Did you know that the Brussels sprout bauble is John Lewis’ biggest Christmas decoration seller for 2017? According to Karen Walker Editor of Good Homes Magazine as well as Rachael Kilby-Tyre and Anne Wall from My Interior Design School, we’re set to have a very merry “kitsch”mas.
Right now, everywhere you turn on the high street, you’re confronted by whimsical yuletide ornaments featuring everything from llamas to pigs and, yes, your least favourite turkey roast accompaniment. This kitsch look plays on vintage styling that’s been around for a few years but, with its multi-coloured fairy lights and felted creatures, it’s a lot more festive fun.
The interior design experts – who gave an excellent talk on this year’s Christmas trends at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas – did however warn that, in order to get through the festive season with your interior design kudos intact, you should blend the kitsch with the traditional for a more elegantly eclectic effect. Another top tip was that bright colours look fabulous when paired with the recent movement towards dark walls and that when displaying multi-coloured decorations, such as paper lanterns, go boldly for all colours of the rainbow and group them together for maximum pop.
Emphasising the importance of setting a theme or colour to run throughout your home from doorway to dining room, the magazine editor and course leaders demonstrated how simple it is to complement your existing décor and interior style with Christmas decorations. Whether you favour classical country; glitter and gold; winter ski lodge; or silver and grey, there are myriad ways to team up your festive trimmings and make your home exude Christmas class.
As well as carrying though a traditional feel to include touches of red and gold in modern country homes with natural wood flooring and a stone fireplace or feature wall, the ladies suggested interspersing natural greenery and turning to the wardrobe to create hallway features. For example, a strategically strewn plaid scarf would complete and update your look while adding a lovely welcoming touch.
For those with décor already exuding glitter and gold, to pile on the glitz at Christmas is a no-no. Karen et al suggest having a white statement tree to contrast your existing opulent furnishings and accessories and choosing just one metallic colour, style or shape as your bauble theme to create a pleasing uniformity.
Although love for the traditional Nordic /Fair Isle Christmas trend differed among the creative group, they agreed that this would of course complement homes with that hygge feel or cosy winter ski lodge look. So if sheepskin rugs and throws are your thing, any decorations made from raw wood or with tactile yet decorative adornments such as knitted stockings, pom-poms and snow-effects would go down a storm. Space-saving twig or wall-hung rope trees with simplistic paper decorations are also a win.
The knowledgeable ladies confirmed Carica Media’s suspicions that grey is still very much on-trend (and that this is likely to continue into next year), advising that silver is most definitely its best festive friend: “Grey is everywhere so this look will work in any home. If you have a grey room go for silver highlights this Christmas.” Monochrome decorations also work in such contemporary settings just like a simple or sparsely decorated tree with plain fairy lights.
Discover more about Christmas trends to complement your porcelain tiles in and around your home over on the website of our friends at Porcel-Thin, here.
A wander around the home improvements and accessories sections of this year’s Ideal Home Show at Christmas presented a number of interior design trends that will likely be seen throughout UK homes in 2018. Displays were rich with neutral cream, grey and brown tones. Furnishings were crafted from real or faux leather and suede with occasional chenille textures. There were also contrasting highlights of bright velvets, burnished metals and raw concrete throughout. Altogether, this signals a contemporary urban-lux-chic meets vintage-cool look for 2018.
Some of the most striking interior design products seen included: handmade Chesterfield sofas and contemporary grandfather clocks from TemeValley; cement dining tables from Woodstock; aviation furniture and Transformers figures from Blackbrook Interiors; multifunctional bedroom furniture from Study Bed; and vintage industrial lighting from J.A.M.S. Ironwork. There was even time for Owen to have an Oculus experience of the latest in Internet of Things for the home from Hive Active (you don’t want to miss the photo!)
Did you know that Chesterfield chairs were invented because Lord Phillip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, suffered from a bad back and needed something comfortable to sit in? According to the people at TemeValley, who specialise in custom-made furniture to suit one’s style and dimensions, this is precisely how the iconic deep buttoned leather chairs with low supportive seat bases came about. Handmade in Shropshire by a team of just six workmen and each piece unique, we were taken with the coffee and cream harlequin feature sofa that most definitely championed 2018’s leather/vintage styling. After a chat with Roger Hill, the company’s founder, we discovered he crafts grandfather clocks in the UK too. These trendy timepieces are sure to add a soupçon of steampunk sophistication to any interior.
Bang on that urban/industrial trend were the superb concrete dining room tables by Oxfordshire based Woodstock. Stocking standard sizes and offering a made to order service too, a company representative confirmed that “concrete’s a big thing,” she went on to say, “the concrete tables are great because they’re kid proof, crayon proof, even man proof!” Made by hand in France, the large concrete veneer tables on show – one a lovely large round piece and the other a classic extendable rectangle – had a marine plywood base with a sturdy concrete top that’s built to last and looks urbantastic.
We loved the aviation furniture given pride of place on this Staffordshire business’ stand. Using an aluminium wing for a desk was cool enough but not ground-breaking. However, when teamed with a Biggles-flying-jacket-style leather clad swivel chair – complete with wonderfully deep rivets to tie in that Chesterfield look and steampunk influence – this funky office furniture was brought in line with the 2018 interior design urban-vintage sensation. Blackbrook’s Transformers feature tables, that look to have interchangeable bases, were a joy too.
Ideal for those who work from home and struggle for space, the simple devices designed by the clever people at Study Bed are a wonder to behold. Bringing two operations to one room, with the flick of a wrist you can turn your desk into a bed and vice versa. No need to unmake your bed or clear your desk first! Whether the desk or bed is base, the design’s sturdier than it first looks and is smooth to manoeuvre between its two purposes. They can even make whatever bed size suits your room – the ultimate space-saver!
Steampunk heaven and the ultimate blend of industrial meets vintage were the bespoke functional yet aesthetically fabulous lighting designed and built by UK master-craftsman J.A.M.S. Ironwork. He sources and restores genuine vintage industrial or handmade components to create unique lamps and spotlights – such as a piece with an original Singer sewing machine base and an industrial lamp top complete with wiring from an Irish manufacturer. We bet Drew Pritchard of Salvage Hunter fame would be fawning all over those refurbished theatre lights too!
Boasting technology that allows you to control what’s going on at home with the tap of a button on your smart phone, Hive Active hubs connect Hive products that take care of your heating, lighting and security needs to an easy to use app. When stuck at work on a cold winter evening you can up temperature of your house, select some mood lighting and give the hot water tank a boost so you can walk into a toasty home and jump straight into a relaxing shower. You’ll get alerts to your smart device if there are any unexpected movements in your home while you’re out or away. You can even turn a plug on or off remotely, for those times when you really can’t remember whether you turned the iron or off or when you fancy a cuppa and want the kettle to have boiled by the time you get downstairs.
Owen and Katy very much enjoyed an Oculus virtual reality experience demonstrating the functionality of Hive technology in situ – a nice sit down and some smart tech innovations were the perfect end to a day on their feet collecting interior design inspirations from UK companies.