Expert help for the ideal home
Bewildered by this year’s trends and not sure where to start? Gabrielle Fagan talks to top designers about what’s hot and what’s not in 2011
WHILE clothes make a statement about our taste and fashionistas keenly follow the catwalk trends, dedicated decoristas know that homes too are subject to fashion, and getting the right look is just as key.
But there’s now a bewildering variety of looks to choose from and when budgets are tight, the last thing you want is to make expensive mistakes.
Leading interior designers have come to the rescue to pinpoint the top trends which will influence interiors in 2011, and reveal their insider tips on successfully interpreting them.
So be inspired by the designer divas and follow their suggestions for creating super stylish, successful rooms.
Designer Tara Bernerd predicts 2011 will be an exciting year in interiors because there’s a realisation that our homes should suit us and the way we want to live.
“Slavishly following trends in anything, whether fashion or homes, will always prove unsatisfactory,” she says. “One positive outcome of the recession and the resulting financial restraint, is that it’s encouraging people to be far more discerning and confident in their taste. Consequently they’re investing in exquisite craftsmanship and design that endures.
“We’re noticing clients showing a willingness to commit to their personal style and explore beyond the dull boundaries of perceived ‘good taste’.”
The look for 2011 is much moodier, more masculine and architectural, says Bernerd, founder of Target Living.
“We’re looking for homes that cosset us and that means creating atmosphere. That will be achieved by using a diverse palette of colours, materials and patterns.”
She predicts a palette of more muted retro tones and colour blocking with sage green, chocolate brown, Prussian blue, sienna and greys.
There’ll also be a focus on potential in homes, the designer says.
There’s a focus on fine detail in finishes, whether in decorative ceilings, wall panels or cabinetry, she points out.
Specialist wall finishes can feature silver enamelling and furniture can be finished in leather, shagreen (made from shark or ray skin) or parchment.
Designer Helen Green predicts a craving for personality and originality in our homes will this year banish the once fashionable, bland ‘hotel’ look.
“Staying in is the new going out and there’s a growing desire for luxury, comfort and individuality in homes. As a result, art is enjoying huge popularity but that’s going beyond the predictable display of paintings or sculpture,” she says.
“We’ll see an ever more creative use of art installations on walls. Recently, we covered a huge double height wall space above a fireplace in a bespoke artwork of milky white porcelain and rose petals, which had a lustrous 3D effect. The only limit nowadays is the imagination.”
Walls, she says, will go wild as the choice of coverings expands beyond traditional wallpaper.
Dark woods, such as American walnut, are now giving way to the lighter North European influence in interiors, says Helen, and paler woods with a limed finish will predominate.
“Accents of colour pair well with a base palette of cool, pale greys and ivories,” she advises.
“You can introduce colour in accessories or furniture such as a versatile L-shaped sofa or chaise upholstered in jewel-coloured velvet.”