Interior designer Karen Knox of Yorkshire based Making Spaces has to keep well ahead of the curve when it comes to home fashion, and this year she bears tidings that may cause a little consternation for those who have become addicted to grey in all its shades and manifestations and for those who adore colour.
“Beige is the new white, greige, a mix of beige and grey, is the new grey and brown is the new black,” says Karen, whose long-term prediction is that we will see a move away from rooms painted in dark colours and see return to neutral shades.
Dedicated followers of home fashion don’t have to panic decorate just yet, though. “These are trends that we will see slowly emerge over the next two or three years,” says Karen. Here are her interiors forecasts for this year:
*Some trends that were big last year, 2020, will continue in 2021, including colour blocking, which involves pairing two or more bold colours together, and the use of textured fabrics such as shearling, boucle, teddy fabrics and corduroy.
*1970s colour palettes, including beige, browns, burnt oranges, terracottas and yellows, will be popular and that other 1970s favourite Anaglypta wallpaper is back with some great designs and must be painted for maximum effect. Karen’s favourite Anaglyta is the fabulous Folded.
*Reeded, pleated, ribbed and fluted materials in lighting, wall panels, windows, shower screens, cabinetry and fabrics. Metro tiles will be used but vertically and they will be long and skinny with coloured grouts.
*The use of vertical wood panelling will become more popular, either traditional or mid-century style in large sheets.
*We will see more ceilings painted in colours, not white, and art will continue to play a major role in our rooms, as will plants. Karen has a total of 58 plants in her home and says: “They are now a staple. They are good for your health and they add feel-good factor to a room.”
*Buying work from artists and designer makers is the thing and is now made easy thanks to independent galleries and the ability of artists and makers to promote themselves and their own products via social media. Instagram has been especially useful in this.
*Vintage and second-hand furniture and accessories are a must and, along with the super fashionable mid-century furniture, we will see a revival of brown furniture and bed frames. The original wood finish is what matters, so no covering them in chalk paint. Prices for basic brown furniture and for exquisitely made antique pieces have already started to rise. “It looks especially good in period properties,” says Karen.
For those now mourning the possible loss of grey over the next few years, as predicted by Karen, there is still some life in it. Pantone has chosen Ultimate Grey paired with Illuminating, a sunny yellow, as its colours of the year for 2021.
Amanda Pollard from the popular home renovation and design website Houzz.co.uk has some ideas on how to use them together.
She says: “The grounding tones of grey mixed with uplifting yellow are the ideal balanced colour combination for our homes after a year of uncertainty. Calm, neutral grey is a long-term favourite on Houzz and looks fantastic as a backdrop to vivid yellow. Try adding some citrus accessories to a grey kitchen to create an energising, sociable hub, or pop a yellow bench seat into a grey-walled hallway to lift your spirits when you arrive home.”
Bathrooms Ripon based UK Bathrooms say that brass finishes are big for 2021. The company’s design consultant Lisa Watson says: “The standard chrome tap and shower is now being overtaken by brass, silver, nickel, copper, gold, matt black and matt white.
“Bold colours for bathroom walls are on trend for 2021 and wallpaper is all part of this. Use patterned wallpaper or a wallpaper mural on one wall and a co-ordinating paint colour on the remaining walls.
“Although not a new trend, the use of natural elements in a bathroom will continue to be popular. We will see the use of timber, stone and other natural finishes and plenty of real plants.
“Black is back on wallpaper, paint, taps, accessories and tiles. Black gives your bathroom an industrial, urban feel but don’t be frightened to go even further – there are some amazing black bathtubs out there, which create some real wow factor.”
Kitchens. The good news is that beautiful, handmade wood kitchens will never go out of fashion as they are sturdy and can be easily refreshed with paint colours.
But if you want a fashion statement then Ben Russell of Farsley based kitchen specialist Arlington Interiors suggests black. “Black is definitely back.” says Ben. “It is striking and if you invest in the right finishes, it is fingerprint and scratch resistant .”
He adds that dark blues and dark greens are also popular and look set to remain so this year, along with marble effect work surfaces. While wine fridges and boiling water taps were once only specified in top-end properties, they are now standard for the majority choosing a new kitchen..
Ben says Bora downdraught extractors are also set to become the norm. This clever German invention is integrated into the hob or worktop and draws vapours down, which means there is no need for an overhead extractor.
“Looks are completely polarised at the moment. People either want traditional wood kitchens or they want something very contemporary and angular,” says Ben.
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