Interiors: Make like the Great Gatsby and inject some Art Deco angles into your home
PUBLISHED: 09:57 25 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:08 26 August 2014
Even if you hated maths at school, it could be time to brush up on your geometry, as decor focuses on shapes and angles.
Lines, triangles, hexagons, chevrons and circles are proliferating in pattern and are a must-have not just for this season but beyond, as they feature strongly in autumn collections.
“Geometrics are a popular choice for bringing pattern into the home, with sharp, angular designs such as zigzags and graphic prints currently leading the way as favourites,” says Kate Tansley, creative director at Multiyork.
“Softer on the eye, circular geometric-style prints are also making an impact and are a great way to introduce the trend into a space and give it a stylish uplift. Geometric patterns lend themselves perfectly to fabric and can easily turn functional furniture, like a sofa or chair, into a striking statement piece.”
Of course, geometry isn’t solely represented in print; natural geometry is all around us, and it can be found in furniture design and architecture, so there’s no need to completely redesign your home to add a touch of the trend.
Our love of shape and angle goes back through history, the ancient Greeks and Moroccans both used its principles in their interior design.
Today many leading designers use strong geometric shapes, combined with symmetry, to bring a coveted feeling of elegance, order and tranquillity to spaces.
“Art Deco-inspired interiors, with their characteristic geometric lines and patterns, are enjoying a renaissance,” agrees Karen Anderson, editor at online interiors company, Alison At Home.
“Last year’s Great Gatsby film had a big influence, fashion’s embraced pattern and shapes as well. Perhaps more significantly, we’re living through cash-poor times, and the fact that this trend so effortlessly creates a sense of opulence makes it very desirable. If you really want a ‘wow’ factor introduce geometrics in monochrome or gold.”
So forget Pythagoras theorem and all that baffles - the correct answer is to sum up your style with glamorous geometric shapes.
Devotees of neutrals have known all along that colour may be cool for the moment, but clean, sharp monochrome or fashionable smok y grey schemes have timeless appeal and suit any interior.
“People often think these patterns can only work in bold bright colours, but that’s a misconception because they work equally well in monochrome or grey palettes,” says Katie Watson, interior designer at furniture specialists, Fishpools.
“The combination of strong design in monochrome shades creates a clean-cut, classic look which is easy on the eye and can easily be enlivened, if necessary, with ‘pops’ of colour.”
Tip: When it comes to shapes, the look you create will depend on the lines and angles you pick. Curved lines give geometrics a retro twist, whereas sharper angles look more contemporary.
Do your sums: Work the room with patterned walls or flooring. A monochrome pattern of squares on the Mardi Gras 599 Sagres Vinyl Flooring, from CarpetRight, could enhance a feeling of space in a room, and is a snip at £12.99 per square metre.
Fired Earth’s Graphix porcelain tiles, suitable for both walls and floors, come in a pale neutral ‘Chip’ or a darker ‘Grid’ and have an interesting 3D effect. They are £124.76 a square metre or £5.50 per tile.
Just one piece can make a statement, and a Lucien easy chair can be upholstered in Tessalate Raven fabric with a triangle pattern, from £1,162, Parker Knoll.
Experiment with the look before you commit by adding a few accessories, such as a Conran Modern Pop Colour Rug, from £129 (available from August 18), Marks and Spencer, or an Op Art Espresso Cup Set, £9.95, ZiggiZiggi. For metallic magic, a Metal Tray Table, currently reduced from £195 to £125, Alison At Home, could fit the bill.
Soft green and yellow shades paired with pattern are a subtle choice, and in tune with our desire to feature the colours of nature and showcase natural materials like wood and stone.
“Pattern and colour can be daunting to use at first, so play around with samples of fabric to ensure that you’re picking up on a similar colourway or design, as this will ensure cohesion in a scheme,” says Kate Tansley at Multiyork.
“Less is more is a good rule to follow, even if you’re passionate about these patterns. Too many ‘busy’ or varied prints can make a room feel chaotic, so limit your choice to two or three and ensure there are enough neutral accents to balance them out.”
Tip: To make a furniture piece the centre of attention opt for a large, oversized geometric print in a vibrant colour palette.
Do your sums: Next is never slow to pick up on a trend, and there’s a retro feel to its Scattered Geo Wallpaper, £15 a roll, and it’s reversible Retro Stem 2 Pack Bed Set, from £32. Grey and yellow oblongs have visual impact in the Geometric Yellow wallpaper panel, £40, Digetex Home.
Look no further for a statement piece than the Labyrinth chair in Green, by Moooi, which has a green and white maze-like pattern, £2,340, available to order from Viaduct. If that would break the bank, simply cover an existing sofa or chair in a neutral coloured throw and add an Athens Cushion or two, which feature a similar fabric and cost £75 each, In-Spaces.
Opt for fifties nostalgia - an era of abstract patterns and colour - with a Tray For Ruth, £34, Jasmine Way, decorated in yellow, black and green triangles.
Out of the blue
Blue still reigns supreme in interiors, and whether you choose its palest hues or deep indigos, pair it with pattern and it will surely pack a punch and speak volumes about your decor credentials.
“Create your own take on the Scandi-look by introducing bold, geometric prints in a neutral backdrop, to give your home a clean, modern feel,” says Philip Watkin, designer at sofa specialists, DFS.
“Choose soft, cool colours to reflect as much light as possible and open up small spaces to make them feel bigger, then experiment with bold patterns. Small or large doses of geometric pattern will help create a lively, interesting scheme.”
Tip: Choose a framed print with a geometric design in a dominant colour on a bright background. Place it in a focal point in your room and keep the wall a pale colour. The eye will focus on the pattern while the wall will appear to fade away, expanding the space.
Do your sums: A focal point in a room, a chimney breast wall or alcoves, could be transformed with a geometric pattern wallapaper. Scion’s Dhurrie wallpaper in a rich turquoise, £34 a roll, is bold and beautiful.
Treat the toes and a room to the Raritan Wool Rug, £510, Calligaris, with its block pattern in grey and blue. Pick up on the trend with a Barton Footstool, in a triangular blue pattern, at a special summer price, £378, DFS. Alternatively, key into the look with a purse-friendly Ferm Living Little Geometry Cushion in blue, £22.50, Naken Interiors.