As with any area of fashion, every year there is a new trend and a new season for interior decorating, and 2014 seems to have plenty of favourites to suit everyone.
Some design trends
Some styles never go out of fashion and that certainly seems to be the case with the Scandinavian themed interior, which is all about simplicity and functionality. Its clean, streamlined look creates a pared-down, unfussy look. Light plays a major part in design and there is a tendency to use earthy, but muted colours on the walls; the perfect, genderless interior style.
Shabby chic has a decidedly feminine look to it, especially if it is used in the bedroom. It is an affected look, conveying an idea of rusticity and simplicity, utilising furniture and objects that appear, even if they are not, aged. White or cream is the main colour in this design palette, accompanied by soft, natural pastel shades, such as grey, pink and purple.
One design trend that has become really popular this year is up-cycling. This differs from recycling in that items that may previously have been considered only fit for the rubbish heap are ‘re-purposed’ to give them a whole new lease of life. For example, wooden shutters could be re-purposed as an art installation, a bed headboard, a utensil hanging rack or a notice board. Up-cycling is an environmentalist’s dream decorating style, as it keeps items off of the landfill sites and cuts down on waste.
Achieving the look
A big no-no in Scandinavian style is carpets. Wooden floorboards or laminate flooring are the preferred choice for most of the rooms in the home. Wood is also the material of choice for much of the furniture, while hemp, hessian or linen work well for upholstery. The colour palette for the walls uses mainly neutral, cool tones, such as white, grey and blue, but accents come from decorative sofa cushions, simple rugs and modern wall art. When it comes to accessories, it is essential to remember that less is more. Cathyfrith.com has a blog that you can look to for inspiration on accessorising your home.
For a shabby chic look, paint the walls an off-white or cream colour or for something with a little more depth, a dove grey or pale pink. Furniture should also be painted white and if new, distressed to look as if it has been around for generations. A freestanding iron or wooden bedstead is essential, as is an attractive wardrobe or armoire. Both can be decorated to add interest, such as a floral stencil on the head or footboard or on the panels of the wardrobe doors. Shabby chic is about luxury and comfort, so imply this with plenty of fabric layers. Good basic fabrics are linen and cotton, but luxury can be suggested with silk, satin and lace. Use old glass bottles and floral ceramics for decoration.
Almost anything can be up-cycled. An old piece of furniture, such as a G-plan sideboard, can be painted with bold, vibrant colours and patterns to make it look completely different. Finally, paint dining chairs a completely different colour to the table for an eclectic look.