New Year, New Style?

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Out with the old, in with the new, and if your New Year’s resolution is to refresh your home with a fashionable look, interiors expert Katherine Sorrell has some handy tips to help

Where do I start?
Think about what parts of your home feel most tired and unloved. Perhaps walls could do with a wash of fresh paint, for example. Dulux’s colour of the year is Cherished Gold, a gold-influenced ochre that can be used on its own as a statement or as a highlight in combination with other hues.

The overall colour palette for this year is muted, warm and soft yet also sophisticated. ‘Think coral, not orange; ochre not yellow and midnight, not blue. This is a friendly palette but with a dark, mysterious side,’ says Rebecca Williamson, Dulux’s senior colour design and content manager. Another of Dulux’s over-riding themes for 2016 is ‘Heritage & Future’, in other words, the idea that one has to take inspiration from the past in order to design for the future. So, vintage and antique references support those of the modern-day in a palette that includes chocolate, sand, a deep, pinkish red, muted orange and spicy browns. Ideal for an overhaul in any style of property.

More easy updates
You may not be in the market for buying new furniture, but there are still ways to update your old pieces for a fabulous new look. Ikea has identified a key trend this year for personalisation – just look at what can be done with an inexpensive chest of drawers, spray paint and some imagination.

On a subtler note, a change of paint colour, or even a wood stain, combined with new knobs or pulls will give wooden furniture a new lease of life, while for really on-trend attitude you could have a table top covered in marble, slate or zinc. The latter is the metal du jour, and keen DIYers can order a sheet of zinc online, then get how-to instructions from YouTube.

Keep going around the house
Another way to add interest to dull walls would be with an eye-catching, stick-on-peel-off design, a metal-framed mirror or an oversized print. Boring floor? Time for a new rug – or there is always the option of either sanding back or painting old wooden boards.

Looking for something simpler? Adding a sheepskin to an old sofa or chair will give instant uplift, as will a change of bed linen, towels or small accessories such as cushions, storage baskets or vases. And how about lights? A sassy lampshade can alter the look of an entire room, while popping in some filament bulbs will give your lighting a vibe that’s absolutely hot right now. How about a cool coat hook or new door knobs? Some kitchen canisters or a bathroom soap dispenser?

The smallest things can make a surprisingly big difference. The high-street chains are brilliant at tapping into new trends and getting affordable products out there fast – so get browsing in your nearest department store.

What other trends should I be keeping an eye on?
While a striking monochrome palette of black, white and grey is going to be big in 2016, opulent metallic accents are also catching on fast, and work well with both modern and traditional decors. The look can be either industrial (more on this next month) or retro-glam – as per Bemz’s ‘Deco Glam’ look, described as ‘cosy glamour with a Seventies twist’.

‘Many people who think back to the Seventies think of corduroy, brown, orange and wood panelling. Instead, we want to create a more glamorous Seventies style in our homes: think Charlie’s Angels, Studio 54, and Bianca Jagger,’ says Lesley Pennington, CEO and founder of Bemz. She recommends mixing plain fabrics in rose, steel, mineral blue and straw with geometric accents, plus dark wood, shiny brass, fluffy cushions, small tables and statement floor lamps.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Scandi look that is all natural, textural, tonal and pared-back, including sheepskin, leather, wood and felt. If you prefer something with more colour, go for a folk-inspired style with brighter tones of red, orange and teal, combined with intricate florals, handicraft and woodland-inspired images.

Last but not least, Graham & Brown have predicted four trends based around the catwalks at London Fashion Week: meadow prints, statement reds, intricate lace detailing and – you heard it here first – a throwback to the Eighties. You have been warned…

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