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On Trend Interiors with Nicola Wilkes – Wales at Home / House Envy

August 31, 2012

Many of you are probably thinking that Mother Nature forgot about summer this year and skipped straight to autumn. So to bring you some autumn cheer and warmth to your homes, we spoke to writer and home stylist Nicola Wilkes about trend interiors and what 2013 has in store to help make your home cosier and more welcoming.

So Nicola, as winter edges closer what interiors trends should we be looking out for this autumn?
With the environment still a massive consideration – and let’s face it, that’s not going to change anytime soon – up-cycling, vintage and environmentally aware products are still enjoying high visibility in the interiors market place. However, this year we’re seeing a far more modern take on this ethos and that involves going back to basics.

Blue Bird cushion from Timorous Beasties

As a natural product, wool has enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity and, as our awareness of preserving our environment develops further, we seem to be returning to the ‘less is more’ and ‘built to last’ way of thinking. Therefore interiors products that are designed on home soil, as well as being made here, seem to have far more meaning and resonance than cheap, throwaway items that just offer a quick fix when it comes to home decoration.

 Rug from Idyll Home

For that reason, recycling old furniture, which can mean anything from reupholstering an old chair to sanding down and painting a piece of furniture, is a huge trend right now. We also seem to have fallen back in love with colour as we move further and further away from the minimal ‘noughties’ and delve into the colourful kaleidoscope that means our homes are now filled with light, bright hues that can cheer us up on a rainy day or in the midst of a long, cold winter.

I’m seeing more and more candlesticks and candelabras, and brands offering designer candles and other such accessories that help us to create that perfect, warm and welcoming ambience in our homes.

In terms of pattern and texture, the global trend following on from the Olympics will become far more focused on the tribal look, with prairie influences filtering in next year. We’re also enjoying an eagerly awaited love affair with the 80’s while next year’s revived era is the 1950’s.

Tribal influences are strong with lots of wooden kitchen accessories, feather prints and texture all thrown in for good measure,

Printed on both front and reverse this luxurious feather filled cushions is soft to the touch. Supplied complete with a sumptuous feather pad,

I’m sure you have seen interiors trends come and go, so what is popular at the moment?
Grey is enjoying a bit of fame in the interiors world for obvious reasons. It’s such a versatile colour to work with that it’s no wonder that it’s top of the interiors colour chart right now. Neutrals, brights, bolds and acid tones all look fantastic against it, so as a base colour, grey can work in any space.

Fifty shades of grey poster, 61 x 51cm, The Literary Gift Company,


And with Britain so firmly on the global map this year, who could fail to miss the trend for all things made here? But on a more long lasting note, the exposure to the international stage has been fantastic for British manufacturing and design. I’m seeing more and more exciting products being made on our shores. In fact, some of our best sellers in House Envy are designed and made here.

Grey and white vintage storage tins from House Envy,

We are all tired of hearing about the doom and gloom, but it seems we do want to ensure our homes are warm, inviting and convivial. How do you think our buying habits have changed?
Interiors are getting more exciting. For one, buying patterns are changing. With a resurgence of products that are ‘built to last’; we’re now investing in our homes, creating stylish living spaces. No longer looking for a quick fix or flash in the pan style, interiors are fast becoming a stead fast ‘investment’ sector where we make considered decisions before parting with our hard earned cash.

Expensive investment purchases are becoming more popular once again and creating a far more design savvy market place. In turn, this means designers are pushing the boundaries to create eye-catching, ‘must have’ pieces that make us part with large amounts of cash. I like the diversity this brings to the market place in terms of new products and trends, as well as a new wave of home grown talent, all battling for our custom. That’s what’s changed: as I said, it’s exciting.

Mini Moka Silkscreen Print: Limited edition of only 20 hand pulled silkscreen prints with crisp white ink on 220gsm tangerine coloured Canson paper, Mengsel,

If you were given free reign, what sort of colours would you use in a room and why?
I have to confess to being a neutrals fan! But for two very valid reasons… I adore that calm and pared back, serene look that the Scandinavians are so good at pulling off. And secondly, writing and styling homes for magazines, I am lucky enough to see so many different beautiful interiors that I often find coming back to a simple, neutral base helps me relax.

Sometimes, I walk into a house full of colour and wish I could take a leaf out of their book, but I know I just couldn’t live with it. I have got braver though, and have started adding splashes of colour here and there. I recently bought a gorgeous zodiac cushion from Jonathan Adler that is a riot of colour and my eldest daughter has a bright green wall scene across her bedroom from Funky Little Darlings – it’s amazing!

Add splashes of colour to your home with quirky accessories: Cluster Lights,

We could all do with a splash of colour to make up for the lack of sun this summer, so what colour combinations should we look out for this autumn?
Watch out for exciting blue tones that make your typical ‘royal blue’ look positively boring – my current favourite is ‘Cook’s Bay’ by Dulux. Purples and berry hues are right on trend, offering a rich, deep colour palette that is easy to work with and create exciting colour combinations with.

Metal Storage Box in Orange 165, L30cm x W22cm x H11.5cm, the Gifted Penguin,

There’s no need to hide your storage boxes in the cupboard! These storage boxes are ideal for the office, the home study, the children’s bedrooms, or anywhere you wish to bring colour to your storage problem.

Orange is one of this year’s strongest style statements with Pantone’s colour of the year for 2012 being ‘Tangerine Tango’. From the kitchen to living space, accessories are all about colour.

These small orange enamel shades are a totally unique design. Influenced by late 20th century European design these shades are sure to provide a great feature on a long drop cable or maybe even a multi light installation, MyHaus,

Looking ahead to 2013, what trends are going to be strong next year?
With the minimal age firmly behind us, this gives way to layers of interiors styles, patterns, texture and colour as well as ‘finishes’. The best example for the forthcoming year will be the emphasis on real glamour as we indulge in a luxurious look and feel in our homes. The college ‘preppy’ look will also be filtering through with bold lines, flags, and statement furniture.

So what does the future hold for interiors?
As we gain more confidence in mixing interiors styles from different eras and fashions, designers are going to become more confident to follow their own design ethos rather than conforming so strictly to fashion.

I think the future of interior design holds a myriad of trends as ‘anything goes’. I just think the most noticeable change will be a further emphasis on buying British, in addition to well made, well designed products. I think we are all learning to question more. The interiors / home shopper is now far more discerning.

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