The Interior Microtrends To Look Out For This Season

The Interior Microtrends To Look Out For This Season

Not every trend arrives with a bang – some gain traction more slowly, even if their influence ends up being just as strong. In the interiors world, there are three microtrends worth knowing about this month – café curtains, marbled ceramics and painted chequerboard floors. Here’s what you need to know…

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Cafe Curtains

We love the newest revival of café – or tiny – curtains. Ideal for a little additional privacy without overwhelming the entire window or blocking out all the light, they’re fast becoming popular among the design set. For example, interior designer Natasha Howard recently used them in an attic room. "I wanted some privacy, but also to let the daylight glow through into the space in a gentle way. It was for a little girl’s room, so I sourced this delicate antique linen, which made it feel that little bit more special," she says.

Gemma Moulton, founder, East London Cloth, designs and makes café curtains. “They sit well with other window dressings and are not such a definitive choice between dark and light, perhaps in the way that shutters might be. They can be as elaborate or simple as you'd like, too. I've made ones in gingham, added a frilled top or decorative border, or even just a simple embroidered motif. But equally, a simple and pared back off-white linen looks lovely. Part of the joy is that, once the fittings are there, they can be changed or altered over the years if you want a bit of a refresh.”




Fabric-wise, Gemma rates linen as her top choice. “Polyester tends to cause static and therefore sticks to the window, whereas cotton is sometimes preferable in a space with poor ventilation. Yes, linen will tend to crease once damp and become harder to maintain but for me, the drape and quality is incomparable. We source ours directly from a mill in Ireland, and normally opt for an off-white, as brilliant white tends to look quite stark. Remember to consider the weight – anything between 100-150gsm is good – any heavier and you tend to lose light, while going lighter will mean you compromise on privacy. When it comes to fitting them, we provide solid brass pole and brackets with our curtains.  Traditional wire will get the job done, just bear in mind the middle of the curtain may sag a little.”

East London Cloth’s cafe curtains start at £80 including pure linen fabric and solid brass pole/brackets. They are made to order in your own sizing and come complete with all fittings and a fitting guide.

Painted Chequerboard Floors

Directly influenced by classic Victorian tiles and lino checked floors, the newest iteration of the chequerboard trend sees hand-painted designs in a range of soft colours and hues. Generally offering a lighter take on the traditional approach, the slightly worn finish allows the wood grain to shine through, offering a more rustic, rougher finish than tile.
‘Geometric shapes are easy-peasy to create and look really modern, so they can give your floor a whole new lease of life,” says colour and paint expert Annie Sloan. “Just make sure you use a neutral colour first to create a base. This is an obvious one, too, but always start at the furthest point from the room and use the right tools. Get a pencil, a tape measure, and draw out the guidelines before applying masking tape to ensure sharp lines. Using the correct brush will help, too – a small brush with flat edges will help keep the lines sharp.” 



Marbled Ceramics

Named after the town in France where it’s made, specially crafted marbled earthenware – called Aptware – is designed to make a statement. Handmade in Apt, Provence, using a traditional technique dating back to the 18th century, these ceramics were originally crafted in the varied clay hues that make up Apt’s diverse terrain. “I worked closely with one particular French artisan to create a collection of beautiful pieces for Wicklewood,” says co-founder Caroline Downing Nadel. “Different families’ Aptware recipes are a closely guarded secret and the time-honoured marbling technique passed down through generations makes each piece one-of-a-kind, and therefore extra special.”



Marbling without blending the colours is a highly skilled process and there aren’t many producers around. But you can find some lovely colourful marbled ceramics which give a similar effect. Display them either as a standalone decorative piece, or mix and match with other colourways or plainer ceramics – the choice is yours.

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