In our new series, we talk to our favourite retailers and experts about their trend predictions and styles. Here, we meet Wayfair’s Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill
1. Which trend would you like to see the back of – and why?
I adore metallics as they can really lift a space, but I’m not a huge fan of brass and copper overkill. Used sparingly a little bit of glitz and glimmer looks fabulous, but you can go overboard!
2. Which key trends should we be looking out for come Autumn/Winter 2017?
As we head into the new season, we’ll be embracing a darker and more dramatic look, with lots of moody velvet furniture, inky paint work and quirky accents and art. There will also be a shift towards a more eclectic material mix, where contrasting finishes like distressed wood, weathered ceramics, blown glass and beaten metals all sit alongside one another.
Every season has its own motif and for autumn, we’ll be saying goodbye to the cactus and the pineapple which have been so ubiquitous over the summer months, and hello to the peacock, which will be strutting its jewel toned stuff all over our interiors. Embroidery was a big story on this year’s catwalks and that will also start to weave its way into our homes, so expect to see lots of fabulous folky prints. We’ll also be getting a little bit nostalgic, with pieces inspired by vintage travel. Think ancient maps, antiqued globes, age-worn trunks and vintage clocks to channel this sepia-toned look.
3. Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from everywhere! Trips to places like India and Marrakech have left a lasting imprint on me. I love checking out new restaurants and hotels for cool design ideas. I’m addicted to design books and blogs. Instagram and Pinterest are also another massive source of inspiration, with so much to discover and thriving, highly engaged communities.
4. Predicting trends is big business. How does trend forecasting work?
Lots of different elements come together to inform Wayfair’s trend research. We offer a very broad range of home furnishings and décor, so we are able to leverage customer search and shopping data to understand what is and will be trending. We always attend the big interiors trade fairs, like Maison et Objet in Paris and London Design Week, which both offer ample opportunity to spot emerging designers, track new and notable products and see the trends that are coming to market.
The global fashion weeks are another great jumping off point as very often what you see on the catwalks, will eventually make its way into our homes. We try to stay connected to larger macro trends using forecasting services like WGSN and Trend Bible, which predict trends up to two years out. Auction houses are another great resource – for example, if you spot a spike in demand for say Art Deco furniture, you can often deduce that the said style or era is coming back into vogue. Finally, we fanatically read blogs, design books and magazines, which all offer inspiration and an indication of the looks that will be big.
5. Can you share your top decorating tips with us?
Editing your home down to the possessions that you truly love or know to be useful is a great tip for creating a more beautifully curated home. When it comes to styling your belongings, I’m a big fan of layering up, arranging items in staggered sizes to create a sense of dimension. Stylists often follow a rule of three when arranging accents. For some reason, items arranged in odd numbers are often more appealing than even-numbered groupings. Finally, including a few natural elements will help bring life to an interior, so go wild with plants aplenty and vases of beautiful blooms!
6. What does your role as resident style advisor entail?
I’m in charge of trend forecasting and content strategy at Wayfair. We have one of the world’s largest selections of items for the home and garden and stock pieces to suit every style and budget, so my role is to help curate the range into understandable slices for our customers –whether they love a streamlined Scandi aesthetic or glitzy glam décor. I’m responsible for a lot of the campaigns that you see on site, from celebrity room makeovers to seasonal edits. I also take a leading role on styling for Wayfair events.
7. Describe your style in three words:
Eclectic, quirky, glam
8. What’s the most common decorating mistake you see?
People often think that furniture should be pushed up against the walls, but making the furniture a part of the room can create a much more dynamic and visually engaging layout, particularly if you create zones within your space for things like relaxing and entertaining. You can use rugs to demarcate your areas, but make sure you measure before you buy. Generally, rugs should be bigger than the furniture that they are framing, so if in doubt size up.
9. What interiors objects are you currently lusting over?
A marble and gold console for my hallway and some smoky glass pendant lights for the kitchen, which are both affordable but look very high design. I’ve also got my eye on a treehouse bed for my kids. Such a cool and unique design!
10. Have you ever had a decorating/design disaster?
I moved house when I was heavily pregnant with my first baby and wanted to paint my living room a soft dove grey, but I couldn’t find a shade that worked with the light in the room. I went through about 800 sample pots and badgered my harassed husband to repaint the entire room four times before I found the right colour. The paint was still wet when I went into labour. Suffice to say he was not best pleased. I blame the hormones!