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Decorate Like A Designer

Be Inspired By The Designer Diva's crack

While clothes make a statement about our taste and fashionistas keenly follow the catwalk trends, dedicated decoristas know that homes too are subject to fashion, and getting the right look is just as key.

But there’s now a bewildering variety of looks to choose from and when budgets are tight, the last thing you want is to make expensive mistakes.

Leading interior designers have come to the rescue to pinpoint the top trends which will influence interiors in 2011, and reveal their insider tips on successfully interpreting them.

So be inspired by the designer divas and follow their suggestions for creating super stylish, successful rooms.

Rooms that thrill
Designer Tara Bernerd predicts it will be an exciting year in interiors because there’s a realisation that our homes should suit us and the way we want to live. “Slavishly following trends in anything, whether fashion or homes, will always prove unsatisfactory,” she says. “One positive outcome of the recession and the resulting financial restraint, is that it’s encouraging people to be far more discerning and confident in their taste. Consequently they’re investing in exquisite craftsmanship and design that endures.

“We’re noticing clients showing a willingness to commit to their personal style and explore beyond the dull boundaries of perceived ‘good taste’.”

Cosy & chic
Designer Kelly Hoppen says: “People are still feeling bruised by the economic recession and nervous of the future, so our desire will be for nurturing spaces.” “Nowadays our homes aren’t there to say how much we have, but how happy and comfortable we are in the most chic way possible,” she says.

Hoppen identifies a continuing trend for what she describes as a ‘linear shabby chic’ look with homes combining a relaxed lived-in style with a definite chic edginess. “This isn’t a squashy, rustic country look, it’s still very city, but with a softer edge and defining lines which are pure and clever.”

Home & away
Designer Katharine Pooley believes global influences are increasingly playing a role in homes. “The world is becoming smaller as we’re able to travel farther afield and people are becoming more aware of the variation of the beauty and design of other cultures.”

“Homes are being enhanced by a classical gilt chair juxtaposed with a modest wooden Buddha, or an African painting which may echo the colours of a hand woven tapestry from India. Such artefacts add vibrancy and personality to rooms.”

The revival of pastel shades such as baby blues, sea blues, pinks and mauves will continue, she forecasts, and dense brown shades will lose their appeal.

Walls go wild
Designer Helen Green predicts a craving for personality and originality in our homes will this year banish the once fashionable, bland ‘hotel’ look.

“Staying in is the new going out and there’s a growing desire for luxury, comfort and individuality in homes. As a result, art is enjoying huge popularity but that’s going beyond the predictable display of paintings or sculpture,” she says.

“We’ll see an ever more creative use of art installations on walls. Recently, we covered a huge double height wall space above a fireplace in a bespoke artwork of milky white porcelain and rose petals, which had a lustrous 3D effect. The only limit nowadays is the imagination.”

Walls, she says, will go wild as the choice of coverings further expands beyond traditional wallpaper - and fabrics such as silk, suede or eco-friendly materials including bamboo become mainstream.

Luxury & glamour
Designer Joanna Wood forecasts glamour, comfort and opulence on the horizon for homes. “Minimalism will be declared utterly dead” she says. “Everyone is completely fed up with the clinical, austere settings dominated by taupes and beige, and we’re entering a much more fun phase.” “Because we’re spending more time in our homes, we’re investing more time and money as we need them to be places that are pleasurable, cocooning refuges for living and entertaining.”

“But that doesn’t mean we’re going to embrace maximilism. There’s no place for over the top embellishment, rather it’s about creating subtle but luxurious settings which are admired for their good looks rather than ostentation and conspicuous displays of wealth.” “There’s an art in combining elegance with a sense of drama - by perhaps displaying a ‘wow’ factor piece such as Ralph Lauren cocktail bar - that’s what makes great rooms.”