For so long we lived with neutral shades where minimalism ruled, as if we were afraid of making a personal statement by adding colour to our pale interiors. This trend has now shifted and the use of colour, pattern and accessories to decorate our homes is back with a vengeance! Although putting together a bold interior can prove daunting, there are plenty of homes magazines and books offering advice and inspiration.
Elizabeth Wilhide aims to ease the concerns for those of us who want to bring together colour and pattern in our homes. New Decor is a book that helps explain the new styles, encouraging the reader to mix old and new, 'the new decor isn't about recreating the past or side-stepping the present'. This could mean 'a baroque chair made of Perspex, a toile de Jouy wallpaper featuring gritty urban scenes' or perhaps 'a contemporary chair upholstered in a traditional print'. Willhide takes the reader through the stages of decorating a room using this idea of new decor.
Willhide deftly guides us through choosing colour palettes and using these in creating feature,striped or spotty walls, with excellent instructions on how to recreate some fabulous designs. Wilhide also helps the reader to use coloured lighting to 'create evocative shifts of mood and atmosphere'. Moving on from colour we are taken to the 'print room' and shown ways to use pattern in our homes. No longer is bold patterned wallpaper reserved for grand settings, but can add a dramatic effect to a feature wall or be used to decorate an entire room. Vintage prints which used to adorn homes many years ago have been reproduced just as fashion designers crossover in to the world of interiors. Contemporary wallpaper sees an increase in the scale and size of the repeat, with traditional producers reproducing archive patterns in bolder scales and new designers creating even bolder collections.
Having been taught to use colour and wallpaper Wilhide advises the reader on how to choose and use fabric in the home. Due to new materials and new print technologies textile design has never been so popular, ever more so with the trend to make things by hand. Textiles allow us to update a room and add depth by mixing textures in our choice of soft furnishings. In New Decor the author guides us through choosing fabric for cushions, curtains and looks at transferring these patterns to floors as well.
Now with the canvas almost complete, Wilhide offers style advice for choosing 'objects of desire'. Obviously finishing touches are as much about personal taste as choosing the initial colour palette. These finer details may take many years to create as we collect items to compliment our interiors.
The final section of New Decor helps the reader understand and plan the practicalities of decorating and designing their home. Willhide teaches us how to strip wallpaper, prepare walls for painting, choose the right fabric for the right job, dress windows, make square cushions, sand floors and create a lighting scheme, to name just a few things covered in this useful final chapter.
New Decor is an incredibly informative book, guiding the reader through many aspects of interior design, offering clever ideas and practical help. I think New Decor is a fantastic book to have to hand when considering updating any home, as Elizabeth Wilhide not only takes away the fear of mixing old and new but openly encourages it.
New Decor by Elizabeth Wilhide ISBN 978-1-84400-492-8 Publisher - Quadrille
(This post was first published on UK Handmade)