Take bold colour, flamboyance and exotic design, shake it up and you have a winning decor cocktail.
As all eyes turn to Brazil for the football World Cup, why not be inspired by the wild spirit of the famous Rio Carnival to raise the temperature in your own home?
“When we think of carnival, we think of the colour, energy and downright joie de vivre of Rio,” says Sarah Quilliam, head of product design for window blind specialists, Hillarys. “There is something about the vibrancy of it all which inspires happiness and excitement, so why not let go of your inhibitions, go ‘taupeless’ and bring the party to your home?
“We recently surveyed over 1,000 people, and those who liked bold, bright colours were likely to be four times happier than those who preferred beige. People who liked red/pink, orange, yellow and blue/green were the happiest of all, so it would appear that if you want to create an upbeat, positive vibe in your home, de-beige and inject pulsating pops of happy-hued South American inspired colour into your decor, for an instant mood-brightening pick me up.”
This jungle look is a natural development from the explorer trend; picture schemes featuring travellers’ trunks and accessories, and global influences which capitalise on our increasing love affair with colour.
It’s been embraced by designers who’ve created dazzling patterns and prints with leaf motifs and exotic birds (parrots are rapidly elbowing out stags as the must-have accessory), which pair beautifully with natural materials like wood, bamboo and wicker, and will last well beyond the sporting tournament.
Even if our hopes are dashed on the playing field, this bold palette will win compliments on the home front. So conjure memories of sunnier climes with carnival-like fabrics and fruit-salad shades...
PINK KICKS: Pink is synonymous with partying, fun and frivolity, and adding this sizzling shade to a decor scheme will ratchet up the ‘look at me’ factor. Bold colour lovers could combine it with orange.
“If your home is overdue for a makeover, consider injecting hot colour as a way to shake things up. Pick hues you love, which you’ll be comfortable keeping for a good long time,” says Mike Constable, managing director of JAB International Furnishings.
“If you love hot pink but can’t see it splashed all over your own walls, consider painting an interesting piece of furniture or add a tablecloth in the kitchen. Gorgeous pink cushions scattered on garden furniture will heat up an outdoor space.”
CARNIVAL CHOICES: H&M’s home collection is packed with inspiration with its pink pattern accessories. A Floral Seat Cushion, £6.99; Multistriped Cotton Cushion Cover, £7.99, and Cotton Tablecloth, £12.99.
If you want to make an investment in pink — and a statement — opt for a piece of furniture. The DFS range is full of stylish surprises, and a great example is the Colby Patterned Accent Chair, £698, featuring fashionable zigzags in pink, orange, brown and grey.
A classic Duke Armchair by Conran, £1,199, Darlings of Chelsea, can be upholstered in a fuchsia pink, while Very’s useful Luxor Sofa Bed, £269, is also available in bright pink. Take the look into the bedroom with pink patterned cotton bedding from the Gudri Collection Bedlinen range, £30-£89, Graham & Green.
WINNING DETAILS: For frivolity and decadence, it’s hard to beat a Popping Pink Chandelier, £499, The French Bedroom Company.
ORANGE SCORES: Orange is reminiscent of glowing, tropical sunsets and this vibrant, citrus hue can enliven a room. “Hot orange packs a nice punch and it pairs well with warm, white oak floors. Use wallpaper or paint for an accent wall in an otherwise light and neutral space,” says Constable.
“Intense orange walls can be a bit too bright for some. You may want a more relaxed vibe, so smaller doses of the colour - via linens or curtains - work well.”
CARNIVAL CHOICES: Bring heat to walls with a burnt orange paint. African Adventure 3, £24.49 for 2.5L from Dulux Paint Mixing’s Do It Now collection. A Shade Wilder is one of my favourite wallpaper companies and has truly stunning designs - the Flamingo Beach Wallpaper in Calypso, £40 a roll, is perfect.
Curtains, throws and cushions in patterned, dusty orange fabrics, teamed with browns, will easily bring an exotic, faraway feel to a space, and Hillarys Enigma Sunset patterned blinds, from its pleated collection, which cost from £161, are bang on trend. Even more exotic are Carlucci Fractions fabrics; Oasis, Nomade and Desert, from £96.90 per sqm, JAB Anstoetz.
Use carefully chosen pieces to bring warmth to a north-facing bedroom. Dress a bed with Habitat’s Renwick Orange Red Matelasse Bedspread, £95, and complement with Ikea’s orange Fillsta Table Lamp, £11. Debenhams Designer Bright Orange Flamingo Cushion from the Abigail Ahern Edition collection, £40, is a must.
WINNING DETAILS: Zanzibar Parrot Mug, £7.50, Paperchase; bright orange towels, from £6-£13, Very.
GREEN PITCH: Palm leaf prints, flamboyant foliage and tropical birds will transport you to the jungle, and this is a stylish way to explore the colour story this year - green’s one of the key colours in the Brazilian national flag.
“Deep green shades are one of the most popular colour choices right now - deep and saturated, rather than pale and wimpy - and can always be teamed with white if you want to take out some of the heat without reducing an ounce of vibrancy,” says Marianne Shillingford, creative director for Dulux.
“Paint up bits of furniture, like chairs and shelving, in greens or blues, which will give cohesion to a scheme and add little firecrackers of colour to help the festival atmosphere.”