You may have made all sorts of promises to improve yourself – dropping a dress size or pounding a treadmill – but don’t overlook a shape-up for the home.
New Year is the perfect time to embrace a new look, and there’s certainly plenty to inspire in the latest decor trends.
Budget permitting, you could opt for a total makeover, but even indulging in a few simple, fresh touches will give rooms a lift – and that’s an ideal and inexpensive way to experiment before you plump for a favourite trend.
“Our homes are a reflection of our personalities and increasingly we’re not afraid to have fun with colour, mix old with new, minimalism with drama and handmade with technology, for fabulous, quirky, eclectic and mismatched imperfection,” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design at made-to-measure blind specialists Hillarys, who’s viewed collections internationally to give an overview of the top trends.
“If you love pale colours and soft neutrals, look away now, it’s time to embrace an explosion of colour! The patterns and palette we’re going to see coming through are bold, cheerful and optimistic, with yellow being a stand-out shade, along with luminous accents of orange and neon pink,” she adds.
“But fear not – the key word here is ‘accent’, as they do also look great with taupe and ever-popular greys.”
Print designs featuring nature and woodland creatures will give way to lush, green botanicals, ethnic designs with a strong Moroccan or Mexican influence, as well as lots of strong, graphic geometrics, she predicts.
“Vintage will also continue to be a massive trend, as our love of shabby chic sees us delving back into the past to take inspiration for the future, but always with a modern twist,” she says.
“Expect to see lots of lace and chintzy, floral vintage prints on a white background, which reflects our passion for handmade and ‘old-fashioned’ crafts like knitting, crochet and stitching.”
Take a tour through the trends, as high street experts reveal what’s coming up this year, as well as their favourite looks and best buys.
Romance and sea breezes
“There’s a well-overdue breath of fresh air blowing through interiors,” predicts Steven Rowe, head of design at Tesco. “The main looks are coastal-cool New England style, bold, beautiful monochrome and the romantic elegance of couture-themed products.
“While pretty pastels will hold their popularity with homeware and accessories in sugary soft shades, you can also opt to enliven a room with bright pops of colour, or reflect an eastern Moroccan theme for an eclectic vibe.”
Favourite trend – “Monochrome’s a clear winner as it’s so crisp, clean and simply stylish,” he says. “But personally, I favour the romantic and elegant style because of its vintage feel.”
Explore the outdoors
“We’re continuing to celebrate the great outdoors and seek inspiration from nature,” says Sue Roberts, design director at House of Fraser.
“Our indoor/outdoor trend is Urban Explorer, a mix of fresh spring greens, textures and foliage in bloom. Indoors, the green is punctuated with an accent of vibrant orange.
“There’s a continuing Eastern influence on interiors, and we’ve called our interpretation Serenity. It’s a twist on Asian and Indian culture and tradition, which imparts a sense of exoticism and has a romantic, bohemian world traveller sense of spirit.
“There’s no doubt that pastel brights will be a big trend across the high street. I particularly like the combination of fresh and inspiring, playful ice-cream brights and feminine painterly florals.”
Favourite trend – “The nautical look wins hands-down for me, as it’s a relaxed, sophisticated take on coastal chic with cool shades of blue and natural tones, which creates a harmonious look that works all across the home.”
Classical and upcycling
“There’s a certain kind of style, classical and understated, that never dates and changes only for the better. It’s like strawberries and cream and tennis in the summer; reliable, enjoyable, comfortable to live with and, above all, beautiful to look at,” says Claire Hornby, creative stylist at Barker & Stonehouse.
“This will be hugely popular in 2014. Use a neutral and honey colour palette and pick furniture that is restrained in style, but provides real comfort. Mix occasional chairs with sofas and a slightly Georgian feel, such as wooden legs and castors, and Bateau Lit style beds. Then accessorise the look with timeless pieces, like woollen throws, ornate objects and glass or brass- based lamps.”
If that’s all too subtle and colour rocks your boat, opt for the Colourful Vintage interpretation, says Hornby. “Classic colours and graphic prints combine with retro furniture for a bright, upbeat style.
“Shape and colour are all important to this look. Sofas should be rounded and colours taken from the same tonal palette.”
Favourite trend – “It’s stylish grown-up recycling with an urban vibe, perfect for people who like informality, spontaneity and finding the joy in natural materials,” says Hornby.
“This look brings a unique charm to a home and because pieces are made from a mix of mango wood and recycled wood, no two products are alike. Partner recycled industrial furniture with dynamic rugs, patterned cushions and metal chairs, or simply incorporate one or two statement pieces.”
Memory lane meets Boho
“There’s a willingness to embrace colour, fun and detail evident in the trends this year,” says Rachel Small, home living buying manager at Sainsbury’s.
“The five key trends span nature-inspired Botanical Gardens, taking inspiration from blooms, butterflies and bird studies, pretty English Vintage, pared-back Refined Rustic, which has a muted palette of crisp white and putty shades paired with accents of smoke blue, and nostalgic Memory Lane, with a pastel palette and detail in patterns, from gingham to kitsch florals.
“Boho Chic has a relaxed, informal vibe evoking Moorish and Moroccan interiors.”
Favourite trend – “I’m particularly drawn to the Boho Chic decorating trend, as it’s eclectic but harmonious. The collection offers a bazaar full of embellished textiles, detailed home accessories, decorative lanterns, and fine white china finished with a subtle tribal print.”
On-trend star buys: Sainsbury’s large Moroccan Style Lantern, £25; and Small Buddha Head, £8. Available from February. (www.sainsburys.co.uk/0800 636 262).
z Fish plate, £12; small dish, £8, medium dish, £10, House of Fraser. Available from mid-February (www.houseoffraser.co.uk/0870 160 7270).