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Home Life Weekend

Trend Alert!

by Gabrielle Fagan

Published 20/02/2016

Hexagon rustic travertine tiles
Hexagon rustic travertine tiles
Reading Room and the Lido from Earthborn Paints
Isla armchair from
Kelly Hoppen interior

As decor trends head off in new directions, Gabrielle Fagan plots four routes for fresh, new looks in 2016

Decor never stands still. It takes new directions each year, which may be major turns, or simply a variation on a theme, but will have an impact on our homes nonetheless.

Here are four trends which could shake things up this year.

Dramatic Decor

Dramatic decor rules the roost in 2016, so bin the beige and make a statement, by painting an entire wall a rich dark colour, or investing in a few bold pieces of furniture.

"This trend is all about not shying away from the bold and gives us an opportunity to inject some life into our homes," says interior stylist Kristen Grove. "There's a huge misconception that dramatic colour makes a small space feel even tinier, but the reality is it can make a room feel grander.

"However, natural light plays a huge part - there isn't a lamp in the world that can light up a room like nature - so painting a room a dark colour with no windows is possible, but risky. You don't want to leave a space feeling depressed.

"Get the balance right, and working dramatic style into a room can instantly add glamour and sophistication."

Decor Tip: For a colour scheme, think deep Georgian blue, charcoal grey and berry red shades. Create areas of contrast to bring more drama into the room, by teaming bold decor with bright white finishes.

Follow The Trend: Abigail Ahern is a master of the moody setting, and her paint range is full of shades which are perfect for atmospheric rooms, including Madison Grey emulsion, £40 for 2.5L, Rockett St George.

Once you have the right backdrop, you need statement pieces. Avoid over-cluttering and opt for fewer, eye-catching items. Barker & Stonehouse has a desirable selection. Highlights include their generous Boleyn Loveseat, currently reduced to £1,549 from £1,939, and Golden Light Picture - a canvas featuring a tree embellished with gold leaf highlights, currently reduced to £152 from £179. Its Charlie bed frame range, made from recycled and reclaimed wood in an oak finish, from £585 for a double, can't fail to make an impact.

Be adventurous with sofa upholstery, especially if contrasted with dark walls, and furniture will really bring a space alive. has a lovely Isla armchair, from £550.

Shape Up

Geometric shapes, patterns and textures are perfect for a modern, minimalistic makeover - just make sure you get your style sums right and avoid too many clashes.

"The geometric trend is the perfect way to give your interior a contemporary look and can be made up of lines, and shapes such as squares, triangles and hexagons, which are repeated or tessellated in a symmetrical layout. This style can give rooms an illusion of space and add depth and interest," says Robin Auld, head of marketing at Topps Tiles.

"Try combining different colours and scales of one or - at most - two shapes, to create a unique interior."

Decor Tip: Layout is key when it comes to the geometric look. Make one piece, perhaps a wall or rug, in a geometric print a focal point. Hexagonals are this year's favourite shape and graphic hexagonal tiles, in an unusual honeycomb pattern, can create an eye-catching floor or splashback, especially if teamed with a bold colour.

Follow The Trend: Tiles are an ultra-effective way to embrace this trend and Topps has an inspiring collection, including the striking Hexagon Rustic Travertine Tiles, £3.99 each (£65.22 per square metre).

Get the effect with wallpaper from B&Q - Move Your Wall Grey & Cream Geometric 3D Diamond Effect Wallpaper, £14 a roll. Test your taste with accessories from Amara; a Mariska Myers Bold Cubism Cushion in French blue (below), £169; Niki Jones Isosceles Throw in black, £220, and, my favourite, a Kartell Stone Stool in chrome, £212.

Carnival Fever

Rock the Rio trend with sultry patterns, tropical greenery and hot good looks - it's time for a style samba.

"This is a flamboyant look that tastefully shouts fun and conjures a setting which feels gloriously drenched in sunshine," says Tamara Kelly, shopping editor at interiors site

"Beach-beautiful 'Natural Carnival' encapsulates the appeal of Brazil's golden beaches, green mountains and jungles full of flowers, exotic birds and animals. Vital ingredients are brilliant colours teamed with tropical leaf patterns, animal and bird prints, and, just for fun, a few parrot or flamingo ornaments. It's perfect for summer and would work brilliantly in an open-plan kitchen and living space, which leads to a garden."

Decor Tip: Team key colours - lime and jungle greens, sea blues, burnt orange, sunshine yellow and hot pinks - with white or warm wood tones, sleek contemporary shapes and leaf and animal-pattern prints.

Follow The Trend: Conjure the clear waters of the Caribbean with The Lido, paired with the deep peacock blue-green of the Reading Room, two paints from the Claypaint range, £15.75 for 750ml, Earthborn Paints. Banish winter chills with a 'rainforest' feature wall, using Tropical Jungle Green Leaves & Birds Wallpaper, £12 a roll, B&Q.

George Home, Asda's style-savvy homeware range, has identified this look as a winner, reflected in the colourful new Island Way collections, which includes the kitsch Framed Parrot Ornament, £8.

Material Style

Natural materials and contrast in tone and texture are the order of the day for successful interiors, predicts Kelly Hoppen.

"The days of fad trends are long gone, thank goodness, and today, it's all about how we live in our spaces, which we now take seriously," says the interior designer. "It's increasingly recognised that we should aim for interior design which fits us like a Savile Row suit, perfectly made-to-measure to suit our needs.

"The trends I see coming and staying are more eclectic than ever, with a lot of thought behind them. Wood, ceramic and stone are the most important elements in a home, as they're a great starting point to build on, and to be successfully on-trend, it's essential to get the right balance of each.

"Mix and match a pale wood - grey, taupe blonde and white woods - with a darker stone in flowing lines, and pair with ceramic to give an illusion of length and height. The four 'hot' metals this year will be bronze, nickel, rose gold and beaten black metal."

Decor Tip: Colour used halfway up a wall, leaving the upper space neutral, will be increasingly popular. Black and white flooring and vintage tiles are going to have a huge comeback, especially when mixed with marble; the combination of textures gives an unexpected edge.

Follow The Trend: Blush tones are in vogue, and two similar pinks, like Fired Earth's Manna Ash, £53 for 2.5L, and Hansel And Gretel, £62 for 5L, could work well together for a 'half-and-half' wall. Contemporary furniture specialists Danetti have used this backdrop to great effect for a dining setting featuring their Aver Oak And White Extending Dining Table, from £349, and white High Gloss Dice Side Table, £119.

Kelly Hoppen's home collection includes furniture and accessories which could introduce texture to a room, including her studded Emma Chair, £995, which can be upholstered in luxe velvet.

Graham & Brown has made marble a star in its wallpaper of the year, the decadent Marbled Charcoal/Rose Gold paper, £20 a roll. Follow the fashionable route for flooring with black and white Victorian Chequer Tiles, £5.49 each (£66.19 per square metre), Topps Tiles.


Belfast Telegraph

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