Christmas Round-Up

Well here we are again readers, the final posting of the year and what a year it’s been…

We’ve seen uprising and revolution across the Middle East starting with the protests in Tunisia – which saw an Arab President overthrown for the first time in history – and then Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya.  Natural disasters have struck with force around the globe: massive flooding in Australia and across the US, who also fell victim to Hurricane Irene in August; Turkey was hit by an earthquake; and Japan with a trio of catastrophic events: earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.  Bin Laden and Gaddafi were both caught and killed.  We’ve had terrorist attacks in Norway and rioting across London.

July saw the sad passing of influential British singer, Amy Winehouse, and in October, Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple.

On a more positive note, a huge victory for women in Saudi Arabia who have now been granted the right to vote.  On April 29th 3 billion people around the world watched as Prince William married Kate Middleton.  And with earnings of an estimated $90 million over the last year, 32 million Facebook fans, and 10 million Twitter followers, Lady Gaga dethroned Oprah to take the top spot on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 Power List!

So, let’s take a look back at our most popular features of 2011:

1. JS Bach / Zaha Hadid Architects Manchester Art Gallery Performances An introduction to an “extraordinary and intimate” chamber music hall.

2. 9/11 Remembered 10 years on, we remember and reflect.

Lovely Lady by Alicia Bock

3. Trend Preview: Autumn Winter 2011 2012 Victoria highlights 2 of her favourite students from Huddersfield University and their trend predictions for the A/W 11/12 season.

4. Grand Design Live review & ‘Best in Show’ A review of the UK’s Number 1 consumer home show.

5. Pixelated Skyscraper in Bangkok by Ole Scheeren A look at Bangkok’s vision of the pixelation trend.

6. London Design Festival: 100% Design Victoria and I review this year’s 100% Design show.

7. Manolo, Gina & Me! My review of the best shoe boutiques in Dubai!

8. Trend Preview Autumn/Winter 2011/12: Hunter-Gatherer Victoria offers a preview of our A/W 11/12 trend, Hunter Gatherer.

9. Hot City: Sydney (Part 1) This file brings together all that is fabulous about the city down under, featuring the wonderful photography of Kamran Baig.

10. Monthly Montage: Wedding Tables 3 styles to inspire your wedding table design.

And that’s it from me for 2011, over to Anthony for a fabulous round-up of stylish ideas for Christmas and then Victoria looks at the key events of 2012!




“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”  And don’t you just know it!  Stores here in the UK have been stocking up on Christmas decorations, tableware, and trees even before Halloween was out of the way!  Now the real countdown begins, I’ve opened plenty of doors on the Advent calendar in anticipation.  Today, I’ll be giving you a run down of some of the best Christmas trends for 2011, suiting a variety of tastes and styles.

First up, the juicy ‘Winter Berry’ theme.  Plush Purple hues, tones of Cranberry Red, and rich shades of Overripe Plum create a look you can almost taste.

Left to right, top to bottom: Frosted berry wreath from John LewisFiligree purple bauble, Kurtt red bauble and purple finial hanging decoration, all from Heals; Partridge in a Pear Tree cake tin by Scarlet Opus exclusively for Lakeland; Berry napkin ring set and Crackle Bird tealight holder, both from John Lewis; Beaded napkin ring from M&S; Selection of Christmas homewares from Crate & BarrelPartridge in a Pear Tree cracker by Scarlet Opus exclusively for Lakeland; Bag of pomegranates from Crate & Barrel

‘Winter Berry’ means just that, berries.  And lots of ‘em!  Beaded napkin rings, rich berry wreaths, and crackled, glazed accessories complete this trend.  Shades of berry like baubles flocked with glitter, delicate berry patterned ceramics, and marbled decorations give this look depth, a lush edible feel.

Left to right: Kissing Ball from Crate & Barrel; Parlane hurricane lamp from John Lewis; Antique glass candleholder from Crate & BarrelOmega glass vase and Zephyr Plum Dinerware both from Heals; Chunky Rib runner and napkin, Red Wine glass and Flute and Lacquered underplate, all from John Lewis; Pinecone decoration from M&SPartridge in a Pear Tree oval platter and table linen (inc. runner and overcloth) by Scarlet Opus exclusively for Lakeland

Exclusively for Lakeland kitchenware, this look features Scarlet Opus’ Partridge in a Pear Tree design.  Simple, stylish illustrations in white, mulberry, and hints of gold fit ‘Winter Berry’ perfectly.  Embroidered table runners and overcloths, luxury crackers, and cake tins make up a small selection of this beautiful collection.  Grab yourself some before they run out!

