Lifestyle

It's Time To Warm Up Interiors

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It may not feel like it just yet, but autumn is on the way and with it cooler weather that, maybe, demands a new look — or feel — for your home. Year in year out, some things never change: natural wood is always in, not over-doing it with volume or knickknacks, avoiding novelty overkill. But there are looks that re-emerge or find traction each year, and it doesn’t have to break the bank to dabble in a little seasonal freshness.

Autumn 2015 is all about a sensual aspect we ignore too often in favour of visual appeal: texture. Texture, along with pattern (like plaid) and the rebirth of neutrals with which to incorporate both are the defining elements of the season. And Hong Kong Interior designer Clifton Leung at Clifton Leung Design Workshop goes on to add that a fireplace, broader use of fabrics — particularly on walls — and an emphasis on carpets is a way to bring that textural focus to the fore. Bonus in that you don’t need to knock down a wall for it.

Rounding out this season’s trends are high contrast spaces: think dark blue, charcoal, slate and black bases (like walls and statement pieces) with bright furniture or accents in jewel tones such as dark ruby and emerald according to retailer Indigo Living. “Don’t be afraid of this trend. Although there is the smallest hint of industrial style, this look is extremely sleek and refined. The black and grey tones aren’t at all harsh,” explains CEO John McLennan. Elsewhere try knits, accessories and décor items that are hand made, artisanal, vintage or flea market finds, which can be achieved with Indigo’s Club Class look. Defined by natural brown leather and honeyed wood, it’s a look that’s traditional but not stodgy. And then there are pillows. Lots and lots of pillows.

In addition to the increase in tactility and more eye-catching materials, Leung stresses improved mood lighting can be used to, “Enhance the atmosphere and bring a soothing sensation to individuals in the gloomy autumn.” Some of us in the SAR are fortunate enough to be on a high floor, and so combined with relatively warm autumns, “Taking the views into consideration when designing a home to bring the outside in,” is always in style notes Leung. And you don’t have to have a balcony to do it. A little creative thinking can, “Encourage the use of more ‘outdoor’ space,” he finishes. If you’ve got big windows, exploit them.

But the cool is what we all design for and textiles are the easiest way to warm up a space. Cushions, rugs and fabric in unconventional areas — like those walls — is an easy fix and can be as complex as you choose; a one-hour job or a weekend project. Finding a way to incorporate knits strikes a balance between the artisanal and the natural, and there’s not much comparable to cosying up to a woolly cushion with a book or for a guilty pleasure power view on television. Indigo’s Arabian Nights trades in the sumptuousness and opulence of the region’s textiles in its plush rugs and cushions. “This is a very beautiful, comfortable and liveable trend, which is actually quite versatile,” finishes McLennan. Arrow, anyone?