Nikki Hunt, Author at Design Intervention

Since it’s inception sixteen years ago, the London Design Festival has become one of the most celebrated events in the design lovers calendar. The festival permeates most corners of the city with vendors from all over the world showcasing their latest products and ideas. With such a vast spectrum of things to see and do, the London Design Festival is pure inspiration and provides a preview into the trends that will dominate the design industry in the year ahead.

This year’s London Design Week was a riotous celebration of pattern, print and colour… I have written before about the trend for tropical prints, well this trend shows no sign of stopping and if anything seems to be getting bigger and bolder, encompassing all elements of both flora and fauna. Colours reigned supreme this year design festival, whether it comes in the form of Black Pop’s multicoloured rugs, or Pierre Frey’s latest range of wallpapers in vibrant shades and Matthew Williamson’s latest collection of fabrics for Osborne & Little, featuring a multicoloured large scale pineapple design.

It is Paris Design Week, and the French capital is teaming with exhibitions, installations and creatives types from across the globe, all eager to discover the latest ideas, the most current designs, and be amongst the first to enjoy a glimpse into future trends. But for yours truly, the greatest source of inspiration from France has been my trip to a much older showcase of great Design. This year, I took a short 30-minute trip outside the French capital to visit the Chateau of Versailles.

As I wandered through the magnificent halls, what struck me most was just how timeless, and relevant the designs are still. A world heritage site, the Palais de Versailles harks back to the year 1682 when King Louis XIV began the mammoth task of building the Palace on the site of his father’s former hunting lodge. The palace remained the principal residence of the Kings of France until the revolution in 1789. And many of the designs that the French King implemented over 3-and-a-half centuries ago, continue to influence the great designers of our time.

The opulence and grandeur are omnipresent. This palace was the palace that all later palaces were modelled on. It was the very symbol of extravagance I could so see why a French peasant farmer might feel that the national wealth was a tad unfairly distributed. So then how could such totally excessive gilt and glitz be relevant today, I hear you scream…

Peter Marino, Jacques Garcia, Kelly Wearstler, Mary Mcdonald, Jean Louis Deniot, Joseph Dirand, Pierre Yovanovitch these are some of the biggest names in design of the 21 st Century. Their works regularly grace the pages of International design periodicals and images of their work are some of the most “pinned” pictures on Pinterest. So where do these design gurus get their inspiration?

Color is the single biggest transformative tool that we have and luckily it is the easiest and cheapest to employ. A simple lick of paint can totally transform the look and mood of a room. The color of the walls (and ceiling) will set the tone for an entire space and effect everything from how you display your art to lighting. Design Intervention, is renowned for our love of color and we know that there is no wrong color: choose the color that inspires you. The trick is not the choice of color but the selection of the right tone. Within each color, there are a myriad of shades and these will allow you to pick the tone that works best with the natural light of the space and that will help you foster the mood that you are looking to create.

When selecting a colour, think about how much natural light the room receives throughout the day. Consider the other sources of lighting. Natural, fluorescent, and incandescent light can all change the look of a paint colour, which is why it’s important to see the colour in your home and assess how it changes throughout the day as the light.