Left to right: Marbled glass bauble and droplet from Heals; Red rose kissing ball, Frosted Berry garland and Red Bauble candle from John Lewis; Purple Heavyweight wine glass from M&S; Riedel Ravello 5 arm crystal candelabra from Heals; Partridge in a Pear Tree cake tin and 2-tier cake stand by Scarlet Opus exclusively for Lakeland; Floreo red berry wreath from Habitat; Apple wreath from John Lewis

Next up with allure, elegance, and fading grandeur it’s ‘Frozen Grace’.

Left to right: Nutcraker Men from Crate & BarrelSilver and Pearl wreath and acrylic Reindeer both from John Lewis; Silver glass candleholder from Crate & Barrel; Cone decoration by ‘by nord’ from Skandium

This mirrored wonderland is all about tones of Champagne, Mother of Pearl, and Faded Gold.  Frosted pearl and crystal clear tableware sets the scene for a sophisticated dinner party while iridescent glass baubles and mirrored candleholders reflect soft candlelight to create a warm cosy atmosphere.

Left to right: Selection of tableware from Zara Home; Snowflake napkin holder from Crate & BarrelWhite crystal leaf tree form Heals; Glitzy filled candleholder from M&S; Silver candle and wreath from Debenhams; White berry wreath from M&SLace Tissue paper and Pearl-Finish baubles from The White Company; Acorn decoration by ‘by nord’ from Skandium; Willow Heart decoration from John Lewis; Mercury glass tree from Anthropologie

Decorate every corner of the home with white decorations, ceramics, and berry wreaths.  Tall pillar candles on glass stands give height to the table setting and provide pared down lighting.  Choose luscious, frosted Christmas trees with silver antique decorations like acorns, snowflakes, and textured baubles.

Left to right: White Christmas image from the style files; Floreo white berry wreath from Habitat; Selection of candlelight products from The White Company; Tri Candelabra from Heals; Maxa Giant glasses from John Lewis; Cone decoration from Anthropologie; Mistletoe wreath from M&SBrissi ribbed round and tear drop bauble from John Lewis; Various gift wrappings from The White Company

A trend for our sweet-toothed readers is ‘Candycane’.  A vivid, bold, red and glazed white theme follows the current interior trend for the homemade and handcrafted but with a youthful, sugary twist.

Left to right, top to bottom: Selection of decorations and tableware from Ikea; 3D wooden bauble from HealsGeraldine red placemat and felt coasters from Habitat; Stocking from House of FraserGingham Heart tree decoration from John Lewis; Wool candy cane from Linea at House of Fraser; Selection of decorations from John Lewis; Christmas tablecloth from Zara Home; Mini candy baubles from Crate & Barrel

Materials like felt, twine, and linen provide a warm undertone to ‘Candycane’.  Red and white twisted candy decorations, red flocked glassware and cheeky Elf printed crockery jingle along with the Joy of Christmas.  Mini glass candy striped baubles and sweet treats hanging in unexpected places keep this trend feeling energetic and full of life.

Left to right: Peppermint candy canes from; Jingle Elf dinnerware from Crate & Barrel; Mini white and red crackers from M&S; Geraldine beaker from Habitat; Red party dinnerware from Heals; Linen stocking from Etsy seller mazeandvale; Holiday placemat from Crate & BarrelFelt Apple decoration and Bell Wreath from John Lewis

Take inspiration from Tim Burtons ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ when decorating your home, children will love finding hidden candy treats in the run up to Santa’s visit!  For the grown-ups, lay your table with felted striped or snowflake runners over crisp white linen, fill vases full of candycanes as a centerpiece, and serve from glazed white ceramics and bold red glasses.

Left to right: Merry Christmas decoration, Candy cone tree and Snowflake table runner all from John Lewis; Red felt tree decoration from Ikea; Ania wine glass and tumbler from Heals; Tealight lanterns from Ikea; Selection of dinnerware, red pillar and ball candles from Crate & Barrel




Seasons greetings to you!

Obviously as a Trend Forecaster it’s my job to be thinking about the future…I’m a Futurologist I am!  The major events and happenings over the next few years will help to shape the design trends for both Fashion and Interiors.  Everything from sporting events, film releases, elections, exhibitions, commomorations and much more will set the coming styles and define what resonates and reaches consumers on emotional and motivational levels.  Part of my work involves translating all of the information we gather on coming events into actual trend forecasts – the colours, patterns, shapes, materials, styles etc… that will be ‘on trend’ in the future.  So to give you a heads-up on some of the most significant events of next year, here is my month-by-month breakdown of 2012:

January sees the beginning of a year-long celebration of James Bond because it will be 50 years since the dashing British agent first appeared on our cinema screens.  It’s going to be Bond everything!…including the release of the Skyfall movie, no end of TV re-runs, new merchandise and an influence on men’s fashion & interiors too…check out these fab James Bond bar stools from Hyde House (click link & scroll down the images on the right) if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

The Oscars are always a significant indicator of Fashion influences and of course the influence also filters through into Interiors.  We keep a keen eye on the nominees and the eventual winners of categories such as best film and best costume design.  So keep your eye on the 84th Academy Awards on February 26th.  After Eddie Murphy dropped out Billy Crystal stepped-in as host, making this his 9th innings.

