Design Centre Stories

Category: Trend Stories

Soft Spot

Chunky shapes and curvy outlines have replaced hard angles in upholstered furniture. These soft silhouettes express our deep need for comfort right now: a chair that literally wraps around the sitter has a calming, cocooning effect.

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The Big Blue

One of those highly adaptable colours that seems to have a place in every scheme, indigo can feel raw and industrial, like a riveted pair of classic jeans, or have a breezy informality, like a tablecloth draped over a table set for an al fresco lunch in the Med.

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A Cleaner Future

Post Covid-19, one design development we're likely to see in commercial projects is the increased use of textiles that can be disinfected. Jane Kennedy, director of StudioTex, says that she expects to see a much greater uptake of these fabrics, not just in healthcare environments but in places such as hotel rooms, too.

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Scene Stealers

Fabrics and wallcoverings featuring highly detailed landscapes and courtly scenes are having a moment. Here are a few of recent offerings that will induce a sweet sense of escapism.

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Crowning Glory

Passementerie is sometimes described as the jewellery of an interior – the essential last detail that sets everything off. Looking at spring's latest launches, however, it seems that trimmings are taking over as the star of the show, with glittering embellishment, bright colour and bold pattern.

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The Heritage of Home

Home comforts are coming to the fore in a time of disruption. There's a soothing, cocooning sense of satisfaction to be found in the familiar, but schemes that mix innovation and tradition manage to keep up with changing lifestyles while staying rooted in the past.

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Matter of Taste

Easy on the eye and pleasant to the touch, a matt white finish has a softness that feels just right for a troubled world. Several new launches at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are exploring this theme, from sculptural lighting to silky-smooth baths and tactile fabrics.

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A Rosy Glow

Everything's heating up, as colours from the warmer end of the spectrum are dominating: think soft peach, blush and coral; earthy terracotta and Etruscan red; and punchy watermelon and tangerine.

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Beyond Wallpaper

Paper may be the standard material for covering the wall, but why be standard? The relentless ingenuity and imagination of design brands have led to the development of some incredible alternatives, with a particular focus on natural materials, from cork to shells.

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Keep in Touch

With daily digital overload, enhanced tactility has never been more important. From textured wallcoverings to woven leathers, thick bouclé carpets and incredible embroidery, it’s all so much more interesting than swiping a screen.

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A Ripple or a Splash?

Biophilic design, inspired by nature, is closely associated with natural materials and botanical references – but patterns and motifs that take water as their starting point make just as strong a connection to the outside world.

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Paradise on Earth

Bold blooms, shady trees, dappled light, and fanciful birds and beasts: bring a heady vision of an exotic garden inside with the latest launches.

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Still Life

Still-lifes of Chinese and Japanese ceramics abound for wallcoverings, a look that takes one of the most traditional of all decorative objects and turns it into a something more playful.

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Making Room Outdoors

Performance products are now more than just fabrics and furniture. Brands are expanding their repertoire to include a host of suitable for the outdoors, from rugs to curtain poles, allowing for the creation of true ‘outdoor rooms’ with a more decorative edge.

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Journey to Japan

Quiet luxury, wabi sabi, and craftsmanship perfected over centuries: the design traditions of Japan are at the forefront of spring’s new collections.

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Wild Appreciation

Flora and fauna have long been ubiquitous in interiors, but it's nature's most spectacular and exotic creatures that are currently leaving the biggest footprint. Whether it's big cats prowling through lush jungle foliage, monkeys perched in trees or parrots in flight, these animal-themed designs are about pure escapism, transporting us to far-flung places. Classic animal prints such as cheetah and …

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Home Heritage

Renewed interest in heritage from a younger generation of decorators means that the past has never seemed so forward-looking. Inspired by a mix of innovation, tradition and British daring, interior designers are creating eclectic schemes that mix historical references with bold modernity – reflecting changing lifestyles but keeping one foot anchored in tradition. All this is helping to invigorate those brands …

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Keep it Natural

Embrace the bounty of the earth, from the rattan revival to wood, sisal and stone, to bring an authentic yet refined element to a space. Layer fabrics in cotton and linen for an informal yet chic look that is suitable for all seasons, and appreciate the crafted nature of hand-woven materials that add additional texture. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Amasura’ wallcovering …

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In the Green

One colour dominates this season's palette. Watch as shades of green – from leaf and olive to teal and jade – take root, offering a deeper connection with the world around us. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: ‘Fontaine et Animaux Baibouillage’ wallcovering (FP568003), Pierre Frey. ‘Landmark Pure’ exposed thermostatic shower set, Samuel Heath. Paint on frame: 'Poison’, Zoffany. ‘Satara’ rug, emerald, Jacaranda …

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All in the Mix

This year, it’s all about a sophisticated cosmopolitan charm, with some eclectic touchpoints when it comes to inspiration. Layers of vibrant colour and rich materials speak of history, travel and craftsmanship. ‘Captain’s Chair’ upholstered in (94-557) fabric and ‘Irish’ stool upholstered in (94-561) fabric, Baker. ‘Artisan Cushion’ (2786-02), Sahco. ‘Honoré’ dining table, Oficina Inglesa Furniture. ‘Blob’ lamp, evergreen, with ‘BGL’ ‘Bongo’ …

