News Article

Six Essential Summer Trends

Hip house plants to feature floors

News Article

Six Essential Summer Trends

Hip house plants to feature floors

The stories behind the need-to-know interiors trends that will be dominating the coming season…

1 Industrial chic

This look started out in the low-key drinking dens and pop-up eateries of Brooklyn and Shoreditch. You could say it’s the new alternative to minimalism, still ‘no frills’ but with a sense of authenticity about each component of a room. While the industrial look has been around for a few years now, it continues to gain momentum, especially in our homes. It’s a relaxed style that copes well with the rigors of family life and when hiring your house out as a location for shoots or filming. Taking its cue from the unadorned and functional look of old warehouses and factories, this aesthetic is all about exposed brickwork and beams, unfinished plaster walls, polished concrete floors and wood in its raw state. Crittall windows with black metal frames enhance the utilitarian mood, while the pared-back palette features greys, indigo blue and off-whites with copper or brass finishes. There’s an absence of fussy accessories and adornments but the look is completed with form-follows-function lighting, often in black and using glass and enamel. It’s a look that London location houses are finding is very well received when it comes to renting out your house for filming or a photo shoot.  As the industrial trend develops we are seeing designers and homeowners adopt its core motifs but create a more polished and luxurious take on the industrial look that is easier to live with. 

Give your room an industrial edge with a plain but moody colour palette, then add functional lighting, Rockett St George sell a wide selection of industrial lighting while BHS’s Jed pendant is a stunning high street model. Accessories in utilitarian concrete or cement such as Made’s Edson stool complete the look. 

For stunning examples of the industrial look see our Rota House and Addison.

2 Pink, the new neutral 

Although pink was once thought of simply as pale red and considered the most suitable colour for little boys as late as the Victorian era, since the 1950s it has been inextricably linked to all things feminine. It has been used, much to the annoyance of many women, to market everything from pens to politics.  But the pink trend that is emerging now is, thankfully, far removed from the shocking pink shades beloved of glamour models and five year old girls. Pink has become androgynous once again. Today’s pinks are soft, subtle and hard-to-define shades but broadly speaking we are talking about warm tones of dusky nude-pink. Think of the colour of setting plaster – as Farrow & Ball have done – naming a popular shade of neutral pink after this elusive hue.

Rather than being treated as an accent colour for accessories and details, these shades of pink are gentle enough to be used on walls and fabrics without unduly grabbing the eye. This pink can readily take the place of stone and grey shades and but with bring a touch of quirkiness and individuality than these long-favoured shades lack. This is also good news when you have a location house for hire and are looking for something that is easy to live with but distinctly different. 

Layer up different shades of pink, a warm pale rose with can be combined with something more mauve, or a peachier tone, to create a look that is well ahead of the curve and satisfyingly unique.

If you’re looking for pink paint shades, consider Little Greene’s Dorchester Pink, Sanderson’s Rose Ash Lt or Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster for a [subtle] tone that will enhance your home. And there are lots of covetable pink interiors products out there from investment pieces, like this Toward Sofa from Nest, to this small and affordable bowl from H&M.

3 Cane gets contemporary

Shaking off its faded, granny’s conservatory associations, woven rattan and cane furniture are enjoying a renaissance that spans the interiors world from designer to high street. This furniture started off as a way to cope with the heat in tropical climates but it does have a credible design history too, with revered Mid-Century Modern designers like Arne Jacobsen and Charlotte Perriand producing designs that incorporated rattan. In the Seventies it became cool again with exotic pieces including the ‘peacock chair’, made famous by French movie Emmanuelle, suggesting a well-travelled owner. Rattan, with its suggestion of breezy, easy living is perfect for those craving a laid-back lifestyle. And while it works well in a vintage setting it is also being giving a more contemporary treatment by both high-end designers like Patricia Urquiola and high street brands like Habitat. 

Our location house agency is seeing many hip rooms enlivened statement piece in cane or rattan It’s an easy way to breathe new life into a room and provide an instant summer update. Rattan pieces work particularly well in the living room or bedroom and can be quickly transferred to the garden to make a stylish statement for outdoor entertaining. But don’t feel like you’ll need to hide it away come winter. Draped with a cosy throw or natural sheepskin it’ll add a warm, textural element to your home through the colder months too. 