India will host the 2nd summit of the BRICS Trade Ministers in New Delhi in March next year.  BRICS comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  BRICS are a bridge between the developed and the developing world and the quality and durability of the global economic recovery process depends to a great degree on how the BRICS economies perform and the decisions they make.  So it’s well worth keeping abreast of the outcome of the Summit.

The Titanic set out on its fateful maiden voyage 100 years ago in April.  Expect documentaries and TV dramas (inc. a series for the UK written by Julian Fellowes focusing on the 2nd-class passengers & crew) as well as a re-release of the Titanic movie in 3D!  There will also be a poignant memorial service at the exact site and time the Titanic sank.  The Titanic Memorial Cruise will depart from Southampton on the 8th and the Titanic Anniversary Cruise will depart from New York on the 10th.

The official date of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is actually in February but the main celebrations begin towards the end of May continuing for 3 months across the Summer, with key members of the Royal family travelling to 15 countries.  The Jubilee celebrates 60 years since her ascension to the thrones of the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia & her 60th year as Head of the Commonwealth.  Note: It’s also the start of the 2012 World Expo in South Korea running until August.

The Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil in June marks 20 years since the seminal Earth Summit in 1992, and is regarded as a chance for leaders to put humanity on a sustainable track.  Clashes with the Jubilee celebrations might make it a challenge for all the Commonwealth leaders to attend for the full Earth Summit, running from 4th-6th, but the importance of the agenda, including poverty eradication and sustainable development, should encourage most to jet from London to Rio.

Did we mention the 2012 Olympics are in London?  The London Olympics 3 hour opening ceremony takes place on 27th July, making London the 1st city in history to host the games 3 times!  Filmmaker Danny Boyle is the Art Director and earlier this month the budget was doubled for the Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies to more than £80m.  At the closing ceremony there will be the official handover to Rio in anticipation of the 2016 Olympics.

August will mark the anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death 50 years ago on the 5th August 1962 (when she was just 36).  Expect documentary tributes, touring exhibitions of photographs & paintings, book releases, recreations of her famous photoshoots in fashion mags, heaps of merchandise featuring the blonde bombshell and fans gathering to pay their respects in Hollywood.  Marilyn will also be featured on a USA stamp with Billy Wilder celebrating Great Film Directors.

Join us in London in September when hundreds of design shows, exhibitions & events take place across the city.  Running from 15th-23rd, this will be the 10th London Design Festival.  Some of our favourite shows include TENT, 100% Design and DesignJunction.  With a huge influx of visitors to London because of the Olympics, the world’s eyes will be on the UK during the summer and the UK’s world-class creative community will be showcased over these 9 days of design events.

As a BIG Beatles fan this might seem a touch biased…but in October it will be 50 years since the fab four released their first single ‘Love Me Do’.  We hear rumours the powers that be are considering releasing all of the original UK singles on a once a week basis, but for sure it is the perfect opportunity to flood the market with 50th anniversary offerings, re-releases, documentaries, covers & tributes….especially if the remaining Beatles do reunite (as hinted) at the Olympic opening ceremony.

The United States Presidential Election will be held on November 6th.  According to the online Wall Street Journal pages, at the time of writing former House Speaker Newt Gingrich topped the polls (with 33%) as the most likely candidate to lead the Republican’s and attempt to snatch a 2nd term away from the incumbent Barack Obama (currently at almost 43%).  We’d like to think the One World Trade Center will be completed in New York by then…come on, get a move on!

December will see the release of the big-screen adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire & Carey Mulligan.  The US release is scheduled for Christmas Day.  Expect a renaissance of the Jazz Age style in men’s and ladies Fashion as well as a renewed interest in the patterns, furniture and interior styling of the period.  I for one will be sporting a cloche hat next winter and I’m currently coveting this Art Deco daybed … so stylish!

Before we bid farewell to 2011 and wish you all a festive holiday, we are thrilled to announce that in the first quarter of 2012 we’ll be launching an all-new Membership area on the blog.  That’s right, you heard correctly!  As a subscriber you’ll have access to all the latest Scarlet Opus trend information – from both a design and business perspective; the season’s key colours, Pantone referenced; I’ll be presenting our inspirational design webinars; we’ll be reviewing major international design shows; posting interviews with your favourite Designers; offering free mini consultations with our Futurologists; PLUS exclusive discounts on our Trend reports and inspirational visual boards and much much more!

So, be sure to sign up in the New Year to ensure you never miss another thing.  We look forward to welcoming you all to the fabulous world of Scarlet Opus in 2012!


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