Decorating the home at Christmas has a lot to do with personal taste and there are many approaches to it. You may have decorations that you bring out every year, as they have personal and sentimental value; you may decorate to match your interior design colour and style; decorating purely on what’s the latest trend this year may be the way to go, or it could be a mix of all of these. I thought I would give you some inspiration to update your Christmas decorating this yearwith a few new trends and styles I have identified.
Festive Neutrals – for several years now neutrals have been big news in interior design, and they are now making their way into Christmas decorating, to ensure that the design conscious have a fully co-ordinated Christmas look! You are layering whites, greys and beiges to give a lovely, gentle festive look to your home. The most important thing to remember is to add texture to ensure that the room doesn’t look bland and uninteresting, so add layers of faux fur throws, cushions in soft velvet and wool fabrics. For the tree go for sparkly metallic baubles, lots of twinkly white lights and snowflake and star ornaments.
Chocolate and Mint – the inspiration for this look is a walk through a pine forest covered in sparkling white frost and a delicious cup of hot chocolate when you get back inside, preferably looking at that wonderful view! This would make a lovely theme to decorate the Christmas dinner table with, you could use frosted greenery with pinecones for the table centre, light lots of silver candles for soft lighting, napkins would be crisp white cotton dressed with sprigs of winter greenery and silver dishes piled with chocolate mints for after the meal would make the final finishing touch
Scarlett and White – this theme has been popular for a while now and it is certainly a timeless look. It is bright and fresh and vintage and hand-made touches can be used to great effect, introduce some silver to give the look an update.
Natural Elements – I identified this as a trend last year and I think it is still with us. Natural elements work well with a neutral decorating scheme, helping to bring in those essential textures that are needed to give the room that extra dimension. Think of using lots of natural greenery, berries, pinecones, twigs and rustic style decorations with church candles in simple holders.
The most important thing to remember when decorating is to have fun with it, it all doesn’t have to match, choose what you love to give your home your own special style to welcome your family and friends over the festive season.
I’m not a huge fan of pink, a bit too fluffy and Barbie for me, but flicking through fashion magazines recently, I’ve noticed a lot of pink in evidence, but interestingly represented in strong, bold shapes of other fashion trends such as Gothic and Punk, all of which add a balance to the usual girly fluffiness and make it a little more grown up. This Miu Miu polka dot coat is a great example.
I can see this fashion trend catching on in interiors, and if pink is used thoughtfully it can be a great colour to add warmth and a little playfulness and fun to a room, and doesn’t have to be confined to a bedroom. I particularly like pink with grey or brown neutrals, a combination that works beautifully to create a sophisticated but welcoming sitting room as seen here in this picture.
A deep shade of fuschia pink would add extra drama to a black and white scheme, especially with shiny surfaces and would be a great nod to the punk trend. This scheme is interesting – it doesn’t get much more punk than barbed wire in a bedroom!
I finally went to see the new Great Gatsby film last night and it exceeded my expectations, it was a complete feast for the senses, fast paced, beautifully shot and the clothes and jewels… well what can I say? It’s very rare that you go to see a film and the audience sits in awed silence as it finishes, but they did last night, I think we were all a little overwhelmed.
I was particularly looking forward to seeing how they dressed the film sets and I was not disappointed, I always love American film interiors and am a big fan of Hollywood Regency.
This picture shows Gatsby’s ballroom all set up for a party, so wonderfully Art Deco and opulent, though I wouldn’t recommend lit candles next to billowing curtains on safety grounds!
What struck me most was how well they managed the large scale spaces for the big party scenes in contrast to the more intimate living spaces where the drama really unfolded. Nick Carraway’s tiny cottage, dwarfed by the Gatsby mansion was the perfect example of this, a beautiful Arts and Crafts period space, dressed with wonderful details such as the clock, broken by a nervous Gatsby when he meets Daisy for tea there.
And what about Daisy’s gorgeous drawing room? Full of style and elegance as you would expect; but surprisingly inviting and relaxed – the perfect place to lounge and sip a cooling drink on a sultry afternoon. Soft feminine tones, comfy sofas and cushions and what about that telephone sitting on its own pedestal, awaiting those momentous phone calls, I really think we have lost something with our mobiles!
The other amazing space was Gatsby’s bedroom, which really was an enormous wardrobe where at one point in the movie Gatsby starts opening drawer after drawer of expensive hand-made shirts, raining them down on Daisy, in an attempt to impress her with his fabulous wealth – who wouldn’t want a room like that at their disposal? So for lots of Jazz Age glamour and total escapism, I would highly recommend The Great Gatsby, go and see it as soon as you can!
