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House and home

Coldness to current interior design

(120 Posts)
Vintagejazz Wed 03-Aug-22 08:15:14

I know a few younger relatives and friends' children who have bought older houses recently, done them up and invited us in to see them.

While they're all very stylish, I never feel any of them are genuinely warm and comfortable homes. Bare floorboards with no rugs, black leather chairs and couches, laboratory type grey and steel kitchens, brand new ikea furniture throughout with no old bits and pieces to give a sense of family continuity...

I know tastes change and younger people want something different, but is it just me who finds a lot of newly refurbished homes quite cold and bland nowadays? And to think it's a pity to see so many old houses become 'neutralised'?

Gingster Wed 03-Aug-22 08:27:07

Yes and they all look the same. Huge kitchens with bi-fold doors, large islands and cinema sized tv’s on the wall, bench style table and chairs and a small comfy sitting area. Both my DS’s have this style. They look very chic and up to the minute but give me my cosy small rooms any day. ?

Aveline Wed 03-Aug-22 08:27:38

I'm just back from a week at DD's. I was so pleased to be back at my cosy home which has actual colour about the place! DDs house is very much to the modern taste so everything is white and silver and lots of grey laminate flooring. The kitchen is like a shiny laboratory. Each to their own I suppose but I do prefer 'mmmm factor' to 'wow factor'.

Lathyrus Wed 03-Aug-22 08:49:15

Me, I like plain, uncluttered.

I really feel oppressed when I’m in places surrounded by stuff, especially old stuff.

The whole pointlessness of life thing kicks in.

“Getting and spending we wear out our days”

Of course there’s been a lot of getting and spending to achieve that sleek look too, so I’m not really sure what I’m saying except that one mans meat is another mans poison?

Joseanne Wed 03-Aug-22 08:52:38

I'm guilty of some of the design you mention as I tend to experiment with new trends, (but not giant tvs). I find the current styles make the house easier to clean, and I like uncluttered and open spaces.

JaneJudge Wed 03-Aug-22 08:52:50

and so much grey. Imo grey is the new beige/cream

Joseanne Wed 03-Aug-22 08:56:47

Every kitchen designer we went to started by putting our new kitchen design up in grey for us to imagine. Why?
I chose petrol blue in the end.

Ladyleftfieldlover Wed 03-Aug-22 08:59:49

My son gave his partner feee reign with decorating their flat. The walls are white, the carpets are pale grey and the curtains are white. It all looks very clean and stark but clinical. When they visit my place my granddaughter loves all the brightly coloured rooms. When we had our downstairs loo done recently - Barbara Cartland pink - granddaughter said that when she was a lady she wanted the same wallpaper! I’m looking forward to her reaction when they get back from their holidays and see what we’ve had done while they’ve been away. OH has had a few sticky moments over our colour choices, but hey ho.

Witzend Wed 03-Aug-22 09:00:30

I really don’t like the ‘black, white, grey’ look - I’d thought grey was passé now anyway.

A Swedish friend who returned to Sweden after many years in the U.K., sent me umpteen links to the Stockholm flats she was viewing.

Almost without exception they were white, black, grey - no colour anywhere. If that’s Scandi-style, quite frankly you can shove it!
The flat she eventually bought and renovated, has plenty of colour.

Doodledog Wed 03-Aug-22 09:15:49

We are slowly moving through the house decorating, and I know exactly what you mean. We aren't doing anything structural, so the kitchen island with three pendant lights above it/bifold doors opening to the 'garden area'/huge living area with no walls to separate the rooms thing isn't on the agenda, but I am paying more attention to home decor than usual.

The above look does look stylish, but I think it will date in the way that boxy gas fires or arches separating sitting and dining rooms have dated. I also think that grey walls in every room, spindly legged sofas and low level sideboards are on the way out, but they are far easier to fix than structural changes.

Our house is laid out in a similar way to when we bought it. There are separate sitting and dining rooms (although the dining room has easy chairs so is used as a second reception room) and the kitchen is its own space. We did knock through a small breakfast room to make a bigger kitchen, but it is still a self-contained room. I much prefer having spaces with doors, so that people can do their own thing without disturbing others. This was more important when the children were at home, but even now that it's just the two of us I like to be able to work or watch TV, or chat to a friend in one room whilst Mr Dog can do his own thing in another. I know our layout is old-fashioned, but the open plan trend wouldn't suit me at all, and I wonder if people will start building walls and creating individual spaces again before long.

I do like a bit of colour too, and prefer a house to look eclectic rather than 'styled'. I like to see the personality of the occupants rather than an 'off the shelf' look of a magazine or showhouse.

Granmarderby10 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:20:34

I am waiting - in fact have been waiting for the at least 2 years now for this grey/greige phase to fade away.
I admire it when I’ve done “the tour”. of sons’ newly done up places -he’s on number 3 now!
but …… it would be nice to be able to shop for something for my place that isn’ grey. I want coloured lampshades, bedding with flowery bottom sheets, none grey crockery etc etc.
Is it too much to ask?

