Trends: Stroke of genius
Abstract brush strokes have been punctuating both fashion and interiors simultaneously of late. At Dublin-based fashion house We Are Islanders, their SS16 Ida collection features sleek bamboo silks that are interrupted with bright sweeps of blues, created with analogue painting and print methods. The result is one-of-a-kind pieces, inspired by fluidity and movement. It's a concept that many are keen to usher into their homes.
Jenny Coughlan, who runs Naught*9 Interior Design Consultancy, links the rise of brush srokes to Céline, who debuted them on the catwalk two years ago.
"There is a definite trend and shift towards offbeat finishes that is creeping its way through interiors at the moment, with an emphasis on building layers through introducing lots of textured slapdash finishes."
The trend is adaptable to a variety of materials.
"I've seen a wide variety of unusual and unexpected finishes," Jenny says. "From concrete-effect kitchen cabinetry to crackled-effect curtains, to a variety of paint finishes, such as ombre-painted walls and brush-stroke effects on wallpaper."
Its presence can be seen in everything from prints, to ceramics and fabrics. Portstewart ceramicist Adam Frew has been stopping trade show attendees in their tracks with his expressive work. He credits an early love of drawing to his approach.
"I enjoy having a sense of freedom in my work. When I began making, I was equally passionate about drawing," he says. "Although now I have less time to draw and focus on making my pots, I still strive to maintain the aesthetics of abstract mark making."
This looseness varies throughout his work.
"My large pots are particularly expressive, but I also strive for a sense of spontaneity in the functional work too," he explains. "By applying slip in a loose manner, similar to painting, and also wiping away section, each piece then becomes unique."
Handmade tableware like Adam Frew's is an elegant way to bring brush strokes into your home, but those truly enamoured with the look can explore further.
Jenny recommends approaching this effect with caution to unearth its simplistic beauty.
"Make a brush-stroke statement with select pieces, offset against neutral backgrounds, in simple black and white or a splash of colour. Avoid layers of colour. Graphic prints with bold written statements are simple but have a strong impact."
Amanda Kavanagh is editor of Image Interiors & Living magazine
A bright splash with copy you can customise. Choose from A5, A4 or A3; dustyboydesigns.ie
Duvet cover €103
Lightweight and hand-sewn, this cover from HomeDecorativeDesign is perfect for incoming warmer nights; etsy.com
Gorgeous abstract works in paint by Dublin-based interior designer Suzi McAdam that are digitally printed onto textiles; dust.ie
Spontaneous strokes evoke landscape paintings in Adam Frew's 'painterly' range; adamfrew.com
Made to order, this Romney collection lampshade adds a welcome splash of colour; bubbletree design.co.uk