Three interior designers on current trends, top tips and their treasured spots for inspiration

Three innovative interior designers and stylists reveal what’s in, where to look, and how to craft your most stylish home ever

Kathryn Hawkes living area with sofas, chairs and centre table
Kathryn Hawkes living area
Kathryn Hawkes Portrait
Kathryn Hawkes

Kathryn Hawkes of House of Hawkes

What are your favourite décor trends right now?

I’m seeing a definite shift towards darker autumn-inspired colour palettes, which is pretty different for me – think mustard, ochre and dusty pinks complemented by natural hues. There’s also a move towards a more aesthetically obvious use of sustainable, handmade, artisanal pieces; cane webbing is big; plus cosy, relaxed bedrooms, with linen headboards, fewer scatter cushions and dare I say, more messy beds; and busy wallpapers that add serious life and statement to a room.

Your treasured places to look for interior ideas?

Instagram and Pinterest are my first port of call, but I also love to get lost in interiors magazines.

Kathryn Hawkes bedroom with framed bed
Kathryn Hawkes bedroom, credit: Lar Glutz

One tip for transforming small rooms?

Use lots of practical (and vertical) storage, preferably wall-hung to create an illusion of floor space; multi-tasking furniture pieces; and take a less is more philosophy. 

What’s your advice for making quick and easy updates to your home?

Soft furnishings, such as cushions and rugs; new pieces of wall art (Etsy has a plethora of affordable digital downloads) and accessories are a good call. For high impact, change the wall colours, too. 

Nursery, credit: Marli Smith
Nursery, credit: Marli Smith

What do you recommend blowing the budget on?

This depends entirely on your personal/family circumstances. For instance, I would say invest in a good rug, but probably not while you have small kids. I do, however, always recommend mixing affordable options with one or two bucket-list pieces, like an item of furniture from a designer you admire, an investment rug or a vintage piece – the choice differs from person to person.

Your top interior tip?

Make sure your interiors work for your family. It can’t be just about the aesthetic. For you to love your space and for it to reflect your character, it needs to be practical and suit your lifestyle.

House of Hawkes by Natelee Cocks
House of Hawkes by Natelee Cocks
Linda Dekkers portrait
Linda Dekkers

Linda Dekkers of Live Loud Girl

What are your favourite décor trends at the moment?

It’s great to see the return of earthy tones – I’ve seen them in Copenhagen, at Milan Design Week and in the Middle East. I also love to use tone on tone. It gives a space a sense of calm without shying away from colour. In terms of accessories, a crate is very cute and versatile to use for storage.

Your treasured places to look for interior ideas?

At Live Loud Girl, we work with products that we fall in love with, no matter where they are from. A few favourite online shops include Studio Mini Shop, Smallable and Archive, while the likes of Maison Sarah Lavoine in Paris, Loods 5 in Holland, as well as restaurants and hotels, such as The Hoxton in Amsterdam and Merci in Paris inspire us. 

Live Loud Girl Natelee Cocks Sofa and skateboard lighting and soft octopus toy
Live Loud Girl Natelee Cocks Sofa and skateboard lighting

One tip for transforming small rooms?

The easiest way to change the vibe of a room is by giving it a feature wall. There are some beautiful warm colours that are very on-trend right now. If you have the courage, paint all the walls in one shade for a fantastic effect. Wallpaper can also do the trick, giving
a room more structure. 

What’s your advice for quick and easy updates?

I usually change around some items and rarely buy new furniture. For example, a former cabinet for toys in the playroom is now used for clothes in the boys’ bedroom. Vintage items can also be given a new life by adding a fresh coat of colour and an old chair can be reupholstered. Play around with what you have and you will be surprised how easily you can change the look of a room. 

What do you recommend blowing the budget on?

A design piece that has stolen your heart. It might be painful when swiping your credit card but your chosen item will make you smile every time you see it. And it will stay with you for a lifetime – you will bring it to wherever you live.  

Live Loud Girl Linda Dekker bedroom
Live Loud Girl bedroom
Kalthoum Dumonceau portrait
Kalthoum Dumonceau

Kalthoum Dumonceau

What are your favourite décor trends this year?

Curved sofas; mix-and-match styles; floral fabrics and wallpaper plus bold-painted walls; passementarie; velvet and light wood floors.

Your treasured places to look for interior ideas?

Inspiration comes from everywhere: trendy restaurants, boutique hotels, art galleries, Instagram and even the store next door.

One tip for transforming small rooms?

Lots of white, light and airiness but always with a pop of colour; acrylic furniture will make your space appear less busy; and a big floor mirror will fool your eye into thinking the space is bigger.

Kathryn Hawkes dining area, yellow walls
Kathryn Hawkes dining area

What’s your advice for quick and easy updates on your home?

Refresh your home with a lick of paint – it can soften, bring drama and give style to a space; declutter to create a sense of calm; and choose home décor items carefully to make an impact – think coffee table books, mementoes picked up on travels, candles, vases and wall art. 

What do you recommend blowing the budget on?

A soft carpet and a comfy sofa.  

Your top interior tip?

Create a personalised look by mixing up your styles: old and new, precious and cheap pieces, patterns and textures.

See more tips from interior stylists, interior designers and for home interiors here.

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