Autumn/Winter 2021 interior design directions

As well as smart Buenos Aires design of the 1970s and a refreshing look at decorating with white, it is the smaller interior design details which have also been catching my eye this Autumn. The blog takes a look at some of these new design directions, looking in particular at the amazing wealth of artisan lighting we have in the UK. And If you haven’t got designs on an ‘indoor garden room or table’ by now, you might find that you do in 2022…

Artisan lighting

In the world of interiors, the US and UK have long had a symbiotic love affair with each other’s design sensibilities.

I can think of plenty of examples – Bobbin furniture being one of them – but the most recent was a lampshade feature in an edition of Schumacher’s (US wallpaper and fabric company now at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour) glossy interiors magazine Frederic, where 50% of the lampshades were from British designers.

Lighting up time

Reflecting this great well of lighting talent in the UK, I recently put together a feature for the October 2021 issue of Saga magazine. It was hard though not to be able to include the huge number of incredible designers out there.

Lighting in the feature ranges from £25 for a self-assembly shade from Papershades to £690 for Kit Kemp’s new Sleepy Robin porcelain table lamp collaboration with Porta Romana. Other designers included are Cressida Bell, Cambridge Imprint, Coldharbour Lights (you may remember featured on the blog in 2018), Lam-Lighting, Ilala, Arran, Noble Isle, Non-Standard, Vaughan and Tom Raffield.

Artisan lighting feature by Charis White in October 2021’s Saga magazine.
This is the Bronte porcelain pendant light with vintage style wire and ceiling rose, £120, They have a beautiful aesthetic and won’t break the bank. Photo courtesy of
Stylish handwoven in Africa Bulaway Garlic Gourd table lamps from seen here in The London Design Week collaboration with Collins & Green Art. Photo: Courtesy of Ilala Interiors
Queen of pendant lights is the sustainably sourced and very beautiful bespoke Titania rotary cut maple shade pendant light from
Sarah Blomfield is an Oxfordshire-based designer/artist who exquisitely handpaints lampshades to match fabrics, as well as painting murals, portraits, florals and landscapes.
Innovative as ever, new pendant light fromOchre at Focus 2021. Photo: Charis White

Decorative profiles

What is your preferred furniture profile, is it a Bobbin spindle or could you be persuaded by bamboo or the decorative wallcoverings of Lincrusta (a 19th Century company at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour who make hardwearing wallcoverings from linseed)?

Interior designers are once again favouring these highly defined furniture profiles and it seems that clients cannot get enough of them either.

Received design wisdom has Bobbin styled as an accent chair, sofa or footstool but Clockhouse Furniture completely sold me the idea of a whole room filled with Bobbin furniture, lighting and mirrors at Focus in London this week.

No different perhaps from the Mid Century styling of a suite of matching Ercol furniture…

Bobbin furniture from Clockhouse Furniture at Focus 2021
Elizabeth wallcovering by
Exquisite collection of occasional furniture and upholstery handmade to order by David Ellis by Robin MyersCough Studio in collaboration with Lascombe Hill. Photo: Mike Garlick Design.

Brown antiques

I loved this painted chest of drawers from Lostwithiel Antique Centre in Cornwall, but as you can imagine, it didn’t hang around long!

Geometric painted Victorian chest of drawers, Lostwithiel Antique Centre. Now SOLD.

The new garden room

Next to the desirability of home offices, wine cellars, flower and utility rooms, the wellbeing that an indoor botanical space offers is fast becoming a must-have for home and flat owners alike. For those unable to dedicate a whole room, the styling of a ‘garden console table’ is definitely as much fun as the styling of a drinks or dressing table!

Gorgeous forest of greens including Helen Cormack’s new Heligan wallpaper, along with the blinds, from Namaysamay in the Tissus D’Helene window for Focus 2021.
New Heligan wallpaper by Helen Cormack at Tissus D’Helene

I recently saw the most divine example of a garden room which is still under construction in a West Berkshire village. It was being decorated with a playful use of scale, colour and plenty of texture by way of vintage and antiques. I think it is going to be breathtaking when it is finished.

The sheer drive and imagination that many people had in lockdown to grow their own has been hugely inspiring, with flat owners in particular finding any space they could to bring nature into their homes.

Section of the fabulous new Martinique wallpaper panels mural by Osborne & Little. Photo: Charis White

Several fabric and wallpaper companies are reflecting this passion with lots of new glamorous botanical and geometric designs, meaning that you can green up your space with decorating as well as plants.

New Kanoko Green from Kensington Walk Collection by Zoffany at Focus. Photo: Charis White

Get the garden room look

Key accessories to look out for a garden room include copious amounts of trailing house plants, lemon and olive trees, rattan furniture, oversized baskets for plants, trellis, vintage and antique console/sideboards, plant pots, natural roller blinds, wall sconces and nicely foxed mirrors.

Selection of vintage gardenalia by Beavers Pots as seen at the recent White Door Brocante in Berkshire. Photo: Charis White

Artisan furniture

It was lovely to see this beautifully crafted felt stool and rug in the Contemporary Applied Arts pop-up at Focus.

Contemporary Applied Arts stool in the pop-up gallery at Focus. Photo: Charis White

Tailored upholstery

Gorgeously distracting tailored upholstery and soft furnishings are definitely here to stay.

Cashmere covered oval footstool with jumbo fringing by Robert Langford at Focus. Photo: Charis White
Upholstery with Christopher Farr fabric and trimming designed by Kit Kemp in the window of Porta Romana at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Photo: Charis White

Small prints

There are some lovely small prints around including this very pretty new collection by Alice Sergeant at Tissus D’Helene.

Najwa Reverse 100% linen by Alice Sergeant at Tissus D’Helene Photo: Charis White

Art collaborations

Miranda Vedral who runs Ilala Interiors, a company that sells beautifully designed handmade African woven accessories, is a great collaborator with other like-minded buisnesses. Miranda opened her West London drawing room as part of London Design Week with Julia Collins who runs an online art consultancy Collins and Green. Loved how they styled their work together.

Photo: Courtesy of Ilala Interiors

Interior designer’s new wallpaper collection

I love this new beautifully designed and printed wallpaper collection from interior designer Susie Atkinson’s new collection in collaboration with Ellen Merchant.

Dipley and Wild Daisy wallpaper designs from Susie Atkinson’s new collection designed in collaboration with Ellen Merchant.

Styling Box

I hope all is well with you in your world of interiors?

If you are looking to make some changes, Styling Box is my affordable interior design service which might just be able to help you make some informed design decisions.

Styling Box by Charis White. Photo: Alex White

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you had a nice cup of coffee or glass of wine whilst you scrolled as it is a bit of a long post this time!

With very best wishes,

Charis x

Charis White, interior stylist/writer. Photo: Fiona McLean Photography

6 thoughts on “Autumn/Winter 2021 interior design directions

  1. Morning. Yesterday I spent a while looking at pendant lights for new kitchen I’m planning!!
    This morning reading yr inspiring blog I think I might have found them. Love Lam Lighting – just look so new and different. So thanks Charis!! X
    So thanks Charis


  2. I absolutely love Kit Kemp’s Sleepy Robin lamp! Fabulous. I also loved Cressida Bell’s lovely oak leaf green lamp and shade at a much more affordable price in your Saga article! Love all the bright colours in the soft furnishings. Super. X


    1. Aw, thank you Jo. There is so much joyful design this season with which to line our nests. I also love how alongside all the skill, there is a sense of humour with some of the lighting. Just what we will need as the days get shorter. Xx


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