Tuesday 17 September 2019

Should you design your home around THAT Zara dress?

Dots are the breakout print we never knew we needed, writes Kirstie McDermott, and now we can't get enough of them

That Zara Dress: If a black-and-white dress can make you look instantly polished, then it follows that the same applies to your decor, right? PIC - Zara
That Zara Dress: If a black-and-white dress can make you look instantly polished, then it follows that the same applies to your decor, right? PIC - Zara
A glam nod to the trend is this Luxe Dotty Vase, €65.50; audenza.com
Cushion, €27.50. Sicilia black dot printed cushion; habitat.co.uk
Plateware, €21. Kate Spade New York Primrose Drive Dot Plate — Accent Plate; amara.com
Light, €189. Woud Dot pendant; finnishdesignshop.com
Cup, €18.50. Oiva Anniversary coffee cup; marimekko.com
Print, €29. Personalised Letter Art Print; aprilandthebear.com

Kirstie McDermott

More than 24,000 people follow a tongue-in-cheek Instagram account dedicated to fashion retailer Zara's feelgood hit of the summer - The Dress.

If you don't have this capacious, flowy polka-dotted number, then it's a safe bet you know someone who does. Or several someones: because this white-and-black maxi dress isn't just a quirky fashion footnote, it's a bona fide cultural phenomenon.

How come? Possibly because in these body positive times, it's - miraculously - a garment that works across the board thanks to a careful cut, long sleeves and a flattering neckline. It's so beloved that women are frequently snapped on the aforementioned @hot4thespot gleefully wearing it in identically-clad groups - and when did that ever happen before? Normally you would run screaming from the embarrassment of being within a mile of anyone in the same get up.

The sheer virality of The Dress across so many pillars - affordability, accessibility, wearability has seamlessly translated into interiors too.

Because if a black-and-white dress can make you look instantly polished, then it follows that the same applies to your decor, right?

Right, says interior designer and stylist Alannah Monks - who, naturally, has The Dress herself.

"Monochromatic prints in particular are a great starting point for an interior scheme; they offer a blueprint for base colours and accents, and plenty of room to play with pattern," she says.

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A glam nod to the trend is this Luxe Dotty Vase, €65.50; audenza.com

"I use graphic print as a staple in any design, whether it's a full paint mural, a feature rug or just prints in a gallery wall," she adds.

"It's an easy and effective way to modernise a space while giving a chance to play with pattern."

And when it comes to spots, Monks says they're both timeless and trendy. They can, however, err on the side of being a bit too kitsch - and unless you want your decor to look like a 1950s stage set, that's possibly best avoided.

"Polka dots have had a reinvention in recent years," she says. Now, we're now seeing spots with less structure to them, "with uneven edges and non-uniform pattern, modernising the print for more grown-up audiences", she explains.

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Cushion, €27.50. Sicilia black dot printed cushion; habitat.co.uk

This really is the key to using polka dots without having them look kiddy. You can think a bit more outside the spotty box too.

"From the rising interest in terrazzo finishes to Pinterest-perfect dotty prints, there are so many timeless ways to bring spots into your interiors," Monks says. "Children's rooms are the ideal place to explore your spotty side; a full wall of spots is a high-impact and easy way to get creative with paint and colour."

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Cup, €18.50. Oiva Anniversary coffee cup; marimekko.com

Circular decals and stickers are a great way to add polka power for a few quid or look for speckled bedding to add a fun finish.

Old-school ways still rule, too, "like a traditional red-and-white polka dot oil cloth for your table", Monks suggests.

So, whether you go full colour or keep it back and white, just make sure it's hot to spot - period.

Kirstie McDermott is editorial director of 'House and Home' magazine

Sunday Independent

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