More time at home offers a chance to consider how we buy for our interiors

More time indoors is a chance to consider how we buy for our homes without being slaves to fleeting trends, writes Carol O’Callaghan

More time at home offers a chance to consider how we buy for our interiors
The Enchanted sofa is finished in a biscuit hue on the lighter end of the brown family of colours, and works beautifully with grey detailing in paintwork and textiles (sofa from DFS €799).

UNDERNEATH the relentless din of new looks launching season after season is the thrumming of interiors wisdom that our homes ought to be a mix of things we love so they remain timeless and appreciated and we’re less likely to get fed up of them quickly.

Sometimes it’s the simple desire to finish a house or a room, or wanting it all and wanting it now, that makes us plunge into the latest interior fashion rather than letting the home evolve in line with the development of our own tastes and changing needs.

It’s this fast-fix approach which really can send us off on a trend that won’t last even beyond a season.

Can you believe there are three-quarters of a million posts on Instagram touting the new trend for indoor neon signage? 

Just wait until the migraines see that one-off.

And while I’m all for upcycling, nearly half a million posts on making furniture out of wooden pallets might inspire a lockdown project to stave off boredom, but will you want that less-than-immaculate, though loving, effort at crafting a coffee table this time next year?

For 2020, the trends are coming at us thick and fast, including the recent arrival of autumn and winter looks when we’ve barely hit summer.

But happy to say among them are some standout ideas which won’t cripple your budget and can add real enhancement, and even a little bit of fun when socialising becomes more normalised.

TEXTURE, TEXTURE AND MORE TEXTURE 

Key to any successful room look to take it from the sterile showhouse feel to an inviting home is layering up with cushions and throws. Nothing else works the same way to suggest comfort and help transition you from season to season by adding extra layers for winter cosiness and subtracting a few come spring and summer.

Paint is an easy way to the shift from cooler colours to brown. Spiced Honey by Dulux is a warm mid-tone without being dark and dreary (5ltrs €56.99 at Pat McDonnell Paints).
Paint is an easy way to the shift from cooler colours to brown. Spiced Honey by Dulux is a warm mid-tone without being dark and dreary (5ltrs €56.99 at Pat McDonnell Paints).

Key features: Rugs, throws, cushions, faux fur and chunky knits.

BACK IN PRINT 

The movieFour Weddings and a Funeral has a great deal to answer for. Its popularity meant not a single bridesmaid was safe from the chintz frock. Neither were interiors.

Unashamedly old-fashioned even back in the '90s, this glazed cotton is remembered and maligned by its association with God-awful patterned curtain swags and flounced-edged sofas. It even became the subject of an Ikea ad campaign, Chuck Out Your Chintz Today, which maligned it even more. The idea, of course, being to replace it with plain Ikea blinds.

Where chintz is now frill-free on casual cushions and simple, free-falling curtains, it has a new appeal, charming its way into blander, clinical environments and bringing a prettiness which stops short of twee and saccharine and is worth investigating.

Key features: Easy-to-clean glazed cotton, florals, checks and flower stripes.

BROWN IS THE NEW BLACK

The trend for a dedicated drinks' trolley adds fun and a new dimension to living room socials (€265 at Next).
The trend for a dedicated drinks' trolley adds fun and a new dimension to living room socials (€265 at Next).

No drear here as the brown family throws off its reputation as the look of granny’s doily-clad sideboard to become the chic, warming look for interiors.

Encompassing everything from cream to deep mocha, with sandy gold and warm tan inbetweeners, the lighter tones work conveniently with grey, a colour beloved by many of us for the last few years, so no need to ditch the stony shaded sofa which cost a fortune.

Key features: Cream, honey, gold, coffee and tan on walls and upholstery.

SOCIAL SPACES

Blame it on staying in being the new going out these days, but we’re revising how we use our homes as continuous sharing of space with others is the new norm for most of us.

So far, changes may have focused on creating a home office, maybe two, and places to study in peace, but what about adaptations in social spaces?

Layer up a new workstation at home for comfort underfoot with the Japanese Fans Ivory rug by Florence Broadhurst (€425 at Rugs ie).
Layer up a new workstation at home for comfort underfoot with the Japanese Fans Ivory rug by Florence Broadhurst (€425 at Rugs ie).

Although I have yet to purchase one, the drinks’ trolley has become the must-have piece of occasional furniture, largely prompted by the rise in popularity of gin, and home tastings as a social event.

For the moment that can’t extend beyond members of a household but for socially distant gatherings for four in the front garden, it means everyone can help themselves to a drink from a trolley set up outside. Later, as restrictions ease to the point where we can invite friends indoors, the trolley becomes a handy little bar again for the gin collection and cocktail production.

Key features: Drinks’ trolley, cocktail chairs, spirit measure, bamboo straws, cocktail glasses.

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