“Botanical and tropical prints

are still popular, but the market is becoming saturated. Velvet is important now, as it suits the new ‘Biba-esque’, rich smokey colour palettes and jewel accent colours so well, helping to give them texture and depth – there is a definite focus on ‘luxe’ finishes. Digital printing has increased the possibilities of affordable, multicoloured painterly prints, photographic images and trompe l’oeil effects on walls.” A spokesperson for discount

retailer B&M also explains how velvet is a great combination with bright check prints. They say: “We’ve mixed bright check prints and velvet textures against a raw brick effect wallpaper to create a cool, glam industrial look. Faux effect wallpaper brings you all the style of natural materials with less of the expense.” Kate Butler, head of product development at Habitat, says the company has seen an 150% increase in velvet versus last year: “Key colours are emerald green, orange and purple; accounting for over half our velvet sales – so customers

are opting for quite statement finishes in velvet. We’re looking to introduce new velvet colours this year, as a result. In textiles also we’re seeing really good success with upcycled fabric from the Indian fashion industry being re-used for rugs and cushions, and also more traditionally-made fabrics, such as khadi cloth. “We’re also still seeing a huge demand in LED dimmable filament bulbs at Habitat. A lot of our new season lighting designs are based around bulbs being seen rather than hidden, so people are wanting more interesting filament bulb designs that complement these. In terms of fixtures, our design studio has been experimenting with how the light itself falls on walls, ceilings and floors and how that can radically alter the ambiance of a room. LED technology has allowed us to design lights that have a minimalist ‘barely there’ element to them where structural framework is secondary to washes of light and unusual lighting effects.”

Simon and Jenny conclude: “Furniture and accessories are

9 MARCH 2018 DIY WEEK 23

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