Thursday 8 December 2016

Moody hues - embracing the dark side for interiors

Autumn has arrived in the world of interiors and it's embracing the dark side

Leslie Ann Horgan

Published 21/08/2016 | 02:30

Frances floral cotton bed linen from €54; butterfly cushion, €40; botanical print cushions, €27 each; Eva lamp, €135, all from Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.ie
Frances floral cotton bed linen from €54; butterfly cushion, €40; botanical print cushions, €27 each; Eva lamp, €135, all from Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.ie
Rose rug in wool with cotton backing, large €150, extra large €250, Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic, Dunnes Stores
April & the Bear bell jar lamp
House of Fraser cushions
Textured vases from Harvey Norman
Vogue paint by Fleetwood

Autumn has arrived - at least in the stores, where the new season's interiors have landed. After all of the whites and brights of summer, things have taken a decidedly more moody turn, with dark shades being the order of the day both in furnishings and accessories.

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Teal, navy and all shades of purple are huge trends this coming season, teamed once more with metallics - although gold is challenging copper as the favoured finish. Few of us can afford to have a new look for our home each season, but autumn is the best time to invest in Ireland where the gloomy months last long enough to get your money's worth from cosy furnishings.

Natural world

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More usually associated with spring, florals are making a reappearance this year. Large leaves and flowers appear on dark-toned fabrics to add a softness that's anything but girly in effect. Classic varieties like peony roses and hydrangeas are what should be filling your vases to match. Popular, too, are butterflies and other fauna which appear framed or printed on fabrics as though taken directly from the notebooks of Charles Darwin.

Buy it: Rose rug in wool with cotton backing, large €150, extra large €250, Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic, Dunnes Stores, dunnesstores.ie

Bed time

Who doesn't want to snuggle up in bed with a good book at this time of year? Change your bedlinen from summer whites to aubergine for added autumn warmth.

Buy it: Frances floral cotton bed linen from €54; butterfly cushion, €40; botanical print cushions, €27 each; Eva lamp, €135, all from Marks & Spencer, marksandspencer.ie

Turn the lights down low

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Lighting is the single best way to set the autumn mood, so aim for a muted level that casts plenty of sleepy shadows. Exposed filament bulbs have spread from hipster homes into the mainstream over the past couple of years, and are now more widely available at more reasonable prices as a result. Warmth is key here, so avoid sterile, white LEDs. The dancing flames of a real fire or some flickering candles will further enhance both the look and feel.

Buy it: Bell jar light, €130, April & The Bear, aprilandthebear.com

Texture is key

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'Luxe' is the desired look, so choose your fabrics carefully. Rich velvets and wools, and gilded detailing, add instant grandeur. Cushions are the easiest way to introduce a new trend, but you'll have to splash out on those to look the part here.

Buy it: Teal Mongolian cushion, €91; peacock print cushion, €46; black velvet leopard cushion, €39; leopard cushion, €53, Biba, all House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre

A hint of glint

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To keep darker shades from looking gloomy, break them up with different textures and tones. While all-out sparkle won't be called for until later in the year, mirrored and reflective surfaces are perfect for providing a glint in the darkness that adds visual interest. Keep a candle nearby.

Buy it: Textured vases, from €35 each, Harvey Norman, harveynorman.ie

September issue

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Fleetwood paints new vogue collection is a 60-strong range of shades in matt, soft sheen and satin. We love this regal purple shade called 'McQueen' in honour of the late, great fashion designer, which balances the strength of a darker shade with the warmth of a bright. Available for €20.99-€23.99/1l from selected Fleetwood stockists nationwide, see fleetwood.ie

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