Simple, underworked, soft, urban, vintage design is very much the look of the moment.
With layered textures and materials at its core, the look is simple, restful, clean and fresh. Although very much in vogue today, it remains classic and timeless, employing a strong industrial influence using raw, pared-down, natural elements; creating, with the clever use of layering, a sophisticated and highly practical, yet comfortable and beautiful home.
Furniture is very simple with clean lines. Just because it has a utilitarian feel doesn’t mean to say that it shouldn’t be comfortable. With this look it’s easy to incorporate some real vintage or retro pieces of furniture, and it particularly suits mid-century pieces which, as originals, are easy to source, although there are many products available now that echo that period.
The emphasis for fabrics is very much on mixing textures rather than colours. Soft palettes suit the look and it works mixing linens and cotton, perhaps with some leather.
As shown here from the latest prestigious Mark Alexander collection, not only have they mixed the textures of the fabrics, they have juxtaposed them against a second layer of combined textures that make up the very fabric of the room: exposed concrete paired with bleached timber and slate on the floor. Patterns are minimal and monochromatic rather than bold and colourful.
LAYERING WITH ACCESSORIES
Accessories can further add to the mix by introducing another layer of materials such as soft metals. And, turning to lighting, there is an array of vintage-style pendant chandeliers and lamps in nickel and copper that blend with the subtle nuances of this soft, yet clean, style. The use of timber, whether in accessories or furniture, pairs beautifully with the collection of soft tones.
Colour is understated and almost blanched, with dramatic and eyecatching patterns replacing strong colours as the contrast. Instead of feature walls of bold colour, it is more effective to use a textured feature, such as exposed stone or wooden walls: painted or raw, they provide the perfect background.