Decoristas get as much pleasure from beautifully designed interiors as fashionistas get from clothes, but even the most devoted don’t want (and can’t afford) to be such dedicated followers of trends that it means redecorating every season.
Thankfully, a little insider knowledge goes a long way and savvy home bunnies know the styles that won’t have a short shelf-life, because their good looks and design credentials will ensure enduring appeal. Plus, some looks are versatile enough to allow for fresh interpretations, which can easily breathe new life into them.
Reprise last year’s favourites that are set to make their mark again in 2016.
Those of us reduced to a ‘rabbit-in-the-headlights’ standstill when confronted by colour charts hailed the passion for grey as a blessed relief. This is surely a ‘Mr Right’ palette - easy-on-the eye, versatile, and grey can be mean and moody or feminine and delicate, depending on the shade you choose. It’s also the perfect foil for a multitude of other colours, so I predict this colour is ‘a keeper’, and our love affair with grey will continue for a long time to come.
MY STYLE: Colours Platinum Silk Emulsion Paint, £13.94 for 2.5L, B&Q; Grey/Rose Panelling Wallpaper, £69.95 a roll, Lime Lace.
TURN UP THE HEAT
No parrot, no pineapple? Shame on you! I fell deep for the brightly coloured birds which were must-have accessories as the temperature rose in decor and designers embraced jungle prints, rich with tropical flora and fauna. Don’t get in a flap if you didn’t catch tropical fever in 2015 though, because it’s still raging. The new collections are filled with beautiful exotic blooms, fruit (pineapples, of course) and birds. Monkeys will be 2016’s favourite creature, which is particularly appropriate because it’s also the Chinese Year of the Monkey.
MY STYLE: Copper Pineapple Storage Pot, £24, Oliver Bonas; Parrot Money Box, £48, MiaFleur; Monkey Sitting Table Lamp, £125, Lagoon.
Global influences are constantly reflected in interior trends, and the strongest theme to emerge in 2015 was ‘boho chic’. A bohemian-gypsy style - encompassing texture, colour and pieces ‘with a story’ - the style will continue to appeal because it has a ‘go with the flow’ freedom, allowing tastes to wander West or East. Be inspired by holiday destinations and think Indian sari fabrics, Moroccan jewel-rich patterns or Mexican brights (clashing is cool!) to conjure an explorer/traveller atmosphere.
MY STYLE: Hand Painted Indian Bajot Table, £44, Boutique Camping; Scarlett Cushion, from £50, Sofa.com; Romany Love Seat, £285, The French Bedroom Company.
BRING ON BLING
It’s confession time... I’m an interiors magpie and can’t resist something shiny and glittery, so I was utterly delighted by the copper craze, and in 2016 will be following the metal trail to gold. There should be a ‘handle with care’ label on metallics however, as overdosing on them can all too easily tip a setting into tacky territory, but with a careful ‘less is more’ approach, they’re guaranteed to inject glamour and interest. Go full-on with metallic-finish tiles, a high-end choice for kitchens and bathrooms, or simply confine burnished metal to glittering accessories.
MY STYLE: Gold photo bamboo frame, £18.50, Within; Pols Potten metallic mugs, £29 each, Design 55; Foundry Metallic Tiles in Roman Gold, from £249.95 per square metre, The Winchester Tile company.
Classic, timeless black and white never goes out of fashion, and just as a wardrobe should have at least one LBD (little black dress), in my book, every home can benefit from one room decorated in monochrome. It’s a style that’s surprised even the interiors experts with its enduring popularity over the last few years - but not its fans, already well aware of how versatile it is. For life on the really dark side, you can opt for drama - a black feature wall or ceiling - or my choice; white walls and black paintwork, complemented by black framed photographic prints. Leave it minimal or dress it up with simple ‘home jewellery’, like colourful cushions and lamps. Frankly, what’s not to like?
MY STYLE: Black Shadow Velvet Button Back Occasional Chair, £947, Artisanti; Black Vintage Frame, £14, Monty’s Vintage shop; Mayfair Black Chair, £395, The French Bedroom Company.
My votes for last year’s fun, achievable looks went to ‘country lodge’ - think hunting, shooting, fishing, with wood panelling and stag heads (I have one and still love it) - and its wilder cousin, frontier decor, evoking the Wild West in prairie chic, fur throws, buffalo heads and tribal prints. Nature will still rule in 2016 but looking forward, my advice is: step away from the squirrels and cute creatures! A more formal botanical look’s coming through, which is less cosy and more sophisticated, and those deer heads should be funky and colourful and a little less like true hunting trophies. Alternatively, embrace a luxury lodge look; natural materials from stone to wood and layered faux furs - more grand mountain retreat than cowboy shack.
MY STYLE: My Yellow Deer Head, £45, The French Bedroom Company; Faux Fur Throw Polar, £350, Mille Boutique.