A change of seasons means two things. Some of the wood in your home is about to sprout mould, and Indigo Living has a new palette for spring. Not that those are related in any way, but April and May mean adjustments to the weather and perhaps some fresh elements in the home.
This season’s looks, according to the venerable Hong Kong retailer, are dominated by bright colours and shining metals, but that doesn’t mean overdoing it with any one element — unless you really want to. And understanding how we live and work these days, CEO John McLennan notes, “We’ve themed specific collections around global trends to help customers achieve a particular look.” So if you’ve been dragging a 19th century chest around with you, there’s no reason to stick it in storage.
First and foremost, the enduring European Living furniture series is a good place to start. The line’s muted tones, minimal textures, classic shapes and symmetry make it a good base from which to adapt from one season to the next. Indigo’s Tropics and Mixed Metals themes stand out best when underpinned by neutral, relaxed central items (like sofas, beds and dining tables). The key to the Tropics is remembering that it’s a fun, lively vibe. Statement fabrics for accessories, yellow, lime, turquoise and botanical patterns say it all, and the added element of bamboo or rattan in place of wood rounds out the picture. “Botanical prints and vibrant colours are the fastest way to inject relaxed opulence and a touch of easy humour into your living space for spring,” says McLennan.
Admittedly, the vibrancy of the Tropics’ colour palette isn’t to all tastes, and that’s where Mixed Metals comes in. Metals started their renaissance a few years back and the concept shows no signs of waning in trendy homes any time soon; silver, gold, copper, bronze and brass are holding firm as the accent of choice. Bookcases, mirrors, lamps and lighting, decorative bowls and metallic fabrics are just a few of the ways metals continue to move out of the kitchen and into the rest of the home. “The combining of different metals to produce an artfully mixed look is one of the defining trends of the season,” McLennan continues. “A matched look is not as striking as a mixed one, so experiment with melding different metal accents throughout a room.”
But if it’s more minor changes or little details you’re looking to spruce up, there’s the idea of Left-Bank Chic, inspired by one of Paris’ most famous neighbourhoods, a shift in the popular East Coast aesthetic with indigo blue and white, and a touch of modern Chinoiserie in a marriage of contemporary homage and traditional Asian accenting.
For the Left Bank look, use the muted colours — soft creams and greys — that you may already have and let them highlight smoked glass pieces like the Sienna tables and sideboards for a casually decadent and lived-in ambiance. As a bonus, the metal elements of the season fit in seamlessly with this particular Parisian style, and it’s one that absorbs a mix of new and vintage items as well. Henry Miller would be proud. If the breezy, eternally “in” Hamptons-esque elegance that defines the East Coast look is for you, the focus should lean toward natural materials — linen, recycled wood, stone — and maybe trying out some hurricane lamps for balcony and terrace lighting. Finally, though Chinoiserie can be tricky, it’s also an easy way to add a touch of sophistication and glamour to a room by using a few impact pieces: Chinese emperor chairs, Marrakesh cutout tables and cabinets and ornate fabrics in rich colours (more blue). If you really want a change and you’re still stuck, drop into an Indigo store and talk to a design consultant. All it costs is time.