Friday, 15 October 2010

The interiors retro love affair continues!


Directly on the heels of London Fashion Week comes its Interior Design equivalent, Decorex, where companies showcase new products and design for the coming year. Interior Design Jamie Hempsall presents his picks of the season.

There is renewed optimism in the world of interiors with fabric companies launching a wider number of collections than we have seen in the last couple of years.

The big stories this autumn are geometrical patterns, as design companies continue their retro love affair with all things 1930s and 1950s, and stripes which are returning with renewed confidence and gusto.

There is nothing boring about any of these retro chic interpretations which may take influence from the mid 20th century, but have been updated with injections of strong colour and daring interpretation. Texture and comfort are also very important this season with a range of geometric patterns being introduced in tactile cut velvet. Of note too are some new digital printed fabrics being introduced (in particular by Designers Guild) which are blending photographic quality large prints onto intricate designs. These are bold and brash statements that herald the onslaught of a potential design revolution.

Here are my favourite picks from this season's collections.

The Juniper range from Harlequin (pictured above) is pure 1950s with wonderful visions of leaves (Orletta, £59/mtr) and seed heads (Kerria, £34/mtr or Spirea £52/mtr) in a range of colourways including red, purple and orange on simple backgrounds (www. – 0845 123 6805).

There are brilliant re-interpretations of mid-20th century geometrical patterns in contemporary colours on plain backgrounds in the Casson Range from Romo which also features a series of relaxed woven stripes (from £42.50/m). The Ellise range of decorative weaves from Romo is a beautiful collection of soft contemporary cut velvets featuring almost art deco style patterns in bold, confident colour (from £129.95/m; – 01623 756 699).

The Mosaic velvet cut and loop pile range from Zoffany has a more muted colour palette, but provides a rich, plush feel. The striking designs are easy on the eye and would integrate well into any virtually any style of interior. Patterns have been cut and woven to create both visual and textural interest (£79/m; www.zoffany. com – 0844 543 4600).

More beautiful geometry is found in the Maharani range from Osborne & Little, a range of printed designs featuring interlocking cubes and handsome block stripes inspired by Armenian and Iranian architecture (from £34.08/m; www.osborneand – 020 7352 1456).

Leading the way in the introduction of the modern stripe is Designers Guild with their Bernadini collection (in particular the Phipps and Egmont patterns). These are available in a wide range of imaginative colourways and feature exciting new types of velvet (£70/m; www.designers – 0207 893 7400).

Equally appealing is the new Oscura stripe from Osborne and Little. This is a range of two-tone stripes blackout fabrics (ideal for blinds and curtains) with a companion striĆ© plain in 16 different colourways (£29.38/m; details as before).

If you are looking for more lightweight fabrics then I would seek out the new collections from Malabar. Their Kilo range features simple, but effective lightweight and sheer linen cotton stripes in an array of muted colours (£29/m).

For those wanting something bolder, their Inka range includes more dramatic stripes and some heavy linen herringbone plains in stronger shades from earthy brown to juicy raspberry (£29/m; www. – 020 7501 4200).

A lot of the fabric ranges produced this season come with co-ordinating wallcoverings which echo their geometric designs and contemporary colours. The exciting news for decorators is that new production techniques mean that many ranges are now being developed in non-woven finishes so that you apply paste to the wall making hanging them far easier – seek these out for a hassle free makeover.

•You can contact Jamie Hempsall for advice or more details on any of the new season's ranges at or on 0800 0321 180

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