Trends 2018 summed up by one Lamp

Now, as many of you will know last week was the London Design Festival, now in its 16th year, and, of course, each year is bigger than the previous one. Last year there were some 450,000 visitors from 75 countries and I’m sure there will turn out to have been more this time.

mustard velvet lamp via
velvet fringed lamp coming soon to rose & grey 

Among all the breakfasts and dinners, displays and stands and talks and seminars there were writers, bloggers and designers running around trying to see new things, discover new trends and work out what we’re all going to be buying and selling over the next year.

It’s impossible to get round everything and there’s sort of no point in trying. I gave a couple of talks and saw as much as I could but the week coincided with a week of life stuff – car mot, cat vaccinations and work deadlines so I mostly sat back and observed. Which can be a good way to get an overview as otherwise we all choose want we want to see and only look at that.

But this way there were a few consistent themes I noticed. Which led me to today’s post because I think this lamp sums up everything that is happening in interiors at the moment, and so if you wanted to buy one thing to update your house then this lamp might be that thing.

pink velvet fringed table lamp via trouva
pink velvet fringed table lamp via trouva 

Let’s examine it a little further. First up, there really wasn’t much grey around this year. Having said that with so many stands to visit you can, to a certain extent, always find what you are looking for. So the Scandi minimalists will have found plenty to make them happy while the colour lovers will have been going into raptures over a maximalist wallpaper three feet further along.

That said, there definitely wasn’t as much grey as in previous years. But what there was was a huge amount of rich, warm colours. Pink is still strong – they may have changed its name from millennial and blush to rose or sulking room or whatever else they fancied but it’s still dusky pink and it’s still there.

Yellow is gaining ground. There have been attempts to call it Gen Z yellow to follow on from millennial pink ( I don’t see that catching on myself) but call it what you will – ochre, mustard, turmeric, saffron, gold, brass, er – yellow? Loads of it. Masses. But no lemon and not primrose – warm shades only. And mixed, very often with said dusky pinks and beiges.

dusky pink velvet table lamp
dusky pink velvet table lamp from rockett st george

Velvet is still a huge story but it’s interesting that as well as swathing our sofas and cushions it’s now moved onto the lighting. Which is the new bit. And, finally fringing. That came back from the Paris shows in January and is starting to make its presence felt in shops and online now.

So that’s why this lamp ticks all those boxes. And in terms of it fitting into your current decor? Well if you’re all grey it will bring in a touch of warmth, which is what we’re all about at this time of year. Grey and gold has always been a luscious combination. If you’re all dark then this will bring a splash of light to a corner (literally) and if you’re ahead of the current game and your walls are pale then this will also work to add definition and warmth.

Now obviously these aren’t all the trends but this is a big part of them. We’ll look at more in coming weeks. I should also point out that this lamp also comes in black and brown velvet, the latter is a particularly strong colour at the moment in all its versions from capuccino to bitter chocolate. And there’s also a grey version if you’re all about classic, the velvet and fringing still makes it current and warm.

See? Can’t lose. It’s available at various prices at various places so I’ll let you decide which suits you best.



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. So strange that this lamp has elicited such polarised views! I like it, and if I bought it I wouldn’t throw it away once it’s ‘no longer on trend’. You should buy things for your home because you love them, & if they fall out of trend it doesn’t matter. No one has ever come round to my home and said ‘oh that’s no longer on trend’!

  2. That lamp has three clear problems: 1) it’s everywhere already, 2) as you note, it’s decidedly trend, and so 3) people will therefore tired of it in no time. As a result, whether you like it or not right now, it just represents the worst in disposable furniture. Am sure it’s well made, but when people tire of it, it will just get chucked out or end up in charity shops. And on that basis alone, I am firmly in the No camp.

  3. I have bought a mustard one. It’s fab. It’s always good to shake things up a bit. I have some original 1930s linen fabric printed with indigo leaves and mustard bananas. It goes perfectly with this. I also have an original 1970s velvet lamp in a brown check. It doesn’t get particularly dusty but perhaps I just don’t notice!

