Cornwall LivingIssue #79

Homes à la mode

Enlist the help of Cornwall’s top interior designers and homeware brands to finally get your home improvement project off the ground.

It’s that time of year again; the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and we’re facing the prospect of spending much more time indoors than we did at the balmy heights of summer. It’s the time when many of us start looking to make those much-needed home improvements, not just to fill the time when the weather’s raging outside, but to make spending time at home a genuine pleasure. After all, nothing beats coming home and seeing all your hard work has paid off, but where to start?

Scandinavian style remains incredibly popular and seems to fit particularly well in Cornwall”

For some, a new kitchen is the order of the year, having put it off for too long. For others, redecorating the living room or updating a tired bathroom is top of the list. No matter the project, just settling on a design scheme that works can be enough to make even the most enthusiastic home improver put it off for another year. This is why we’ve spoken to some of Cornwall’s top interior designers and homeware brands, to get an insight into their forecasts and top tips for interior design trends in 2019. So go on, light the fire, make yourself a brew and get the inspiration you need to get your home project off the ground.

We’ll begin in the heart of the home with Arnold’s Kitchens. Company owners Leigh and Arnold tell us: “From our perspective, the trends for kitchens and interiors will stay with the raw material look; a natural, textural feel.” However, they also predict that pattern will begin to feature more, replacing block colours and adding interest. What’s more, clay and earthy materials, along with handcrafted pieces will also feature more prominently.

Leigh continues: “I envisage darker worktops featuring strongly in 2019, moving away from paler toned tops, and I’m also looking forward to using steel, iron and glass within our next projects.”

Similarly to Arnold’s Kitchens, Director and Interior Designer at Interiora, Megan Dack, reaffirms that patterned porcelain tiles will be a popular choice, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. The use of patterned splashbacks will really help those who are updating their kitchens to make a statement, and the porcelain tiles in particular present a stylish and stunning alternative that’s both durable and on trend. They can also be used for floors, making them all the more versatile!

What’s interesting about interior design, especially in as diverse a county as Cornwall, is how different companies and designers each have their own perspective on what we can expect. For instance, compared to Arnold’s Kitchens and Interiora, who both forecast the use of patterns, Isabel at Coastal Scandi suggests that darker kitchen cabinetry, with dark blues and blacks in particular, will prove a popular choice. Anybody who’s had the pleasure of appreciating the minimalist charm of a Scandinavian interior will no doubt agree that it’s a style that’s here to stay, but just like the world of design itself, it is constantly evolving. Isabel tells us: “Next year, think Scandi Noir for a chic and minimal modern space that is tough, practical and super-stylish.” She also recommends the new and elegant EM77 electric kettle – designed by Eric Magnussen for Danish brand, Stelton, describing it as “this season’s must have iconic kitchen accessory.”

Similarly, Mark Mitchell, owner of Stylehome, tells us: “Scandinavian style remains incredibly popular and seems to fit particularly well in Cornwall. Manufacturers like Umage take the story of Scandinavian design further than ever before, combining aesthetics, simplicity and functionality with thoughtful craftsmanship and environmental care.” A range of Umage homewares can be found in store at Stylehome, including furniture and lighting, all flat-packed in stylish boxes that help optimise global logistics, reducing storage and transportation costs, thus making them more accessible and affordable.

Next we turn to the advice of Ali Cary from The Cotton Mills in Truro who tells us that “mellow and dusky pastel hues are set to replace the cool greys in our neutral colour schemes”. These tones transform the narrative of simplicity from the industrial to the natural. From hand-drawn designs and textured weaves to soft shades of driftwood, blush and lichen, Sanderson’s ‘Port Isaac’ range brings the outside in, giving an image of serenity in an increasingly hectic world.

This brings us to another theme that seems to be emerging for the year ahead, which is embracing more earthy tones and, as Ali suggests, bringing the outside in. Indeed, greens seem to be prominent in many online trend forecasts, although we’ve learned already that Cornwall tends to do things differently. One thing that does seem to be translating into the Cornish interior scene is the idea of sustainability and reducing our environmental impact. The plastic straw revolution, for instance, has taken the UK by storm and has highlighted just how much difference a small change can make.

Thinking along this thread, we catch up with Julian Foye’s in-house design specialist, Sarah, who also suggests that ‘Scandi Noir’ will be a popular look moving into the New Year. What’s more, we’re told: “Natural sustainable products will feature more as we become even more conscious of our impact on the Earth. Wood dining furniture comes to life with the addition of vivid green plants; they breathe life into our space and,” you guessed it, “bring the outside in.”

In terms of colour, Sarah suggests that “dark grey will replace the cooler light grey on our accent walls, offset by warm copper or brass metal features on light fittings, and small occasional furniture pieces. A dramatic but cosy style for your home can be achieved by the introduction of a deep velvet colour, and we are seeing more choice of velvet fabrics over many of our upholstery ranges coming to the fore, with teal and other blues being the colour to watch in 2019.”

