The weather may still be looking rather bleak and grey for most of us at the moment, but the design world’s attention is firmly fixed on all things bright and beautiful this season. Eye-catching colours, luxurious fabrics, and playful retro-inspired glamour abound.
Whether a home redecoration project was on your list of new year’s resolutions, or you’re quite simply in the mood for a little spring sprucing, read on for a serious hit of creative inspiration from some of the most exciting trends that are dominating the interior design world right now.
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For each spring trend, we've picked out design inspiration, furniture, accessory and smart home tech picks. Click on the galleries to explore.
Ultra Violet (& Bold, Bright Hues)
Named Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018 in December, you can expect to see a lot of this rich, blue-toned shade of purple all year long. Executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, Leatrice Eiseman, describes ultra-violet as “a spiritual, cosmic hue”, and “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade” that combines the meditative calm of blue with the drama of red. “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination,” Eiseman says. “There’s a creativity attached to this colour; people who love it are generally more creative themselves.”
Style tips: As the author of The Secret Lives of Colour, Kassia St Clair, explains, ultra-violet’s non-conformist and creative connotations makes it the perfect statement hue if you want to add a touch of bold colour to your home. She recommends opting for “upholstery in sumptuous velvets for an occasional chair, loveseat, chaise or ottoman… [paired] with highlights throughout the room – think patterned textiles, flowers and artwork featuring subtle accents of the shade – and finish the look with warm metallics for a bold yet harmonious space.”
Pantone’s colour of the year isn’t the only bold shade the design world is loving right now, either, with designers shifting to bright, clear colours. So, the name of the game is to have fun with colour; if you don’t want to commit to a bold shade right away, play around with adding accents of it with your accessories.
(Gallery L-R: LSA Pleat Vase in Heather; Google Home; Swoon Editions Berlin Two-Seated Sofa; Love Frankie Ultra Violet Indian Silk Lampshade; Nanoleaf prototype square tiles)
Tech tips: We've seen more black/beige/subtle shades on speakers, thermostats and appliances so far but there's more bold purple and violet than you'd expect - on the Google Home fascia or the square prototypes of Nanoleaf's smart modular lighting system.
Retro-Inspired High Glamour & Luxury
Art Deco was already big influence on design last year, and with the V&A’s new spring exhibition on the style and cultural impact of luxury ocean liners opening to critical acclaim earlier this month, our obsession with the golden era of luxury design shows no sign of abating.
As well as the fascination with all things Art Deco, another incarnation of luxury in the design world at the moment is the influence of Hollywood’s 60s iconic Palm Springs glamour, evident in the proliferation of Hockney-esque prints and reoccurring palm frond patterns in fabric and wallpaper. Whichever look you favour, one thing is clear: it’s time to quit the neutrals and embrace your daring side.
Style tips: To channel the spirit of the 1920s and 30s, look for luxe materials that ooze cocktail-party glamour, such as marble, dark woods, metallic accents, and retro monochrome geometric patterns. If you don’t want to go overboard on the trend, a 1920s-inspired bar cart makes a fun and easy addition to your living room, while framing a bold art print or adding a lampshade or cushion with the palm frond, flamingo, or pineapple motif is a low-commitment way to channel the Palm Springs vibe. A statement mirror is also a quick and easy way to add a touch of Titanic-inspired luxury to a room.
Sam Baldry, head of design at Swoon Editions, says “Statement velvet sofas in jewelled tones are a popular choice if you're looking to emulate this retro style. For a more subtle take, try gold accessories in focal points in the room for a sophisticated yet understated addition.”
(Gallery L-R: Swoon Editions Nancy Trolley in marble and brass; Vinterior Art Deco Wall Mirror; Hive View; Luxdeco Lottie Cushion; Swoon Editions Ziggy Media Unit; Johnson Controls Glas thermostat)
Tech tips: The Hive View is an elegant smart security camera, designed by Yves Béhar that won't out off your guests as they walk into the living room. The black cube cam detaches from the stand which comes in copper/black and white/gold finishes of aluminium. If you're feeling more adventurous, Johnson Controls' Glas smart thermostat is Cortana powered and has a semi-transparent screen with industrial future-retro styling that could complement otherwise luxe rooms.
“ will be dominated by pattern,” predicts designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, which isn’t surprising given the love affair with maximalism which can sum up the overall mood of interior design right now. “Beige interiors are banished, making way for colour and pattern, and the forgotten ceiling is now a decorating playground ready to be wallpapered, lacquered, gilded, or plastered with abandon.”
Quite apart from the bold Palm Springs-inspired prints we’re seeing, chintz has also made a comeback, along with overscale upholstery, dramatic floor-to-ceiling drape-like curtains, and non-traditional focal points like floors and ceilings are being used to make bold design statements; no corner of the room is to be neglected. The mantra of the moment is definitely more is more.
Style tip: Interiors and textiles designer Kathryn M. Ireland recommends “Using the same floral fabric on the walls, window treatments, and furnishings— think English country but updated. Lots of florals and colors that pop, like turquoise, apple green, and shocking pink.”
(Gallery L-R: Jonathan Adler Lavender Bargello Honeycomb pillow; Loewe Bild 9 TV; Liberty London Chesham Small Plate; Liberty London Kristina wallpaper; ; Harman Kardon Invoke)
Tech tip: The days of brightly coloured Apple Macs aren't coming back and you wouldn't want to overwhelm a whole room with pattern so it's best to pair over-the-top furnishings with more understated home tech like the Loewe Bild 9 design TV or the Harman Kardon Invoke smart speaker.