It’s a new year when thoughts turn to moving and makeovers. Sharon Dale looks at the latest interior trends for those who want to move or improve.
When the going gets tough, the tough move away from minimalism and embrace home comforts. So, colour, texture, rose-tinted nostalgia and an altogether more maximalist approach to interiors can be seen as we deal with a daily barrage of Trump, terrorism and Brexit. Here are the trends to look out for this year:
*The colour purple: Pantone’s colour of the year is ultra violet which, according to the Pantone Colour Institute, “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future”. Sounds good and it looks great in small doses. To match is deep rose pink, which you’ll see a lot of.
*Mid-century style still has us in its a grasp but don’t go the whole hog. Mix it with modern designs and stick to a couple of key pieces and accessories.
*Metals of the moment: Brass and gold are the colours du jour. Audenza, formerly Mia Fleur, has a great selection of furniture and accessories in these shades, including the mesh lounge chair for £375, pictured above. It may be a tad uncomfortable, so they’ve styled it with a Tibetan rug, £136.
*Houseplants and botanicals: Real plants remain a must in the best-dressed homes and look set to be an enduring feature thanks to their many benefits. They enhance the look and feel of a room and are good for our health, absorbing carbon dioxide and harmful chemicals and releasing oxygen into the air. Among the best looking and easiest to keep are ferns, aloe, snake plants, English ivy, which is excellent for absorbing formaldehyde.
*Kitchens: Eclectic is the name of the game in this room and it can be difficult to achieve successfully. Your starting point is a bespoke wood kitchen with units in a mix of complementary colours. Be brave as if you get it wrong you can always repaint. Metro tiles have become ubiquitous. Instead, look at decorative tiles. Tockwith-based www.bertandmay.com has an interesting collection.
*Bathrooms. Wet rooms are still desirable but large and luxurious bathrooms are preferable. They feature deep free-standing bath tubs, along with chairs, sofas and chaise longues for pre and post-bath lounging. The key is to make the room look homely and less clinical, with chests of drawers for storage, paintings on the walls, rugs and wallpaper. Aquarium wallpaper by Nina Campbell for Osborne & Little is just the job. It’s printed with jewel-coloured tropical fish and is on sale via Wallpaperdirect.com down from £70 to £56 per roll. Colourful baths and basins are also on the rise. Ideal Standard designer Robin Levien says: “Brits are now getting braver and are demanding that colour appears on the outside of free-standing baths and on washbasins.”
*Lighting. The industrial look still features heavily and Mytholmroyd firm Urban Cottage Industries specialise in it. In fact, it helped pioneer the trend. There’s a 40 per cent off sale at www.urbancottageindustries.com. Coloured glass shades are also set to proliferate and some of the most beautiful are designed and made by Ripon-based Glow Lighting, www.glowlighting.co.uk
*Antiques: As we worry about the strength of the pound, rising inflation and the future of property prices, we look for alternative investments. It’s fair to say that if you buy well, antiques rarely let you down in the long term. They also add character and interest to your home. Those in the trade say there is renewed interest in “brown furniture”, so those late Victorian and Edwardian pieces, which were deemed unfashionable unless given the shabby chic treatment, are coming back into fashion. You can still pick up an Art Deco sideboard for under £50. Antiques Roadshow expert Judith Miller, who will be at the London Art, Antiques and Interiors Fair at ExCeL from January 12 to 14, says: “My advice to the novice is look, look, look. Go to antiques fairs, dealers’ shops, museums, exhibitions. Read books. Establish a relationship with dealers amd don’t be afraid to ask. And if you see something you love and can nearly afford – buy it. You will only regret it later if you don’t.”
Top Yorkshire art conservator Richard Hawkes believes that antique watercolours are a good buy. He says: “They’re not fashionable at the moment as collectors are buying oils, so you can pick up a good Victorian watercolour for £200. My bet is that they will prove a good investment. The Chinese love them.”
*Artists and makers: The trend for buying work by artists and makers has been growing year-on-year for the last decade and shows no sign of slowing down. You can find these products online on sites such as Sheffield-based Folksy.com and notonthehighstreet.co.uk. Even more fun is hunting in galleries and independent shops and visiting maker fairs. There is an abundance of these in Yorkshire. The new Yorkshire Gallery at the Piece Hall in Halifax stocks work by artists, designers and makers with a connection to this region. They include Hebden Bridge ceramicist Katch Skinner, Holmfirth sculptor David Mayne and paper-cut lamp specialist Hannah Nunn.