A neutral palette with pops of colour – for example bright cushions – help create a modern minimalist look
Whether it’s spring’s arrival putting us all in the mood to refresh and revitalise, or the simple fact that a year of national lockdowns have had us looking at the same old decor for a little too long now, it feels about time for a home revamp.
Totally gutting the place and starting anew isn’t an option for us all (as cathartic as it sounds), but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make some impactful changes to each and every room. Especially when armed with budget-friendly homeware collections, such as the take on 2021’s biggest decor trends from Marks & Spencer.
“If you’re keen to refresh tired decor without creating too much work for yourself, the best place to start for a quick win is a fresh lick of paint,” says Alexandra Laird, interior design manager at the Burbeck Group. But you don’t have to stop there. “If replacing furniture is over budget, bright accessories and artwork can be easily added to a room to bring in some new colour.”
“A key trend that’s easy to implement on a moderate budget right now would be a modern minimalist look with a Scandi furniture scheme. Use a neutral palette with pops of bright colour added through your furnishings and artwork throughout,” she adds. Make a start by lifting your living room with an emerald green sofa scattered with ochre cushions, or brighten up the bedroom by mixing soft grey bedding with rugs and throws in ocean blue and vibrant mustard.
“Keep the rest of the room fairly neutral as a backdrop to really make your bold and bright colours sing,” says Kate Hatherell, founder of the Interior Designers Hub. A simple glass-topped coffee table, for example, is a perfect finisher – style and function without adding to the noise.
Combine warm colours with a neutral background for a calming effect using cotton velvet cushions
If you’re looking for a softer palette that’ll calm, start with neutral colours to set the tone. This year’s shades – cream, grey, navy, duck egg, soft pink – all work well together and have the added benefit of timeless appeal. “A good way to add some warmth to neutral shades without disrupting that feeling of calm would be clever use of lighting,” says Laird. “Use table lamps and floor lamps in the corners of a room to add a cosy feel. I’d also bring in textured or warm coloured throws and cushions to maximise that feeling further. Again, you can play around with artwork and soft furnishings to add in warm colourings where needed.”
Carry the same peaceful palette into the bedroom with a watercolour bedspread and crisp white linen. A top tip: natural wood accents complement almost all colour combos and, according to interior designer Katharine Pooley, also tick the box for this year’s rustic-inspired trend. “Embracing traditional interiors can help to create a comfortable atmosphere, even if your home is newly-built and therefore perhaps lacks more historical features,” she says. Try rustic-look furniture such as an oak-topped coffee table, or maximise the light with a metal lampshade.
If the rustic look isn’t for you, how about heritage inspired classics reimagined for today? We’re talking modern use of colour, and striking scale and pattern. From Pinterest to the high street, you’ll see myriad nods to elegant florals, rich botanical prints, plush fabrics and plenty of polished glassware.
Soft yarn towels bring a feeling of luxury to the bathroom
For the bedroom, floral duvet sets are at their best right now, while bee motif kitchenware or artful cranes embroidered into velvet cushions win out elsewhere. Need to open up a small room? Look to elegant arched mirrors that’ll make the most of minimal light and create the illusion of a bigger space. When it comes to carrying that feeling of plush luxury into the bathroom, soft Egyptian cotton towels are a worthy investment.
Carrying on the taste for vintage twists, art deco references are also back on trend. Looking forward to inviting friends and family over for dinner again? Now’s the time to spruce up your glassware, or add an ornate mirrored tray to your drinks cabinet. Heading down the vintage decor route does come with a warning from the experts, however. “Be careful when working with vintage-inspired pieces that you don’t aim to simply reproduce the era,” says Pooley.
Laird agrees that you’ll want to keep things on the right side of Gatsby-era with this trend. “The best way to stop the room from looking too old fashioned and keep it modern is to use contemporary key pieces of furniture, such as the sofa in the lounge, or the bedroom setup, and then add vintage-inspired lamps, accessories and artwork around this,” she advises. Nail it with tactile textures such as Egyptian cotton, luxury velvet and smooth sateen, and sprinkle in a few delightfully retro nods such as cotton velvet cushions, butterfly or hummingbird details and marble accents.
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