New year, new trends: home and lifestyle

Last year’s design trends were pale, chic and simple, with copper and ‘hygge’ taking over our homes, but 2017 is already looking very different. This year the trends on show at home and gift trade event Spring Fair, from 5-9 February at the NEC, will be decidedly more energetic. We want fun and intensity married with practicality and usefulness for the perfect blend of passion and realism.

Bright colours are on their way in, so the muted greys, beiges, and pastel colours of 2016 can move aside. Although it’s pretty dark and cold outside at the moment, this new trend will see rooms bursting with colour. Paint a wall a popping pink, get a statement blue sofa, or make small but colourful changes. Adding some vibrant throw cushions can rejuvenate your living room, upgrade your appliances to brighten up your kitchen, and make a splash in your bathroom with a rainbow of different coloured towels.

If that’s not enough colour for you, statement wallpapers are making a comeback. Think walls covered in delicate, harlequin butterflies, or thick with bright forest foliage and bold florals. Interior design is making a long desired shift from hotel-esque impersonal pastel colours to more vivid colours and motifs, so we can look forward to our homes being infused with personality and attitude.

We’re also predicting ‘smart’ homes for 2017. The rise of Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, is heralding a new era of voice-activated technology which can simplify automated homes. We’re talking smart lighting, smart heating, smart locks, smart cameras and home security systems. Everything and anything these days can be connected to the internet, so you can turn off your lights without getting out of bed (I am already living this dream!) or lock your front door remotely, even if you went to Spain for two weeks and forgot.

Escapism will also figure hugely in home design this year. With all the technology available now, it can be nice to retreat somewhere tranquil and calming, especially somewhere without a brightly lit screen. Think wide windowsills piled with soft furnishings to curl up in and read a book; cute, cosy cubbyholes with floor cushions or beanbags; or a low loveseat in your bedroom for you to lie down and relax.

Greenery is Pantone’s colour of the year, with Leatrice Eiseman (executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute), saying that “We love that feeling of newness, of realigning yourself and revitalising yourself. A really important aspect is that the colour has vibrancy and a little bit of brightness.”

Pantone Greenery

It offers a gorgeous, vibrant hue, but we’re also taking this trend for ‘greenery’ literally. One of our food trend predictions was for DIY foods, including having herb gardens and hydroponic units in our homes. Alternatively, an easier way to embrace this trend is to grow succulents and cacti instead. They are simple, cute, and practically impossible to accidently kill.

Jungle and tropical patterns and styles are also very on trend now. We’re talking cocktails, woven baskets and beadwork, bird print fabrics, exotically scented candles and lush plants. This trend, out in force at Spring Fair 2017, encompasses practically all the other things I’ve talked about – bright colours, greenery, and escapism from our wet, cold weather without a holiday. However, it’s bolder and very in-your-face; pair a few statement pieces with more neutral colours and simpler furniture to get the right mix of loud and quiet.

floral-wallpaper

Finally, imperfection. Sometimes, not having a fixed style looks the best, and having a jumble of different furnishings showcases your personality. Having mismatching décor can look amazing, so try some period pieces contrasting against and complementing new, modern furniture. Try your hand at upcycling your own bedside table or dresser, and love its blemishes and therefore its originality. Go against the predicted trends, or blend this year’s bright jungle themes with the recent rose gold craze, and make sure your home is perfect for you.

Pie and mash in Walthamstow

Walthamstow

Walthamstow

Walthamstow

Walthamstow

Throwback to the time we ventured East on the Victoria Line to Walthamstow and stumbled across this frozen-in-time pie and mash shop – unchanged since 1929. From the gleaming white tiles to the wooden booths, it was in pristine condition. Pie, mash and eel shops have been in London since the 19th century and you can still find them – there’s one on Broadway Market, and closer to home, Hoxton Market. I’ve tried a vegetarian pie and it was quite decent, although I have no love for liquor – a watery parsley gravy that used to be made from the water eels were cooked in…

Mini craft project: pinboard

This is the part where I get all Pinterest on you. I picked up this cork board for £1 in a Salvation Army jumble sale on Saturday morning. A little masking tape and some gold spray paint, and voila, a board worthy of pinning. I’m actively trying to train myself to see the possibility in old goods, rather than buying everything new. I think this fits the bill – and I’m pretty chuffed with the results

Photo

Photo

TIP: If you’re going to make one of these, rule a line down the centre of your board in pencil before starting. You can then use this line to align the apex of every chevron.