  4. I can’t believe how strongly people dislike this flamboyant lamp! Very funny and I get it, it’s OTT with actual fringing on top- how very theatrical.
    It is certainly a striking piece and as Kate said, epitomises so much that is on trend. In the right space I think this would be gorgeous and as proved here, it’s certainly a conversation piece!

  5. Count me in as one of the, apparently, happy few who do like this lamp. Would I buy it? I don’t know.. depends on the price and the amount of light it diffuses. There is no point in buying a lamp if it won’t shine..

  6. Screams ‘fashion moment’ to me.

    However I do love all the ideas. Velvet, Shape, Colour. Makes me think you can’t just chuck all the good ideas together and just expect it to be fabulous. Editing is key.

    But really, when does a fringe ever REALLY look good?

  7. Hi Kate

    You mentioned doing a follow up with some of the stockists in a few months……..I am sure this ugly lamp will be in the deeply discounted section but would love to know the truth. I hope you do another posting about this lamp! As I child of the 70’s, it is not an era that I want to re visit.

  8. Kate like others, love your blog and generally like 98% of what you share, but agree with others, this looks like a Blue Peter “make” that went wrong. Also wanted to share there are men out here reading your blog!

    1. Welcome Gordon, I’m thrilled to have you here although sorry to upset you with the lamp! I think, as I said elsewhere, the trends are all there but maybe that’s the problem – too much in one go.

  9. Oh dear. I’ve seen this lamp a fair few times and I love it! I wouldn’t buy it because it looks like it’ll end up dusty, but I really do love it. I love the squat shape, the colour, the material and the fringe. I could see it I an eclectic/elegant bedroom.

  10. Ugh. I often complain about pieces that are unavailable in Canada, but not this time! That has got to be one of the fugliest things I’ve ever seen, and I lived through the 70s.

  11. I can’t believe this has generated such a negative response, I must be the only one who thinks this lamp is quite fun! It’s being sold everywhere already – give it a few months and this will be all over Instagram and then everyone will want one.

  12. Kate, your posts are wonderful but not even you can convince me on this one. I have been viewing it on numerous sites and think as Sigrid it must be an ugly joke. Sorry.

    1. Well I’m not sure I thought this lamp would be that polarising! But I love that we’re all talking about it. When I first saw it I didn’t like it either but I suppose I have seen it so much that I have got used to it. It’s more about the ideas behind it than the light itself though.

  13. Everyone seems to be selling this lamp – Abigail Ahern stocks it too. I’d avoid it like the plague, as it will be so ubiquitous!

  14. I’m sorry but that is an absolutely horrific lamp. Anybody who buys that is doing it because it’s trendy and not because they actually like it, surely. Surely?!

  15. Mad About the House is my first blog-read every day (except W, S & S of course). It’s so interesting to see what the home design world thinks up and hopes people will buy. It must be risky–balancing dreams with consumer tastes. This lamp finally inspired me to comment–just to say it reminds me of the 1970s. So do some of the colours I’ve been seeing here. The 1980s were all about deploring the colours and shades of the 1970s (while reviving the 1960s), so it is interesting that the design world is safe for fringes, mustard, orange and dusky pink velvet again.

  16. I like velvet (especially in winter) and I have always loved ochre and mustardy colours. However not in this combination!

      1. I think you’re right about it being the combination – it’s the fringe that makes me say no. My gran had devoré velvet curtains in the 70s in mustard and olive green. They had a gold fringe just like this, as did the matching lamp shades. The colour and the fringe together is too strong a reminder even if separately the elements are on-trend. It is hilarious that this post has aroused such passion though!

  17. Ummm, no. No. (And I wear velvet obsessively from October to March)
    And won’t they all end up a little grey whatever colour you choose? Electricity + velvet = dust attractor

    1. Interesting. I have a seen a few velvet lampshades recently – after all they tend to be so thick that they don’t diffuse the light at all but it’s a relatively new material for a shade so we shall have to see how/if it takes off.

  18. I love your posts, even when my response to what I see is, as it is here: “Nooooo!”. This lamp is a great reminder for me that I’m happy in my unfashionable lack of aspiration to dress either myself or my home with trend in mind.

    1. When I first saw your reply I wasn’t sure what you meant – my writing or the lamp but having seen the rest of the comments, I’m now laughing at the horror this light has provoked.

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