The last several years in interior design have been largely defined by white walls, muted, earthy colors, and lots of texture, but I am seeing a shift in imagery on social media and in print towards more color, more pattern, and generally more layered, collected spaces rather than spare.
While some will argue that color was never truly out, and minimalism will always have a place in design, these English country house-inspired rooms are definitely having a moment. If you are ready to embrace a more casual, cozy aesthetic, here are some trends I have noticed and how you can begin to incorporate them into your home.
Design and photo by Studio Laloc
Bring in Color
Color is making a come back in big ways, and not just on walls, but on millwork, cabinets, and all at the same time. Dusky, ruddy colors that have warm undertones -- those that change with the light and might seem gray in the morning and green in the evening -- keep these bold rooms from feeling too juvenile. Green is definitely having a moment (it’s the new navy blue) but even colors that seemed to disappear from the spectrum in recent years like purple, red, yellow, and orange are being used in bold, yet elegant ways.
Design by Clarence & Graves | Photo by Owen Gale
How to mix it up: This palette works really well with the earthy neutrals we’ve been using for years. To dip your toes in gently, paint a powder room or even a piece of furniture. If you are willing to take a bigger leap, recover a tired upholstered piece, swap out your neutral rug, or paint your kitchen cabinets.
Pile on the Pattern
No longer safely relegated to a just few pillows, pattern is making a comeback on upholstery, the floor, and even the walls. Mixing pattern is, of course, not simple, but as a general rule, a stripe or check, a floral, and a geometric with similar color tones will play nicely with one another. Wallpaper in particular is definitely having a moment, especially historical patterns, like those by 19th century English textile designer William Morris.
How to mix it up: To start small, add one or two more patterns to your sofa or bed pillows. If you are ready to go bolder, swap your white curtains for a pair in a pattern or consider wallpapering a space. Placed above a wainscot or in a small space like a hallway or powder bath, wallpaper can create a cozy moment in a mostly-white home. Vintage rugs fit nicely into this more layered style, offering color, pattern, texture, and history. Agnes and Everly both have more color and a bolder pattern intact.
Bespoke Utility Spaces
Reminiscent of quiet utilitarian is spaces found in Europe, kitchen design seems to be leaning more toward the downstairs spaces on Downtown Abbey than the upstairs. Inset cabinetry, vertical tongue and groove paneling, and careful space planning all help a kitchen feel humble, yet refined. Laundry rooms, mudrooms, and pantries are all getting a similar treatment, elevating everyday tasks to an organized experience.
How to mix it up: A new kitchen may not in the cards, but you can still bring in a little bespoke English kitchen with a gallon or so of paint -- as long as it is not white! New hardware in a living finish that will patina, a vintage-style light, and a perhaps a runner (here's what I have available in the shop) can give your space that old-world feel.
A Nod to History
In the coming years, I think we will see a return to more traditional floor plans with individual rooms rather than palatial open spaces, and hopefully, fewer gut renovations and more working with what we have. Architecture with integrity truly never goes out of style, and I'm looking forward to seeing more new construction homes with a smaller footprint, more intimate spaces, and classic craftsmanship.
Design by Nickey Kehoe
How to mix it up: Of course, we can't all live in a charming pre-war cottage, and some of us may even prefer it that way! But if you do live in a house with period details, consider leaning into their vibe, or at least tuning into traditional details as you make updates. If your home is hopelessly contemporary, try adding vintage or antique furniture, art, or accessories to bring a dose of soul into your interiors.