Could this winter be the time when we finally move away from the cool, leggy minimalism of Scandinavian furnishings and their accompanying pale colours?
While the restrained aesthetic, with its clean lines, light timbers and excellent functionality hails from the iciest of climates, we seem to be feeling the need for snugglier interiors and warmer colours.
Interior designer Camilla Molders is passionate about colour.
“Colour makes you feel,” says the designer, who has been transforming Melbourne interiors for 20 years.
“My home is full of colour and when I walk in, I exhale immediately.”
Ms Molders believes that rather than showing off the latest trends, homes should reflect the individuality of the people who live there, and colour is a very easy way to “get your personality across”.
Balance is important, she says, and different shades can’t just be thrown together. The power of colour is not only its ability to shape and enhance a room but, used thoughtfully, it can be very comforting and nurturing.
“When done well, it’s a superpower.”
In winter, texture combined with colour adds warmth and a sense of wellbeing to a home.
“Cushions, throws and rugs will change the feel of a room easily. Just a little bit of colour with some cushions will make a big difference.”
Ms Molders’ interiors are assured and finely detailed, with patterned curtains and often textured or patterned wallpapers. If she can’t find the perfect piece of furniture, she will design what is required and have it made.
“There is so much that you can have made in Melbourne and the quality is excellent.”
She has created some beautiful, moody-blue interiors and says blue is easy to work with and easy to live with.
“Navy is interesting. It’s a shade that recedes and allows other colours to shine. If you have a navy couch, for example, you can add colourful cushions and get a different look each time.”
“I think people are coming out of the grey era and realising that they want a little more around them,” Ms Molders says.
For Sydney interior designer Nina Maya, everything starts and finishes with nature.
“The textures of natural materials are my greatest inspiration,” Ms Maya says. “They have true warmth and integrity, and I build my designs on that.”
The homes she designs are richly layered, often deeply coloured showcases of timber, stone and metals. Soft furnishings are made of silk, cotton or linen with cashmere or wool playing a comfy cameo in winter.
Neutral colours, she says, have a calming effect and visually expand the size of the room. Neutral, however, doesn’t mean a lack of drama.
Curves and unusually shaped furniture make interesting counterpoints to an interior’s sharp corners and straight lines. Small pieces of furniture, such as occasional tables, stools or ottomans, can be faceted, asymmetric or sinuously rounded. Ms Maya’s jewel-coloured lounges, curved like a cuddle, are deeply appealing.
“Homes have lots of square spaces and curves soften them,” she says.
Ms Maya also uses curtains for dramatic effect as well as visual softness.
“I love curtains. I love the weight of natural linen and the way it hangs. I recently lined a wall with curtains and lit it from above with strip lighting which highlighted the folds.”