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Eclectic taste is right on trend!

February 23, 2011

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all being encouraged to throw out our clutter, remove the patterned wallpaper and fabrics, and simply paint our walls in neutral colours – ‘minimal’ tended to be impersonal & uninteresting.  Less was more!

The introduction of TV shows such as Changing Rooms stimulated a huge interest in Interior Design encouraging us to rethink our interiors.  It was so popular it attracted a cult following and was soon follwed by a string of other programmes, informing & educating the consumer in the rights and wrongs of Interior Design.

It was around this time that we saw the emergence of the ‘feature’ wall bringing a little more pattern & colour into our homes, however, this was rather constrained and in many cases interiors still lacked any degree of spontaneity & personality.

Fuelled by reality TV shows, media hype & a consuming obsession with celebrity 2007/8 saw the emergence of a new trend – Bling – metallic wallpapers, sequins, crystals, glitter, decorative mirrors & opulent colour schemes.  If it glittered it was in – & still is for some.

This year we are seeing a real eclectic mix to Interior trends – the old is mixing with the new – curves are being teamed with geometrics, muted colours are being given vibrant highlights, an unfinished natural look in furniture and accessories is being mixed with slicker, shinier finishes so that it becomes eclectic rather than rustic.

It’s a welcome change from the dictatorial trends of the past when we feared getting it wrong but I can see that it could also be a little daunting for those who feel more comfortable with a set formula to follow.  What I would suggest, when considering a new scheme is first & foremost think about your own lifestyle, your taste and your needs – don’t be afraid to experiment and don’t be a slave to trends!

What is influencing trends for 2011?

The link between fashion & interiors – The worlds of fashion and interiors have always been closely linked. Trends in shape, colour, print and pattern that we see on the catwalk translate directly into product design and interiors.  As the recent London Fashion Week demonstrated, fashion offers something for everyone, from fun & funky to understated classics, likewise Interior Design is now very much about reflecting our own personality rather than following strict trends.

Economic climate/Changing lifestyles – More of us are working from home & entertaining at home – our homes are now reflecting our personalities like never before.  We are moving away from the cold, clinical minimalism – of de-cluttering and depersonalising our homes.  Characterless furniture is being replaced by pieces that interest us, some may even amuse us!

Ad vances in home technology, coupled with economic downturn & soaring costs, have seen more and more of us making the choice to stay at home & entertain.  We may chose not to go out to the club, restaurant or cinema but there is nothing to stop us recreating that ‘night-time’ ambience in our own home!

Texture – Texture is now playing an important role in our interiors, creating a more sensual, tactile environment, adding to the sense of calm and relaxation.  We tend to think of texture in the form of accessories – cushions, rugs, etc but with our walls taking up the most surface area textured papers and tiles are now very much on trend.  I just had to share this image with you – its from Johnson Tiles Absolute collection.  The design is called Sextans-Soft Gloss in mustatrd.  I absolutely love it but with a hefty price tag of £529.39 per sq m I think I will be looking for something more affordable!

Consumer awareness – We are starting to question what we need to be comfortable, we are becoming more aware of technology and global issues and this is starting to have an effect on what we are buying.  We are becoming far more eclectic and re-discovering the pleasure of having ‘things’ around us.

Hand Made – The hand crafted look is becoming ever popular with products that aren’t actually handmade are taking on the appearance of being painstakingly hand-crafted in styles reminiscent of traditional craftsmanship techniques.

For those of us who prefer the real thing we have an abundance of talent in the UK – offering us unique, hand made furniture & accessories, in some cases more affordable & infinitely more personal than similar mass produced items.

Climate Change – The drive for stylish, functional products which satisfy the need to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’.  In the past Britain may have lagged behind in ‘sustainable’ design but this is now changing rapidly as we are seeing more and more well designed, stylish, products made from sustainable materials.  But its not just about sustainable materials – water is one of our most precious resources so choosing a water-saving shower head is an educated choice for any household.

The new Icon Rainshower from Grohe is a high quality shower head with an innovative design available in a huge selection of colours.  Not only will it reduce your water consumption by up to 50% but it will save energy too – using less water means less energy is required to heat the water, so the benefits are twofold.   Priced at £117.95, you can see the Rainshower Icon Handshower on display at The Washroom in Nottingham.

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