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Amanda Hanley: Make a Statement this Summer

This summer, bright colours and vibrant patterns are integral to all the key trends

"Bright, bold and warming is a great look for summer and can be easily achieved"

This summer bright colours and vibrant patterns are integral to all the key trends – and what better time to inject a new lease of life into your interiors and make a statement, with stunning fabrics and wall coverings.

Whether it’s a touch of the exotic with the latest tropical prints and Caribbean colours, or a nature-inspired style with vivacious horticulture patterns, summer is all about being bold – so be brave and make a statement. There is no doubt that colour has an important part to play in the success of interiors. But, interestingly, it is much more subtle than just colour. You have to add into this mix the other essential ingredient: texture. Both of these come in the guise of fabrics, of which there has never been a better choice available. For many interior designers, fabric has been an enduring passion. Each season new fabric collections are introduced, marrying exquisite colour combinations and designs with traditional and new weaving and printing techniques for looks to inspire a whole scheme.


For the novice, choosing fabrics that work as a family of colours can be a conundrum. So it’s good to see so many fabric manufacturers now producing collections combining a series of fabrics that combine perfectly together. You can’t go wrong with the many beautiful ranges currently produced by GP & J Baker, Mulberry Home, Lewis & Wood, Thibaut, and Threads. Use them as a starting point to see how colour and texture can be used to create a look that is anything but contrived. Your eye will undoubtedly be drawn to the colour first, but then take the second step to feel the fabric. The texture is so important yet is often overlooked. Fabrics lend a softness to a home although they can also add a sense of glamour and luxury. Once you pick up on the feel of fabric, it’s easier to become discerning about the choices you make. Then it’s all about contrasting the textures to give an interesting mix of colour and design. This mix has the ability to create a home that appears to have evolved over time, in the way many of the most beautiful homes we admire in books and magazines have been created.

Create a focus

Bright, bold and warming is a great look for summer and can be easily achieved with the latest prints and patterns. There’s no doubt that it’s wise to think through a complete concept of colour, but it’s not always possible to consider a complete renovation in one fell swoop. If your home needs to develop at a slower pace, choose a focal piece and the colour and fabric choices you make will bring rich rewards. One stand-out piece of furniture can really make a room. Give your antique pieces of furniture a modern-day makeover and dress them in bold floral or exotic prints to make a huge impact on your space.

Simple solutions

If playing with colour and texture seems a daunting prospect, gain confidence by adding a few key colourful pieces to your home. A small armchair or chaise covered in a luxurious fabric creates a focal point and a feeling of opulence. A pair of elegant velvet upholstered chairs in a hallway engenders an inviting space to welcome visitors. The ideas are endless. And the satisfaction you’ll gain when you achieve the look and feel of a comfortable home, through colour and fabric, is huge.

Embrace the latest trends by investing in a stylish new wall covering for your living space. As well as the bold and busy tropical and floral prints you will also find feather patterns, which are timeless.

As fashions go, window treatments have taken a back seat of late, but there is nothing more beautiful than elegant curtains in a dining room. Framing windows attractively by day, at night they add a sense of glamour and richness to the simplest of rooms.


- Amanda Hanley

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