So, we’re starting to build a picture here that the key to 2019 is going to be keeping our homes feeling warm. Using more earthy colours, including greens and deeper blues, as well as indoor plants, we’re being encouraged to bring the outdoors in, to create a healthy and balanced style of living. Dani Affleck from Iroka takes this one step further. Agreeing that house plants will not be going away, and that “Forrest Green” will be one of the year’s main colours, he also foresees gold and burnt orange being popular – a bolder way of adding warmth, as well as just a little bit of flare, to your décor. She tells us: “The change in people’s awareness when it comes to sustainable materials and the damage that plastics are doing to the environment will spread to other areas of the house, making people more likely to draw away from using too much plastic, choosing instead more natural, less harmful materials.” Indeed, Dani continues: “This new way of thinking could shape a whole trend, coupled with the ongoing popularity of indoor plants and the mindfulness trend. Colours would be varying greens and a mix of textures with hints of gold. This will inspire people to choose products made closer to home from less conventional materials, reducing their carbon footprint.”

She also suggests – and we won’t dwell on this for too long – that British made products and traditional English country house style will become all the more popular in conjunction with Brexit, which is certainly something to bear in mind!


Penny from Merchants and Makers tells us how clients of late have shown a definite interest in artisanal, hand-printed fabrics. Rather than choosing mass-produced designs, Penny notes that they love experiencing the specific, handmade look. “Colour wise, greens are definitely very much there, along with pinks and also a lot of grey, but I think it’s going to be superseded by the greens and blues coming through.” And, similarly to what Dani from Iroka tells us, Penny believes that because of the uncertainty in the wider world, there is a greater demand for items made closer to home.

Penny also recommends the installation of automated Roman blind systems, remote controlled and powered by lithium batteries. Click here to find out more.

If you are looking to dress your windows, Westcountry Blinds specialises in manufacturing blinds that are tailored to fit non-standard windows, perfect for your unique Cornish home.

We can always rely on Elaine Skinner, founder of Camellia Interiors, to give us a good idea what to expect in the world of interiors, and for 2019 she tells us: “2017 was the year of the pink wall but in 2019, we are seeing more punchy paint colours making their way onto walls. Think emeralds, peacock blues and tonal reds, but basically, any colour other than cream or grey is bang on trend.” One recent project undertaken by Elaine and the team was the revamp of popular seaside restaurant, Hooked on the Rocks. They used Inchrya Blue – voted ‘Colour of the Year’ by Homes & Gardens magazine – which really adds a luxury feel to the décor.

“Our new favourite colour though,” Elaine continues, “is De Nimes No.299. This elegant blue feels wonderfully down to earth, so could be used on anything from a kitchen island to an airy drawing room. This shade is inspired by the cloth of everyday workwear made in the French city, Nimes,” and with the onset of winter, it really can help bring warmth to the airier spaces of your home.

Warren Bennett, owner of flooring specialists, Tre Concepts, tells us: “For coastal and modern homes, we recommend trying light oaks or Douglas fir to bring texture and softness. For more traditional homes, timber brings a sultry sophistication. Try a mix of modern narrow boards in warm enveloping hues then, bring up the sheen so the light and grain can play. Picture smooth scotch whiskey in a cut crystal tumbler and a warm winter fire.” That’s certainly an image we can get on board with!

So there it is! Hopefully you’ve found something to inspire the home improver in you, but remember interior design isn’t about following trends. Rather, the trends are there to help inspire you to discover what works best for your home. Start off by creating a mood board, pulling snippets from the web and magazines of styles that you like and ideas that you think will work for you. Soon enough you’ll have a clear picture of what you want to achieve, so you can make a start on updating your home, creating a new look that you’ll love coming home to as the nights start to draw in.


Going rustic?

If you’re looking to achieve a more rustic appeal, the Rustic House furniture showroom and coffee shop are most certainly worth a visit, drawing on 15 years of experience in the industry and offering unique, handcrafted and sustainable root furniture and reclaimed teak products. Read more here.

Sleep on it

The Cornish Bed Company champions time-honoured Victorian techniques to create stunning, hand-forged beds at its foundry in Par’s historic railway roundhouse. Discover the stunning new Classic Bed collection here.


Discover More

There are so many fantastic brands in Cornwall that can help you bring your home in vogue. Here are some more Cornish companies that you should definitely check out if you’re considering a home improvement:

Any Old Lights

Endurance Flooring

Retallack Kitchens

Tamar Trading Building Supplies

Cream Cornwall


Just Shutters

Jo&Co Home

"Scandinavian style remains incredibly popular and seems to fit particularly well in Cornwall"