One thing we love about autumn is the whole new array of AW16 interior trends and ideas. It can be a little bit overwhelming, so we went cap in hand to a few of the city’s most knowledgeable experts, who kindly imparted some of their insight into what the season has in store for Bristol’s homes…
Alison Bracey, Bracey Interiors
Prints and pattern
“The trend for painterly prints continues – Designers Guild’s new collection Jardin des Plantes takes its inspiration from 17th-century botanists recreating flora, fauna and exquisite butterflies using textural cloths with their own unique colour palette. Descriptive designs are still proving to be popular too, with Andrew Martin launching a new range of animal-themed fabrics and wallpapers designed by renowned artist Holly Frean. Pattern is big this autumn/winter, regardless of whether you are working with colour or neutrals.
“Sanderson have just launched a new William Morris Collection featuring his iconic designs which have been recreated in a varied neutral palette for both fabrics and wallpapers, and G P & J Baker’s collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces has provided a wealth of inspiration, featuring both embroidered and beautiful woven fabrics. There is an amazing subtlety in the colour palette and it’s going to be a definite winner. Meanwhile Mulberry – renowned for its adventurous approach to decoration – has its new ‘Festival’ collection which includes some fabulous decorative designs on velvets and linens.
“With design houses encouraging the use of brighter colours and more pattern, people are now looking towards using warmer paints – blush pink, warm yellows. Shades of indigo are popular and are a welcome alternative to the grey palette still favoured by many. Matt metals have also become very popular – in particular, aged copper and bronze. The trend for textural materials continues, with the use of wood and ceramic wall tiles mimicking Moroccan designs. In an attempt to create softness and acoustic balance, textural wallpapers, rugs and the re-emergence of carpets are also being seen.
“Be clever with introducing accessories – these can easily transform a room and add interest. It’s a quick and inexpensive way of changing a room to suit current trends or your mood. Trims are making a comeback and are an ideal way of adding a little decoration. Most importantly, be yourself – while we are all keen to consider trends, it’s important that your interior reflects your own personality and individuality. In some ways your interior is a quick snapshot of yourself, so make it a clear reflection of that – this way you will be creating a welcoming and friendly interior for both yourself and your guests.”
Eleni Portch, Nisi Living
“It’s all about comfort, natural materials and products that make us feel good this season. Think soft blanket textures, tactile ceramics and aged, rustic wood. Soft lighting is key – and easy to achieve with candlelight and firelight which creates that warm glow. Mellow pinks and relaxing greens fit this scheme perfectly.
Green, blush pink and gold
“In fact, green is a big colour trend this autumn, from inky teal to earthy shades of moss. Go bold with jewel emerald accents or softly-softly with dusky hues; and team with indigo, rich browns or pale pink. Pink has also made a bit of a comeback – but expect to see sugary pinks and fuchsia replaced with more muted blush tones which work perfectly with warm metallics. Copper and rose gold tones add to that rich radiance you want to create – look out for gorgeous rose gold cutlery, copper pendant lighting and striking mirrors to add a bit of wow factor.
“…green is a big colour trend this autumn, from inky teal to earthy shades of moss…”
“There’s also the iridescent rainbow finish which is a new direction for furniture and lighting this season, and the petrol effect is a great way to add some interest. An easy way to tap into this trend is simply through using shimmering vases, wall tiles and trays. Slick – quite literally!”
Zoe Hewett, Zoe Hewett Interiors
“There are several differing forecasts as always, but those that stand out to me are the dark colour stories – dramatic deep green or navy blue walls. Coincidentally, one room in my house is already indigo, and I plan to use a very dark turquoise green in the office. I hope the trend for more adventurous use of colour does continue to grow, as, selfishly perhaps, it keeps work more interesting for me!
Bold and brave
“Be brave with colour. If you do try one of the dark seaweed greens or a navy, paint as large an area as possible with two coats as a test first, otherwise you really don’t get an accurate idea of how it will look. If pastel hues are more your cup of tea for larger areas like the walls, you can afford to be extra daring on the smaller items and embrace both pattern and colour. Rich purples, yellows, oranges and browns are beautifully warming and autumnal.
“You could also try bringing the outside inside. People talk about doing this during summer, but there’s no reason why it can’t continue through the cooler months. Flowers aren’t the only stems worthy of being placed in vases, either. The russet brown and shapely nature of teasels make them a good choice for adding autumnal ambience. Seasonal vegetables like carnival squash look great piled up in a bowl in the kitchen or on the dining room table while they’re waiting to be cooked, and of course, the falling leaves and sticks provide plenty of opportunity for artful arrangement into tablescapes or even wall art.
“…try bringing the outside inside…”
“And go for it with texture. Even before it starts turning super chilly, just looking at a variety of different textures, from velvet to chunky knits or sheepskins, will instantly cosy up a room. They’ll make it more interesting too, which can only be a good thing as we start spending more time indoors. I always like to create a book nook as autumn approaches – curling up to read as the evenings get longer is the simplest of pleasures, made all the more so by a designated, ever-ready spot. It can be as simple as a comfy chair dressed with a blanket and a side table with a light, plant or posy and a space for your drink. Light a candle. Or several. Combine tea lights with seasonal foliage or gourds to make a decorative vignette.
“Mixing several different materials and finishes in a single space is thought to be gaining popularity too. Marble, black stainless steel, matte-finished metal as well as shiny metallics, even faux pony skin – it’s all on the table. It might be quite a tricky look to get right and keep balanced, but it’ll certainly make kitchens, in particular, much more interesting. Authentic marble is, of course, hugely expensive, but there are plenty of smaller, more affordable accessories on the market at the moment for anyone wanting to add a touch of luxe. From clocks and coffee tables to faux marble items like bread bins, trays and tea towels, there’s something for every budget.
“Then there’s always the craft option of wrapping an object with marble effect fablon (sticky back plastic) for a super thrifty DIY version. For something higher-end and longer lasting, commission a decorator to hand-paint a marble effect onto vases and frames, or even the kitchen splashback tiles.”