SUMMER holidays may be fading to distant memories, but you can take inspiration from your favourite location to create an exotic, faraway feel at home all year round.
“Destination decor” is on the rise, according to Samantha Parish, interior design account manager at bed company Hypnos, as homeowners seek to evoke far-flung styles that last well beyond their travels.
“What we see and experience on our holidays has an increasing influence on our homes,” said Samantha. “Few of us can resist a souvenir from our favourite or most interesting destination – choose well and it can be the inspiration for a whole new look, or simply add an instant international feel to a space.
“Soft furnishings such as bedding, rugs, curtains and throws can also change the dynamic of your interior, transforming it into anything from an Asiatic-inspired retreat to a Mediterranean getaway.”
A popular theme is bringing a tropical feeling indoors. Jenny Hurren, founder of the eclectic Out There Interiors, said: “While many of us love the idea of an outdoors lifestyle, the climate in the UK can make it somewhat tricky.
“One way to achieve that sultry feeling is by embracing the tropical interiors trend as it allows us to create our own interior paradise that can be adapted all year round.”
Jenny said: “Big leafy palms, rustic honey-coloured woods and touches of black conjure jungle vibes for every room of the home. Simply adapt with splashes of bright, vibrant tones for the summer months, and switch in plums and navy colourways for an updated winter feel.”
The Caribbean look will also help to warm up the chilliest of English homes. Sian O’Neill, head of marketing and online at Topps Tiles, said: “Using precious memories from trips abroad provides ideal inspiration for homeowners, as they look to introduce exotic influences into their living space.
“The Caribbean vibe is particularly popular and can be easily emulated with the right colour scheme and accessories. This trend celebrates vibrant tones – from the lush greens of island foliage to the crystal blues of turquoise seas, the combination of these colours creates a space which radiates warmth and holiday happiness.
“Style-conscious homeowners should also consider incorporating accents of punchy pink – opt for hues of seashells and flamingo feathers for an attention-grabbing look.
“Once complete, homeowners will be able to immerse themselves in true Caribbean-style decor that lets them indulge in a year-round vacation from the comfort of their own home.”
An Eastern theme, meanwhile, can be striking with its mixture of extravagance and simplicity.
“Nothing says ‘holiday’ like an Eastern-style interior,” said Jenny Hurren.
“Jewel colours, indulgently sumptuous fabrics and decadent patterns are perfectly suited to the neutral background of contemporary spaces.
“You can achieve a wonderful effect by combining extravagant detailing with simple black, white and bronze pieces, for an everyday look that’s both usable and beautiful.”
Jenny also recommends looking to the riads of Marrakesh – large, traditional houses, often set around a courtyard – for inspiration, and using statement lighting and accent cushions to add a hint of holiday all year round.
Meanwhile, as summer makes way for autumn, designers are putting the spotlight on the new season’s three biggest decor trends – midnight tropics, woodland settings and oversized florals.
The first brings together deep, moody blue shades and a focus on texture and luxury.
“Midnight Tropics sees the summery tropical theme continue and develop throughout the autumn and winter,” said Clotilde Passalacqua, interior design leader, Ikea.
“Instead of featuring bright and playful colours, this trend pairs rich, dark tones – such as navy and emerald green – with accents of brass and gold, to create an exotic and luxurious look with a touch of opulence. Accessorising with succulents and tropical plants is key, as are artwork and patterns that take their cue from nature, and in particular, feature foliage.”
Many major home brands have embraced this luxe look, including Marks & Spencer with its Manhattan collection, inspired by the opulence of New York’s luxury hotels, with details including soft velvets and green marble, mixed with bold monochrome furniture.
Our love affair with nature and the great outdoors continues, and one of the easiest ways to refresh an interior is to take inspiration from the countryside.
Andrew Tanner, designer manager at Sainsbury’s Home, says the woodland look captures the tones and textures of an autumnal country walk, creating a cosy living space with warm aubergine and mulberry colours, chunky knits and patterned textiles.
“These shades pop against mustard and duck egg blue tones, seen on ceramics and home accessories, complementing this classic look,” said Andrew. “There are figures in a rich, brass metallic finish, and we have a fragrance of applewood and clove – a woody, spicy scent – all finishing touches for an interior which is cosy, nurturing and perfect for winter.”
The third look, oversized florals, offers a berry-hued palette of blueberry, cherry, deep plum and purple, paired with designs featuring lush blooms.
Tricia Guild, founder and creative director at Designers Guild, said: “This season our collections draw inspiration from the humble tulip bulb that became more precious than gold and five times more expensive than a house. It’s a bulb that went on to inspire generations.”