Devon LivingIssue #06
Homes in vogue
We offer advice from some of Devon’s leading interior experts on how to keep your home in vogue over the coming autumn and winter.
It’s that time of year again; the inexorable onset of autumn is beginning to creep once more to the front of our minds, causing us to consider whether or not our homes are up to the challenge of the wind and rain headed our way. This isn’t just about ensuring our central heating is up to scratch – although that is a valid concern given the snows of early this year; it’s also about how comfortable we feel in our home environment. After all, we’re inevitably going to be spending a lot more time between our proverbial four walls.
“Once upon a time kitchens were rooms hidden away at the back of the house, but now they are the focal point of our homes”
Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has declared a ‘Colour of the Year’, something that’s been taken to the bank since by interior companies the world over. This year, the colour is ultra violet. Complex and contemplative, according to Pantone, ultra violet “suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries of what is possible”, which, given the recent discovery of water on Mars is decidedly relevant!
But comfort at home differs wildly from person to person, family to family, even county to county (not least here in Devon!), and the world of interior design itself is constantly moving. Whether it’s via soft furnishings, upholstery, or even the way in which we light our homes, we all have different ideas of comfort, and there are countless companies across the globe who will wax lyrical about the many, latest ‘must have’ trends that are taking the industry by storm. This makes it very difficult to put our finger on exactly how to bring our homes on trend. What we can do is give you a number of top tips from just some of Devon’s interior experts, whether they follow the current trends or not, in the hope that you will find something to inspire the autumnal changes your home needs.
Let’s start in the kitchen. We catch up with Nick Manton, owner of Arrital Kitchens (www.arrital-kitchens.co.uk). “Once upon a time kitchens were rooms hidden away at the back of the house, but now they are the focal point of our homes, a place where we gather our friends and family to socialise, and so can be an extension of our personalities!” As such, most of us introduced colour into our kitchen via colour co-ordinated accessories and appliances, or perhaps by painting a feature wall, but now, Nick says, “we have the opportunity to embrace colour in a way we’ve never been able to before.
“With autumn slowly approaching, trends are showing that bold, rich colours with metallic or deep woods will be popular. Copper and rose gold is proving a hit with taps and sinks, adding an extra earthy, warm exuberance” – ideal as temperatures start to drop!
Embracing the ‘coloured kitchen’ takes confidence, and as we’ve already mentioned, it’s not to everyone’s taste, and nor should it be. “If we were all the same, life would be boring. But if you want to make a statement with your kitchen, then you are in for some fun!”
Nick notes another interesting trend of textured kitchen unit doors. “The leather look and feel effect is very much in vogue at the moment, which is why we’ve added the latest offerings to our showroom here in Plymouth.”
In many homes, kitchens and dining rooms are one and the same space, so if you’re updating your kitchen, furnishing your dining room to suit is part and parcel of the job. For those who love blending their homes with the long stretches of rolling Devonshire countryside, what could be better than some real wood furniture? If this sounds like you, you’ll find an emporium of different styles and combinations at the aptly named Realwood Furniture (www.realwoodfurniture.co.uk). With generations of experience, Realwood’s team of local craftsmen can create bespoke furniture that’s designed to fit your exact requirements, so you can find a piece or set that matches not just your kitchen/dining room, but any space in your house.
Of equal importance to our kitchens are our bathrooms. At Studio One South West (www.studioonesw.co.uk), the team not only supplies all your bathroom and tile needs, but are happy to install them, too. This comes with many years of experience – owner Mark Fowdon has been in the industry for over 14 years – and in the showroom, experienced staff are always on hand to help you make the right decision for you and your home. Indeed, Mark tells us: “Our customers get the very best advice available,” so if your bathroom is in dire need of a makeover, you know your hard-earned cash will be well spent.
Speaking of bathrooms, catching up with the team at La Fabrico (www.lafabrico.com), we learn how they stock the largest tile in the world – measuring three metres by one metre and just three millimetres thick! Made by Techlam, these come available in an amazing collection of colours, but most popular at the moment is the Steel Collection. Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, an industrial look has also gained popularity, offering a surprising array of possibilities.
So, we’ve covered bathrooms and kitchens, but we’ve yet to shed any light on how to, well, light them! To do so, we caught up with the team at Dusk Lighting (www.dusklights.co.uk). According to them, “as autumn creeps in and the daylight hours reduce, the need for lighting becomes ever more apparent, and achieving both functionality and a cosy ambience is key. This can be achieved easily with minimal expense” – music to our ears!
“The bulbs that you select will make all the difference. In the UK we have a preference for warmer light bulbs,” thanks to our position in the northern hemisphere. They stress that more neutral white bulbs are more appropriate for a kitchen or bathroom, where functionality, as we’ve mentioned, is key.
Through to our living spaces and the Dusk Lighting team encourage us to make use of floor and table lamps. The best thing about these kinds of lamps is that they can create a warming and welcoming atmosphere that most of us want in the colder months, but when spring and summer roll around, they can easily be stored.
To tackle how you might further update your living space, the team at Prestige Furniture (www.prestigefurniture.co.uk) tell us that over-sized florals will be popular this autumn “Navy is also a big colour for the coming seasons; this darker shade of blue works really well with just about any colour”, which is handy if you’ve decided to go bold with the rest of your décor, “but teamed up with gold it gives a warming, moody look to any living space,” suiting the transition into autumn perfectly.
Along the same vein, the team at Iroka (www.iroka.com) tell us that, “textured wallpapers, rich in colour, help give a room character and drama and also set a base colour to repeat throughout your interior in soft furnishings.”
Similarly, according to Shuttercraft (www.shuttercraft.co.uk), florals will be popular, whether incorporated in wallpaper or fabrics, or even fresh bouquets of the real thing. But that’s not all. The team also expects light blue to make its way into the home. “A versatile shade, light blue will be a daring yet elegant touch next to the traditional autumn colour palette.”
In contrast, Shuttercraft also suggests that dark wood tones will make a resurgence, flaunting the natural beauty of wooden furniture and accessories, while adding a touch of retro glamour. Interior shutters from Shuttercraft are a great way to show off this new take on modern luxe, with several dark woods available.
When it comes to furnishing your home there are a number of fantastic companies in Devon to choose from. One such is Padfields (www.padfields.com), boasting north Devon’s largest quality furniture showroom displaying many of the industry’s top brands. Perhaps you’re looking for a more classic look. If so, the Harris Tweed collection combines Tetrad’s signature expert craftsmanship with the hard wearing and prestigious Harris Tweed, creating quality pieces that typify a wonderful sense of British heritage and tradition.
Or, if the aforementioned bold patterns and splashes of colour have piqued your interest, you may enjoy perusing Scion’s Japandi Fabrics range. This ‘imperfectly beautiful’ collection blends modern Scandi influences with bold and beautiful Japanese aesthetics, creating a hybrid trend that carefully incorporates playful patterns.
So there you go! Hopefully we’ve provided you with some interior inspiration for the coming autumn. But remember: updating your home is ultimately about making it a reflection of you and what makes you happy, even if that means going completely against the grain. After all, that’s the beauty of interior design!
Keep us posted!
If you’ve been inspired to update your décor for the coming autumn and winter, we’d love to see what you’ve done to ring the changes.
Share your new rooms with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @dliving2018
"Once upon a time kitchens were rooms hidden away at the back of the house, but now they are the focal point of our homes"