HTSI editor’s letter: the autumn 2023 interior design trends to know
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
Welcome to the autumn design issue, a feast of different tastes, personalities and styles. As someone who lives in a perpetual battle with her clutter, I’m always relieved to discover houses that allow for lots of “expression”. While I daily aspire to inhabit a home such as that owned by this week’s Aesthete, the interiors stylist and artistic director Colin King (a symphony of order, symmetry and wood), I am too hopelessly nostalgic to maintain such aesthetic rigour and find it near impossible to throw my crap away.
I rarely follow trends in interiors – my home style is Victorian governess meets ’60s bachelor. Nevertheless, I much enjoyed Mark C O’Flaherty’s piece about ’80s erotic thrillers as a design trope, and the enduring influence of 9½ Weeks and American Gigolo. One could describe these interiors as hard machismo, all black-and-white modernism, Venetian blinds and statement furniture by Richard Meier. But it’s a look that is still contemporary and sexy. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Mickey Rourke.
If movies are a template for this issue’s design signatures, Ramdane Touhami’s Swiss mountain hotel has the graphic exuberance of Wes Anderson, while interior designer Remy Renzullo’s style is pure Merchant Ivory. I first met Remy at a dinner last autumn and I remember the American as by far the biggest personality in the room. In any room, for that matter – Remy has an energy and passion for his subject that makes him a compelling interviewee. He is currently working on the long-term renovation of Castle Howard, among other projects, and is an expert in the vernacular of the English stately home. His trademark is one of unapologetic romance, priceless heirlooms, small craft details and a bravura pattern clash. I was intrigued to see what his own home might look like and, suffice to say, his personal tastes are just as exquisite and precise. His is not a fussy aesthetic, however; Remy’s many passions allow for expansive domestic style. I’m especially taken with his “celery”-coloured paintwork, something I plan to copy when I redecorate my living room.
If you are looking for pointers on instant interiors updates, I direct you to Aimee Farrell’s design overview. Her 15-point guide distils the big trends of the autumn, from the textiles (corduroy) and minerals (malachite) you should be buying to which movement (Vienna Secession, as it happens) you should collect.
I’m currently hovering on Martin Brudnizki’s website, customising versions of his latest offering, a leather Easton dining chair. It’s just one of the delicious items one can now purchase from his first London store, as featured in this week’s The Fix. The Easton, which can be wrapped in different bands of vivid colour (or quite plain ones), is typical of the designer’s flamboyant, maximalist and slightly retro style. It’s also ruinously expensive – but I know it’s something I would cherish all my life.
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