New year, new home

Photo Credit: Huseyn Kamaladdin,

When the year is just beginning it’s a great time to refresh the look of your home, to chase away the winter blues and lift your spirits with something new. There are lots of ways you can go about this and there is something out there to suit all budgets – so whether you’re ready to embrace the hot new trends for 2019 or you just want to do something different, now is the time to get to work and turn your ideas into reality.

This year’s colours

It’s quick and easy to do and it can completely change the character of a room: adding a fresh coat of paint or putting up new wallpaper is an enduringly popular way to revamp the home, but if you’re planning on doing this, or buying new furniture, what colours should you be thinking about for this new year? One thing is for sure: it’s time to say goodbye to dull old grey in a year that’s taking a more optimistic, even romantic tone. This year’s soft base colours include powder pastels in shades of pink, lavender, eggshell blue and blended blue/green. If you’re looking for something warmer, try mustard, soft nut brown or mushroom. The only deep colour that designers are really getting excited about this season is sea green, though you will also see black used for contrast and deep blue retains its special place in the kitchen.

What about highlights? The brass and copper tones that have been so popular in recent years are finally on their way out – at least if they’re used on their own. This season’s big thing is to mix your metallics for a look that is chic and shiny but still suggests something organic. You can do this by using them to highlight different features of a room or you can buy specialist paints that oxidise over time so that their tone changes – they are somewhat pricey, but you won’t need much to make a big impression.

Go bold

What about prints? Whether for walls or furniture, this year bigger is better. Large, bold patterns are all the rage and last year’s trend for combining two or more patterns in the same room persists. Of course, most of us don’t live in huge show homes, and for the average place three is probably the most you’ll get away with, with two different ones on the walls and another for your sofa, bedspread or rug. Accent furniture is out (unless you’ve successfully captured that timeless look) so it’s still about making these work together. You can do so by focusing on the core colours used in the patterns and making sure they complement each other.

Alongside big patterns, there’s a new focus on giant works of art – framed paintings or prints that dominate the walls, recalling the opulence of 18th Century palaces. You can also try hanging giant mirrors to reflect patterns and pictures back across your rooms. Even if you only purchase one or two such items, they’ll make a dramatic impression.

Make it natural

In a world that’s increasingly waking up to the importance of protecting the natural environment, this year’s most popular decoration ideas  are all about sustainability and making things last. This means, for instance, investing in natural wooden furniture (ideally in light wood tones) that’s built to last and can be revarnished or refurbished in future, rather than replaced, when you’re ready to change the look of your home again. Wooden shutters can bring the natural look to your windows and exposed, polished boards can do the same for your floors.

In keeping with this ethos, floral patterns are everywhere and are especially welcome in the bedroom where subtly feminine colours are taking the lead (intensely pink or blue gendered rooms are widely considered to have had their day). Real flowers are also on trend, so focus on bringing living plants into your room and using them to create an atmosphere that’s fresh and stimulating with that sense of indulgence that only a garden in bloom can bring.

Surprisingly easy to introduce, these trends will give your home a whole new look that welcomes the new year as a time when there’s lots to look forward to. Decorating will help to restore your energy and help you set the mood for what is to come. Done well, it’s something you’ll be able to enjoy for a long time – so why not make a start on it today?

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