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What are the top autumn/winter interiors trends?

This year, it all points to rich, textural and almost gothic themes, writes Anya Cooklin-Lofting

Sunday 02 October 2022 06:30 BST
The new Toast collection draws on a laissez-faire approach to decoration
The new Toast collection draws on a laissez-faire approach to decoration (Toast)

I must admit that although this summer’s unrelenting heat made the cool composure of a Mediterranean villa, its whitewashed walls and terracotta tiles, all the more appealing, I’m beginning to backpedal. The chill grip of the autumn air has served as a nostalgic reminder of what it is to live in Britain for most of the year; a reminder that has done little to disappoint me so far. It’s too early to turn the heating on (perhaps I’ll wait til 2024…), but I’ve hung up my knitwear to air, I’ve thrown blankets over the back of the sofa and across the foot of the bed, and I’ve chiselled new candles into old candlesticks to fully embrace the autumn and its acquired pleasures.

This year, autumn/winter trends in interior design all point to rich, textural, earthy, almost gothic themes, drawing on arts and crafts, Victoriana and the Tumblr-coined, Tiktok-appropriated Dark Academia aesthetic. Think The Secret History meets Count Dracula’s Soho townhouse meets Bloomsbury haunt, Charleston, and you have yourself a fine portrait of this season’s aesthetic touchstones.

In fact, it is Charleston itself that has proven a worthy muse for clothing and homeware brand, Toast’s irresistible AW22 collection. The infamous farmhouse in East Sussex was home to Vanessa Bell, the artist, interior designer and sister to Virginia Woolf, and Duncan Grant, the painter and textile designer, and was the site of Bloomsbury group meetings throughout the 20th century. Its every wall, window encasement, bookcase and soffit is covered with decorative embellishments, from figurative, highly symbolic paintings to wallpaper designed by the house’s prolific inhabitants. The new Toast collection draws on the colours, artistic expression and laissez-faire approach to decoration that the house embodies and that the Bloomsbury group itself pioneered.

“I think we’ve always been inspired by Charleston – I mean, I don’t think there is a designer who hasn’t been,” says Judith Harris, the company’s head of house and home. “This season,” she continues, “deep colours and earthy mark-making felt important, and you can see the impression of the house on the new collection in its textures and its feeling of heritage.” Glazed earthenware flecked with free-flowing, painterly lines, cushions stitched with abstract floral motifs and throws finished in the geometric shapes and ephemeral colours that cover Charleston’s wardrobes and mantelpieces each, in their own way, convey the passion for home decorating, in a very literal sense, that its inhabitants became known for.

Chateau Denmark is one of London’s most exciting places to stay
Chateau Denmark is one of London’s most exciting places to stay (Chateau Denmark)

Charleston is very much open for visitors with a new exhibition and events programme, but for Londoners, Denmark Street’s newest hotel, Chateau Denmark, is one of the capital’s most exciting places to stay, and lends itself perfectly to the colder seasons. Inspired by its postcode’s iconic musical and cultural history, Chateau Denmark comprises 55 “session rooms” and apartments set in Grade II listed townhouses where acts including David Bowie, Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones recorded some of their greatest hits. Discrete recording studios preceded the towering headboards, the almost comically gothic fireplaces and furniture and the punkish art collection developed with art consultants, Artiq.

“When we came up with the design concept for Chateau Denmark we were fortunate to have some extraordinary listed buildings that provided the perfect backdrop for our gothic meets punk meets anarchy aesthetic,” says Jane Landino, the design director at Taylor Howes, the interior design studio responsible for the dramatic schemes at the hotel. “Many of the session rooms and apartments are set in Victorian listed buildings which have a richly layered history,” she says. “We wanted to go full-on with a rich, dark colour palette that would be voluptuous and enveloping as well as hedonistic.” To do this, Taylor Howes specified bespoke gothic fireplaces by Chisel and Vice, velvet curtains trimmed with luxurious black fringing, antiqued mirror ceilings and gargantuan “confessional style” wardrobes.

Craven Dunnill Jackfield has been producing exquisite Victorian-style tiles
Craven Dunnill Jackfield has been producing exquisite Victorian-style tiles (House of Hackney)

Also new for AW22 is an exciting new design collaboration from homewares company, House of Hackney, and ceramic and encaustic tile manufacturer, Craven Dunnill Jackfield. While this collection represents House of Hackney’s first foray into the category, Craven Dunnill Jackfield has been producing exquisite Victorian-style tiles in the Jackfield factory in Ironbridge, Shropshire, for 150 years, carrying out projects with Harrods Food Hall, Kew Gardens, and most notably, the Central Lobby at the core of the Palace of Westminster. The new collection sees House of Hackney’s Artemis print in ceramic “relief” for the first time, hand-dipped into colourful glazes and screen printed by tile artisans, each an artwork in its own right. “We couldn’t think of anyone more perfect than Craven Dunnill Jackfield to create our first tile collection with,” says Frieda Gormley, a co-Founder of House of Hackney, adding that, “they understood our vision and this collection brings our Artemis pattern to life in a totally new and elevated way”.

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