Interior Designs: ‘Texture is important, so a mix of fabrics works’

Not only do nature’s autumn shades provide inspiration for warm schemes, but the reddish orange, rust and browns are on trend.

The design shows of 2012, acknowledging the global recession and economic slump, identified a need for grounding and glamour. We’ve seen Scandinavian design adopt warm colours for eco pieces, Asian schemes lean towards patterned fabrics and European furniture echo the homeliness of past decades. While colour combinations have included shades from the cooler end of the spectrum, earthier hues have been evident in wallpapers, fabrics and accessories. Trend consultants Trend Bible identified copper and bronze notes and unvarnished woods at the Paris Maison & Objet show, and hand-crafted utility-inspired furniture together with terracotta and browns at Birmingham’s UK Interiors show.

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Nostalgic patterns and colour combinations of creamy yellows and reds offset by flashes of chartreuse have featured in this year’s shows demonstrating less-obvious colour combinations can produce a harmonious effect and that it is possible to re-energise almost any scheme by the addition of reds, oranges and browns. Try accenting cool blues and greys with rich terracotta or plum, or complement green with muted orange and copper. Texture is important, so a mix of knitted, felted and corded fabrics works well. Leather, which is tipped to be popular, is offset by metals with a coppery sheen.

If vibrant orange or red is too much, opt for a muted version or restrict use to one or two focus points, but don’t be afraid to experiment. Another feature of this year’s shows was their celebration of individuality and creativity. k

Pat Elliott, The Borders Design House. Visit our website for design services, courses and workshops. Start a new career as a Homestyle Advisor or learn to ‘Be Your Own Designer’ with our distance-learning interior design course (07765 057 409, 
www.thebordersdesignhouse.co.uk)