Property: Adventures in the home

Directions: continuing our series on trends in interiors, the experts give Katherine Sorrell their predictions for the influential looks of '98
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The Independent Online
Bridget Bodoano, The Conran Shop:

"At the moment there's a feeling for simplicity and a return to the values of good living. The sensual approach to comfort - less clutter, lots of light, naturals and neutrals, soft textures and elegant shapes. Pale woods, plywood, aluminium, glass, Perspex and lots of leather."

Sarah Bravo, Ideal Home & Lifestyle:

"We think decorating will be streamlined but subtle, warm and gentle - though bright colour will be big in kitchen appliances. Our decorating ideas for 1998 include: curtains, throws and upholstery in weaves, tweeds and waffle fabrics; spotlights and uplighters to emphasise certain areas of a room;rocking chairs; muted colours such as greys, mauves, chocolate and charcoal; and textured wool carpets with the look of sisal."

Lesley Turner, Do It All:

"Purples and mauves, limes, greens and yellows will continue to be very fashionable, as will some of the heritage colours, such as burgundy and bottle green. We'll be seeing more classical motifs like gold fleurs de lis and trefoils, as well as distressed, stamped and crackled finishes. There won't be one single theme or look, but the key is a personal touch, with people having the confidence to try out their ideas."

Ben Weaver, Habitat:

"We'll be seeing a continuation of the East-meets-West oriental influence on contemporary design. The look is very elemental, with slatted teak benches for indoors and out, Vietnamese ceramics, big cushions, atmospheric candles and hammocks. Dark woods and industrial metals add a sophisticated touch. Fabrics will be sensual and colours soft - sea-blue, earthy grey, fresh green, deck yellow, pure white, lavender and a sprinkle of silver."

Anders Dahlvig, Ikea:

"There's a move away from traditional dark woods and heavily patterned fabrics towards either a rustic look or a lighter, casual style using natural materials and neutral colours. People are experimenting with styles, designs, colours and materials from a variety of cultures, and demanding environmentally and ecologically friendly products."

Sue Skeen, Elle Decoration:

"Sensuous surfaces: high-quality, natural materials such as wood, stone, leather and cashmere, with varied finishes for textural contrasts. Delicate and organic decoration - small areas of tribal pattern. Pets. Bathing rituals. Multi-purpose rooms - practical living zones and private comfort zones. Friendly technology. Genuine exotica: frankincense from Yemen, striped towels from Morocco and velvet bedspreads from China. Plants."

Cathy McGowan, Dulux:

"Consumers are becoming more adventurous. Coloured paints are now more popular than magnolia and white. Next year, we predict, will see strong growth in special-effects paints which are ready to use for a creative top coat such as colourwashing, stippling, ragging and so on; tinted paints that are mixed in-store, and vibrant, bold colours."

Dawna Walter, The Holding Company:

"Colours will be bold and bright, mixed with a fusion of cultural styles, so that instead of a look that's either very modern or very traditional, we'll see a real blend of East and West, old and new themes."

Louise Tegerdine, Fox Linton Associates, Interior Design:

"Tailored living - flannel, suiting and corduroy upholstery. Fleece throws and cushions. Soft greys, air-force blue, khaki, navy and white. Pinstripe sofas with salt and pepper cushions. Vellum, pewter and aluminium mesh. Hollywood bedrooms - tea rose duchess satin and silk chiffon."

Alison Richards, The Pier:

"A key look for spring will be to take the colours of the past few seasons - lime, fuschia, aqua and yellow - and frost them, resulting in a softer, cooler and calmer look. For those wanting to add to an existing look, there's naturals/neutrals, featuring terracotta, rusty brown metals, natural textiles and hints of soft leafy greens."

Shiu-Kay Kan, SKK Lighting:

"There'll be more natural materials - silk, paper, rattan, wood and concrete. We are also developing a lot of inflatables, both transparent and in bright colours. Base shapes will be more varied, and I'll be using shades shaped like vertical cones."

Mervyn Fogel, The Home Place:

"The bright colours of 1997 will be replaced with softer versions of the same palette. Chrome will continue to be a big story - retro-style electrical appliances are becoming very popular. And continental influences will be strong. Continental Europeans are known for their ultra-stylish, uncluttered homes containing products with clean, simple lines."

Rebecca Toone, Heal's:

"The emphasis for spring is away from strong, bright colours to a much softer, natural look. Texture and quality is fundamental, using deep, rich browns, greys and blues, highlighted by cream and ivory accessories."

Andrew Purves, Purves & Purves:

"Asia and Indonesia will be big next year, mainly because they will be cheap, and that will have an effect on the general market. Also, we have noticed a trend for people to spend more money on individual pieces of contemporary furniture than ever before, and I am sure that idea of quality rather than quantity will continue."

Bill Potter, InHouse:

"The signs are all around us that we're finally squaring up to the future instead of constantly pining for the past, and the current fin de siecle mindset should finish the job nicely. All those brave new experiments with cantilevered steel chairs in the Thirties and colourful, moulded plastics in the Fifties are resurfacing on our high streets, fully formed and ready to go!"

Tricia Guild, Designers Guild:

"I hope that the new-found confidence in using colours will continue. People's appreciation of texture in the home - both sensual and comforting - and of informality, bringing with it the added pleasure of translucent fabrics, will, I hope, last long into 1998."