From sun-bleached to saturated - Look-at-me colours are making a comeback in interiors, according to Carpet Court. Here's how to use them in your home.
After years of low-key neutrals, striking colour combinations are back in the spotlight, according to Carpet Court trend forecasters. The Pastel look, with its soft gelato hues, and the Outback look, inspired by the rich colours of the Australian landscape, are two trends you need to know about right now – and they're perfect for re-energising a tired interior, say the forecasters.
"Colour is one of the easiest and most effective ways to transform a space, and these two looks have it in spades," says Heather Nette King, Carpet Court's style ambassador.
"The Pastel look is serene and uplifting – ideal for a bedroom or living room – and really plays into the current wellness trend. The Outback look is inspired by our magnificent landscape – it's rugged and warm and translates beautifully to open-plan kitchen-living-dining spaces or family rooms.
"With its muted apricots, mauves and dusty pinks, the Pastel look is undeniably feminine – but combining it with paredback, modern furniture and bolder accents of mint and pale grey will take it from cloying to contemporary," says Heather. "Seek out furniture with clean, unfussy lines and soft furnishings in the gentler hues. Juxtapose curves with lean, sharp lines, and up the wow-factor with crisp gold highlights.
Add in some little vignettes of coloured glassware and vases with dainty, delicate forms, plus touches of greenery.
"Keep the look bright and airy with pale flooring. I love an ultra-soft, plush carpet such as Carpet Court's Luxe Palette in Calla – a light, sage shade – looks and feels luxurious underfoot. Or opt for a lime-washed or pale timber flooring such as Carpet Court's Precinct Oak timber in Loire or Laneway vinyl planks in White Oak, which gives you the look of timber but none of the maintenance," she says.
The Outback look is a celebration of all things modern Australian, with a palette inspired by the colours of the desert – rusty terracotta, ochre, olive green, wattle yellow and charred black. "These muddy tones are paired with raw, grainy timbers, rustic furniture and tactile, woven elements to create a look that feels cocooning and authentic," says Heather. "To create this look, seek out contemporary locally made pieces crafted from natural timber, buttery leather and utilitarian metal, and accessorise with artisanal ceramics with tactile, earthy finishes. Remember that modern furniture shapes and lighting will keep this look contemporary.
"Add depth by layering similar tones of the one colour – say from walls to an upholstered sofa and cushions. Inject drama by painting joinery or kitchen cabinetry in matte black," she says.
"For this look, you'll want a warm, earthy tone and texture underfoot. Choose flooring in a neutral shade with plenty of textural appeal, such as Carpet Court's Ocean Road textured wool loop pile carpet in Lorne – a deep grey-brown, or a luscious twist plush pile carpet such as Lifestyle + Rising Splendour in Cottonseed," she says. "For timber flooring, think warm mid tones, such as oak or walnut, with natural knots and swirls or a weathered finish. Carpet Court's AquaTuf Hybrid in Blackbutt or Exquisit Laminate in Tuscany Walnut would both work well."
"A well-chosen floor can be the unsung hero in a room, helping set the mood and frame the space. You can simplify the selection process by doing a little homework before you head in-store. Think about how the space will be used and who will be using it. Ask yourself, are you prepared to maintain timber floors or would you prefer a lowermaintenance alternative? Do you want the softness of carpet, but need something stain-resistant that can take the odd spill? Are you looking for a luxurious flooring or do you need something hardworking for a busy spot? All of these questions will help narrow down your choices," says Heather.
"Before your store visit, take photos of your rooms and any existing furniture, and gather together paint and fabric samples so your sales consultant can help you make the right selection."
HEATHER NETTE KING'S STYLING TIPS
START WITH A HERO PIECE: if you're unsure where to begin with colour for a room scheme, take your cues from a key piece in a room, such as an artwork.
GO TO THE DARK SIDE: for the Outback look, accentuate joinery by painting it a dark, matte colour.
ADD CHARACTER FLOORING: timber flooring with tonal variation and plenty of knots and swirls will add a rustic touch to a room – perfect for the Outback look.
TOUCHES OF TERRAZZO: trend-wise, terrazzo is the new marble and it makes a great addition to a Pastel scheme – try it on a tabletop or with some display items.
BOOST LIGHT: the Pastel look benefits from plenty of natural light – mirrors and accessories with high-shine surfaces are great for maximising what you've got.
CREATE BALANCE: the flooring you choose should complement – not compete with – statement features in a room. Think about the furniture and artwork in a room when making your flooring choice.
ASSESS THE LIGHT: just like paint, floor colours can appear to change under different light conditions. In a room with low-light, consider paler flooring; if the room is flooded with natural light, try some darker options.