A Brief History of Pattern
July 24, 2018
January 21, 2017
Move over Scandi style, there’s a new mood to love in interiors… In my last trendbulletin I was expounding the virtues of British Standard ‘Rail Blue’, a deep’n’moody teal, as the most appropriate contender for 2017 colour of the year. Importantly, the use of this shade fits right into the context of a new mood more generally emerging right now in interiors. For it may have been true that the Scandinavian sensibility, all clean and serene chic, white walls and wooden furniture had previously dominated the home style stakes, but no more. Action and reaction dictate that change is the only constant and contrast is on the horizon. And it is warm, rich and rather wonderful.
But, as always, I believe this change is to do with the current state of the nation. In other words, when the world feels like a rather contrary, reactive, illogical place, what we want, if not need, from our homes takes on ever more resonance; in this case the notion of home as our safe place, personal sanctuary and reprieve from all of the madness. Thus, it seems entirely logical to me that a new sense of interiors courage emerges, along the lines of, when everything seems to be spiralling out of control, do within one’s walls as one will. In other words, it’s time to really ‘own’ your personal space and decorate it as you please.
Thus, this “New Modern” mood, as I am calling it, is full of texture and devil-may-care opulence. Jewel colours (especially in velvets) reign supreme. It’s playful and fun, but also high-quality and designed to last. It revels in richly-patterned marbles and extravagantly-printed wallpapers. Far from playing it safe in a time of uncertainty, this reflects back that now is absolutely the moment to be bold, and showcase your individuality. Even the 2016 John Lewis annual Retail Report reported “plenty of evidence of ‘brave, not beige’ purchases in the home.”
Caveat: I see this worked to best effect when it’s chiefly applied to the surfaces of your home, what I often refer to as the envelope, in other words your walls, floors and ceiling. So say goodbye to a neutral blank canvas against which to display tasteful objets and designer furniture; instead, your surfaces are your interiors playground, as they become the star pieces of a room in their own right. Consider glossy ceilings in any colour but white; if you’ve always secretly hankered after a terrazzo or parquet floor, now is your moment, and throw as much pattern and colour onto your walls as you dare. After all, paint is like make-up: easy to apply, easy to change. And if you opt for textured, rather than printed, wallpaper, you could change the colour as often as you like!
First published on Thursday 12 January on elledecoration.co.uk
Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.