AUTUMN chills can easily be banished by the popular new trends in homeware emerging on the high street. There’s something for every taste from modern to vintage and, even if a complete makeover is beyond your budget, it’s perfectly possible to echo styles in key, affordable pieces or accessories with impact.
“Blame it on TV’s Mad Men, but our appetite for all things Fifties and Sixties is insatiable,” says Isobel McKenzie-Price, editorial director of Ideal Home magazine.
“That’s one of the key trends and at the other end of the scale, but equally strong, is the New Victorian decor, inspired by our yearning for the security and stability of past eras and a certain nostalgia.”
An eclectic country style, celebrating the beauty of one-off treasures, rustic wood and natural materials will also continue to charm, she predicts, while glamour, sparkle and shine is guaranteed to star in fashionable homes next year.
“I think all these styles have real staying power - not just for the season but right through 2012,” she predicts.
Follow her guide to the four top trends for home decor.
Make it modern
Cool design classics from the Fifties and Sixties are enjoying a revival and are must-have pieces for contemporary rooms. “Mid-Century Modern is the perfect look for our time - simple, pared-back, elegant, and seriously stylish in an unassuming way,” says McKenzie-Price.
“It’s a look that really is timeless, and perfectly suited to our smaller living spaces too, which is probably why it’s such a winner.” This time around, she says, it’s interpreted in a pared-back Scandi-style, so avoid wacky graphics and kitsch colours, and simply allow statement furniture pieces to star, and team with a chalky neutrals colour scheme, subtle patterned wallpapers, and injections of moody ochre colours.
Follow the trend: “You can always tell if a trend has staying power when the big retailers commit to it,” says McKenzie-Price.
“Mid-Century furniture is everywhere from John Lewis to House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer’s new Conran range. Check out wallpapers such as linear graphic patterns from Harlequin or those with stylised seed heads from Villa Nova.”
Chic & sleek glamour
Banish the blues - or at any rate the gloom of hard times - by indulging in full-on fab decor. “Forget the bling - this season, it’s all about sophistication and luxury with a contemporary twist,” says McKenzie-Price.
“It’s the modern version of Marie Antoinette in Versailles - the world may be crumbling, so let’s live for the moment!” Create this with a monochrome scheme based on geometric prints, she advises, and then add a pop of vivid colour to create instant glamour and focus.
“Shapes are geometric and linear and classic pieces are reinvented in ultra-modern finishes. Gloss and shine are essential elements - lustrous leather, gleaming mirrors, glassware and sleek surfaces - all of which bounce light around.
“And the must-have accent colour for this look is deep raspberry - avoid red, it’s far too Eighties.”
The highly decorative look of the Victorian era is reborn with a rich colour palette, eclectic accessories and a galaxy of patterns.
“This look is waiting in the wings,” predicts McKenzie-Price. “This is the big grown-up sister of the girly vintage look that’s been around for the past couple of years. But forget pretty florals, crystal and lace - this is seriously Pre-Raphaelite and intense. Think dark colours - peacock blue, charcoal grey, mulberry and purple - and ornate patterns.”
Big bold damasks in flock on a shiny ground, velvets, chenille and sumptuous textures are essential ingredients, she says. Make a button back sofa an iconic piece, and preferably in leather.
Traditional farmhouse, elegant French and vintage are all ingredients of the new interpretation of country. “The great British love affair with country style never ends, but this year our passion for all things rustic is at fever pitch,” says McKenzie-Price.
“It seems we’re all in the mood for nesting, and the relaxed feel at the heart of country has hit the spot perfectly. But this is definitely an updated version - and it’s all about putting your own eclectic stamp on classic elements, such as soft linens, worn wooden furniture and layers of texture.”