9 April 2014

The top 20 interior trends that will freshen up your home for the new season*

1   Cool greys: the new neutrals palette is putty, pencil and charcoal.  greys are soothing on the eye so they make a great base shade for rooms, on walls, floors, curtains and linens, and they suit both period and contemporary schemes.  farrow & Ball's Lamp Room Gray paint (farrow-ball.com) and the Toulon grey washed-linen bedroom set from thelinenworks.com are timeless.

2  ... and warm pastels:  Pastel shades are a great way of adding a gentle touch of colour for the onset of spring.  while many of us think they're offputtingly sugary, they can be quite subtle and pleasing, and will lift those muted greys. the creamy tones of pastel shades makes them versatile.  Idea: contrast warm powdery wall paints with metallic bronze accessories (earthpaints.co.uk).

3   Honesty and purity:  a mood that retailers are calling 'authenticity' or 'honesty', an unfussy, utilitarian style that emphasises the natural beauty of materials, particularly wood.

4   Clarity: create a feeling of openness with transparent surfaces and mirrors to bounce light around your room.  show off treasures from spring walks in glass display domes or invest in a set of  scatter mirrors for one wall (£75 for five from johnlewis.com).

5   Scandinavian style: still big news, this influence is all about carefully considered function and form, a sense of simplicity and restraint.  Danish brand Hay (at Selfridges,selfridges.com) is one to watch for cool-as-can-be cushions and throws.  The Teema off-white dinnerware, designed in the sixties by Finnish Kaj Frank, is a modern classic (from £12/plate, scp.co.uk).

6   A hint of sunshine:  surprise the eye with a flash of yellow, which can look fresh and modern against grey, black and white.

7  Copper:  this glowing metal gives neutral rooms an edge, such as Tom  Dixon-esque lights from M&S (marksandspencer.com) and Cox and Cox has striking bowls.

8  Industrial heritage:  less factory-style, more silk weaver's cottage or shoemaker's workshop; such as trestle tables and vintage 'artisan craft' ornaments, such as yarn spools and wooden shoe lasts.

9  Jaw-dropping floors: elaborate patterns underfoot, such as exuberant wildlife and even witty imitation wood grain patterns (brintons.co.uk).

10  'Boutique' wallpaper:  There's a shift from non-offensive neutrals to homes with real attitude, meaning we now embrace bold florals, extravagant colour, even matallic and 3D effects.  Graham & Brown's 'new wave' range is by emerging artists such as Lucinda Abell (see grahambrown.com).

11  Quirky panelling: Felix and Martin's clever 3D-effect concrete wall panels imitate traditional timber.  Grey or white, in various sizes (from felixandmerlin.com).

12  Geometry:  a graphic pattern gives a tired room instant zing, such as British Ceramic tile's Thirties-inspired 'diamond deco' floor tiles in slate or cream/mushroom.

13   Versatile furniture:  why choose between using that space for a writing desk or a dressing table?  Pick a design which could be either.

14  Spring greens:  a thrifty way to brighten the bathroom: a big stack of towels in an energising colour, such as Orla Kiely's apple green Stem range from johnlewis.com.

15   Americana: Think of New England; Lexington, an American brand with a laid-back but luxurious East coast style, is now here.  Look for crisp, pale denim-blue Pin Point bed linen and weatherboard whites for the table (johnlewis.com).

16  Inside-out:  choose accessories that work outside too. Ika's duck egg ware makes alfresco lunch an occasion (okadirect.com).

17  Ottomans (ottomen?!):  this year's love seat - you don't need but really want one.  Loaf has a wide range of oak-legged styles from the plump-and-squishy to a formal button-down look, in 64 fabrics (loaf.com).

18  Statement pottery:  Bolder is better - a dramatic shape or a lively folk-inspired pattern.  Heals.co.uk and anthropologie.eu have joyfully coloured twists on ancient craft traditions.  Also see Jonathan Adler's playful pottery, or Peruvian brown stoneware glazed in white: his Utopia snail lantern is brilliant (uk.jonathanadler.com).

19  Town-house style:  Inspired by the private club, this look suits rooms with cornicing, panelling and feature fireplaces.  One smart armchair, a standing lamp and striking picture frames, see Heals.co.uk.

20 Faking it:  artificial or dried flowers help out aesthetically when your garden isn't in a giving mood.  

(from Sunday Telegraph 6 April 2014)

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