10 ways to rock the painterly look

Watercolour washes, dry brush strokes and street-style graffiti give this season’s textiles and prints their creative edge

blue printed wall and ladder
(Image credit: TBC)

Artistic flourishes don't have to be saved for the canvas - this season, they're set to be seen throughout your interior. From soft furnishings to tableware, painterly patterns will take you from spring to summer with their bright and pretty stylings. Moody blues and floral hues are the ideal way to refresh your space and bring a sense of art appreciation home.

1. Layer inky-blue wallpapers to add depth and vibrancy - install an art-like focal point by framing one shade.

blue printed wall and ladder

(Image credit: Feathr)

Walls papered in Innocence Nuage ICC27559109 wallpaper in Gris, Casadeco; with panel in Baltic Sea in Blue, Teija Vartianen at Feathr.

2. Explore tonal harmony by using the whole of a palette - from soft, pastel blue to the deepest azure.


showcase with jar and pot with colourful curtain

(Image credit: TBC)

Curtains made in Esme 7754/05 linen in Danube, Romo. Terracotta pots, The Cretan Pottery Company; painted in Lapis Lazuli; Prussian; Forget Me Not; Sainte Chapelle; Cornish Ware; Bluebell; Clear Sky; Jodhpur Palace; and Tourmaline matt emulsions, Designers Guild.

3. Create a subtle, impressionist mood with colourwashed patterns flowing across every surface.

room with wooden flooring and round table with chairs

(Image credit: TBC)

Flute Calacatta marble and metal dining table, Roberto Barbieri for Poliform. Berlin chairs, French Connection Home; upholstered in Water Iris 322430 linen in Ink/Charcoal, Zoffany.

4. Bold black and white brush strokes have a Rothko-like look - stipple ceramics for a similar effect.

mannequin with lamp

(Image credit: TBC)

Wall painted in Strong White and Off-Black estate emulsions, Farrow & Ball. Etienne Contemporary console table, Atkin and Thyme. Julius Caesar bust, Rockett St George.

5. Fabrics feature finer lines, swirling in monochrome patterns. Set against a wide-striped floor for contrast.

living room with black and white theme with ceiling lights

(Image credit: TBC)

Curtains made in Rembrandt 30163-002 cotton-mix in Anthracite, Rubelli. Ghost 16 sofa, Paola Navone for Gervasoni at The Conran Shop; upholstered in Macaroni Z465 linen in Carbon, Zinc Textile.

6. Introduce pencil-thin geometrics and ink-blot motifs to play with scale and form.

black and white floor cushions

(Image credit: TBC)

Dhurrie floor cushions, Habitat; upholstered in, top and bottom, Lascaux AC204-21 cotton/linen-mix, Alan Campbell at Tissus d'Hélène; and, centre, Tracks linen, Kate Blee for Christopher Farr Cloth.

7. Use reversible colours and prints on a single piece to create a contemporary, op-art design.

room with black and white flooring and wall with chair

(Image credit: TBC)

Gorska chair, Julian Chichester; upholstered in Orwell L9050-01 linen in Black; and Orwell L9050-02 linen in White, Larsen at Colefax and Fowler. Marc Newson book stand and Annie Leibovitz Collector's Edition book, Ralph Lauren Home.

8. Team graphic textiles with faux concrete and graffiti for a streetwise statement.

room with graphic textiles with faux concrete

(Image credit: TBC)

Wall papered in Ripple Concrete mural, Textures collection at Surface View. Blind made in Cubiste F6864-03 cotton, Kit Miles for Osborne & Little.

9. Big up a teen's bedroom with a large-scale mural.


bedroom with walls papered in ripple concrete mural

(Image credit: TBC)

Walls papered in Ripple Concrete mural, as before; and No Toys Allowed FP371001 wallpaper, Pierre Frey. Mesh lockers, Bowles & Bowles.

10. Keep the urban vibe alive with hand-drawn doodles in vibrant shades. Been there, tagged that...


room with hand drawn doodles in vibrant shades

(Image credit: TBC)

The Piggy Bag beanbag, Made.com; upholstered in Wobblepotamus K5136/02 cotton in Ice Box, Jon Burgerman for Kirkby Design; and Plains Seven 141813 polyester in Tomato, Scion.


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.