What will the best dressed homes be wearing this year? Sharon Dale reports on a year that looks set to be dominated by shades of green.
When Pantone declared that Greenery would be their much-anticipated Colour of the Year 2017, there was a mixed reaction.
The Editor-in-chief of interiors style bible Elle Decoration magazine, Michelle Ogundehin, immediately tweeted that she was “So not feeling it” followed by the hashtag “kermitgreen”. Some agreed while others embraced the vivid hue.
Whether it becomes popular remains to be seen but what is certain is that shades of green, from rich emerald to sludgy olive, will dominate this year.
Much of the appeal lies in their close ties with nature, which is a theme that is gaining strength.
Modern life is speeding up, technology is taking over and there are uncertain economic times on the horizon, which means many of us long for an escape to the country. Anything reminiscent of fresh air, summer days and long walks away from it all is welcome.
It’s the reason why floral designs will remain fashionable and the bigger and bolder the better. Among the most beautiful flower-filled fabrics and papers are those from Designers Guild’s new Majolica collection.
Houseplants and fresh flowers too are predicted to flourish. Faux flora has now become mainstream and there are some great budget buys, including vases of artificial flowers from Sainsbury’s from about £5.
Real houseplants are harder to maintain but well worth the effort. They bring many health benefits, including removing harmful VOCs and carbon dioxide and reducing stress. For inspiration read Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff’s book Urban Jungle: Living and Styling with Plants, published by Calwey. The book showcases five plant-filled homes owned by interior designers and bloggers. There are tips on everything from the best plants for bathrooms and how to make a terrarium to grouping plants and caring for them.
The last big houseplant craze was in the 1970s, a decade that continues to impact on design.
The interest in retro and vintage homeware will continue this year fuelled by nostalgia and a quest for individuality. The antiques market also looks set to thrive as buyers realise that spending a little more on something extra special and collectable can be a great investment. Antiques doyenne Judith Millers says that brown furniture is making a comeback, which also means that there’s no need to upcycle it with lashings of paint.
Mid-century style will be pushed to the fore thanks to the centenary of the birth of Lucienne Day. In celebration of the life and work of one of most influential designers of the post-war generation, the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation is organising a nationwide programme of exhibitions, events, awards and collaborations to run throughout 2017. For details visit
Here are some more 2017 trends:
Opulence: Our love affair with velvet will continue. Sofas, throws, curtains and cushions in velvets and velours will add glamour along with gold, which is the most fashionable metallic. Emma Brindley, group interior designer for Redrow Homes, says: “We’ve moved away from the softer, more muted tones to a radiant, stronger gold that brings richness to the home.” The Luxurious look works wonderfully in bedrooms. Jonathan Warren, director of Yorkshire-based Time4Sleep, says: “We are expecting to see a big shift towards upholstered beds. Deep buttoned headboards in sumptuous fabrics will be popular this year.”
Bathroom Living: a combination of bathroom and living space that offers a luxurious escape. Hugo Oliver’s interior designer, Nancy Straughan, says: “The bathroom living look can easily be achieved by incorporating pieces of furniture, such as a chaise longue or cushioned chair.” Chandeliers, drapes and sinks incorporated into vintage cabinets and drawers complete the scene.
Global: Accessories such as cushions, wall hangings, pictures and curios that suggest you are well travelled abound this year. My favourite so far is the Llama cushion, £45, by John Lewis, though we have to wait until April before it hits the shelves.
*Zig zags: Chevron is the new stripe, according to Kevin Royal, Managing Director at ScS. “We are seeing it in both sofas and flooring. Customers are more likely to opt for the zig-zag pattern over straight lines.” He adds that he is seeing a huge shift towards fabric sofas and away from leather.
*Dark underfoot: Darker shades of wood flooring, including parquets, are stealing a march on pale Scandi-style boards. Terracotta tiles will also enjoy a renaissance.
*Wine rooms and pavement glass and brick walls: Qualitas, which works on some of the top refurbishment and build projects in London, says that wine rooms are fast becoming a must in the most fashionable homes. For those short of space and funds, a wine fridge is an alternative that is gaining ground.
*Broken plan living, bricks and dens: Brick feature walls are “the thing”, according to Qualitas. This is achieved by cladding internal walls with thin slices of brick. Pavement glass is another emerging trend. The heavy duty glass allows light in to basements while providing a durable and slip resistant floor above. The evolution of open plan living continues. Now, it is less about one big space and more about the clever use of it. By using different floor finishes, stepped levels and partitions, such as book cases, distinct zones are created. Ninety per cent of the projects that Qualitas have planned for this year will include a flexible space for use as dens, playrooms and man caves.