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Check out our useful hints and tips articles to help you get the best out of your home interiors projects.

Ten hottest interior design trends

Bold wallpaper. Photograph by easternmar

Just as in the fashion world, interior design trends change with each season, so stay ahead of the game with the top ten trends for this year.

1. Pastel shades

The catwalks were full of pastels this year and the trend has continued into the world of interior design. Soft colours such as pistachio, lemon and candyfloss pink take their inspiration from ice-cream shades and are perfect for a gentle, understated look in the home.

2. Retro

There is a hankering after all things nostalgic this year and retro furniture is big news. Perhaps due to the recession, the post-war years are proving to be a big influence, with dark wood furniture, Bakelite-effect radios and even flying ducks taking pride of place in the hot list of design trends. Prevent this look from becoming too dark and overpowering by adding a few light and bright accent touches with rugs, cushions and curtains.

3. Handmade

Homemade, arts and crafts, and folk art are all big news this season. Don't worry if you don't know one end of a sewing machine from the other, though - you don't have to be a genius with a needle and thread to get the most from this look. Shop-bought items are fine as long as they have that hand-crafted look. Embroidered fabrics, tapestry effect and even knitted items all make for a cosy feel. Don't forget the patchwork quilt which can look sumptuous over the back of a sofa.

4. Mismatched and outsized

In a move away from matching furniture sets, this look embraces everything quirky. Mismatching chairs around the dining table, oversized mirrors above the fireplace, and sofas and chairs in different styles and fabrics all combine to give a slightly surreal feel to the home.

5. Modular seating

Corner sofas are the epitome of style this season. They can be found everywhere in a huge range of fabrics and colours ensuring there is a perfect choice for just about any home. Look for a modular style that can be combined in different ways to ring the changes. Some designs incorporate flat sections for use as coffee tables and footstools to complete the look.

6. Minimalism

The minimalist look never goes out of fashion, but this season it embraces a few comfortable pieces such as a large squashy sofa rather than the usual sleek lines of this look. Think minimalist comfort and you won't go far wrong, but be sure to keep ornaments to a minimum and avoid any signs of clutter.

7. Floral

The floral look doesn't have to involve chintz at every turn. Choose a bold floral wallpaper but use it on one wall to make a statement. Add some accessories in a matching shade for a cohesive look that won't overpower the room.

8. 1970s

This is a look that has never completely gone away but it needs to be approached with care to avoid overwhelming your room. Choose '70s wallpaper, a shag pile rug or furniture from the era, but try to avoid overdoing the effect and risk spoiling it completely.

9. Foxes

Fox motifs are appearing on everything from cushions to tea towels this season. Choose from crockery, lunchboxes and pictures to add this theme to your home. If foxes really aren't your thing, the squirrel is also featuring heavily on homewares, so be prepared to embrace this new wildlife trend.

10. Utilitarian

Look for furniture in metal and scrubbed wood for this industrial-inspired look. Sleek surfaces are key to this look, so choose metal-framed lights and look for factory-style locker-type storage. This is a stark look, so brighten it up with bold, graphic artwork.

Don't forget, the state of the economy plays a large part in influencing fashions in interior design, so keep up with the UK news to stay abreast of developments and predict new trends before they become commonplace.

Photo credit: easternmar at Freeimages

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