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The Great Escape

Design takes an escapist turn this season. This global outlook is long and languid, saturated in golden-hued warmth and exotic influences that evoke journeys to far-flung locations. From left to right: ‘Hub’ dining table, Christophe Delcourt at GMR Interiors. Vintage silver-plated table lamp and 19th century chaise with wicker, both Birgit Israel. ‘Peggy G’ sofa, Ceccotti Collezioni, upholstered in ‘Taxus’ fabric …

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Hook, Line and Sinker

This season takes a dive beneath the waves, bringing attention to the colour, life and beauty of the blue planet. With mesmerising sea creatures and spectacular ecosystems that exist underwater, it has never been easier to take the plunge. Above, left to right: ‘Nova’ table lamp and ‘Asian Turtle Shell’, both Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd. ‘Leda’ armchair in ‘Estelle’, …

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Colour & Context

Looking for the bright side? Sunshine yellow makes a fine combination with tropical teal and green – with maybe a punch of purple? Fortune favours the bold… Above, from left: ‘Blade’ ottoman, upholstered in (9455) fabric, Thomas Pheasant at Baker. ‘duVal’ yacht chaise and cushion, McKinnon and Harris. Fabrics on chaise: ‘Sintra’ (N9012251002), maritime and ‘Palmetto’, (N9012260001), mineral, No.9 Thompson at …

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The Rich Mix

This year, it's all about a sophisticated cosmopolitan mix: layers of vibrant colour, rich materials and eclectic points of inspiration speak of history, travel and craftsmanship. Above, left to right: ‘Big Foot’, Nicholas Haslam Ltd.‘Giove’ round mirror, Porada.‘Gargantuesque Sancy’ tie-back, cardinal noir, Watts of Westminster. Sofa upholstered in ‘Nouvelles’ fabric, vagues, Dedar.‘Aviary’ lantern (CL51-LAN), Bella Figura.‘Leo’ side table, Christophe Delcourt at …

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Sophisticated Combinations

Mustard meets indigo: look to opposite ends of the colour spectrum to create a scheme that hums with energy. Above, from left to right: ‘Hanford’ ceramic table lamp (CTL0070) with ‘Ikat’ shade, yellow/blue, Vaughan. ‘Vendôme’ buffet, Hugues Chevalier at Marc De Berny. ‘Quadrat’ lamp and 'Bongo' lampshade, Porta Romana.  Ceramic vase, Wunderkamer at Miles x Bookshop. ‘Roma’ nesting table (BA9253), Baker. …

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Ravishing Gardens

Get some fresh air to sooth the spirit. Germinate pretty flowers and lush botanicals in shades of mint and aqua – with a hint of pink to prettify the scene still further. Above, from left to right: ‘Sugar’ armchair, Julian Chichester. Textured vase, Wunderkamer at Miles x Bookshop. ‘Hughes’ dining table, Arteriors. ‘Phenomena’ floor lamps, flamingo pink/gold and mint green/gold, both …

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Invest in the Best

Look to invest in pieces where creativity and craftsmanship meet. It’s all about the maker’s passion for detail. From left to right: ‘Frank’ lounge chair, by Vincent Van Duysen at Sutherland Perennials Studio. ‘Le Coupe’ occasional chair, J. Robert Scott. ‘Koi Carp’, Alexander Lamont at Miles x Bookshop. Books, Potterton Books. ‘African Pot’ table lamp, neutral, with ikat cotton shade, Vaughan. …

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Freedom of Creativity

Take cues from the free-spirited approach to colour and pattern that is in the ascent. Fantastical birds and beasts emerge from dark grounds; and citrus shades contrast with teal and forest green. Above, from left to right: ‘Calle Stella’ side table, Rubelli Casa at Rubelli/Donghia. ‘Triennale 2’ sofa (12105), Rubelli Casa at Rubelli/Donghia. ‘Carmen’ ottoman, Flexform. 'Saybrook' pendant, Oomph at Nina …

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Into the City

Strong architectural shapes give interiors an urban edge, with a greyscale palette that makes it easy to combine a wealth of different textures, materials and prints. It's authentic, understated and refined. Above, from left to right: ‘BB’ chair, Rubelli Casa at Rubelli/Donghia. ‘Embrasse’ tie-back (PIN021), marzapane liquirizia, Dedar. ‘1940’s Kuper Horse’ lamp, Birgit Israel. ‘Loubes’ bench, Paolo Moschino at Nicholas Haslam …

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Colour Crush

Amp up the optimism: decorators are expressing hope and energy via joyful brights. Train your eye on surprising and sophisticated colour combinations, and pair them with exuberant pattern and sculptural silhouettes for a multi-sensory approach. Above, from left to right: ‘Rouche’ trimming (Pin 019), Dedar. ‘Temple House’ sofa, pink, Miles x Bookshop. ‘Rngeen’ rug, Tim Page Carpets. ‘Trittico’ occasional tables, Porada. …

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