Interior Styles and Room Colour Schemes

publication date: Jun 9, 2010
 | 
author/source: Guest article by Sarah Walker, Freelance Property Writer & former presenter of BBC1’s ‘To Buy Or Not To Buy’
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Interior Styles and Room Colour Schemes


For the last couple of years, interior styles and room colour schemes have formed a glorious whirl of rich colours and sumptuous fabrics, set off beautifully against a backdrop of cream, white and natural woods.  Africa, India, bold rustic charm – it’s been a case of anything goes, and all wonderfully, hedonistically eclectic, but now it’s time to bring those catwalk fashion belts into the home and tighten them.  It’s still about style, quality and colour, but the key is sleek design.

Wood remains a major player, but it should be polished and either very modern or repro-retro – we’re talking clever and interesting and certainly nothing you could pick up in a Marrakech medina.  And everything seems to be curving, so even your rectangular coffee table should have a kink in its form somewhere.  You’re allowed straight lines, as long as they lead somewhere, but try to include a key piece in each room that makes a visual statement with its form and either twists or undulates.

Good leather furniture has always been a favourite in stylish homes and it’s certainly big at the moment but, as with wood, it should take its lead from the creative but uncomplicated designs of the mid-20th century.  If you’re not keen on it for your sofas and chairs, then you can give a nod to leather with stitched cupboard handles, lamp bases and other accessories.

In terms of colour, the ever-popular white has moved aside for some of its milkier, more ethereal relatives, so head for anything from off-white to very pale grey or slate for your walls, complement it with different shades and textures of white fabrics, and don’t be afraid to layer them.  Warm up ‘cooler’, north-facing rooms with the merest hint of pink in your white paint, and that will go beautifully with other pale grey tones, creating a gentle, feminine feel.

A neutral, or monochrome background is perfect to offset rich colours and textures in your furnishings, so if smoky and fragile isn’t your thing, then go bold and use black and white or dark grey on the walls, but only in rooms which are either large enough to take it, or small enough to be turned over to some indulgent, dramatic feature, such as a cloakroom.  Those delicious fabrics and accessories should be gold, bronze, jade and azure in colour, and metallic and velvet in finish.

And if you don’t fancy dramatic and are still really not sure where to start with revamping your home, then think and shop Scandinavian.  The simple, smooth, timeless Danish designs have been given the thumbs up by those in the know, and by choosing a style like this, which never really goes out of fashion, it gives you the freedom to do it once, then just add or change items here and there.

And don’t worry too much.  Keep your basics neutral, avoid clutter, and remember that less is more only in terms of the amount of furnishings and accessories.  Don’t be afraid of colour, texture and bold design, because as long as you choose quality and don’t crowd your key pieces, you won’t go far wrong.

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