For more Great Gatsby thoughts, have a look at Get That Great Gatsby Look for your Home
A new re-make of the Great Gatsby is about to be released, and I predict an interest in the 1920’s for fashion and interiors over the summer. When I ask clients what their favourite design style is, they often say Art Deco and that of course was the archetypal design style of the 1920’s. It’s a very strong look and can be difficult to incorporate into contemporary interiors without making them look like a film set. I thought I would come up with a few ways of introducing this very stylish look into your home.
The simplest way is to devise a black and white colour scheme which is very suggestive of Art Deco, but using contemporary fittings, furniture and accessories. Have a look at my previous blog on ways of working with black and white interiors
Art Deco style bathrooms really have an air of sophistication, a simple white tile with black border could be just what’s needed to get the look, add these taps from Samuel Heath and accessorise with Art Deco style mirrors and glass perfume bottles. Some 21st Century under floor heating beneath a marble floor and lots of lovely fluffy white towels will add that touch of decadence.
The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books, and I love the scene near the beginning where the narrator is shown into Daisy’s beautiful drawing room. I would love to re-create this look using large, comfortable chesterfield sofas covered in white linen, scattered with these cushions from Designers Guild. These gorgeous 1920’s style tables from Tom Faulkner would look fabulous at the ends of each sofa, perfect for cocktails! There would be a polished wood in-laid floor covered with deep pile pastel coloured rugs. At the windows would be simple sheer linen curtains billowing in the breeze with tall mirrors opposite to reflect back the light. Simplicity and elegance…
There are many 1920’s influenced fabrics and wallpapers on the market that you can use to add some Jazz Age glamour. How about this wallpaper from Cole and Son? Or Harlequin’s Arkona collection has several 1920’s style fabrics which would beautifully compliment a contemporary room.
For some further inspiration, here is an Art Deco mood board I made a few years ago, showing that this design style is never far from fashion.
For help with introducing this design style or any other you may like into your home, please contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design.
The Pantone Institute have named their colour of the year for 2013 as Emerald Green. This is a luscious shade of green, full of glamour and intrigue, and over the past few months has been the favourite evening gown colour choice of many celebrities including Kate Middleton.
The question is how can we use it in our interiors? Some may not want to, and I suspect it may be a love or hate colour for many people. For me it is a colour of optimism and depth giving a moody opulence to a room.
Here are a few ways I would use it:
This Cole and Son Wallpaper would make a wonderful backdrop to a dining room, used on all walls not just as a feature with dark polished dining furniture and lots of antique silverware.
Luxurious silk drapes to frame a window, drawing the eye out to a garden beyond.
A group of emerald green glassware on a window sill catching the light and throwing a lovely green glow across a room or on a shelf mixed with other green colours for a lush display.
For the really brave it can be used with other jewel colours such as sapphire blue to dramatic effect.
For help with using Emerald Green and or any other colour you love in your home, contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk
I’ve been gazing into my crystal ball, well looking at fashion and interiors magazines actually and trying to pinpoint this year’s key trends. How will we be decorating our homes in 2013? Well from what I can see we are going to be much more minimal than we have been over the last few years. The vintage, retro, home-made home trend is becoming less important and we are moving to a more streamlined look.
To get that minimal feel, de-clutter and decorate your rooms in gentle greys and deep blues for a feeling of peace and tranquillity. These colours form a lovely backdrop to this year’s simple but strong furniture shapes in mixed materials such as stone, metal and wood. Marble is the stone for this year, whether it’s in your bathroom, in your kitchen or on top of a table. Cork, a very 1970’s material, is set to make a come-back, great for floor or wall tiles where you want a soft, natural look with great sound insulation. Wirework furniture in black or bright colours will also be a key feature with its graphic shape and clean lines.
This could be your year if you love bold pattern, there will be lots of stripes and zig-zags in black and white or tropical floral prints in bright colours. Used strategically in a room, these are a great way to update a neutral scheme by injecting some life and colour. Introducing them as accessories such as cushions, rugs and bed linen would an easy and relatively in-expensive way to get this year’s look.
If you are looking for this year’s perfect interiors colour, then look no further than blue, not in pastel shades but beautiful deep indigo blue. Use it as a bold block of colour on a wall or choose it for a large piece of furniture such as a sofa to bring a deep sense of calm into a room.
2013 will be the year of strong shapes, natural materials and soothing colours livened with bold pattern – truly modern!