The new-season interiors trends you need to know, from blue velvet and country-house chic to the 'little black chair'

Habitat's Mori blue sofa sits well against pale timber screening and furniture with black accents
Habitat's Mori blue sofa sits well against pale timber screening and furniture with black accents

The summer holidays might still be in full swing, but the autumn/winter homeware collections are already starting to filter on to the high street. If you’re planning on giving your home a refresh over the next few months, here’s how to stay one step ahead with a look at five key new-season trends.

1. Blue velvet

Blue is consistently voted the world’s favourite colour, and continues to be a popular choice for interiors, being associated with feelings of calmness and tranquility. Pale blue, cobalt and green-tinged aqua shades have all been on-trend recently, but in line with the current vogue for dark-toned rooms, blue in its deepest hues is the current colour of choice, particularly when it comes to another enduring trend: the velvet sofa.

At Habitat, navy blue velvet upholstery has seen a huge uplift (up 50 per cent on last year), across sofas, armchairs and dining chairs. Sofa.com also reports that blue is currently its bestselling hue, with Prussian and midnight-blue velvet being two of its most in-demand options with customers at the moment. Both brands have new versions hitting stores around now.

Monroe love seat in Prussian Blue velvet, £2,390, Sofa.com

There are several ways to style a deep blue sofa. With dark, inky walls or floors – try Annie Sloan’s new Oxford Navy paint colour – it will create a surprisingly warm, cocooning atmosphere in a sitting room. It also pairs well with Japanese-style pale woods (more on that below), and makes the perfect partner for blush pink, which remains top of the colour charts in terms of neutral shades.

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2. Country house 2.0 

The revival of a traditional, decorative style that has seen brown furniture and floral fabrics returning to the style agenda is set to continue this autumn with a raft of romantic collections. An alternative to the navy velvet sofa is the floral printed one: Sofa Workshop is continuing its collaboration with the V&A by reviving chintzes and chinoiserie patterns from the museum’s textile archive. 

Walpole sofa in Coromandel Rose, £3,369, Sofa Workshop (sofaworkshop.com)

To give this style a contemporary update, look for designs with a traditional aesthetic but modern colourways - the new fabric collection from interior designer Flora Soames, in a palette of bold blues, pinks and yellows, is a case in point. Soho Home is also launching a new collection in early September based on its original upscale country-house outpost, Babington House. Think comfortable pieces with an elegantly faded, vintage aesthetic: perfect for creating the sort of room you’ll want to retreat to come autumn with a good book and a cup of tea, served in Burleigh’s floral breakfast cup and saucer – a favourite among the aristo-influencer set.

Blue Asiatic Pheasants breakfast cup and saucer, £35, Burleigh (burleigh.co.uk) 

3. The new black

The blackened-wood trend that we noted earlier this year is starting to make its way from the high-end craft scene to the high street. John Lewis is predicting that the ‘little black chair’ is set to become a style icon in its own right in the dining room this season: its own variations on the theme include black-framed chairs with cane panels and wooden seats, which helps to lighten the effect.

New Indian brand Kam ce Kam, launching at next month’s London Design Festival, also has this look nailed, marrying traditional craft techniques with contemporary styling: cane and leather chairs, marble topped tables and spherical lamps, all anchored by a black base. Habitat has bistro-style curved-back black wooden dining chairs, combining a classic style with a modern twist, as well as black-legged coffee and console tables and slender wall and floor lamps.

Kinross dining chair, £250, John Lewis (johnlewis.com) 

The modern black is matt, rather than shiny; and slim, low-profile frames help to stop the look becoming overly heavy and imposing. French Connection’s black metal cocktail trolley shows that this industrial style can also have a glamorous flavour.

When paired with paler, neutral colours, the odd black accent in a lamp, table, dining chair or picture frame will bring a welcome bit of edge, and will similarly help to prevent pastel tones from looking too saccharine. Black, white and wood is a classic combination that won’t date – freshen it up with leafy house plants and botanical prints. 

Bar cart (available from late August), £250, French Connection Home (frenchconnection.com) 

4. Pale and interesting

As a counterpoint to the above, pale wood is also having a moment, in part a consequence of the Japandi (Japanese-Scandinavian) cross-cultural aesthetic. In design terms, both cultures share a fondness for clean lines, pared-back forms and natural materials, and for those not into the traditional brown furniture look, this is the lighter alternative: simple, well-crafted chairs and tables in lighter tones.

Several high-street brands are offering affordable ways to get this look: H&M’s new-season furniture comes in pale ash, with bamboo and paper lighting to match. The pale tones of woven furniture are also a good fit: try Made.com and French Connection for cabinetry and tables that mix wood with cane and rattan. It’s a look that fits in with several other current trends, making a good foil for deep paint colours.

Ash bench, £119.99, H&M Home (hm.com) 

Dark blue tones are a natural partner to blond wood in Japanese interiors: think indigo cotton bedlinen or a sashiko quilt (or, perhaps, a deep-blue sofa). Lighter woods also look great when teamed with black accent pieces, and make a warmer alternative to a monochrome palette. A mix of black and bleached-wood dining chairs around a wooden table is chic but understated: add baskets and chunky, hand-thrown ceramics for a wabi-sabi vibe.

5. Modern luxe

Those hankering for an altogether more glamorous interior won’t be disappointed this autumn: the concurrent trends for 1970s disco chic and 1930s art-deco opulence have dovetailed into an uber-luxurious style. Heal’s has embraced both eras in its new collection, referencing the vogue for curved furniture with crescent-backed sofas and plump chesterfields in jewel-toned velvets. 

Metallic finishes – particularly brass – continue to rule on lighting, occasional tables and accessories, and metallic threads are crossing over into rugs too. Again, Heal’s has this one covered, or try LuxDeco for affordable options. For walls, Crown Paints has launched metallic emulsions, which add a shimmery finish.  Marble also remains a key material for furniture and lighting, and coloured variations are offering a new take - particularly black, green and pink.

Tulip dining table in Fusion Fire pink marble by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, £15,259, The Conran Shop (conranshop.co.uk)

Swoonand Houseof both have affordable mixed-marble tables and lamps, while this season’s most coveted piece comes from The Conran Shop, which has a special edition of Knoll’s Tulip dining table in beautiful pink Fusion Fire marble (£15,000, since you ask).

From trad to modern, pared-back minimalism to full-on glamour, there’s something to suit most tastes – just pick your theme.