Green with Envy
By Linda Parker
Green themes are everywhere, not just in the garden, but in all the shops too – all are full of springy green and sunshine yellow displays. It’s all very tempting and cheerful …
It’s my first proper spring season living full-time in the new house, I did a mammoth amount of garden clearing at the end of last year, and now it’s a joy to see masses and masses of tulips and daffs springing up, seemingly out of nowhere! All previously hidden by rampant giant poppies and huge clumps of montbretia, but all a bit more under control and enjoyable now. And of course, the shops are full of green and yellow themes too, even the cake shops and cafes, supermarkets and shoe shops, as well as interior showrooms and galleries. I think in our constantly on-line world, where everyone is a photographer and everyone has an opinion, we’re all finding it easier to spot a theme or a trend, and then jumping on the bandwagon. When ‘Greenery’ was revealed to be Pantone’s colour of the year a few months ago, from an interior-design point of view we had barely seen that shade for years. Now, as with ‘rose gold’ and ‘copper’ and ‘blush’, you can’t move without falling over a jungle green soap dish or cushion. But it’s all to the good, it’s getting easier to update our colour schemes with just a few strategically-placed accessories here and there. And of course it’s hard to resist a new cushion, bath towel or set of tea-lights in the colour-of-the-moment when they’re so easy to pick up on the supermarket run! Keep an eye on the latest home trends from the likes of Asda (spring flowers and bunnies) Sainsbury’s (garden greens).
If last month’s dark kitchens weren’t your cup of tea, and you favour lighter, more neutral tones, Benchmarx and LochAnna kitchen ranges are well worth a look; not only are the colours completely fabulous, the room settings are inspirational and thoughtfully planned. We love the Matt Dove Grey Eton kitchen from Benchmarx, there’s a lot going on in this shot, style-wise; stainless steel splashback, grey cabinetry and bare brick walls, but it all blends together beautifully – and there’s room for additional colourful updates too … we’re thinking along the lines of a jungle-green rug and some over-sized Swiss-Cheese plants!
The sleek symmetry of the Profile kitchen in Dust Grey by LochAnna is brilliant; such a simple layout that could be adapted to suit lots of kitchens; once again, it’s a fairly neutral scheme, with room for colourful updates – whether it’s pale mustard bar stools or perhaps some bright orange crockery! See the rest of the LochAnna range here.
The Soho Gloss kitchen, also from Benchmarx, see the rest of the collection here, is another simple but stupendous design. Lime green splashbacks add a streak of bold colour, and still allow flexibility for changes of emphasis … think bold black accessories (bar stools, crockery etc) or go for sleek steel choices.
Of course, the trend for kitchen-living-relaxing spaces continues to thrive; almost every interior design project I’ve worked on recently has involved soft furnishings for the kitchen-living-dining area. Comfy chairs and sofas are a must, and in most cases, provide an opportunity to add colour, texture and pattern to what can otherwise be a glossy, shiny and unforgiving space. Soft, tactile fabrics add a homely, comfortable feel to what is otherwise a business-like space. One of my favourites at the moment is the Pendel sofa by Pinch Design, shown here in GP & J Baker’s Nympheus fabric. And if you’re in the mood for more fabric inspiration, the Rio Velvets collection, also from GP & J Baker, is worth a look too, click here for some inspirational colours.
Whilst you are kitting out the new kitchen, the floor is visually as important as the cabinetry. It accounts for huge part of the first impression when walking into the room. Wood or stone (or porcelain/ceramic stone-style tiles) are the major favourites now, and no doubt will continue to be so. Advantages are timeless style, hardwearing, the ‘go with anything’ aspect, and of course, easy to look after. We’re very taken with the new range from Havwoods, which includes the Relic design, shown here. We’ve also seen similar style ceramic wall tiles and even wallpaper too, but all three together could be overkill! See the Havwoods range here. Other products include wood cladding, the creative options are endless.
Easy colour updates include tea towels, kettles and toasters, rugs, napkins and table cloths. This tea towel is from Softer + Wild, and comes in a lovely choice of strong colours, including red and black. See the whole collection here.
Since moving in and getting the kitchen-dining space fully operational I’ve discovered that there are never enough bar stools (I have five currently), or chairs that can be easily lifted outside when the sun shines. Here are three suggestions; left, The Moda Bar Stool from Cult Furniture in Teal with copper legs, see the collection here, other colours available include lemon, candy pink and lavender! Middle, the Industry Green garden armchair by Seletti from Arbol House is a beautiful new interpretation of ‘standard’ style outdoor furniture, and whilst being perfectly at home in the garden would also look perfect in the dining room. Also in white, black and red, peruse the rest of the designs and options here. Right, this is an original Ercol design, the stacking chair in Forest Green. Yes, an investment, but definitely worthwhile and of course, a set of Ercol chairs can be viewed as a future family heirloom. Enjoy the rest of the collection here.