Big is beautiful. We’re done with discreet furnishings or quietly neutral colour schemes — and when it comes to pattern, colour and size, we want everything to be larger than life.
Just look at the ginormous Christo and Jeanne-Claude sculpture: The London Mastaba, parked in London’s Serpentine. You can’t miss it.
It’s a vast geometric in eye-popping shades of pink, red and blue. Is it the recent – heat that has made us so bold?
Focal point: A huge pendant light draws the eye upwards and makes the room seem bigger
Certainly cacti and palms are huge at the moment in more ways than one. ‘I’ve just finished a smart London penthouse and it looks like Arizona. I’ve gone wild with oversized cacti,’ says interior designer Joanna Wood.
According to Ciara Sheridan, of Wyevale Garden Centres, the demand for cacti is up 55 per cent this year, with buyers increasingly experimenting with larger varieties. If you want to give them a go, Euphorbia Ingens grows to 2 metres indoors or 15 metres outside, £150, wyevalegardencentres.co.uk.
You’ll need vast pots to put them in. And the Silo range of over-sized terracotta vases from Natuzzi, from £251, inspired by the sundrenched plains of Italy, will work beautifully (launching online soon, natuzzi.co.uk).
Room for everyone: The Clemence four-seater sofa in emerald green, £2,400, habitat.co.uk
The trend can work in most spaces. But limit yourself to one or two items. You don’t want to end up feeling like Alice In Wonderland surrounded by enormous furnishings. ‘Go for one eye-catching piece like a big, boldly coloured sofa, which acts as a focal point,’ says designer Vanessa Brady.
Perhaps something like the Clemence four-seater sofa in emerald green, £2,400, habitat.co.uk. Conversely, large pieces can make modest rooms seem bigger. Rather than hanging a mirror, you could try leaning a large one against a wall, creating the illusion of depth. Brissi has a range designed for exactly that. Their Vermont style is £595, brissi.com.
Generous proportions: The Asiatic Sloan rug comes in five shades (£249.99, rugsdirect.co.uk)
If you want to splash out on one or two decorative pieces, opt for a striking vase, for example, that will look both tidier and make more of an impact than several smaller ornaments.
Or you can give a nod to the trend with oversized accessories such as cushions, chunky-knitted throws or hefty table lamps. Try the Tiki Tiki Carnival cushions, £65, andrewmartin.co.uk, or John Lewis’s floor cushion by Patternity, in monochrome, £70, johnlewis.com.
Abigail Ahern uses vast lights to dazzling effect in her own home. ‘Oversized lamps create the perception of height because the eye is drawn upwards. It’s one of the most effective ways to make your room feel taller.
When you enter a room, you want it to read like a cityscape with different heights,’ she says. Her huge mud-beaded chandelier is on sale from £2,005, abigailahern.com.
Fairest of them all: The Vermont mirror is almost two metres tall (£595, brissi.com)
That’s not cheap but Rockett St George is another good resource for lights that won’t hide under a bushel. Their industrial film floor lamp with red shade is playful (£200, rockettstgeorge.co.uk) while their large artisan tete table lamp, £300, has a flicky straw shade.
Feature walls are long gone. Now the trend is for entire rooms to be adorned with bold, exotic prints. ‘Designers are bored with plain finishes — boldness is back. Floors are covered in large, patterned rugs, and grand statement pieces of furniture are increasingly popular,’ says Brady.
Nick Acaster, managing director of Rugs Direct, agrees. ‘Over the past year we have seen the demand for larger rugs increase by 60 per cent, and daring prints are definitely more popular,’ he says. Try the Asiatic Liberty Matrix Rug, £439, rugsdirect.co.uk.
Big impression: The vast London Mastaba artwork is currently parked in the Serpentine
Artists such as Natasha Jade are seeing increased interest in paintings so large they’ll fill an entire wall. ‘Clients might have white walls and want a big painting to cover one,’ she says. Her luminous paintings often end up being the inspiration for the colour scheme (artbynatashajade.com).
Rebecca Wilson, chief curator at Saatchi Art, an international online art gallery, says that the number of large sculptures sold has also gone up substantially. ‘I think customers are feeling more adventurous.
Buying big sculptures for the home or garden is an emerging phenomenon,’ she says. See saatchiart.com.