Minimalism is out – time to bring back the chintz
Just as “fast fashion” has sped up the pace of change in our wardrobes, interiors have followed suit. But most trends – thankfully – segue into one another, meaning that a new look might mean changing just one or two things. What to change, though?
“Trends are always an evolution. It’s very rare that something comes completely out of the blue,” says Victoria Harrison, editor of Houzz.co.uk. The interiors website recently translated an abundance of data from its two million monthly users into a real-life decorating scheme for a London townhouse, a project called Houzz of 2018, which welcomed visitors over a week; everything was for sale. Houzz looked for the most noticeable emerging search terms, rather than the most popular ones, to give a more accurate picture of what might be the next big things.
Cosiness and homeliness are winning out against cool, pared-down styles. “All of the trends we identified were almost the opposite of the whitebox, Scandi-minimalism look,” says Harrison. “People want a feeling of safety and security.”
Houzz’s findings, and the spring-summer products hitting the high-street, give a picture of what colours, materials, patterns and shapes have migrated over from last year, and what new ideas will be taking us into 2019. Here’s what to expect. Brass, marble and velvet – luxuries that have now become staples – are three materials that will be holding their own this year. “Velvet sofa” was one of the key search terms that Houzz identified, and retailers are seeing the same interest. “The demand for velvet upholstery skyrocketed in 2017, and it will continue to be the fabric of choice for soft furnishings in 2018,” says Kris Manalo, senior buyer for Heal’s. “Incorporate the fabric into your spring updates by opting for pastel hues for a fresh spin on the typically opulent look.” Last year saw a rainforest-sized array of products that celebrated the tropical look, featuring palm leaves, pineapples and pink flamingos. It’s still going, but has developed into something more glamorous than kitsch, focusing on lush foliage. Osborne & Little’s new Palmaria wallpaper features palm leaves against a metallic background, while Cole & Son’s Hollywood Palm, by LAbased British designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, has an equally opulent air of mid-century glamour.
Real-life greenery is a further ongoing trend, as we seek to bring the outside in. Houzz found that visitors to the site were hungry for knowledge about the most suitable plants for the home and, perhaps more crucially, how not to kill them.
Sophia Ridley, Debenhams’ head of interior design, says the tropical trend is “still massive”, putting it down to a need for escapism: “People want something braver that expresses their individuality and personality, rather than something safe.” palette is “comforting and easy to use”. She adds: “These colours are almost like neutrals, and you can use lots of them together.” With just a dose of grey, other colours including sage green, sand, pink and lilac can all be used at once.
Judy Smith, a colour consultant at Crown Paints, says that “grey isn’t going anywhere” as it is simply too contemporary and usable. “One way to
Wallis king-size bed, £1,899, and Elgin armchair, £899, in iced mint velvet, both from Heal’s
Palmaria wallpaper, £65 per roll, Osborne & Little, left; Stopla clock, £12, Ikea, above
Monsoon Home £22, (monsoon. co.uk)