Way to go

The big trends this year revolve around natural fabrics and materials and more drama on walls with both warm, earthy paint tones and pops of bright colours, says Gillian Upton.


Bespoke is still going strong in 2020 and there are many artisans ready to create one-off pieces to grace your home that you won’t see anywhere else. Take this beautiful ebonised ash table called Nodum from London-based Object Studio. It costs a cool £30,000 and takes 10-12 weeks to make, but it’s surely worth the wait.
Object Studio


Lighting schemes for homes are becoming more sophisticated, says Clara Bee. “Ambitious hi-tech lighting systems are increasingly finding their way into our refurbishment projects,” comments
company co-owner Claire Burrage. “Lutron and similar, programmable mood-based systems for home lighting are enhancing people’s lives and creating a real wow-factor. Along with this, LED strip lights, plastered-in or recessed downlights, skirting lights and picture rail lights are becoming the norm in home refurbishment projects.”


Passionate amateur cooks need a professional kitchen in their home and Italian company Marrone + Mesubim have launched just the thing: a single culinary counter which embraces all the cooking steps of washing, cutting, cooking and resting. The C3000 includes all the components of a large-scale professional kitchen in a 3-metre-long unit so everything is within arm’s length.


The return to nature and a stripped back look is infiltrating rooms at the top of the house, says Helen Wood of Simply Construction Group. “We are seeing an increase in the number of people leaving a wall of exposed brick on the staircase leading up to a new loft conversion,” she says. “It adds real character.”

New neutrals

“Greys have monopolised walls in homes for a while now, and warmer neutrals are fighting back,” says Phil Robinson of Paint The Town Green (PTTG). “Earth tones are reappearing,” he says. Look at PTTG’s Agate (chocolate brown), Feldspar (olive green), and Tiger’s Eye (ochre yellow), pictured, created by Nicky Haslam for PTTG. “They all showcase nature’s best at its finest,” says Phil.

Now you see it, now you don’t

Unsightly clothes hooks are a thing of the past in this front basement staircase en route to a small WC and utility room. The Håfele folding hooks make a bold design statement together with
the beautiful oak wood and floor, thanks to AndArchitects’ designs in one of their recent projects.


A return to the original Victorian stained glass door is something for which Robert Ditcham, CEO of Ayrton is receiving more and more requests. “A lot of London’s showy stained glass has been lost over the years as old doors were replaced with cheaper solutions, or the stained glass was simply too weak or no longer secure for today’s world,” he says. “We copy these beautiful originals – or make new designs – and incorporate the stained glass into a toughened glazing sandwich so it’s secure and beautiful once more.”


Jolanta Harradine of Eclectic Interiors predicts the warm glow of living coral will be the next new thing in kitchen colour. “It sets the scene to great effect,” she says. “Mix it with super-matt marble, black glass and warm walnut veneer to produce an impressively sophisticated room ambience.”


Biophilic Design is the new trend in interiors and it’s here to stay. A ‘natural interior design’ that brings the outside in to improve our sense of wellbeing, its main focus is on nature. Here are some top tips for biophilic painting and decorating:

• This year’s colour trend is nature’s palette – everything that emulates nature and the garden and triggers the senses.

• Soporific tones work well in bedrooms whereas more invigorating shades thrive in the living spaces. In short, if you wouldn’t find it in the garden, don’t use it in the house.

• Use wallpaper with calming configuration patterns that replicate patterns in nature, such as pinecones or trees and branches.

Air quality is paramount so choose your interior paint wisely. Our range of high-quality eco-paints has the lowest possible levels of VOCs, better for both the environment and you.

Source: Paint The Town Green


When it comes to wood flooring, the sky’s the limit. Tim Hobern of HS Wood Flooring says anything goes. “There’s more to floor options than parquet or boards,” he explains. “Technology has had a huge influence on hardwood floors – not just floor patterns but colour, texture and finish, as well as strength, stability and resilience. Not many people realise the thousands of options they have.”

Grand entrance

The humble stair runner inside the front door is still taking centre stage says Billy Gladwin, Director of A Flooring Boutique, and stripes continue to be popular. “People are going for bespoke patterns and customers can choose their own colourways; companies such as Fleetwood Fox offer up to 20 designs.”


Installing thin-profile bifold and sliding doors is part of bringing the outside in when opening up the back wall of your home. “Many people are moving to modern, slim profiles so you get more glass-to-aluminium ratios,” says Daniel Harwood of Cedar Bifold. “They want more natural light to flood into their room.” Look out for 49mm profile bifolds instead of the usual 60mm ones. Sliding doors let in even more light as these are much thinner, at 20mm.


Is it to do with climate change or just a natural cycle? According to Bethell Projects, natural fibres are de rigueur. “There’s a huge return to nature in every aspect of the home, so sisal rather than carpet, wooden floors rather than laminate, breathable paints and more earthy hues.”

It’s the real thing

With the back-to-nature trend comes real grass! The advantages are clear, says Chip Anghel of Blue Team Landscaping: “It’s less expensive to install than artificial grass, it improves air quality, it is water-permeable, renewable and reduces noise levels.” What’s not to like? According to Chip, there are a few things: “Natural turf can die, it has limited playing time and it’s expensive to maintain.” You have been warned.

