Frilling soft furnishings for 2020

A very Happy New Year to you, I hope you have had a lovely Christmas? It is a New Year’s Day blog tradition to take a look at which interiors trends might be making the headlines in the year ahead. Along with the pressing issue of sustainability, ‘Neo Mint’, ‘The Brownies‘  and Pantone’s ‘Classic Blue’ in the mix – the good news for upholsterers and curtain makers is that 2020 is also set to become the year of the sewing machine…

Frills v box pleats and scallops

In the blog’s humble opinion, bespoke decorative soft furnishings will be high on the agenda of those must have interior design ideas. On interior design moodboards up and down the country, the merits of tailored box pleats and scallops versus gathered skirt valences will be thrashed out amongst the swatches.

Along with the subject of just how much passementerie is ‘de trop’, I think we might also see the return of more elaborate curtain headings and pelmets along with luxurious upholstered walls.

Frilled skirt valence

Panther the Whippet asleep on Tuileries sofa in Dianthus Chintz, Imari, Soane.

Box pleat valance

Box pleated sofa made from two Jet Collection hand dyed linens. Photo: Charis White
Adorable Posy, Upscale Posy, Bird and Basket designs, with hand dyed and printed linens from the very special 1940s Jet Collection. The designs were by Susannah White’s grandmother, Joan Evelyn Thomas who was always known as JET. Photo: Charis White

Decisions, decisions

Lots of lovely decisions then, which might possibly require the guiding hand of an interiors expert to take you through the technical and style implications of all of these exciting possibilities.

You can either seek advice from interior designers (British Institute of Interior Designers) or from interior stylists such as myself with my affordable Styling Box service. Many curtain makers offer wide-ranging consultations too.

Part of a Styling Box for a client’s bedroom in Hampshire. Photo: Charis White
Charis White Interiors Styling Box with black and white striped ribbon
Affordable interior design service where clients receive samples and ideas in a beautiful and useful Styling Box. Photo: Charis White

Is 80s decorating back?

With all of these predictions, it begs the question posed on the blog in October 2018: Is 80s Decorating Back? The answer in January 2020 has to be a resounding yes! Would it be trite to suggest that there might even be a correlation between uncertain times and the amount of interlining and adornment with which we decorate our homes … ?!

The last time that there was such a focus on what Ben Pentreath (interior designer and architect) termed ‘old school decorating’ otherwise known as ‘English Decorating’ was in the 1980s. English Decorating represents a more formal form of decorating based on country house style.

Collage 2018-10-15 19_26_26
From blog post Is 80s Decorating Back?: Top left: Photo: Charis White; middle: Holly Mathis Interiors   right: photographer/designer unknown/pinterest; bottom left: Anna Spiro wallpaper at Sydney Harbour Paint co; midde:; right: Jennifer Barron Interiors.

Curtain headings

Frilly, flop back curtain headings capture the current mood beautifully. This swoony floor length pair are designed and made by Pippa Blacker Interiors using ‘Lavender in Aqua’ on white linen from Pippa’s own quintessentially English fabric collection.

Pippa Black Interiors curtains 1
The main curtain fabric is made from Lavender in Aqua on White linen, £65/m, by Pippa Blacker Interiors. 

Sustainble upholstery and slip covers

This is very much a design-led trend but one which enables re-upholstery and slip covers to be made sustainably for existing furniture. This is in fact a long held practice undertaken by stylists and interior designers for projects. As well as being sustainable, antique furniture, textiles and rugs make a scheme not only bespoke but so much richer in texture and heritage.

Photo: Atlanta Showhome/Pinterest on Charis White Interiors blog
Photo: Atlanta Showhome/Pinterest

Passementerie and sustainability

Whether budgets don’t stretch to new curtains or you are embracing sustainability, trims are a great way to update and give longer life to either existing or ready-made curtains.

You can hand stitch a trim on to the leading edge of each curtain which is where curtains often get the most wear and tear. Also, trimming a hem is good for covering any scuffs that have occurred as well as being a sweet way to give curtains (or blinds) a little more definition. I am a fan of really small gage trims (1.5 cm or so) as well as going a bit more jumbo width with them.

Florette corded braid in Tomato from the lovely new Theodore trimmings collection by Colefax & Fowler. Photo: Charis White
Endless choice of passementerie at Samuel & Son. Photo: Charis White
Posy and Upscaled Posy fabrics from The Jet Collection available to see in the glamorous new showroom on Pimlico Road, London. Note too the beautiful pleated edge on the chair in contrasting plain linen fabric as well as the thick fringed trimming on the leading edge of the curtain. Photo: Charis White

Thank you

You might also like to look out for a couple of interiors colour trend pieces I have compiled on behalf of The English Home magazine on ‘Freshly Minted’ and also ‘Back to Earth’ (aka The Brownies). This is in the February issue of the magazine – out early January 2020.

In the meantime, I would like to wish you a very happy and healthy New Year and to thank you so much for taking time to read my blog. If you have enjoyed it and would like to receive email alerts for future posts, then please just press the blue ‘follow’ button.  With best wishes, Charis x

Charis White, Interior stylist/writer. Photography:
Charis White, interior stylist/writer