Interior design trends for the year ahead

Everyone wants their home to look at its best.

Sian Astley, property expert for the homebuilding and renovating show and project manager for BBC2 series Your Home Made Perfect, is predicting the biggest interior trends for the year ahead.

And she gives Scottish Field readers some pointers for their homes, to ensure their interiors look up to date.

‘70s retro revival

Sian said: ‘Grey isn’t exactly banished but if you’re a hippy at heart, you’ll be delighted to hear the 70s are making a comeback. But for 2019 it isn’t as easy as simply warming up a scheme with a nostalgic palette of earthy tones. Terracottas, oranges and tans can help keep things grounded and give a more organic feel to the home. To make them fresh, mix them with in with cobalt blue and curvy shapes.

‘Identifying your core style is important; this will help make design choices easier and allow you to understand how to drop the various design decisions into your household. For example, if you don’t like your space to feel too cold or clinical, incorporating organic materials such as rattan and wicker can be a good choice to add a relaxed vibe. Combine timbers with punchy pattern and mixed metals for a more interesting look, or use it to soften a monochrome scheme. This interiors revival isn’t about recreating Woodstock but about sprinkling some 70s’ stardust into a modern look.’

Shaded balance brilliance

Sian explains: ‘Shaded balance is an increasingly popular trend which creates a contrasting effect and serves as an anecdote to the past fews years of very dark interiors. Combining the opposites of light and dark shades evokes elegance and visually breaks up a interior scheme. It doesn’t need to be black and crisp white – though that classic combination works wonderfully – it could be navy and cream, or deep green and ivory.

‘Don’t be afraid to use darker shades as accent colours. If a room has creams or pastels, the bold use of black will ground a scheme and give punchiness while stopping it from being too wish washy. Shaded balance works well with wooden accents; for example, materials such as timber, which also ties in with the seventies vibe coming back.

‘If you are building or renovating, it’s all about finding materials which are cost-effective and affordable, such as plywood or OSB. These materials somehow feel and look much more architectural when positioned within an elegant shaded balance interior.

‘For outdoor spaces, a monochrome colour scheme could appear harsh when used alone, but can be softened with greenery and natural finishes.’


Sian says: ‘The botanical trend, which focuses on plant elements, is here to stay and is incredibly versatile.

‘Botanical wallpaper is an inexpensive way to introduce a trend into a space and shouldn’t always be restricted to walls. Incorporating a statement ceiling can provide a completely different sense of space and transform a room into something spectacular. Additionally, laying scallop or herringbone tiles in rich emerald jewel colours to walls or floors also taps into the enduring greenery trend.

‘Living walls are another way that forward-thinking renovators and self-builders are really introducing plants into the home. These living, growing walls are a relatively inexpensive way to bring a home to life, guaranteeing an organic and creative focal point to any room. There a re whole wall systems but also scaled down versions taking up a metre square or so – there’s really no excuse now not to grow your own botanical bonanza.’

Decorating with ‘80s style

Sian tells us: ‘For those 80s kids at heart, the resurgence of Memphis Style is instantly recognisable and a welcome hit of fun. Fancy mixing up primary colours and neons, stripes and chevrons? No problem. Don’t be afraid to experiment and create daring combinations; for example, by accenting the scheme with bright, saturated colours like cobalt blue, acid green and shocking pink.

‘You can revisit the era in your home by using geometric patterns, stripes and pill-shaped arches. There were arches everywhere at Salone design show in Milan, and what shows there, is heading to the high street soon.

‘Eighties home decor is a playful trend though not one that most people can use to embellish their entire living space. Use elements of the scheme which suit you; it’s best to tap into the trend and lift elements from it.’

The fifth wall

Sian says: ‘”Look up” should be your new motto! Never assume a room to be decorated only has four walls; there’s a fifth wall just waiting for your attention. It’s only in recent times that ceilings have been painted boring white finish and it’s about time they became a bit more interesting again.

‘It could be going bold with bold colour, deep rich navy or powder pink. It could be with wallpaper or it could be by considering the architectural structure of the ceiling, is it unusually curved or intricately shaped, for example. For those with a pitched roof above, installing a vaulted ceiling can enhance the look and feel of your interior while creating a sense of volume, light and space.’


Sian concludes: ‘Recent developments in technology mean that tiles truly have revolutionised the way we can decorate our floors and walls. Photographic techniques ensure porcelain tiles look just like timber, and texturing now means they feel like timber too, and can be used in wet areas where real timber simply isn’t an option. Think one step further than just laying decking on a terrace; design in new porcelain planks which give a stunning finish, are non-slip and zero-maintenance.

‘Imagery on social media has made tile choices easier, because now we can really see what that scallop or hexagon shape will look like in a large area.

‘We can really be brave and consider options previously only seen at the high end of design, opening up another dimension to our décor. Terrazzo tiles, next generation encaustics and high gloss colour ceramics are there for the choosing – we just have to be brave enough!’