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.


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.

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



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.

Magic carpet ride




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}


Isabel Marant and Jerome Dreyfuss' house


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…

Library stacks

All going well, I will be moving into a new house soon (xx, those are my fingers; twisted, knotted and wishing). Starting with blank walls, and empty rooms. Some decor inspiration:

Kate Foley

Vintage Interior Style

The Selby

Hollister Hovey


Globe copper lamps, table and books

It turns out my decorating wish list is quite simple; a Chesterfield sofa with a velveteen blanket, a big solid work table, and lots of bookshelves. How is it, that despite arriving in England with one book, I have acquired a few dozen more in just 4 months? Oops!

Warmth in the winter gloom

I’m on day 5 of bed rest after having my tonsils out. OUCH. I don’t recommend it. Oh, I kid; it’s one of those no pain, no gain situations. I’m looking forward to being a lot healthier in the future!

Despite the mewling, I am making the most of my time at home and preparing for the move to England by going through some of the design snippets, magazines and ephemera I’ve collected over the years. There are piles of interesting stuff stashed away in my filing cabinet. One such thing was this Nest winter catalogue from 2007. Nest was a New Zealand homewares store that sold the prettiest things, and sparked my love for all thingsConran.

nest catalogue winter 2007

“It’s time: turn on the kettle and stir the pot,
pull up the quilt and cozy up.”

nest catalogue 2007 winter

nest catalogue 2007 living

nest catalogue 2007 sink

nest catalogue 2007 wall

nest catalogue 2007 washing

I like these spreads because they are very “New Zealand” – both the dark landscape, and the way the stylist has mixed high and low, old and new. Shiny new pots hanging by an old cooker, a satin dress on a spindly wire washing line. Actually, the first shot reminds me very much of my great grandfather’s house.

If you’re in the midst of winter too, I hope you’re staying warm. (And if it’s your summer – get off the internet!)  ❤