All that glistens

Copper still reigns supreme when it comes to lighting this year, epitomised by Tom Cox’s iconic melted copper pendant light, so every home with statement lighting should extend the idea with copper sockets and switches to match. Find them from Dowsing & Reynolds to add the finishing touches.


Victorian homes rarely have straight walls so trying to get an IKEA hack to fit perfectly can be challenging. “It’s often not possible to get anything off-the-shelf,” says Dermot Steedman of Dermarta
Construction. “Victorian properties have funny angles.” Bespoke is the answer, he says, be it alcove shelving, media units, wall panels or pieces such as this clever pull-out daybed in a loft attic, pictured.


Clients are increasingly willing to push the boat out with their colour choices, which leads to more intriguing and attractive spaces. In Victorian terraces the middle reception room is often the place where natural light is most lacking.

Consider embracing the dark side of these spaces and go for a deeper paint colour. This allows the room to develop its own character as a cosy, enveloping snug or TV room, often helped along by bespoke joinery for media units or children’s play areas.

Do make the most of the light where is flows naturally into the home – whether that is the kitchen or the sitting room. The brighter your room, the paler you can go with your paint colours so as to emphasise the natural light flooding in.
Source: Bethell Projects


Large-format porcelain tiling is the flooring to go for in kitchens and bathrooms says Richard Everett of BPM, very simply because it means “far less grout being used, and in a small area like a bathroom fewer grout lines give the illusion of a cleaner and more spacious room.” He’s also noted a trend of tiles with a wood finish. “This is something that can be made to look quite striking if used on a feature wall of a bathroom, for example.”


“This season is definitely inspired by nature – any variation of greens from the blue-green of the sea to tones of emerald, forest and dark, rich greens,” says Anna Sadej of Kitchen Connections. “And who says green and blue should not go together? Classic and midnight blue are the colours of 2020, blending beautifully with marble, stainless steel and brass. Any blue combined with wood is very elegant and uplifting too”.

Homespun charm

Rustic charm to soften the hard edges of a hi-tech kitchen is bang on trend this year. This butcher’s block adds just the right element of charm in this openplan, industrial-themed kitchen with polished concrete floor and Crittall windows. Designed by Stylus Architects.

Rooted in wood

Carpenters and joiners have never had it so good as bespoke wardrobes, cabinetry, media walls, under stairs storage units, wall panelling and flooring, are derigueur. Getting it right is what Billy King of Parcel & King calls, “a balance of the clients’ dream combined with the craftsman’s knowledge and experience”. Another advantage of having the item fit perfectly in the space is the aesthetic, as English Woodwork explains: “Beautiful joinery pieces and statement pieces using minimal materials make a room seem more spacious and create a real impact.”


Why build a wall with bricks laid horizontally when, for dramatic effect, you can stack them vertically? Good London Builders use this technique here for dramatic effect.


Marie Kondo has inspired all of us to start decluttering our lives and make the best use of our space.

• If you’re planning to sell your home, get your storage organised. It could significantly increase the selling price depending on the inclusions.

• Built-in hallway cupboards for bulky vacuum cleaners, pushchairs, brooms and mops are a godsend.

• Storage doesn’t have to be hidden, the #shelfie is here. Adding shelves to your kitchen and elsewhere for storage or display purposes will give your home that on-trend look.

• One of Mrs Hinch’s favourite tricks is decorative baskets! They look great, are a cheaper solution, and don’t take up as much space as bulky furniture.

• Clear your loft space – it’s a great place for things you don’t need or can’t throw away.

• Involve the children. Having their own storage solutions for their toys, coats and shoes will encourage them to clear up.

Source: CAST

Going green

It’s time to supersize your plants if you want to achieve the right look in your garden, says Neal’s Nurseries. “It’s all about big, show-stopping greenery now, like Alocasia, which has giant leaves
and contrasting stems, and Monstera, featuring deep green patterned foliage,” says the company’s Lucky Acan.


Colour isn’t just influencing walls but window treatments too, says Nina Tileva of The Traditional Shutter Company. “We installed jet black shutters at one house recently and it looked amazing. People are moving away from neutral to darker colours – green, grey, blue and black.”

Take a shelfie!

The challenge is still on to discover clever storage solutions to maintain a sleek outward look, and we have to thank one particular organising consultant for some of them. “Thanks to Marie Kondo, decluttering has become key to overall wellbeing, and smart storage options in the kitchen are becoming increasingly popular,” says CAST. They have noted the rise of the #shelfie! “Shelving is massively ontrend in kitchens this year. Accent it with your tableware or greenery and decorative pieces,” advises CAST.


Using the staircase as a dramatic design element is still going strong in 2020. Granit Architects introduced contrasting materials for this staircase in a Battersea home near the river. The first run mixes a base of stone with dark brown wood treads to link in with the stone floor in the kitchen and wood floor in bedrooms, while the second run of open treads are just wood with glass balustrade to reflect the lightness of higher floors. The design also offers a useful storage area in the lower rungs. “We have left the solid of the ground and stone and moved up into the lightness of the wood and trees to let the design story build,” says Granit.

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