London Residential Design Trends
London Residential Design Trends
Last month I was in Athens, Corfu and London, part holiday, part interior design inspiration. As a visual person it’s hard to not see inspiration everywhere from the intricate iron work used on windows, fences and gates in tiny Greek villages, to ceiling roses and ornate cornices in grand rooms in London, here are my key London interior design observations;
Broken Plan Living
Broken Plan not Open Plan Living; this trend is the one I’m excited about and I really hope it gains traction in Melbourne.
Essentially broken plan living is –
‘Broken-plan living is about the clever use of a space. Distinct zones are created by the use of different floor finishes, split-levels and semi-permanent partitions, such as bookcases and screens. These subtle divides retain the spacious feel that open-plan living provides, but also give a sense of separation, meaning people can have their own space away from each other.’ (https://www.granddesignsmagazine.com/home-improvements/149-a-guide-to-broken-plan-living-spaces)
Open plan living has been a staple in building design for decades BUT they’re tricky spaces to get right due to the multi-functional nature of them. It’s hard to watch TV while someone is making noise in the kitchen. And where do you have a meal if you’re using the dining table for work or laundry?
Good design flourishes when a space’s singular function is celebrated and focused on, think of a master bedroom, its primary focus remains rest and relaxation and the bathroom too, has mainly retained one primary function, so why have we persisted with such a complex multi-functional space such as open living kitchen, living and dining? This is mostly a rhetorical question but given that people are entertaining less at home, and therefore don’t necessarily need a large entertaining area, the idea of broken plan living excites me.
Broken plan living is the best of both worlds, it keeps spaces open and connected but separate and functional as well.
I visited some iconic design retailers such as the Conran Shop and more recently Oliver Bonas has also become a leader in homewares and what I noticed in all these shops was a beautiful range of ceramics. From pot plants to jugs, the traditional material has been used to reimagine organic and colourful shapes.
Pottery is such a flexible and dynamic craft and immediately adds a sense of warmth to a space due to the earthy nature of the material. This lamp with a ceramic base from Oliver Bonas, is a stand-out piece.
Although my favourite colour scheme is black, white, grey, I LOVE colour, and encourage my clients to use colour in their space and I’m pleased to say that I saw lots of colour in London on my recent trip, from greens, pinks, blues. I noticed colour in the retailers I visited such as the ceramics mentioned above but also in magazines I read and in the hospitality spaces I visited where I saw red and pink velvet bar stools.
Colour is a powerful design element with impact on mood and light but also difficult to get right, which is why people tend to opt for neutral spaces BUT with a designer’s help your space can reach a higher lever with colour. Here’s an example of colour from Heal’s.
I also saw a lot of velvet and accent metallic, mostly gold. We have to bear in mind a couple of things when considering ‘trends’ from abroad, as the UK is heading into winter darker, richer colours and warm materials make sense.
We also have to consider the history of UK design with predominantly classical design features and elements that may not translate well into a modern Melbourne setting, however, if there is a trend you’re inspired by and passionate about, a good interior designer can find a way to make things work by applying a personalised twist to your space.