth and value in any kitchen interior.”
KITCHEN: Tropical heat
Turning up the heat in the most modern kitchens is a new tropical theme, played out in exotic leaf motifs, natural textures and the use of greens of all shades.
Against a neutral backdrop, you can play with the theme by adding in brightly coloured accessories, such as the exotic hued platters and jugs, available at Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.eu), and bright, zesty lighting, such as the green Wan pendants at Christopher Wray (www.christopherwray.com).
Whether you go for emerald shades or lime green, this look is all about being bold. Clash your greens and use natural textures such as sisal rugs, palm-print wallpapers and Waikiki print fabrics. Plantation-style painted shutters, such as those available at Shutterly Fabulous (www.shutterlyfabulous.co.uk) give an ‘island’ feel to a space and can be used as a bright focal point if painted a popping colour in an otherwise neutral kitchen.
Tony Nicholas, managing director at Cambridge-based Nicholas Anthony kitchens (01223 368828; www.nicholas-anthony.co.uk), comments: “Shades of green offset with contrasting materials such as wood, glass, plastic, concrete and steel can create a tropical escape with a soft urban edge. This look works extremely well in both kitchens and bathrooms. Informal interiors with using nature’s shades and finishes can enhance a sense of comfort.”
KITCHENS: Future luxe
Most of all, when it comes to our kitchens, we want them to work hard for us – and work well. Available soon are a new generation of intelligent appliances, which will mean we’ll all be cooking clever. Ovens and fridges controlled by apps – even when you are not at home; oversized fridges (four doors anyone?) with inbuilt tablets and intelligent thermostats that automatically reduce energy consumption are coming to a kitchen near you soon.
It goes without saying that a luxury home for these new devices is essential. Invest in a handle-less, sleek kitchen by Nicholas Anthony (01223 368828; www.nicholas-anthony.co.uk) or a contemporary, glossy model at By Design (01223 248409; www.bydi.co.uk) to complete the futuristic vibe. The latest kitchens offer space-saving features and hide away all the practical items that are kitchen essentials but which you may not want on show. After all, innovation that looks good is hot right now.
This feature is in the July issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine.