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Change Comes From Within


Bland neutrals have finally been given the boot and colour has triumphed, meaning that in 2010 rooms will glow with warmth and character.

Feel free to use beautiful, blooming florals, or add impact with strong blocks of colour mimicking catwalk styles. Even devotees of cool monochrome schemes should add injections of colour to bring them bang up to date.

Be cool and contemporary with zingy accents of bubblegum pink, citrus yellow and lime or opt for rich, luscious plums and purples and lipstick reds for a glamorous, luxurious look. Throw caution to the wind and mix elements of different styles, eras, colours and patterns to create a look that works for you.

“Homes should be personal reflections of their owners, where treasured possessions complementary in colour, texture and form are displayed, and the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed.”

So if you love nature but feel florals are too girly or fussy for your rooms, opt for the more funky ‘country chic’, which mimics a hunting lodge look. You could incorporate the exotic colours and intricate mosaic patterns of Moroccan style, experiment with dark woods and artefacts characteristic of Africa, or succumb to the charms of the East.

But whichever style you follow, make sure you make it your own. Follow our experts guide to the hot new trends for interiors.

Go for spring greens

Greens, once only seen in dull public buildings like schools or town halls, are emerging as the most versatile colour for homes.

Soft, deep shades such as moss greens, are renowned for their calming effect, but don’t overlook bright leaf green and lime which are starring on everything from textiles to wall coverings.

Introducing shades inspired by nature is an ideal way to freshen up a neutral scheme, says Mockie Harrison, manager of John Lewis’s Home Design Studio.

“Spring is in the air so where better to look for inspiration than the evocative charms of the verdant British countryside?

“Our collection Forage evokes the natural and harmonious nature of the woodlands. Look out for unfinished timber, and colour is key. Soft honey and cool neutral tones are juxtaposed against vibrant hues such as leaf green, pumpkin, purple and kingfisher blue.”

Tip: Muted greens team well with soft mimosa yellows, warm ambers, and bronzes. Add complementary materials such as dark stained wood, copper and reactive glazes.

Get the look: Make a statement with a willow green Allegra sofa by Nick Munro upholstered in velvet, £1,750 from John Lewis. Accessorise with round green cushions, £30 each.

It’s a shore thing

“A relaxed, coastal look will be ultra fashionable,” says Marnie Janaway, head of home design for Sainsbury’s.

“The allure of the sea is strong this year, with all things nautical in vogue. Refresh a home with an airy Hamptons beach house palette of tranquil blues and understated neutrals.

“Cool cottons, natural rattans, galvanised metals and folk-inspired patterns can be easily mixed and matched across different rooms of the home from bedroom to bathroom.”

Tip: Paint floorboards in white, add New England-style white painted furniture, and add sea-blue shades in blinds, rugs and accessories for a holiday home look.

Get the look: Get ship-shape with Sainsbury’s blue and white striped cushions £6 each, throw, £10 from the Tu range, and a Beach huts framed print, £15.

Flower power

“One of the strongest trends will be florals which have been given a modern-day shake-up,” forecasts Sally Bendelow, head of Home Design for Marks & Spencer.

“The new twist uses bold painted and large scale botanical prints. To make them look more contemporary we’ve mixed 3D florals with houndstooth and graduated stripe patterns.”

Get the look: Marks & Spencer’s florals collection includes a fab Peony Rug, £49.50, and Fraser Armchair in Aster Plum, £849.

Monochrome magic

Black and white continues to be the sophisticated leader in décor trends. It’s a winner because it’s a look that’s easy to live with, but this year must be warmed with flashes of bright colour from lemon to lime hues. Suzanne Beechey, divisional homeware buying manager for Bhs, says: “The popularity of a monochrome colour palette has grown over the years. But to give the look more depth accessorise with bold colours. Lemons and limes really add a new dimension to this classic trend.

“Sharp lines and sleek detailing, bold geometric and even floral prints can also play a role in this versatile look.”

Tip: Monochrome is an elegant foil for lush silks and velvets and sparkles when accessorised with metallic touches.

Get the look: Bhs’ Gloss collection features some monochrome classics, a black and white Jam dining chair, £150, sparkling white gloss Eloise table, £395, and Demure dinnerware from £5.

The Next range opts for a softer pairing of black with grey, while Matalan’s range ticks all the right boxes for design and price. A Black butterflies duvet set is a snip at £22, double size.

Glamour & colour

Tough times make us all crave comforting but visually appealing sanctuaries, and that means rooms dressed with sensual fabrics, rich colours, and statement pieces.

This all adds up to a recipe for glamour. Mix old-world glamour with artist studio chic for an unpredictable, edgy but luxurious scheme.

“Think lush fabrics like silks, cashmere, velvets and suedes, contrasting with sleek gloss surfaces like lacquer, concrete or polished wood. Our homes need to be uplifting and full of light, colour and energy.”

Tip: Test your taste by taking the plunge with colourful accessories - zesty orange, green and yellow - set against a neutral background, and include exuberant patterns.

Get the look: Ben de Lisi’s range at Debenhams has all the ingredients for a colour story. A multicoloured Puzzle rug, £100, Polka Dot cushions, £10.