SAY GOODBYE TO OPEN PLAN LIVING
After a decade of open plan, whitewashed Scandi living, prepare for a return to formal dining rooms, fireplaces and dark walls. It’s coming your way, says interior stylist Laura Fulmine, as she introduces the home trends for the coming year.
THE WAY WE LIVE IN OUR HOME IS CHANGING…
Get ready to rethink the layout of your home. The obsession for open-planned living spaces has been with us since the 1960s but it really took traction in the 1990s. We’ve spent the last two decades knocking out walls and extending our kitchens to mimic the idea of vast loft living that was all the rage.
“Stylists and ARCHITECTS
have seen an increasing DEMAND for a return to rooms DIVIDED into snugs and QUIET spaces as well as OPULENT dining rooms”
However, over the last five years interior stylists and architects have seen an increasing demand for a return to more formally divided rooms: for quiet spaces and ‘snugs’; for opulent dining rooms that are separated from the noisy hub of the family kitchen; and for spacious bedrooms that are more like salons or suites. Interestingly, it’s technology that has led the charge.
LIBRARIES & NOOKS
Tablets and on-demand TV mean that we can consume our favourite TV shows or movies whenever and wherever we wish. We don’t have to gather around the television anymore and, instead, many families will have multiple people watching different screens all around the home. So, bedrooms in a sense have become the new living rooms, and I expect we’ll see an increase in demand for libraries or nooks, where we can find a quiet space away from the hubbub of family life.
If this sounds like the downfall of the modern family, it’s not. As we increasingly want to find a quiet zone to binge watch the latest boxset, tech is removed from the central living area in the home. Bookshelves are filled with actual books, rather than DVDs, and fireplaces are becoming focal points once again (instead of the TV).
This is all great news for home décor obsessives like me. I love the idea of creating cosy, romantic areas with sumptuous chairs in romantic fabrics and colours. I adore dark walls and interesting lighting ideas that create intimate spaces and opportunities to escape the whirl.
The Victorian era (when most of British houses were built) had a reputation for being gloomy but they loved formal spaces and made them extra opulent with layered colours and textures. Brocades, velvets, oversized prints, fringing and lace are all hot trends in home decoration and accessories right now.
“I adore DARK WALLS and interesting LIGHTING ideas that create INTIMATE spaces and OPPORTUNITIES to escape the WHIRL”
The good news is you don’t have to start buying plasterboard and spend your weekend putting up partition walls. If you love your open-plan living layout, you can still create flexible zones with a lamp, rug and a favourite armchair. Bathrooms can become places of sanctuary, rather than utility, by adding a pretty sideboard, framed pictures and a vase of flowers or aromatic candles. Kitchens can become places of culinary theatre and conversation, rather than the epicentre of chaos that open plan living created.
LAURA’S TIPS FOR USING THE HOTTEST HOME TRENDS
“Try painting a small room in INKY BLUES and greys with HINTS OF GOLD
and burnt orange. Accent the room with PAINTERLY FOLIAGE and ceramics
with an ORGANIC FINISH”
“Embrace the Victorian love of FLORAL PRINTS and the natural world.
QUIRKY OBJECTS like birds or woodland animals can bring a WITTY EDGE to
a typically personality-free area of the home like a landing or hallway”
“MIX BRASS AND COPPER accessories with natural materials like BASKET
WEAVES and WOOD, and show off their warmth with RICH TONES like russet reds”
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