From sumptuous midnight blues to zingy greens, Moroccan tiling to iridescent accents – the latest mood for the home is all about relaxed luxury. Here’s how to create a swoon-worthy place to call your own.
Moving on from pastel pink and grey, which was all the rage last year, is a new colour palette for 2017. Dialling up the drama and adding a dose of opulence are jewel tones of inky blue, emerald and violet. These play out best by using luxurious fabrics, such as velvet and silk, and accessories made out of Lucite, glass and quartz. Alternatively, give a favourite room an immediate uplift by painting walls in midnight blue or deep green – you’ll find the palette gives a surprising transformative effect.
David Mottershead, managing director of Little Greene, which supplies luxurious wallpapers and paint, agrees: “Deep blue evokes all the elements of nature that are unusual to see but a joy to behold: from the depths of the ocean to the endless midnight sky. Deep blue also brings a sense of space and tranquility to a room, and helps walls feel like they are receding. Blue is a rare colour in that it can create a drama all of its own, without help from accessories and props, leaving space for clear thinking.”
Judy Smith, colour consultant at Crown Paints, has named the ‘jewel’ trend one of the major paint focuses for the brand this year and says: “Using navy and other rich jewel-like hues evokes the secrecy that only night brings, but that is both magical, unpredictable and intriguing. This palette focuses on the darkened tones of evening such as navy and viridian pierced through with torches of gold light to give rich, opulent layers of nocturnal mystery. Perfect in any space to give a bold luxurious retreat.”
As well as using the shades as a backdrop on walls, consider giving a nod to the trend by investing in a glamourous sofa, upholstered in rich velvet. Our top choice is Harvey’s Thornton, a modern chesterfield style, which comes in a glorious sea-green colour. Alternatively, Sofa Workshop’s Lexington sofa in bright turquoise velvet will add a touch of panache to any room.
Megan Holloway, marketing manager at Sofa Workshop, gives her view: “Experimenting with fabrics and textures from beautiful velvets to butter-soft leathers are a great way of injecting warmth into your room. The picture-postcard ideal of winter warmth often involves a lot of cushions and throws, opt for these in rich, jewel tones.”
You can, of course, simply update existing furniture by re-upholstering items and bringing them back to life. Debbie Leigh, design manager, at iLiv, a modern fabric specialist, gives her advice on what fabrics to use: “Inky blues are slowly becoming the new grey, the rich and moody tones of this colour scheme are perfect for creating a calm and soothing ambience. Our Cotswold Prussian collection is ideal for introducing this look into your homes and offers quality printed velvets, cottons and gorgeous jacquard designs. The mixture of damask prints and tartan patterns work wonderfully together and will instantly add interest and character to your interiors.”
Jessika Rauch from Villeroy & Boch suggests simply giving a nod to the trend with new glassware
*In both the fashion and interiors world, midnight blue is fast becoming the new black.
* Add navy vases filled with exotic blooms for an easy way to tap into the trend.
*Dark blue can also work really well in the kitchen, a room we consider to be the most important room in the house. A stylish addition would be our range of Boston coloured glassware – ideal for dinner parties.
GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME
With ‘greenery’ being announced as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, it looks like all shades – from apple to sage, olive to verdigris – will soon be adorning our homes.
“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature and one another.”
Tones of green can be wildly varied with forest green, for example, calling to mind a modern Scandi influence and earthier tones giving a warmer feel. Pops of lime are perfect for a spring refresh, while shades of jade and chartreuse are modern and sophisticated. Refer to the trend by using botanical prints, palm designs or foliage inspired textiles. Or, for the more adventurous, why not consider adding Brintons’ Green Palmette carpet to an all-white room for instant impact?
With its wide range of green textiles and wallpapers, Harlequin, is the go-to brand to find the right fit for your home. Claire Vallis, design director, says: “Green is full of vitality and freshness. Surrounding yourself with green is good for the soul and lifts your home to another level of vibrancy and wellbeing. Depending on the hue, green can be thought-provoking and energetic, or alternatively choose a gentler shade if you want to create a soothing and calming space.”
Joa Studholme, international colour consultant, at Farrow & Ball, paint specialist, gives his expert view
“There is something almost defiant about the use of botanic Studio Green on walls instead of the ubiquitous charcoal darks. It is unapologetically clubby and has a fantastically timeless, old-world quality, but can be used in the most modern of rooms. The sober colour reflects nature, especially when combined with creams such as New White, Farrow’s Cream and Pointing, all of which blend seamlessly to create rooms that feel calm and serene.”
Staying home is the new going out so consequently we’re all after touches of luxury to elevate our home experience. Upholstered bedheads, for instance, bring instant glamour to a bedroom and are inspired by luxury hotel rooms. Cosy knits, cashmere throws and giant pouffes are also an indication of the trend. Meanwhile, sheepskin rugs, oversized floor pillows and silk-velvet cushions call to mind an air of indulgence with these strokable textures giving the perfect cocooning effect.
Sigrid Mueller, owner, of Sigi Style, which makes fine luxury throws, agrees: “By adding one of our throws to your living room or bedroom, you will in an instance transform your home into a luxurious and more inviting space. Curl up under a warm and comfortable cashmere throw and enjoy a touch of luxury in your own home.”
