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A delicate situation

Don’t tell granny but lace is for more than doilies and curtains. Try it on lamps, linens and even ceramics, says Trish Lorenz

Lace has been big on the catwalk for a couple of seasons now, with designers ranging from Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana and Jason Wu to high street names like Mango and Topshop all experimenting with the fabric. And the trend is now making its way into our homes, too.

No, we’re not talking  doilies or lace slipcovers for the arms of your sofa. Instead it’s the chic vibe of antique textiles that’s driving this look at home.

“This trend is emerging as part of our ongoing love of all things vintage,” says textile designer and founder of Nest Design (nestdesign.co.uk), Lucy Bathurst, who creates blinds using pieces of vintage lace. “It’s easy to find lovely antique lace at markets and car boot sales but people often aren’t sure what to do with it. Using it in a contemporary way is all about what you combine it with and how you lay out the design.” In cushions, set lace into brightly coloured materials or against textural fabrics such as velvet, says Bathurst. Lace also works well in blinds and lampshades, reflecting light and shadow through its weave. “In my blinds I lay pieces of lace in a graphic, almost Mondrian-like way, to keep the design feeling  modern,” says Bathurst.

And don’t limit your lacy ambitions to textiles. You can now find ceramics, glass, lights, candleholders and even cutlery embossed with lace motifs and these designs are a good way to add visual interest to a neutral scheme. Taupe, beige, mushroom and other neutral tones are easy on the eye but can feel bland without textural elements. The tactile nature and  visual intricacy of lace will draw the eye and add depth and visual intensity to a  room without demanding  any changes to the underlying colour scheme.