This season is the perfect time to take a step back and get inspired by the wealth of new interior design trends that are emerging. Everywhere you gaze, designers are having fun playing with colour and interpreting their favourite looks.
And there's good news for all rule-breakers; as British interior designer Harriet Anstruther says, “More creativity and less attention to rules” is the motto of the moment, so let your creative spirit run wild and embrace the colours, textures, and styles that make you happy.
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We've chosen seven of our favourite winter-friendly interiors trends, from bringing nature inside to mixing Art Deco and modern Victoriana and picked out the home products, accessories, furniture and design inspirations that will help you to put together a stylish smart home.
Shades of Green
Pantone chose “greenery” as its colour of the year for 2017, so it’s no surprise that we’ve been seeing variations on this theme all year long. The shade that Pantone picked was “a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew”, but moodier shades of emerald green and teal have taken centre stage now we are into the darker months. You might find these deeper shades easier to work with in your home.
Style tip: If you’re not investing in new furniture at the moment, try painting a feature wall in your favourite shade of this trending colour, or adding a pop of the lush hue to your room with cushions, lampshades, and other small accessories.
Tech tip: Green isn't the most popular colour for smart home tech but if you're set on it for the living room or bedroom, try the original Google Home which has a few fascia choices or Lenovo's Smart Assistant speaker (powered by Alexa) with a yellow green cover might also work well against emeralds and darker shades.
Fine art has well and truly escaped the confines of the frame, with everything from wallpapers to fabrics boasting visible brushstrokes and references to the masters; as Barbara Chandler commented for the Evening Standard, this year’s London Design Festival was proof that “Great artists have power beyond the grave.” Indeed, as she points out, Nina Campbell’s new collection of wallpapers and fabrics, Les Rêves, is inspired by the art of Matisse. One of the hottest new trends of the moment is to commission a decorative painter to create a freehand mural on your walls or furniture, like this one by Maude Smith inspired by the Bloomsbury Group.
Style tip: Achieve a similar look for a fraction of the price by choosing a fine art-inspired wallpaper to apply to a small feature wall, wardrobe doors, or some other piece of furniture with panels that could do with some livening up.
Tech tip: Samsung's new The Frame TV, with optional Studio stand, has an Art Mode for when it's not in use. There is a curated gallery of 100 pieces of free artwork, including landscapes, drawings and still life, and a monthly membership to a wider collection including works from institutions including Saatchi Art and the Museo del Prado.
Colour and Pattern Play
With so many bold colours and patterns moving to centre-stage this season, it’s no wonder that we’re saying goodbye to minimalistic all-white interiors in favour of a more maximalist approach. The 2018 colour forecast, delivered by Pantone at the international Homes + Housewares Show in August, demonstrated that brighter, more intense colours are increasingly being favoured over pastels.
Mixing up different, often clashing patterns and colours helps you to embrace a colourful style without looking like an outdated chintzy country hotel; the key is to keep things looking modern and fresh while referencing the bygone eras such as the '70s.
Style tip: If you’re on a budget, try starting with some colourful mismatched glassware; you can add to your collection as you go.
Tech tip: The smart home go-to for lighting is often sets of connected bulbs, but if you're feeling particularly bold, consider smart lighting panels from Nanoleaf and Lifx. As the panels are modular, you can customise the colour and placement of each module on the wall.
Associate house plants with your granny’s living room? It’s time to get over that thought, because in line with the design world’s celebration of all things green and verdant this year, it looks like the house plant is here to stay. As Pantone said, “greenery is nature’s neutral”, and whether it’s a hanging basket overflowing with ivy or freestanding potted plants, these are the stylish accessories of the moment.
Style tip: If you don't have a green thumb, never fear; bring a little nature to your home with art instead. Hang some botanical art, choose a natural print for your textiles, or arrange some ceramics inspired by nature’s finest on a sideboard.
Tech tip: Alternatively, take the hard work out of house plants with a connected indoor garden. We like Biopod's app controlled microclimate and Plantui's plant capsules but we're secretly pining after a connected vertical garden.
Pink has officially grown up and is no longer relegated to the realm of ballerina-themed bedrooms. Perhaps it’s a sign of our times, but the design-world seems to have fallen in love with visual interpretations of strong femininity, mixing blush tones with touches of contrasting gold, black, bold graphic patterns and geometric tiling.
Style tip: Keep pink looking modern and grown-up by making sure you’re using the colour along with clean lines and contrasting “masculine” touches; avoid any fussy frills or detailing in this colour so that it doesn’t overwhelm the space or start to feel childish. You only need a touch of pink to make an impact.
Tech tip: The tech world is much more comfortable with soft, “feminine“ shapes and shades than it was say, five years ago. You can customise a Hive thermostat with a Copper Blush frame, for instance, and the Google Home Mini comes in black, grey and coral – admittedly more orange hued than pure pink.
Speaking of moody tones, expect to see painterly, dramatic botanicals everywhere you look this season. The latest incarnation of the design world’s love affair with florals is a far cry from the kitsch Cath Kidston prints that dominated the high streets a few years ago. From prints inspired by traditional Dutch oil paintings to graphic and vibrant digital prints using the latest 3D printing techniques, the key to keeping it looking modern and fresh is to go for loose, blowsy patterns, with a touch of darkness. Frame your florals with a dramatic charcoal or midnight blue backdrop.
Style tip: If traditional florals aren’t your thing, go for a more abstract deconstructed floral pattern, like the Bonnefoy range from bennettandbates.
Tech tip: We're yet to see tech pieces adorned in floral cases but the midnight garden trend will work with speakers and other home gadgets in dark colours, preferably textured rather than plastic, for contrast. Try the charcoal or walnut finishes of the new model Amazon Echo.
Art Deco meets Modern Victoriana
Shalini Misra’s design for the Champagne Bar at Decorex during the London Design Festival was inspired by the Great Exhibiton in the 1800s; the design’s use of palm plants, curiosities, and luxe detailing involving velvet and generous touches of gold was a mark of the influence that the Victorian era is having on design at the moment. And, as American interior designer Emily Henderson explains, that Victorian influence is given a modern, adaptable edge when combined with the Art Deco trend: “The rounded shapes, jewel toned accents, and sculptural lighting [of the Parisian Art Deco trend] are all such pretty pieces and can be incorporated into so many styles.” Look out for graphic, metallic prints, repeating butterfly motifs, fan-shaped tiling, and touches of exotic glamour.
Style tip: Embrace the true Victorian collector’s mentality by starting small, advises designer Emily Henderson. “If you are into a trend it doesn't mean that you need to start swapping out your rug, sofa, and chairs. Instead opt for accessories, smaller art, and textiles to bring the look into your space.”
Tech tip: You can nod to the Art Deco era without overhauling the whole space, with Philips' Beyond Table lamp. With an uplight and downlight, which can be tweaked to two complementary colours or the warmth of white light, plus a pendant lamp option, the overall effect is chic scene-setting.
No matter which trends work best for your taste and budget, “Look at nature and art for inspiration for everything from colour and shape to detail and scale,” says Harriet Anstruther. “No one does it better than mother nature and those that express themselves through their art.” The overarching thread to all the best interior design trends of the moment is a playful exploration of the relationship between art and the natural world, a trend that truly transcends the seasons.
Main image credit: Ben Pentreath