Rays of sunshine amid the gloom

BRIGT colours and patterns are often favoured in harsh economic times and so it's no surprise that yellow is a key colour for interiors next year. Its vibrant, sunny hues are just what we need.

Geometric designs are abundant too and there's more than a hint of the 1970s in most of them.

Those running the Cath Kidston empire will be delighted that florals still bloom. From delicate sprigs to oversized retro style flowers, they are everywhere.

Interior designer Abby Parker is a big fan of Louise Body's sweet, vintage-style floral papers and predicts the designer's career will blossom further this year.

Abby, of Carolyn Parker Interior Design, forecast: "When times are hard and unpredictable, we all need to watch our finances and this can have the welcome side effect of making consumers tougher and less willing to accept poor quality goods.

"I think in 2011 people will increasingly avoid the big high street stores in favour of smaller, private retailers. When they buy, they will buy once and buy well."

"Nostalgia will play a big part too. In this time of austerity I want the comforting reassurance of the frayed blanket that I have had since I was small. We will also see warm and true colours. I recently painted my kitchen in Farrow and Ball's French Gray and I am rolling up my sleeves to use Cornforth White in the master bedroom. Both are shades of grey that can stand up to the Arctic light of our winter.

"If we're turning our thermostats down as fuel prices rise, we need to be surrounded by colours that comfort us. On the bolder side I will be looking out for rich blue/blacks and metallics. "I also hope to see more of Penelope Jordan's stunning geometric designs in felt and Villiers Brothers beautiful console tables.

"Strong lines and bold shapes featured heavily in furniture design throughout the Decorex show this year

"I think the vintage revival will remain prominent but tough economic times tend to push the boundaries of design and I am sure we will be seeing many more talented designers emerging into the limelight in 2011."

David Innes, of Innes homeware store in Hessle, near Hull, says that black, white, greys and tonal blues will form a canvas for bold contrasting colours and texture.

He also believes the folk influence will remain strong, as will the trend for using eco-friendly materials.