Giles Kime predicts next year's interior trends, from kitchen work tables to cream paint.
The kitchen work table
Nothing will ever topple the island from its kitchen hegemony; it offers buckets of storage and workspace, as well as creating a sociable place prepare to food. But the work table – a descendent of the type that Mrs Patmore slaved over in Downton Abbey – offers a dainty alternative on legs for those who don’t need the room for storage and appliances that are provided by an all-singing, all-dancing island.
Nothing new here, you may argue, but many British houses have yet to recover from the 20-year reign of Minimalism under which paintings, drawings and prints were pretty much banned by the style police. Whatever the Zen-like calm of Modernist interiors, the fact remains that we’ve all grown weary of staring at bare walls. Art, however humble, lends life and meaning to an interior in a way that white paint and a few abstract daubs never will. More is definitely the merrier and collections are flavour of the month.
Our love affair with craftsmanship has increased the popularity of anything that shows signs of being made by hand – including textiles. Although the practice of printing textiles manually has now pretty much died out in this country, it still thrives in Rajasthan, where the artisanal nature of the process creates charm and imprecision that could never be achieved with a mechanised process. The colour and the simplicity of patterns is embraced by designers such as Molly Mahon, who creates her own distinctive designs in Jaipur and sells them either by the metre or uses them to makes accessories, including tablecloths and cushion.
The section of the colour card once considered to be a stylistic cop-out is now back in vogue. Cream has a subtle warmth and softness you’ll never find in grey. Better still, it can bring life to the most light-starved period houses, even in the depths of winter. Yet the truth is that cream never really went away – it was simply sold under other names, notably Pointing and White Tie, two of Farrow & Ball’s most subtly beautiful colours.
Fabric-covered side tables
Chucking a couple of yards of fabric over a circular chipboard table was the favoured wheeze of 1980s decorators. Now they’re back, in a more sophisticated guise, sporting simple upholstery details, deep fringes and contrast lining that add a more chic, tailored feel. The Barneby Gates pop-up shop at last autumn’s Focus wowed visitors with a hexagonal number and, now, up-and-coming designer Rosanna Bossom has included one in her brilliant new furniture collection.
The unstoppable rise of the leafy plate is part of something seismic that is happening to dining tables; gone are discreet, matchy-matchy ensembles, in is a jauntier mix of patterns, styles and colours. Old favourites, such as the iconic willow pattern and designs from the resurgent Burleigh – as well as leafy plates inspired by Wedgwood’s sought-after majolica designs – will enliven tabletops everywhere.
The pop up
Other than IKEA, Costa Coffee and TKMaxx, there aren’t many businesses that can still afford a bricks-and-mortar presence on the high street (or, indeed, the back street). The answer? The pop up: galleries, barns, village halls can all be re-purposed for a few days, creating an opportunity to sell interesting, quirky furniture and accessories you won’t find elsewhere. The concept also extends online; Hampshire designer Nels Crosthwaite Eyre recently launched a hugely successful digital pop up, with a mix of 100 new and old items available for a limited time.
Country Life's experts have delved into their little black books to bring you the finest architects, builders, interior decorators and
The kitchen of Lanhydrock House in Cornwall provided the inspiration for a stunning new kitchen, designed by Bruce Hodgson of
Whichford House would be a beautiful period home in any setting, but its magical five acres of gardens – including