Daily photo: small is beautiful

Jet lag still has me wandering around the neighbourhood at all hours, hello 5:30AM. One such walk took me down to the Viaduct and past this cute shipping container micro-library on Te Wero Island. It totally has the 1960’s bach vibe nailed. The perfect place to grab a seat and watch the ships go by.

Micro-library
Micro-library
Micro-library
Micro-library

Barbican, City of London

barbican

The joys of forgotten film! It was a cold, but sunny spring day in 2012 when I took these pictures, not too dissimilar to today. This is the Barbican, my favourite place in London. From the concrete Brutalist architecture to the high walks of the estate, the sound-muffling lake and the velveteen belly of the performing arts centre, I love everything about it. It’s my dream to live there one day, fingers crossed we make a milli in the next year or so.

Bow
barbican
barbican
barbican-reading
babican
barbican apartments
texture
barbican tower

If you’re ever in London, make sure the Barbican is on your list – whether that’s to see a film, visit the art gallery, or simply hang out next to the lake with a coffee and a good book. Don’t forget to visit the hidden conservatory, too. Built to disguise the theatre’s fly tower, it is home to over 2000 species of tropical plants and trees. That’s where I took the photo of a lonely heart…

Lonely hearts

Magic carpet ride

Carpet

Carpet

Carpet

Auroras, galaxies, rainbows, carpet. At the moment carpet is seen as a bit naff. Soft-floor coverings have been ditched in new builds, and renovations see everyone ripping up their rugs.

But there is something inherently nice about jumping out of bed to something softer underfoot. And digital printing offers a wealth of new opportunities for both wall to wall carpeting, and rug design. could it make a comeback? I’d like to see this carpet being used for good (schools, bars, residential), and not evil (conference venues, offices, casinos)…

The photos above are from Carpets for Buildings {via today and tomorrow}

Planter

Isabel Marant and Jerome Dreyfuss' house

Skyplanter

Justina Blakeney

Sunny window sill

Brooklyn Loft

Dwell Studio - at home

I can’t wait till Spring, when the dirt will thaw and we can plant things in a our postage stamp of a garden. In the meantime, I feel like I need to surround myself with more living things inside. The right ratio? At least 3 plants per human per room, perhaps. Or maybe we should turn our downstairs bathroom into a veritable jungle.

{click the photos for sources}

Sydney Side Up

Sydney Apartment - King's Cross Station Sign

Sydney Apartment - Book Rack

Sydney Apartment - Living Room
Sydney Apartment - Sunroom

Steve’s Sydney apartment has it all. Twin chestnut chesterfields, a sun-room peppered with hanging plants, and an appropriately seedy King’s Cross sign. In particular the stacked and strapped filing cabinet wall of storage is an idea I’d like to steal, and a giant mirror wouldn’t go amiss in my house either.

Scooch on over to Apartment Therapy for all the pictures and to read about the inspiration behind it. Meanwhile, I’m still be busily scouring the classifieds for the perfect couch…

Falcon Enamel

Falcon Enamelware

Falcon Enamelware

Falcon Enamelware

Falcon Enamelware

Falcon Enamelware

Don’t these beautiful pictures by Sam Stowell make you hungry? They were shot for Falcon Enamelware, to showcase their distinctive ice-white and blue rimmed tableware. Falcon have recently upped their game by offering their enamel in a new range of bold colours, including a pillarbox red. In particular their tumblers are brilliant – I’d like a set of eight, two of each colour (especially pigeon).

Falcon Enamelware

Falcon Enamelware

I like enamel because it lasts forever. It doesn’t break when you drop it, and neither will it burn when you accidentally leave a pie in the oven too long… I think my mother still uses enamel kitchenware that came from her grandmother’s kitchen. So it’s no surprise then that Falcon Enamelware is a bit of a British cooking classic.