It really is that time of year already. No sooner have we put away the shorts and sun cream after the record-breaking long, hot summer of 2018 than we find ourselves thinking about how we’re going to decorate our homes in 2019. For some this is an exciting opportunity to say “out with the old and in with the new,” while others might be moving into a brand-new home with a blank canvas to start from.
At Strata we take interior design seriously. We stay ahead of the key trends so that each and every one of our show homes are inspiring and aspirational for those looking for the latest in interior design. From using the official “colour of the year”, to feature walls and creative lighting alongside upcycled and ethically-sourced furnishings; we love nothing more than showcasing the latest interior design trends in our latest housing developments.
As we begin 2019, we thought it was time to speak to some of the biggest influencers in the world of interior design to uncover their predictions for how our homes could, should and will look in the next twelve months; while also speaking to members of the public to see if they agree. So without further ado, here’s what we found.
Less is more: minimalism and feature walls will be key in 2019
Everyone has their own idea of what is and isn’t stylish. It’s what makes interior design so interesting. What one person might feel is a great look might be unsightly to another, with clutter being a real cause of frustration for many homeowners. That doesn’t, necessarily, refer to the items in the home (although there are plenty of arguments about this without doubt), but it does refer to the walls.
Naked or minimal walls are starting to become more prominent in homes with owners favouring the less is more approach to interior design. Rather than filling their walls with wallpaper, photos and mirrors; people are now turning their attentions to painted walls and offsetting them with one main feature wall that draws the eye.
The first step to create a unique feature wall is to identify the one that’s going to stand out in its own way – not necessarily by being the largest or the one you’re looking at the most, but the one that isn’t going to be obscured by furniture to spoil the effect.
Texture can be used to make a feature on a wall, with wallpaper or even paint. Craig & Rose have a fantastic range of rustic-effect paints that will add lots of interest, while wood-textured wallpapers create more of a calming look.
One top tip if you are going to paint the wall is to ensure that the plaster is of the highest quality, that it’s been smoothed and looks brand new otherwise it’ll spoil the effect and all that hard work.
A feature wall doesn’t even have to have one stand-out colour. Using floating shelves where you can display an array of beautiful, cherished possessions is another great way of creating a focal point that has the wow factor.
The ongoing importance of eco-friendly and ethical interior design
All over the world we’re being encouraged to do our bit to be more environmentally friendly, to help protect the world we live in and to reduce the impact that we as a human race are having on the planet. One of the best ways in which we can do this is to be more eco-friendly and ethical in our furniture choices, buying products that have come from renewable sources or that may have been made locally rather than on the other side of the world.
, Strata’s in-house interior designer, is a strong believer in eco-friendly and ethical designs and recommends to “look for wood-based furniture made in the UK or Europe, from domestic woods rather than the more exotic items shipped in from further afield.
“Some high street producers make a point of featuring ethical lines”, she said. “Barker and Stonehouse have a Trees for Trees range; while Oak Furniture Land promise ethical, sustainable sources for their wood.”
One of the most common misconceptions about interior design – especially when you start using the words ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘ethically sourced’ – is that it has to cost a lot of money. Just because something is less harmful to the environment, or that it has been made ‘the right way’, doesn’t mean that you have to re-mortgage your property to afford it.
What this implies is that homeowners are looking to invest in ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly products for their homes, but are put off by the cost (or should that be perceived cost
) of the items. There are a number of ways in which you can decorate and kit-out your home in an ethical, eco-friendly way without breaking the bank, as Heather Milner – interior stylist at Inside Her Home
– explains: “Alongside being conscious of the environmental commitments the brands you buy from act upon, one of the best ways to consider the environment is to buy less and buy better.
“Like fashion, home accessories have become increasingly 'fast' which has put an increasing focus on trends. However, I believe your home should be an expression of your personal style and life experience which transcends the quick turnover of products available on the high street. Look for local carpenters, craftsmen and independent sellers on sites such as Etsy and Trouva who can offer unique and soulful pieces which you will treasure forever.”
Brits open to second-hand and upcycled furniture
The British public are also very open-minded when it comes to buying second-hand furniture. 52% of our survey respondents said that they are open to buying pre-owned items and only 13% said they wouldn’t entertain the idea at all
Of course, it is always dependent upon the condition of the second-hand items but the recent upcycling trend – the process of taking something ‘old’ and making it look new again or even giving it a completely new identity – has made people think differently about buying second hand.
Two thirds of our respondents said that they wanted handmade items that bring character into their homes and while the term “handmade” may not specifically mean second-hand, it can refer to upcycled and previously owned items. If you were to visit one of the many craft or makers’ markets around the country you’re guaranteed to find a vast array of upcycled, modified or second-hand items that have been given a makeover or a unique twist; showcasing what can be done to create unique, innovative and fashionable household and garden possessions.
Antonia Ludden from Tidy Away Today
wrote a great article
on how to give your existing furniture a makeover for the modern day. Rather than just giving her wardrobe a wipe down and selling it on, she transformed it into a kitchen pantry cupboard complete with shelving, baskets and new handles – and all it needed was some elbow grease, a lick of paint and some imagination.
