As we progress through the second half of the year into colder, shorter days, there’s plenty of advice for interiors enthusiasts on what’s new for autumn and winter, writes Carol O’Callaghan.
THERE’S no getting away from trends, even if your interest in the vagaries of interior design fashions veers towards slight, or if you can’t resist hanging on the words of trendsters each season for something to inspire a change of decor to vamp up what you already have.
Some looks keep trending year after year: When is grey likely to go into rapid decline, we continue to wonder?
Not any time soon it would seem, while others are typically seasonal like autumn’s rusty oranges or the latest version terracotta which is now in full sail after more than 20 years in the doldrums of design.
For autumn and winter 2019, there’s a whole lot going on to feed notions of a serious makeover, or just to make a few less labour-intensive additions, according to the experts.
“The big thing is sustainability,” says Helen Coughlan, retail director at Meadows & Byrne.
“People buying a dining table want to know where the wood is coming from, its provenance and longevity. Three years ago, people were questioning fast fashion, then it became the kitchen and plastic wrapping. The conversation is now much bigger in interiors. People want to be seen to be doing something, and will pay more.”
Colour appears to be set to stay, but Helen is citing some subtle variations.
“We’re seeing two palettes,” she says.
“There’s the Scandi look but with more depth and warmth to it. Sheepskin and Mongolian rugs add comfort on benches, on the bed, on the window sill, on your favourite armchair, wherever you want to be comfortable. People need the ‘off’ after the ‘on’ of work. It’s all about cocooning and spending time in our homes, making us feel protected so we’re ready for the next day.”
Drama in neutral interiors is now trending, according to Aoife Hayes of lifestyle shop Objekt.
“It’s black in kitchens, especially a black table with tan leather chairs, or something like forest green in a stool,” she says.
“It’s the same in the living room where we’re seeing strong colour in sofas, but there are different levels of the look: Blush pinks and brick reds are less dramatic.
“Wallpaper is a massive trend all on its own but there are no rules. Big, bold printed murals, geometrics and florals really allow you to personalise your space. There’s also a return to acrylic furniture with metal, not glass, but using bio plastics and recycled.
“Companies like Kartell have products suited to every room in the house. It’s an example of design and the environment coming together. Even the old Ghost chair is getting a new lease of life.”
A revisit to the glamour of almost a century ago is a surprise in the trend stakes, but one which is looming large, according to Caroline Breen, co-owner of Interiosity.
“It’s luxe revival, stemming from Art Deco,” she says.
With luxury also comes indulgence, and Caroline suggests going all out and having a drinks’ cabinet.
“If you have the space it’s decadent, and a beautiful piece of furniture to have too,” she says.
“Also part of the luxe look is velvet which has made a big comeback, as have marble, gold and brass. Sofas, especially, in burnt orange velvet and forest green have the lovely curved backs of Art Deco. Dark is popular. People are getting much braver, even in kitchens,” she adds.
“Panels are being finished in anthracite, not dark, dark black, with gold and brass details tying in with that.”
At the other end of the trend spectrum, far from luxe and glamour, Caroline flags up inspiration from nature.
“Leaves, branches and feathers are all stylised in prints, wallpapers and accessories. We’re seeing exotic animals stylised as candlesticks and paperweights. It’s almost colonial.
“Plants are part of this. The summer was all about succulents. For winter we’re seeing things like ferns, and artificial plants which don’t need any maintenance.”