Nicola Pollard is an interior designer who trained in the College of Marketing and Design, Mountjoy Square, Dublin. After graduating in 1997, she moved to Australia to work as head interior designer for Laura Ashley. On returning to Ireland in 2005, she set up her own business, Pollard Design and has built up an impressive portfolio of both residential and commercial clients.
DAZZLE WITH JEWEL TONES
The colours coming in for next year are the jewel tones - topaz, emerald, amethyst and sapphire. It's about bringing that lovely warmth back into the home, pulling back on the grey and softening it with richer colours. Don't overdo it; small pieces and accents like jewel-toned cushions will enliven a room.
EXPERIMENT WITH TEXTURE
When it comes to wallpapers, I've noticed that people are taking a break from feature walls. Textured wallpaper is very much in at the moment. I'd recommend starting out by covering two alcoves in a plain textured wallpaper. The feature walls that are still used are mainly in bedrooms, but on the walls in living rooms and hallways, people are going for plain textured paper with nice wood panelling below.
DARE TO GO DARK IN SMALL SPACES
Don't be afraid to go for a bit of drama if you have a small room that doesn't get much light. Embrace the dark, and actually make it cosy, rather than trying to make it brighter, because it's never going to be brighter. Don't be afraid to use deep-toned textured wallpaper, it adds nice warmth to the room. I tend to use that in smaller rooms, like a study or a downstairs loo, where you can afford to make a statement.
TRY A NEW FLOORING TREND
If you're looking for something on-trend that will be low maintenance and cost effective, wide board laminates are very popular. There's a move away from oak and really dark flooring, as people are going more for grey and taupe floor laminates. Runner carpets are coming back in for stairs, and they look very smart. If you have a big family with lots of traffic on the stairs, a good wool twist is hard-wearing. If you can afford a bit of luxury, velvet looks really well.
KEEP THE FLOORING CONSISTENT
To create a flow in a space, it's nice to have the same kind of flooring running from your doorway straight into your living room and kitchen at the back of the house. It adds a sense of space and brightness, and gives a feeling of fluidity and connection between the rooms.
EMBRACE MIXED METALLICS THIS CHRISTMAS
This year, we're very much into the metals and coppers. Use metal accents on your table and bring in glass and crystal baubles - they look particularly good in a very small space, it's light but still quite classy and striking when you have it all together. To bring in that glam feeling for Christmas, swap your cushions covers for nice embellished or beaded ones.
PULL OFF LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS DECORATING
Decorating is all about being clever with your accents. You can pick holly off a tree and place little bits of holly over your picture frames to add a little bit of pizazz. Then you don't have to do anything else, it's very simple. If you've got a small space and don't have room for a Christmas tree, spray some nice long branches, put them up in the hallway and hang little decorations off the twigs.
Pollard Design is among the exhibitors at House 2016, showcasing the very best of homewares and interior design at the RDS next May. For information, visit house-event.ie