Get the look with a statement chair, either retro-inspired like this design by Cox & Cox, or unashamedly modern, as with this cool piece from Habitat. There are lots of cool cane accessories around too, including this sculptural magazine rack from Zara Home

See some striking woven pieces in our Palmers Green and Kempshott location properties.

4 Feature Floors 

Feature walls have enjoyed the spotlight for many years but more and more people are adding eye-catching interest at floor level. Tiled floors have been around almost as long as civilisation itself and have long suggested wealth and status. They were popular with the Victorians, whose elaborate designs added the wow factor in grander halls. And for many of us they are reminiscent of keeping cool by the Mediterranean with concrete floor tiles in bright geometric patterns. Recently we’ve been noticing more and more bars and restaurants taking this once overlooked part of a room scheme and turning it into a focal point, with homes swift to follow. The hardwearing nature of floor tiles means that they can work brilliantly if you rent your house out for film sets or photo shoots too. 

Bert & May’s ultra-hip interiors business started with the humble tile and they’re continuing to innovate in this area – we loved their recent Split Shift collaboration with Darkroom as well as their modern classic Duchamp collection – especially in cooling blue. Meanwhile Alhambra Tiles are great for the Mediterranean look, we also love their more contemporary designs and quirky patchwork collection. Fired Earth are another great go-to company, particularly for the bold geometry of their Encaustic collection

Lots of our location houses have show-stealing floors, like the Pagoda and Cotswold Manor houses.

5 Hip House Plants 

House plants were hugely popular in the botany-obsessed Victorian era and enjoyed a resurgence in the Seventies when they chimed with the laid-back interiors that came into vogue then. For many people today they have become more than an accessory, they are an obsession. This is a trend that can easily be linked to wider socio-economic factors, people are having children later, their busy lives and compact flats mean pets are hard to manage, so a generation of twenty-somethings is lavishing their love and care on the humble house plant. But for any urbanite, outdoor space is in short supply, and the view from our windows is more likely to be grey than green. Houseplants allow us to bring that mood-boosting greenery inside. You can choose a houseplant or two to fit any room and when you are completely lacking in surfaces they can just hang from a hook on a newly-hip macramé hanger and still look stylish. 

We have seen them cropping up in many of our modern London location houses. They add a dynamic living element to a room and they work out cheaper than cut flowers and are a lot better for us too, scooping harmful chemicals out of our environments and breaking them down into harmless elements in their soil.

With this trend it is all about choosing the right plants – the kookier the better. Succulents and cacti are definitely in, as are lush ferns and quirkier plants like the disc-leafed Pilea Pepermioides and the aptly-named String of Pearls. There are now several shops and online stores dedicated to the modern houseplant, with many more selling suitably stylish pots and hangers, plant care accessories. Houseplants the easiest and most worthwhile of trends to get on board with. 

Many of our location houses are hip to house plants, including the Blackfriers Apartment and Clapton Tram properties.

6 Back to Black 

For many years, white has been the ubiquitous shade in our homes, but now more and more of us are turning to the dark side of monochrome. Many people still like the idea that their home is a simple backdrop, without too much colour, but white can sometimes be just a little bit dull. Black is freshening things up. It provides interest and more than a little drama, without fighting for your attention. It adds real wow factor and can provide a great backdrop in location houses for photography shoots. With today’s black trend it is not about is gloss and glamour, this is black as an organic, earthy colour - so we’re also seeing a lot of off-black, deepest grey and inky indigo shades too. 

It’s easy to see why the look is gaining in popularity, it’s one that appeals to men and women, young hipsters and sophisticated adults alike. Black works surprisingly well in summer, we’re seeing a lot of off blacks used with buff shades and natural materials like wood and terracotta. We also love black used with vivid greens – especially houseplants – for a lush, dramatic look. 

Sanderson’s Burnt Black offers the perfect paint shade for this pared-back trend, then layer up the look with simple furniture like SCP’s Ulrik stool and quirky accessories like Sebastian Wrong’s simple table light from Triangle.

Get back to black in our Taylor and Castlenau location properties.