“Colour is powerful. Choose colours that make you happy”
The ways in which we use our personal spaces are at the forefront of 2019’s colour choices, and creating a space that helps us to relax and reflect is important.
gave a particularly strong and influential tip, saying “colour is powerful, your space needs to reflect you. Be colour confident and create a space that you love.”
Contrasting colours can have a highly effective impact on any room in the house, especially if you find the right blend. Statement colours can be added to a feature wall, as we’ve already discussed, but you can also create feature ceilings or you can use statement coloured furniture against your neutral colour palette to really make your new, second-hand or upcycled piece of furniture stand out.
Another option is to consider the use of wood throughout your home, a material that many of us have in some shape or form but often fail to use to its full stylistic potential. You might have a wooden floor, kitchen or coffee table, furniture, worktops or cupboards; but did you know that you can use the colour of your woods to create a statement?
If you’ve got a fairly light or neutral-coloured wood, such as beech, you could offset this with a darker piece of furniture – like mahogany or a dark oak – or vice versa. Alternatively, you could create your own theme throughout your home, or a specific room, by using the same colour and style for all of your furniture and flooring.
Who and what to keep an eye on in 2019
Staying up-to-date with the latest interior design trends isn’t easy – and never has been, either! What’s seen as cool and the ‘in thing’ one week might be forgotten about six months later meaning it’s key to follow the right trends, especially when it comes to the often expensive process of decorating your home.
Social media provides the ideal platform for us to share our own designs and to find styles, too. A number of Pinterest and Instagram accounts have been set up by aspiring interior designers – including The B Household
and Sammy Patterson at Home
– who started their accounts off the back of our #MyStrataStory campaign
. This involved real people sharing their experiences of buying a new home, decorating it, moving in and living their new lives in Strata properties here in the UK.
They now have more than 34,000 followers combined, showing the real power of social media in such a widely discussed and ever-evolving sector like interior design.
Interior design hashtags to watch
Some hashtags worth following online for some interior-inspo include:
- #elledecoration – a great place to find what’s on trend and where to find new products
- #mynordichome – a great source if you like Nordic designs
- #houseplantsofinstagram – if you like the idea of bringing plants inside your home then you’ll love some of the images here to give you ideas on where to place your plants and which to choose
Our favourite interior design accounts
If you want to take some inspiration from some of the best in the business, then here are our favourite interior design social media accounts to follow:
- @styledbyemmahos (Instagram). An account inspired by Scandinavian designs, it’s an addictive account run by Emma Fischer, a designer based in Gothenburg, that’s filled with some breath-taking images and stunning styles
- @scandinavianhomes (Instagram). Another popular account which favours Scandinavian designs, providing you with some style and colour inspiration
- @TheBHousehold (Instagram). A contributor to our #MyStrataStory campaign and blog, Nichola posts some beautiful pictures from in and around her home
- @townhouse_on_elegance (Instagram). Alex posts some gorgeous pictures from in and around her home, with a real focus on clean and stylish designs, using a lot of neutral colours with contrasting colour for maximum impact
- @sammypattersonathome (Instagram). Another #MyStrataStory contributor, Sammy loves to share her latest interior décor tips
What amazing accounts and heroic hashtags do you take inspiration from? We love discovering new influencers and interior design trends.
Which current trends will stand the tests of time?
When it comes to trends – in all walks of life – they either come and go, or make a real impact on our lives. Some of the more short-lived styles and trends are forgotten about so quickly it’s like they never existed, but when it comes to interior design many of us are stuck with them as we spent our hard-earned cash redecorating our homes because we liked it at the time… six months later, we weren’t so sure, yet here we are three years down the line and we’re still living with it.
In a 2018 Strata survey, we asked 2,000 people which current trends they thought would stand the tests of time and would even still be around in 50 years’ time. Okay, we might have redecorated multiple times in that time period – we may even have moved home a few times – but the point is, we wanted to know what people genuinely imagine will stick around.
48% of our respondents told us that log-burning fires would still be here, something we’re very pleased to know! Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned log-burning fire? There’s something romantic about it, something festive and something that makes us all think of cosy winter nights in gathered around watching a film(or perhaps even sitting in a proper ‘old’ pub).
Next on the list were artificial grass and bi-fold doors, showing that we still take pride in our gardens and patio areas, even if we’re edging towards artificial lawns rather than natural grass.
It wasn’t quite so positive for things like colourful statement sofas on legs or the Billy bookcase from Ikea, however. Only 15% of respondents believed that colourful sofas with exposed legs will still be around in 50 years’ time, while 78% thought the iconic Ikea Billy bookcase would be a distant memory.
We did see garden fire pits making an appearance on the list, with 28% of respondents voting in favour of the garden accessory. Just like the log-burning fires, there’s something special about gathering around a fire pit – whatever the weather – and hearing the fire crackling, perhaps toasting some marshmallows and enjoying an evening in the garden with friends and family.
However you choose to style your home this year we hope that this guide has given you some insight into the current trends, those that have longevity and maybe even a few that you might never have considered previously. If you’ve taken inspiration from any of our contributors, or you’ve taken our advice to take a minimalist approach, bought a piece of eco-friendly furniture or even gone with the official colour of the year we’d love to know.
Share your pictures with us on Instagram using #mystratastory as we’d love to see how you’ve styled your home and – of course – if you’re looking for a new home in 2019, come to Strata
and take a look around our new housing developments.