Here’s a secret. The best houses, those houses you most want to live in when you see them, aren’t just about cleverly thought-out colour palettes and spacial planning. Do you know what makes them special? It’s texture. Just like Farrow & Ball paints, the most incredible colours aren’t flat and instead have depth and variation. In this spirit, today we’re highlighting the fabric trends that will help you make your home a bit more, well, strokeable. Below are four key fabric trends with ideas on how to work them into your home in big and small ways.
Classic and timeless linen is a wonderful material for the tactile home and best of all the modern linens are presented wrinkled and not perfectly ironed. For big impact try it on your bed – even if you’re a strict 100% Egyptian cotton devotee you can introduce it on second pillows or smaller scatter cushions to bring an accent colour to your main bedding. Linen is also big in the kitchen where you can blend a gorgeous tablecloth with mismatched napkins or tone them all on the theme of one shade. Finally, the most envy-inducing houses we’ve been in lately seem to favour linen towels. So very ‘just walked out of the Hamam’.
There are a few key places in the home that are ideal spots for a big swoosh of rich velvet. Trendwise, chief of all of these is your sofa and armchairs – see HAY, E15, Dimore Studio, Gubi, any major brand worth its salt for more information. It must now be admitted that velvet upholstery is pretty expensive. So, if you can’t stretch to the full sofa, pick up some scatter cushions in gorgeous muted tones from Kirsten Hecktermann or even H&M – the former is the purist, hand dyed version and the latter is the hight street alternative. We love what the 2 Lovely Gays did in their bedroom – yes the striped walls especially, but look at their velvet upholstered bed (from Sofa.com). Lastly, to take a leaf out of Ilse Crawford’s never-out-of-fashion book, think of adding velvet curtains in a contrasting colour to your walls. The deep navy blue above looks especially delightful with that brass table, but basically any muted shade looks good. Swoon, etc.
Surprising huh? But if forward-thinking designer Jo Waterhouse is doing it you can bet it’s a good idea. She’s used the hardwearing material to craft beautiful printed cushions, while other brands, including Ralph Lauren and ABC Home have gone further, upholstering full sofas in the material we more usually wear. Ralph’s own home, spotted over on House & Garden, features a swanky sofa on the porch upholstered in a rather lovely antique denim quilt (similar to above). Meanwhile, you can find blankets, rugs and lampshades you won’t believe are denim and at the very least you can work the look with your kitchen pinny. All a bit utilitarian workwear in spirit.
Skin, shag and pile
Okay that title doesn’t sound glamorous. And yet, it is! Animal skins and shag pile both have a fabulous seventies flavour that’s in fashion, but the look also has its roots in Scandinavia, which we all know is a byword for chic. A Mid Century chair is one way of achieving that take on things. But, as E15 neatly proves above, you could just add a sheepskin to any of the chairs you already have – I use one to disguise some upholstery on an armchair that I haven’t got around to replacing yet. Cushions and footstools are another way of bringing the shaggy look to your home while the trend for North African and Middle Eastern antique rugs means that you can combine the look with some pattern too. Try a Turkish tulu rug, or Moroccan Azilal for the most decorative results.