Inspiration 02 February 2016

Furniture Show 2016

The latest trends in decor & design.

There's nothing like a good trade show to get the creative juices flowing, and the 2016 Furniture Show at the NEC in Birmingham was just the ticket.

Showcasing the latest trends for the coming year, it was chock full of interiors inspiration and design ideas.


The Scandinavian look is still very strong, with lots of natural blonde wood and simple, mid-century lines, complemented by a palette of cool black and white. Another colour coming through is pink, with every variation from fuchsia, to coral, to the palest powder hue.

There are lots of 'ice cream' colours too, like mint, vanilla and bubblegum blue: interiors follow fashion this year, so keep one eye on the catwalk for inspiration. Geometric patterns also feature heavily, on cushions and rugs, adding texture and eye-catching detail. 

Tetrad had a canny idea, turning their traditional carpet rugs upside down to show the muted colours of the reverse design. A great way to pep up a tired rug and create a whole new look without spending a penny!

Reclaimed timber furniture is still one of the favourite looks, with some great distressed painted finishes.  

I love the way this room set uses old doors to decorate the walls, and the mix of metal chairs and wooden benches for seating - a really nice, modern twist on the Industrial look. 

Photography is big this year, literally! Several of the stands used blown up images of beautiful places as a back drop for their furniture. It's quite easy to replicate if you fancy creating a real focal point in the room.

There are lots of murals and wallpapers that reproduce landscapes and cityscapes, or you can have your own photograph enlarged and mounted onto foam board, perspex or canvas.

My son fell in love with Paris on a school trip last summer, and surprised us all with his lyrical memories of seeing the Eiffel Tower and rooftops from the Arc d'Triumph - I saw this and thought it would look great on his bedroom wall. Not as big as you can go, but quite effective don't you think?

One of my favourite stands introduced the new G-Plan Edit, a carefully curated collection of sofas and armchairs handcrafted by this famous English brand.

I loved the mix of plush velvet and woven upholstery - some of which they'd used to make dresses and jackets! - and the rich, dark colours on the walls which contrasted so well with the sparkling gold and creamy-white fabrics.

Their stylist had also used pretty succulents to create living art on the walls - all so clever and contemporary. But also so classic.

Surfaces were covered with all sorts of interesting knick knacks, from 70's style earthenware pottery, to vases and glassware, to piles of colourful travel books, giving rooms an eclectic, boho feel.

Horses and Spanish art seemed especially popular, with coffee table collections of ceramic pots and figurines, and primary coloured prints by Picasso and Miro. Retro bits and bobs are big this year, so start collecting!