All about escapism, the trend is easy to create and can be done by layering textiles and creating little nooks and crannies to retreat to. Pile sofas with soft cushions, like the tactile Weavers or Bligh styles from Sheridan Australia. Add in Vita Copenhagen’s Eos feather light shade for a pretty effect – the goose feathers soften the light and let it seductively gleam through. Create a reading corner with a well-edited bookshelf and a pretty loveseat. Choose flooring – such as Amtico’s Jumbo Herringbone – that is classic and inviting and which gives a light and airy feel to a room.
Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, which is a treasure-trove of home accessories, adds his advice: “Homes are the backdrop to life so it’s essential that the whole family feels literally ‘at home’. It’s always important that there is an overall design vision to a scheme. And it’s a mistake to compromise on everything so that nobody is happy.”
Furthermore, with plenty of agate and marble being used this year, geology also taps into the luxury trend. Consider agate bookends or coasters, or agate-style wallpapers. While marble surfaces, in deeper shades of black and deep green, give an opulent feel.
Max Spenser-Morris, head designer at Design Republic, reveals new metals are the latest trend for kitchens
“Metal has long been commonplace in the kitchen and in recent times we have seen a mixture of shades combining. Think stainless steel appliances alongside copper accessories as a good example. This is a look that seems likely to continue through 2017, but there is a new trend on the block in terms of finish, with brushed metals gaining popularity. This brushed finish gives a soft effect and works particularly well when teamed with high gloss units or as a contrast to a wood or stone worktop. The beauty of this trend from a practical viewpoint is that the brushed finish doesn’t attract finger marks, making this look perfect for the busy family kitchen.”
As the world gets smaller and our passion for travel rises, our homes begin to reflect different styles from around the world. For textiles, we’ll see influences from North Africa, India and Mexico where traditional designs, basketry and exotic patterns will create a global and eclectic look. Embroidery, woven textures and hand-printed fabrics give a hand-made feel and a sense of destination. Arabic shapes – seen in tiling, architectural details and kitchenware – also feel suddenly of the moment.
Fired Earth’s Marrakech range of tiles, for instance, use traditional Mediterranean and arabesque designs to create and atmospheric feel. Each tile is handmade, hand painted and then hand-antiqued to give an aged appearance.
For Eastern influences, meanwhile, Shimu has a range of Buddha heads, scarlet lanterns and stone stools that also give a unique sense of place.
Hannah Bowen, designer at Scion Studio, renowned for its on-trend fabrics, comments: “In the design studio at Scion, we like to consider ourselves well-travelled global citizens – and this explorer trend is seen in the vast array of influences across our collections. Eclectic and dynamic, this trend tells a story of globe-trotters returning home to rest before their next big adventure.”
Yonder Living, an online destination for global homewares, has a new collection of Moroccan rugs. Creative director Sophia Leppard reveals their unique heritage
*We have sourced our authentic vintage Moroccan rugs in the Atlas Mountains, where they are hand-made by Berber tribes people.
* Beni Ouarain rugs have an understated geometric design of diamonds, triangles or native figures, and are hand-loomed using wool in cream, black, grey and brown.
*Azilals are some of the rarest varieties of rug. These rugs are vibrant and colourful! Each one tells its own story, with subject matter ranging from the changing of the seasons to daily Berber life.
*The Kilim rug was borne out of necessity: when expensive sheep’s wool was unattainable to makers, they would instead weave these colourful carpets using scraps of brightly coloured fabrics – often taken from old clothes.
This trend sees lots of reflective surfaces – such as mirrors, mother-of-pearl and coloured glass being used and incorporated into room schemes. Remember that subtlety is key – this is more about gleam than gaudy.
In an otherwise pared-back room, a statement piece of gold or silver furniture can work really well – but keep it simple. Source yours from Newtons Furniture, which has a range of Rococo, French and metallic pieces. Mia Fleur also has lustre occasional tables and gilt mirrored bar carts.
Fired Earth’s creative director Colin Roby-Welford says: “Jewel-like iridescent tiles will add a touch of glamour and luxury to even the most compact bathroom or kitchen. Glass mosaics such as those in Fired Earth’s Malacassa and Arabian Sea collections take on a shimmering array of colours as light changes throughout the day. They look particularly spectacular bathed in candlelight.”
Finally, for a thoroughly modern take on shimmering surfaces, Harlequin’s Anthology wallpapers give an urban twist inspired by cityscapes. Louise Draper, designer at Anthology Studio, says: “Taking inspiration from the urban landscape and emphasising the beauty of manmade materials affected by the elements is a strong story for 2017. Anthology encapsulates the often-overlooked beauty of the cityscape. Display this trend by using floor to ceiling panels that magnify rusted patinas, pitted metal surfaces and naturally occurring patterns.”
HOW TO GET THE LOOKS
Romance Stool, £102, www.miafleur.com
Tropical paradise clock, £27, www.artrookie.co.uk
LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN
Butterfly House Floral Printed Cushion, £10, www.sainsburys.co.uk
Artichoke Tea Light Holder, £12, www.tch.net (The Contemporary Home)
Eichholtz Sofa Donatella, £1,195, www.sweetpeaandwillow.com
Sanderson Manila Rug, £409, www.therugseller.co.uk
Fes Multi Tile, £29 each, www.bakedtiles.co.uk
Lotus White Metal Mirror, £198, www.atkinandthyme.co.uk
Sahara Sands Berber Bread Basket, £38, www.postcardshome.co.uk
Blue Belle Throw, £140, www.loaf.com
This article appears in the February issue of The Cambridge Edition Magazine