Giles Kim, Country Life interiors expert, has spent three decades living and breathing in the world of design. Here’s what he envisions for the future.
Living room death
When was the last time someone entertained you in the living room? Or did you like the pre-dinner snuff propping up their kitchen island? Or relying on their Everhot? Or warm your toes by the stove in their intimate cozy atmosphere? The inexorable growth of the all-singing, all-dancing multifunctional kitchen has already done for the dining room, and it seems that the living room will soon become redundant too.
Everyone from Caravaggio and Zurbaran to Cezanne and William Morris knew the visual appeal of fruit. So did William Hooker, whose beautiful illustrations from the RHS Lindley archive have been incorporated into the new Sofas & Stuff collection.
Alwinton Sofa From £2907 Sofas & Stuff – www.sofasandstuff.com
Prior to the seaweed and sisal revolution (circa 1986) and the subsequent resurgence of jute matting, jute rugs offered an easy and inexpensive way to give a floor a rustic feel. Today, they provide a textured look that is very much in line with the zeitgeist.
Robertson jute carpet, £450, from Tate & Darby – www.tateanddarby.com
In our pursuit of rich, atmospheric colors, we forgot the simple joys of white—not blinding white that makes you twirl, but eye-pleasing hues that magically create instant peace.
Chichester Kitchen by Neptune – www.neptune.com
Anyone who remembers the 1980s is familiar with the fabric border, a key component of the interior decorator’s arsenal, along with fringes, tassels and ties. Now the borders are back, giving an understated decorative look to the upholstery, cushions and blinds.
Pop Art Border Trim £95 per m Keith Kemp for Christopher Farr – www.christopherfarr.com
A rebuff began to the massed rows of stationary searchlights. The salvation lies in the judicious use of discreet directional lights that provide light where it is needed rather than flooding the space with blinding light. Corston leads the way in elegant designs such as Baylis and also Brompton, which can be painted the same color as the ceiling.
Perryn spotlight £76.80 from Corston – www.corston.com
While we remain tethered to stone in all its wondrous incarnations, terracotta appears to be in for a renaissance not seen since the 1970s.
Alicante Terracotta Hexagon, £59.85 per sq. m, from Mandarin Stone – www.mandarinstone.com