Podcast listeners will know that on last week’s episode Sophie and I had a discussion about where trends will come from in the absence of trade shows (currently taking place online) and the fact that many of us are no longer strolling past high street windows and past showrooms. Maybe this is where instagram and pinterest will become even more influential. All I can say is that I suddenly feel like checks are, or might be soon, a thing.
First is this heavenly kitchen belonging to the designer Matilda Goad as featured in the current issue of House & Garden. It’s not just the combination of sage green cupboards and plaster pink walls – we’ve all been looking at pink and green for a while now – but the added disruption of the red and cream tiles on the chimney breast. There are currently no tiles in my kitchen but if there were they would, right now, be checked. Topps Tiles have a fabulous collection of Minton Tiles in either rustic or smooth finishes and a variety of colours including a similar deep red and cream.
Then there’s that other great designer of the moment Beata Heuman, and if you think trends are something that flow through the ether I had gathered four images for this post and then a friend sent this me saying she wanted to do similar on her kitchen floor…. so there you go. And this, Beata points out in instagram is lino. Yes good old linoleum which is currently having a bit of revival as a) it’s much better than it was all those years ago when you remember it as peeling and yellowed in rented flats and b) it’s made from renewable sources (including linseed oil) and it’s eco-friendly as it can be recycled, re-used or reincorporated into the environment at the end of its life. Not to be confused with vinyl, which is a synthetic material made from petrochemicals. Marmoleum and Forbo are other brand names for lino.
Or what about this kitchen, via The Modern House, with its green and white chequered floor (also linoleum). Black and white is a classic of the genre (to coin a phrase) but the green looks fresher and brings a modern modern take to this kitchen. If you explore further you will see that again the walls are a soft pink but the owner has added yellow chairs to the mix to, once again, disrupt the now classic pink and green.
Staying with green and white and I couldn’t not remind you of the glorious El Fenn hotel in Marrakech where the pink has deepened to aubergine and there’s a hint of a yellow chair in the foreground. These are Zellige tiles, which are classic in Morocco, where they are traditionally made from clay near Fez. It’s not a cheap option but the shimmering finish and irregular handcut finish is always stunning. Try London Encaustic to see a range of colours.
So we’ve looked at classic Victorian tiles, eco lino and high end Zellige. Let’s finish with the DIY option of painted floorboards. This is another micro trend which has been gaining ground on Instagram as the designer Emily Wheeler recently did her hallway (and created a mini tutorial on her highlights look for DIY floors). She used three coats of Polyvine dead matt heavy duty floor varnish over the top which is a good tip for any painted floor, chequerboard or not.
And if you have five minutes and want to bring a happy tear (or three) to your eye then I urge to watch this flashmob playing Ode to Joy in Sabadell in Spain. I have watched it about three times (and counting) and it’s just heavenly.