Stuck for inspiration for an interiors project and don’t know where to start? Interior designers talk their favourite trends withand what’s likely to feature in the coming year
There's no escaping trends. Some last a season, others make an impact for years. This summer, as ever, there’s something to appeal to everyone, and choosing the one right for you, whether your style is flamboyant or minimalist, chic or maximalist, comes down simply to personal taste and what you would like to live with most.
Printed tiles are the new thing creeping in for the last two years as a throwback to Victorian styling, but now set to trend with fascinating eclecticism in 2020.
“These are for a feature wall and measure 1m x 60cm each,” say interior design and colour consultant Sinéad Cassidy.
“Some have a Cuban look with toucans and pink and turquoise. It can be at least €150 per metre so it’s not cheap but a real head turner in a hall as you come in. I’d add a simple console table in marble as a nod to Art Deco and for a bit of wow.”
Practical considerations haven’t been forgotten either as the utility room gets the VIP treatment.
“So many homes use the utility as an entrance rather than the front door, and they’re putting huge design input into it,” Sinéad explains.
“It’s being renamed the ‘beautility room’ as there’s now a requirement for it to be as beautiful as the kitchen. Much of the kitchen functionality is being moved there, especially in new-builds so it’s no longer just the laundry but larder and locker room also.”
This is exactly what happened with guest bathrooms, she adds. “Remember when they were hidden under the stairs? Now it’s a room, and there’s all sorts of design input in it,” says Sinéad. “The utility is going the same way.”
Sinéad is also seeing shifts in the use of materials, including some new applications and colour combinations, the latter being one of her specialist subjects.
Polished concrete is the go-to material of the moment, something to add to the wish list for a design update. We’re seeing it becoming increasingly popular in bathroom vanity units and even as wall panels.
When it comes to colour, she adds, “Grey has now become a timeless classic but there’s a big shift towards jewel colours, green especially. Sage and pine needle are being used with a more dusky pink where the green acts like a neutral. For living rooms and bedrooms I would suggest using sage in a core furniture item like a sofa.
According to interior designer Cathy O’Donoghue of Flamingo Interior Design, the big thing this year is the introduction of natural materials.
“There’s a move from glass and plastic finishes to more rattan, cane, wood and brass and copper,” she says. “I’m seeing a more raw finish which is a reflection of what’s going on in the world and the need for change.
“Trends are being heavily influenced by this and it’s going to continue. There’s been lots of the maximalist look with accessories, but it’s all being toned down now, so instead of having, maybe, 10 accessories, we’re having just three.
It’s all part of more conscious shopping and it’s giving us a more pared back look.
When it comes to colour, Cathy is seeing an emphasis on impact along with the return of an old favourite.
“We’re seeing colours going more neutral but with some punch like cobalt blue which is really nice with white and brass. Terracotta is back and cream is no longer a no-no, but it’s definitely not magnolia,” she laughs.
Some things haven’t changed, though, as Cathy is noticing from client requests. “These days it’s all about extending instead of moving. It’s nearly guaranteed that every email I get they’ll want open plan. It’s still going strong with the kitchen island, although the units are being painted darker colours. Navy has been huge but now it’s black which is actually a neutral.”
“Velvet is another trend that’s still big,” Cathy adds. “People think, ‘Oh I can’t have it, I have a five-year-old’, but that’s not the case. You can treat it first to make cleaning easy.
“I love pattern and print too and they do add something to a room. I’m keeping it to smaller items, things like vases and throws, toned down in smaller size print. At the moment there’s a big trend for Victorian patterned tiles which make bathrooms fun and are all round more adventurous.”