Time to pick my favourite bits of what I would class as this seasons most humorous trend. Various retailers have differing names for it, but essentially we’re looking at full on Jungle Fever…
Let’s start with my interiors guilty pleasure, Ikea. Whilst I don’t think this particular fabric is brand new, it’s had a bit of a revamp for this season and the totally tropical Syssan curtains, at £50 per pair, are used in their ‘How to’ Bedroom update for SS17.
In my opinion, Ikea are also the undisputed kings of affordable pot plants, and this stunning Phoenix Roebelenii, £15, is a new appearance in their palm line up. The size is actually pretty diddy, so although it looks like a monster, it could easily grace most hallway console tables to create an interesting entrance, without having to crack out the machete to get past!
Next up, is Next. Now, they’ve gone pretty mad with the tropical theme, and have two trends, which in my opinion overlap slightly; Cuba Culture and Urban Jungle. They’ve gone fairly overboard with the styling for some of the imagery on their website, and room sets in their stores – see right for example – but then on the flip side, they do some lovely accent pieces and decorative accessories that could really liven up a tired living or dining room.
My favourite pieces are the Embroidered Loreto cushion, which at £18 is a steal, and the Palm Tree Table Lamp, at £60 – such good prices for really good quality feeling products.
The cushion would look great against a pure white linen sofa, in conjunction with some velvety charcoal grey. The Palm lamp base is very India Jane – esque, and in my opinion would look equally as good with a plain shade if you wanted it to be a bit more timeless. The brass would really glow against a backdrop of an inky indigo blue wall, sat on a dark mango wood cabinet in a dining room is where I imagine it…
Wallpaper still seems to be a big trend this season, and I’ve found a couple of options for either end of the budget scale. GrahamBrownUK’s Honolulu Palm Green wallpaper is £23/roll which covers approx 2.5m² and House of Hackney’s Palmera off white/green wallpaper, which is £165/roll for a 5.4m² coverage. Now, I’m not saying the quality of print or colours is the same, but they are remarkably similar;
Left – House of Hackney Palmera. Right – GrahamBrownUK Honolulu Palm.
I’m potentially going to make some enemies with my next statement, but here goes… I hate the obsession with feature walls. There are very few instances where I think it adds to a room, and there is nothing I loathe more (in the Interior Design world, let’s get some perspective) than going round someone’s house, and being visually bombarded in every room by a different feature wall, in a different colour or overbearing pattern, so that the whole house just feels random and disjointed.
So please, don’t wallpaper one wall in any room of your house, in any of these palm print wallpapers. Instead, use it somewhere where it can be a novelty; maybe a downstairs loo or the kid’s playroom. End of lecture.
Next up, John Lewis. Now, as I’ve previously mentioned, here, one of JL’s main trends this year is called Fusion, and whilst the products themselves are less palm-print-in-your-face-jungle-tastic, it definitely has tropical vibes and an abundance of rattan and rough finished wood. Also, their imagery in the catalogue and website is full of succulents and palms, so bringing the outdoors in, and making us dream of far and distant shores seem to be the big ideas. I love it, and I think most of their pieces are much more user friendly…although of course, you can still find those obligatory elephant ornaments if you really want. My favourites are this embroidered Zangoora cushion in Saffron and the Fusion Striped Seagrass Basket, both £30. You could use either, or both, in a neutral, laid back lounge, to add a global warmth and edge to the scheme, without having to change much else. Easy seasonal update? Check!
And last, but by no means least, potentially my favourite thing of the lot. The stalwart of the fabric world, Sanderson, has a new collection out this Spring, called Art Of The Garden, and has taken inspiration from gardens through the ages, along with the British love of horticulture. Sanderson fabrics are world-renowned for their excellent quality cloths, embroideries and prints, and this collection is the most interesting I’ve seen of theirs for a few years. My absolute favourite is the Pineapple Royale 226300 fabric, a large scale botanical print of a pineapple on an off-white viscose/linen mix base cloth. It is £56/m which means a full length pair of curtains is going to be quite the investment, but it could easily be used as cushion covers,seat pads or a headboard, using much less meterage. The scale and motif design mean it would suit contemporary and classic interiors and I just think it is fab! If I could persuade Husband on it, it would grace my living room window in a heartbeat (more yellow, yay!) and I think it would look great against the pebbley-grey we have on the walls already. Watch this space…
So, overall, I’m not a huge fan of this trend; most of it is a bit too bold for me to want to live with on a daily basis. In fact, I think trends in general are quite dangerous to really commit to, as they are constantly changing and if you decide to go all out Jungle, in a few months time it will start to look pretty dated, and “Sooo 2017”! An Interior Designer’s job is to see trends and fashions as inspiration, not as a checklist for what to do next. No one wants to feel like they live in a catalogue.
You might have noticed, that the items I’ve picked have been the smaller and changeable accessories; and this is always the way in which I would recommend following Interior fashions. They can be a pick me up for a tired scheme, or a feature in an otheriwse relatively simple room, which can add humour and interest without having to really commit to something entirely new. Yes, Pineapple curtains might look a bit funny in a few years time, but I always think that if you love something, it doesn’t matter if it’s on trend or not. At the end of the day, you’ve got to live in the home you live in – so decorate it with things you love, not things other people tell you that you should.