Cabbie21 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:31:05

Sometimes I ‘d give anything to have a plain, uncluttered look, but that’s because we have far too much stuff.
Who needs coloured walls when you have bookcases full of books with colourful spines?
I can’t stand the grey/ white sterile open plan homes of today however.
I also agree it is good to have separate spaces to do your own thing.

GagaJo Wed 03-Aug-22 09:32:49

I love the cool (cold?), plain look. I've never liked fussy, busy interiors. I've got a friend that is the opposite to me and I feel quite uncomfortable in her personality laden home. Too much of everything.

Having said that, while I had grey furnishings 15 years ago, the latest grey everything fad has made me go right off the colour. I'm keeping the white walls and monochromatic look, but will update the sofas etc to include dark green.

My house is still 'off the shelf' with original art and the occasional piece of glass. Each to their own.

Aveline Wed 03-Aug-22 09:36:17

I laughed when Kirsty Allsopp in one of her make overs started creating individual rooms as 'people need their own spaces'. As if it hadn't been her that rushed so many houses into the open plan with bi folds look!

Casdon Wed 03-Aug-22 09:36:26

If you look in the interior design magazines, the clinical look has already been consigned to history, it’s all about texture, colour and unique handmade items now. Dark wood is making a comeback too (but not carpets as far as I’ve seen).

henetha Wed 03-Aug-22 09:37:37

Even if I won the lottery and could start from scratch, I'd still go for colour and not this cold minimal look.

Aveline Wed 03-Aug-22 09:38:45

I love our Persian rugs with their jewel colours. Our walls throughout are in a buttery yellow colour and carpet is pale green. The rugs add accents of colour to that. The result is harmonious but cosy.

VB000 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:41:05

A lot of younger people don't seem to have any books, or a CD/vinyl collection on display. Suppose it's all on their devices, but no character. I definitely wish the grey and monochrome look would go out of fashion.

Some greys can be really dull in the wrong setting - viewed some care homes in February for MIL, and one we saw on a miserable drizzly day, we were greeted by a grey entrance hallway. It didn't have much natural light either... just depressing!

VB000 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:42:35


I love our Persian rugs with their jewel colours. Our walls throughout are in a buttery yellow colour and carpet is pale green. The rugs add accents of colour to that. The result is harmonious but cosy.

Sounds beautiful!

RichmondPark1 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:42:35

My mum's style of decor was pattern everywhere..flowery curtains, swirly carpets, stripy wallpaper, embroidered cushions and a different kitten's face on every coaster.

I like clean and cool. When I decorated my first house I thought it was peaceful but mum described it as clinical.

These things go in cycles so I expect the next generation will be all net curtains and flowery sofas.

Dee1012 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:45:28

I've never been a fan of 'open plan' and when I was in the process of buying, I really struggled to find a property that retained individual rooms....

I've also never followed trends, they actually make me slightly uncomfortable - so I'm happy with my books, plants, squishy sofa's and colour.

PinkCosmos Wed 03-Aug-22 09:52:52

There is a thing now called cottage core or granny core.[]=granny%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=chic%7Cautocomplete%7C0&term_meta[]=decor%7Cautocomplete%7C0

It's a bit too cluttered for me but I think it is a reaction against the stark grey/white/black look.

I have off white walls and fairly neutral furniture but add colour using cushions and throws. I change them whenever I feel like it so the room has a different look. I currently have multicoloured cushions but thinking of going for heather colour next - for autumn

I am not keen on grey at all. I don't think it suits the UK climate and can look a bit depressing with our (mostly) grey skies.

Most houses all look the same these days. Grey everywhere. I think it shows a lack of imagination on the part of the home owners.

RichmondPark1 Wed 03-Aug-22 09:58:37

The TV housey shows have become so boring because even people who renovate a tumbledown light house put a glass box on the back of it. Cue final shots of grey furniture, grey walls and a central island the size of an aircraft carrier so they can 'talk to guests whilst preparing dinner'.

Valels Wed 03-Aug-22 10:04:05

So pleased to see this post - I visit my DS house and come away feeling quite depressed! Everything looks so gloomy. Grey is the main colour and when they said they were going to paint a 'feature' wall a different colour I got quite excited! They painted it dark blue ?

NotSpaghetti Wed 03-Aug-22 10:20:40

Grey is quite "old" now I think. The move out of the pandemic has encouraged lots of colour in designer and high-end homes. I suppose grey will be with us for some years though as it's so easy to work with, comes in all shades - bluey, yellowy, rosy, purpley, greeny etc. - and can be used as a neutral foil to lively pops of colour.

There's also a resurgence of maximalism it seems to me but not everyone will like that!

The interiors pundits are predicting "reconnecting with nature through a sea of soothing greens" or alternatively using the pantone colour of the year "veri peri" which is a bold periwinkle blue.