Shopping: What every well dressed home will be wearing in '99

An ice-blue modular lamp? Or an African milking stool in aubergine? Ten design gurus make their predictions

Lofty urbanite, cosy homegirl or hedonistic glamour kitten: whatever you see yourself as, your home is a certain reflection of your character, for better or worse. When it comes to decorating your own space, attempting to keep up with the Hoppens and Hempels of this world, and the sophisticated lifestyle statements made by seagrass flooring and delicately positioned lacquerware bowls (so 1998, darling), can be both exhausting and expensive.

In the ruthlessly chic field of interior design, everyone has their own ideas - so why not make 1999 the year to start respecting your home environment and find out whether you're a dedicated minimalist, a sworn magpie or something in between. Who cares that fluffy pink lampshades are out this year? The main thing is to have some fun - either that, or you could play it stylishly safe and follow the advice of the style gurus:

Caroline Burstein-Collis Director, Browns Living

"Unlike with your clothes, you can't change your home's wardrobe every year, but in 1999 we can afford to loosen up a little. Interiors have recently been very clean and minimal and, although this helps to clear the mind, it would be good to have a little more colour through items such as plants and cushions. Having said this, everyone is different and some people enjoy being surrounded by familiar clutter. The important thing is to make sure you have things in your house that you love."

Tom Dixon

Head of design at Habitat

"The trouble with homes is that you can't really talk in years, as you can with fashion; but there are several trends at the moment. The first is a popularity for modular products - those that you buy several of and stack together yourself: storage, screens, flooring and even lighting. Another trend is for things that are multifunctional. People are constantly bombarded with a kind of fantasy world of how to live - but the reality is very different. To be realistic about what their home is like or could be like, people will be choosing items that are essentially practical - steps that fold to become a chair, or loft lamps that can be hooked on to any area of a house.

"I hope that people will feel modern as we approach the millennium. At the turn of the last century the public was apprehensive about the future and tended towards comforting, organic shapes such as those of Art Nouveau. This time people will be more confident and proud of embracing technology with distinctive lighting, hi-fi and cooking gadgets. There may also be a trend for futuristic retro design."

Tricia Guild

Head of Designers Guild

"Natural and interesting textures in white, pale brown and ecru will be balanced with pale iridescent colours of aqua, chalk grey, pale olives and smoky mauve. There will be no frills or clutter but, instead, clear, clean lines together with vivacious images from oriental inspiration."

Toni Rodgers

Editor, `Elle Decoration'

"The whole nation has become more home-savvy. First it was sorting out your clothes, then the interior decoration, and in 1999 it will be the turn of the garden. The idea of designing an outdoor room will materialise, with furniture that you can wheel in or out. Attention will be given to sheds, huts and garden hideaways as well as the layout of the lawn. Conversely, nature will extend into the home as people turn back to real fires in the house.

"White will still be the main colour but it will be a soft, new-dawn, spacey kind of white rather than a bleak white. Accessories will still verge on the modern ethnic. Where lots of modern design in shops such as Browns Living and Nicole Fahri takes its inspiration from items such as African milking stools and simplifies this down, in 1999 we will be looking for the real thing."

Sarah Kean

Co-owner, The Cross

"The theme for this year starts with some fantastic sap-green glassware from Belgium and lots of leaf-inspired plates - tropical leaves, lilies and waterlilies and so on. At the other end there will be lots of pale colours, including leather pouffes in pretty shades of ice blue, pale eau-de-Nil and off-whites. Into summer, there'll be a permanent holiday feel with deep pink, bright turquoise and canary yellow."

Robin and Patricia Silver

Owners, The Home

"The most important thing this year will be that people are looking for quality and will be willing to pay more for things that are well designed than for things that are a bit junky. Colours will be subdued and solid rather than bright, plasticky and transparent, and dark, grainy wenge- wood - which has a rather African feel to it - will be more popular than sycamore, maple and other paler woods.

"Kitchens will also be prominent in the home. Last year, having watched the River Cafe cookery programmes, everyone wanted the double-handled mezzalunas, but found them difficult to operate. This year there is a new kind that you hold in one hand and, for an inexperienced cook, they are much easier to handle. Since tea is set to overtake coffee in popularity, there will be all kinds of tea-making and tea-drinking equipment in the shops."

Rupert Thomas

Deputy editor, `World of Interiors'

"1999 will probably see an emphasis on hand-made, individual pieces. As the general public's levels of luxury have increased - everyone can now pop into Debenhams to buy a pashmina shawl - there is no clear definition between the top and the middle of the market, and so the top end is having to distinguish itself by returning to the crafts tradition.

"The fascination with early Modernism will probably continue; but now that you can buy versions of Modernist designs everywhere from IKEA to Viaduct, the theme is less romantic than it was a year ago.

"The main thing is that you should feel relaxed within your home, so have a bit of everything you like in there. The new tendency is for people to raid every century for the best it provided and put all the different pieces together in one house."

Rebecca Toone

Accessory buyer, Heal's

"Whites, greys and creams with accents of darker colours such as aubergine and navy will be the theme for 1999. Texture is still very important, and the use of natural materials - wool, leather, suede, linen, slate and metals. There will be no coloured patterns as such; ceramics will be mostly white with raised designs."

Sophie Holloway

Buyer, contemporary furniture, Liberty

"There is a trend towards all things Scandinavian and Liberty has bought into those countries, renowned for their beauty and creativity. The pieces for 1999 are typically Scandinavian in form, material and craftsmanship, and are both functional and aesthetic. Bought to fulfil the individual's spatial needs, the resulting collection is simple, high quality and natural with a nod to architectural influence.

"I believe there is also a trend for beautifully crafted and individual pieces for the home. This is why Liberty has revived its "One-Off" department, which opens next month. The idea is that the home is a sanctuary that surrounds us with beautiful objects to inspire and give pleasure to the mind and body."

Louise Chidgey

Fabrics buyer, and Jill Webb, furniture buyer, The Conran Shop

"Colours around the home this year will be aubergine, indigo, Indian red, eggshell and eau-de-Nil, and all fabrics will be textured. Sheer linens and organzas will have fine details within the weave of the fabric rather than patterns.

"Over the last two years, furniture trends have swayed towards dark woods but, despite changing trends, The Conran Shop continues to select clean, minimal, high-quality furniture in blond wood with natural finishes.

"The belief here is that we should follow our own line and let other people copy us, rather than the other way round."

Rhiannon Batten

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SEN Teacher, Permanent Role in Ashford

    Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad urgently seeks a qualif...

    SAP BI CONSULTANT

    £55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BI CONSULTA...

    Infrastructure Manager - Southampton - Up to £45K

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + 36 days holiday and more: Deerfoot IT Resources Li...

    Drama Teacher

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice