Show your True Colours
A new year means new looks for rooms. Gabrielle Fagan reveals 2015's trends to transform homes
Homes - just like relationships - suffer over time from familiarity, and once that early passion for decor and DIY has faded, rooms can end up sad, pale shadows of their formerly glowing, super-smart selves.
Who wants an interior that, while it may be as cosy as a pair of slippers, doesn't pack a punch in style terms and says nothing about your taste now? To stay fresh and appealing, it's good to shake things up every now and then and - timing is all - this year's trends have just burst onto the scene with plenty to inspire.
Lovers of all things neutral should look away now - colour, especially exotic, rich pink, is taking centre stage, sweeping away blandness with clashing shades and zingy hues.
If that's too adventurous, there's a charming botanical look featuring blooms, birds, and bees, or you could see things simply in black and white and embrace sophisticated, sleek monochrome.
Classic coastal's taken on board elements of global style, and the smart way to interpret this chic combined look is with leather chairs and chunky chests, and fashionable copper accessories - so that it's solid, swaggering and has almost a gentleman's club or captain's cabin feel.
Plump for whichever appeals, or take an element from each trend, and you could breathe new life into jaded schemes and fall in love all over again with your home ...
Nature's still a hot trend, with rich greens and florals featuring on a variety of designs.
This look retains a hold on our rooms because of our continuing desire to 'bring the outdoors in', but this year, there's a variety of options to choose from. Gather bold, bright blooms or opt for the most sophisticated interpretation, which emulates pin-sharp accurate botanical designs, depicting flowers, foliage and insects, especially butterflies.
Decor Tip: A group wall display of botanical prints in matching frames is an easy fast-track to this look. Fern Print Wall Art, £55 for set of three, Marks & Spencer (available late January).
Trendy Buys: A Jolie Armchair, from £319.20, upholstered in striking Woodland Fern black linen is the gem at the heart of Marks & Spencer's botanical collection.
I also like Marks & Spencer's Willow Natural Wallpaper, £18 a roll (available late January), with a subtle design of green parakeets and foliage.
Alternatively, simply bag a Bug Embroidered Cushion, £25, featuring a flight of butterflies. Villeroy & Boch have embraced this theme in its new Amazonia china collection, splashed with flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies. Espresso Cup & Saucer Set, from £18.95, Flat Plate, £66, Villeroy & Boch.
Chic black and white is still the most striking way to update a room; this works particularly well with Eastern touches in accessories or furniture.
"Simplicity is key for this graphic trend, which is grounded in a modern palette of black, white and grey," says Emma Mann, head of home design at Sainsbury's.
Decor Tip: While white walls and black paintwork have impact, dressing windows with black blinds or shutters brings real drama. Hillarys has a selection of made-to-measure blinds and shutters in dramatic black.
Trendy Buys: One statement piece can set the scene, and Marks & Spencer's Nyako 3-Door Sideboard, £749, is a beauty - and what's even better is it's currently reduced online to £599.20. Sainsbury's launches its super new By Sainsbury's range in March, with affordable monochrome homeware. Monochrome Print Bed Linen, from £18 for a double duvet set; Monochrome Cushion, £15, and a White And Black Pattern Bone-effect Frame, £15.
Blend together perennially popular coastal style and the more edgy global/traveller style for an irresistible decor combination, appropriate for any location, urban or seaside.
"Red and navy striped linens are balanced with washed, earthy tones for a sophisticated nautical feel. Leather and rope detailing work alongside tarnished metal surfaces, to add a New England take on key home accent pieces," says Ysanne Jenkins, executive director for home at House of Fraser.
Decor Tip: Stripe fabrics for cushions, upholstery or tablecloths instantly evoke images of beach huts and deckchairs. Ian Mankin's excellent fabric collection includes two stars; Candy Stripe Indigo, £24.50 a metre, and an oilcloth, Ascot Stripe 1, £34.50 a metre.
Trendy Buys: Set sail into this style with a metal and leather seafarer-style trunk, which doubles as a coffee table - the Linea Voyager Trunk Coffee Table, £699 - and teams well with a Parker Knoll Westbury Leather Armchair, £1,168. Or, just pay a nod to the look with a blue and white Anchor Mug, £5, all House of Fraser.
Stripes are a must-have ingredient for a classic coastal decor, and the Burford Arm Chair is upholstered in an appropriate and bold Navy Pier Stripe, £399, Kaleidoscope. Very's interpretation of this look is gentle, with a blend of soft blue and neutral shades, as well as varnished wood furniture, and its prices are equally gentle on the pocket. Blue Boho Fabric Occasional Chair, £199; Savannah Lamp Table, £99, and glass Jar Table Lamp, £55.
Pink & Pastels
Colour goes pop this year, as punchy pinks and a parade of pastels battle for attention and look set to finally win over even those who've forsworn anything but neutrals.
"Colours in blocks are a significant way of working with vibrant shades, but you'll also see graphic monochromes combined with sharp punches of a single bright accent colour, like chartreuse, yellow and bold pink," says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design for blind and shutter specialists, Hillarys.
Decor Tip: Show how style-savvy you are by reflecting two trends - botanical and zingy colour - encapsulated in Harlequin's stunning wallpaper, featuring butterflies; Papilio (111079), £56 a roll, and matching fabric, £56 a metre.
Trendy Buys: Hillarys vertical Louvre Blinds come in an eye-popping range of colours, from raspberry pink to lime and orange, and start from £59.
Fearne Cotton has proved she's as adept at TV and radio presenting as she is at designing homeware, and her spring collection for Very is impressive. Blues and hot pinks predominate, and my choice would be a Coco Crochet Pouffe, £49.
Alternatively, you could show your commitment to the pretty in pink trend by painting a wall in the shade. A rich hued Rose Pink, which starts from £38 for 2.5L, from Edward Bulmer Pots of Paint.