Tuesday 17 September 2019

Trend setter - Jo Hamilton's decor trend tips


Jo Hamilton. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan
Jo Hamilton. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan
Fergus Flanagan Architects
Michael Farrell Furniture
Marks & Spencer

Interior designer to the stars Jo Hamilton tells you how to make 2017's biggest decor trends work in your home.


No trend list for 2017 would be complete without the addition of green in some shape or form. Greens of varying tones are huge for 2017. Pantone named 'Greenery' its colour of the year, green is all over the catwalk - and it's hitting the high street hard for both fashion and home. Greens are calming and relaxing but they have a cool undertone, which is important to balance with warmer textures. Texture is a great way to add softness - natural woods and materials, linens, textured wallpapers and tactile finishes add a lovely homely warmth to any scheme.

Colour is another great way to bring in balance and warmth. One of my favourite looks at the moment is a soft, fresh green with a powdery pink blush - it's so graceful and classy. My client in Mayfair, London (pictured), wanted an elegant, relaxing scheme for the master suite but it was important that it felt warm. He loves green, so that was an obvious place to start, but I wanted to add something a little unexpected and exciting to complement the green, and my powdery pink bench was perfect. It added interest and warmth and I am happy to report that my client loved it!

Mixing architectural trends

Fergus Flanagan Architects

I'm often asked what my interior design pet hates are. It's difficult to pick one out because I have a few, but 'recipe book' design is very high on the list. I like a home to tell a story, the story of the people who live there. For me, the best interiors are those that are not contrived: they have a uniqueness to them; they are personal.

When I design, I design around the client. I love to incorporate pieces from their journey - perhaps art, furniture or antiques, from different times in their life that will be from different periods. I love the look of a clean and sharp piece of furniture next to an antique piece that is, perhaps, from Hong Kong because the client lived there for a while. I really enjoy that story element of design.

Personally, I love the Georgian era - the architecture rather than the interiors. I love the stone and stucco exteriors, high ceilings, architectural details, the symmetry, huge windows, and it has a gloriously effortless elegance. Dublin has its fair share of Georgian properties, as does London. I love to get my hands on these sorts of properties and really do them justice by reinstating their period features, but the excitement comes in for me using sharp contrasting shapes - a clean glass box extension on the back and a fire pit in the garden with built-in furniture is perfection for me.

Matte finishes

I have a huge soft spot for texture: I just love it. Texture is warm and tactile, and it makes you want to touch and feel - to experience. A beautiful piece of furniture, fluid shapes or an unusual finish can command attention, and the current trend for playing with contrasting textures is a really exciting one.

A relatively new addition to the palette is matte finishes on pieces where it's almost compulsory to polish. The look is more natural, softer and feels less formulaic.

I find myself particularly drawn to matte treatments - not to say I don't love polished finishes too, of course, but I think there's something lovely about an unexpected finish that really captures me. I particularly like concrete worktops and tables, and matte bronze details: they have such an understated elegance to them.

Mixing metallics

Marks & Spencer

I've been speaking about mixing metallics for years now, so I am delighted to see this trend finally hitting.

People worry about mixing metallics because they feel that there is some unspoken rule that says you should stick to one only - that's definitely not the case. Metallics, actually, are just shiny colours, so they mix in the same way any colours would. In just the same way that a particular colour can bring warmth to a scheme, the addition of warm-toned metallics will make all the difference. Similarly, you can cool down a scheme by adding cooler metallics.

Golds and bronzes are warm tones. Gold has a yellow base, which is a very warm colour, and bronze has brown-red undertones, which again are lovely and warm. Chrome is essentially a grey-silver, so it's very cool and can feel cold.

Mixing metallics, though, is how to really have fun with these tones and to create a truly fabulous feature in its own right. A group of different metallic lights hung together or a series of shimmering metallic pots or vases makes a really eye-catching detail.

Texture is often thought of as limited to fabrics and materials, so metals are overlooked, but they can be hugely varied in their finish and texture. I love how these textures can be used to create mood and drama. I have a little crush on corten at the moment. It is a rusted, patinated steel, and every piece reacts to the air uniquely and creates different shapes and tones. It makes for a very breathtaking backdrop, especially when set against contrasting finishes, perhaps a beautiful polished brass or copper.

Vintage mirrors and antiqued glass have a similar quality in that the breakdown of the backing creates wonderful natural patterns. Again, brass, bronze and copper look stunning against the antiqued or vintage mirror base.


Michael Farrell Furniture

Marble has been in and out of fashion since time began. We fall in and out of love with it but 2017 sees us very much in love! There are so many beautiful options to choose from but Carrara marble is hitting the top of the charts. It's a case of the whiter the better, which unfortunately means paying a bit more for it, but it really is worth it. Polished or brushed brass makes a striking contrast and, again, the warmer tones in the brass bring a softness and warmth to the cool, hard whiteness of the marble.

Nero Marquina, which is a lovely dark, rich black marble, looks truly beautiful in dark, moody kitchens, especially when set off with brushed bronze taps and accents. Antique mirrors can add another texture and layer of interest and can also help to bounce light around the space - it's a very exciting look. Polished marble is great but a soft matte finish is to die for.

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