This season textiles trend large, full of colour and exotic pattern, and applied in new ways to make a personal design statement from the living room to the bedroom, writes Carol O’Callaghan
SO DULUX has launched its annual Colour Trend Report, and I have to say it tends to be a pretty reliable barometer of how we colour our homes in the coming year. Indeed, much more so than my personal bête noire, Pantone, and the hullabaloo around the announcement of what they perceive to be the colour of the year.
Does anyone remember its decision to have two colours of the year a while back? Blue and pink was what they offered in the most baby-like hues possible, and at that point I defected to the practicality, good taste and achievable pronouncements of paint companies. Let’s face it, when we decide to introduce colour to our interiors, it’s typically with a few slaps of emulsion.
All of this, of course, starts with clothes fashion, where the colours of the catwalk eventually make their way into our homes. All are influenced by what’s happening in the world, so are we surprised that when there is such a strong focus on wellbeing and the environment that we’re veering in the direction of colours with mood-enhancing properties, especially greens, earthy tones and lovely warm neutrals?
Suzanne O’Keeffe, interior designer at Cork-based Ken Jackson Interiors, is tracking the trends, especially when it comes to fabric for drapery and upholstery. “Everyone has been using grey, but now people are looking for a pop of colour,” says Suzanne.
“We’re seeing navy and midnight blue, bottle green and teal with blue. It’s a classic look with a touch of gold thread and styled with plants. Gold is big, with sofa and chair legs in gold. I’m seeing it in coffee tables and even gold sockets.”
So, while the saying is now turned on its head and blue and green should definitely be seen, pattern is also trending large, she maintains: “We’re not afraid of florals anymore, and there are new things that people would have shied away from a few years ago, like motifs of animals, heads of lions, exotic birds and insects.”
But for those who don’t really want to go with the pattern and motif trends, and favour the alternative of calming plain and simple, Suzanne cites another new look. “Textiles are really luxurious but not too matchy-matchy, so we’re seeing things like velvets and linens combined. For large windows, a contrasting colour trim on the leading edge of a plain curtain can be picked up on cushions and accessories. You can have fun with contrasting piping: A chair upholstered in floral can have contrasting piping and a cushion in the same colour as the piping. Or, to try out an idea and have a bit of fun, use it in a footstool or a single chair.”
In bedrooms, where it’s all about textiles and comfort, Suzanne is citing the headboard as a focus for letting loose with fabric. “Some people want a headboard to dictate the room and then to keep the bed plain,” she explains.
“Most want buttoned headboards which are textured and tactile so they don’t get bored of them. “My advice is to invest wisely in pieces you want for a very long time, even if you can’t afford everything now. Have a solid base with things like sofa and curtains and have fun with accessories and paint.”
But amid all this talk of luxury, style and trends, and venting our creativity in putting together the textile component of a room, there’s also the important consideration of practicality, unless we’re enjoying the luxury of rooms which are rarely used showpieces.
What if you have sticky-fingered children, grandchildren, or muddy-pawed, moulting pets? “People want easy maintenance and not to have to mind it. There are washable, pet-proof fabrics which won’t be ruined,” says Suzanne.
Curtains: Choose luxurious fabrics which drape softly.
Upholstery: have fun, do a bit of contrast, especially if you only have a metre or two of fabric for a footstool.
Lights: Upholster a shade that’s already in the room. Textured silk looks great in a cylindrical lamp on a high ceiling.
Wallpaper: Nowadays wallpaper has more texture and comes in vinyl which can be scrubbed.
Rugs: Choose your colour and build the room around the rug.