Interiors Trends 2018

I know I said I wasn’t going to do it but I keep being asked. So I’ve had to think about it and once I’d thought about it it seemed a waste of think not to include it here. And then when I was offered a set of images to do with my words it seemed that I should. So I have. And here it is: interiors trends 2018.

soft textiles in pink and green by rose&grey

It’s not exhaustive. Such lists never are but it’s a few things that you might a) notice more and this is why b) want to look out for c) want to avoid d) inexplicably find yourself drawn to even though you swore you wouldn’t because you remember it first time round.

The pictures are all by Rose & Grey showing their new collection of furniture and homewares.

velvet sofas and panelled walls are very 2018
velvet sofas and panelled walls are very 2018

Which leads me neatly to the first one. The 1970s are back. But not in the same way they once were. Back then it was pine cladding on the walls and corduroy on the furniture. This time round it’s wood panelling and velvet. The idea is the same – warm and cosy and tactile – but the feel is more grown up and luxurious. In short it’s homely. It’s about creating a space you want to be in when the world outside is a bit scary and uncertain.

grey velvet sofa and panelled walls via rose & grey
grey velvet sofa and panelled walls via rose & grey

It’s also about bringing in a little bit of luxe. Velvet looks expensive. It can be. But, these days it’s can also be affordable and stain resistant so it’s practical as well. So it’s 70s refined if you like. Which is all a bit more palatable for those of us who, as small children can remember a feeling of panic when you walked in into the sitting room and couldn’t immediately see your parents and then realised it was because their corduroy dungarees were indistinguishable from the sofa they were sitting on.

bring in lots of greenery in plants - real or fake and luxurious textiles
bring in lots of greenery in plants – real or fake and luxurious textiles

So that’s the first trend. And do remember when we talk trends in fashion we are thinking about things that come and go in a season. When we talk about trends in interiors it’s a much longer and slower burn. Things might start to appear in magazines when they are first spotted at trade shows, you then gradually start to see them more and more but you won’t actually know anyone who has them in real life. It reaches its peak on instagram and then it comes into real life. That takes about two years. The trend itself can then last for another two – yes the early adopters and fashionable will move on but you don’t have to – especially if you love it. Then it might fade for a couple of years. So you have time to get into an interiors trend.

wabi sabi celebrates the art of imperfection and the beauty of the handmade object - even if it wasn't.
wabi sabi celebrates the art of imperfection and the beauty of the handmade object – even if it wasn’t.

And sometimes, if a thing is so popular it becomes a classic. Grey walls have done that. Grey is now the new neutral. Copper has bloomed and is now fading. Velvet and brass are classics that come and go along with marble – you can buy those with impunity.

wabi sabi celebrates the art of imperfection and the beauty of the handmade object - even if it wasn't.
brass, velvet and marble will never go out of fashion

Right now that we’ve sorted out that out, you can look at these velvet Rose and Grey sofas with fresh eyes because it’s only the colour you have to worry about. And yes, at the moment, it’s not only the materials of the 70s but the colours as well. Millennial pink may have peaked (for the record I don’t think it has) but it’s deepening and darkening to a warm terracotta, a deeper blush and even a burgundy. All the warm colours will continue to dominate for the next few seasons. Grey is still around but perhaps on your walls as a backdrop to these warmer shades. Although because it is such an immensely adaptable colour you can fill a grey sofa with warm coloured cushions and it will show them off beautifully so don’t worry if you have just bought that colour. I have one. It’s still good for a while yet.

fake plants are perfect, a plant cushion is an ironic nod to a trend
fake plants are perfect, a plant cushion is an ironic nod to a trend

Now that you’ve set your warm theme, you are also going to want plants. Greenery is still strong whether it’s a throwback to the 70s or a desire to be more closely connected to nature. Either way you need to bring a plant in and if you can’t grow it, fake it. And if you don’t fancy faking it then you can bring in some another way – like these cushions for example which aren’t so screamingly of the moment as the botanical prints but are a sort of ironic nod to the trend. A knowing wink that shows you don’t take all this trend stuff too seriously but that you are, of course, completely aware and switched on.

pink velvet sofa from rose & grey
pink velvet sofa epsom from rose & grey

Another trend which has been quietly floating around in the background for a couple of years without ever really pushing itself to the fore is Wabi Sabi, an ancient philosophy rooted in Zen Buddhism about celebrating the art of imperfection. Translated into 21st century that means handmade stuff where you might see the fingerprint of the creator, or a crooked line, an uneven glaze. This has been around under various guises- handmade, artisanal, makers’s trend – all those sorts of words and that’s basically what it means. Your things may be mass-produced but we want them to look like they were handmade by rustic artisans in huts in hot countries. For a Fair Trade price and full workers’ rights included of course. Sometimes it is indeed easier to buy that look wholesale from the factory.

warm colours are perfect for 2018
warm colours are perfect for 2018

The final trend we are going to look at today is the return of the curve. And no, Shirley I wasn’t talking about your hips. Hard lines and straight edges are out – like Arnie they will be back because you know what came after the 70s….  but we’re not going there yet – in the meantime we’re all about soft shapes, curves and gentle silhouettes which all fit with the nesting and homely feeling that the current mood is all about.

curved shapes and soft silhouettes are on trend for 2018
curved shapes and soft silhouettes are on trend for 2018

And that, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about the current trends. It’s not what it looks like, it’s how it makes you feel. And if it makes you feel cosy and safe and At Home, then it’s on trend. And arguably, that’s not even a trend  but the way your personal pile of bricks and mortar should always make you feel.


Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. I love all of these sofas…blush pink is gorgeous. Unfortunately we have three cats so that colour is totally out of the question. Can I throw something out here? We live in a flat and are changing from 20 year old laminate flooring in the living room to carpet. I wanted to go grey but hubby refused so we (he) chose Airforce blue which, thank god, actually looks more grey than blue. We will be replacing the threadbare sofa but no idea what colour to choose. If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate them. I know the saying is you only get what you pay for but sadly, after the carpet, we are left with just under £2k. No breathing space…that’s it.

  2. If you still like your furniture, keep it.
    I love all these images. Alas I live in a modern home but I can apply some of the ideas, wall panelling which I really like would be a step too far.

    1. Janet I am in a modern build albeit it’s slightly more sympathetic to a more traditional style home with higher ceilings etc but I have put in my own wall panneling effect in several of my rooms and it has resulted in a timeless look with different effects in each room, I love the character it has brought to my home, don’t be scared to give it a go, you can always change it back

  3. As our family home hasn’t been fully redecorated for ten years (yes, I know…take the shame), I have been reading interior blogs a lot lately. I LOVE this colour combo, the blushing pinks, burgundy, and is that pine green? It’s gorgeous. These are the exact colour combinations I frequently used as a fashion/textile student, and my tutor would refer (pejoratively) to my ‘interesting’ colour combinations…what did he know!

  4. I love pink and green. And velvet. And wall paneling. And everything else in this article.

  5. I am of an age to remember the 70’s but I didn’t wear corduroy dungarees or have corduroy sofas. I’m also the right age to have g plan teak furniture in my home that is in lots of magazines. My question is if I keep my furniture does it look old fashioned (because I’m over 60) or up to date. I am still drawn to a Scandinavian look. Decisions, decisions.

    1. Keep your furniture because it’s genuine and not a modern version or copy. You will look up to date and cool and younger people will want to buy it off you. Don’t let them!

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