Spring/Summer 2014 Trend – Botanical Laboratory

Botanical Laboratory is one of our Spring/Summer 2014 trends, and one of my personal favourites! This trend is a futuristic take on carefree, hazy summer days – a fusion of science and nature redefines florals and pastels to create a fresh, cultivated and sensorial look.

In terms of print and pattern, dense and digital floral prints work in harmony with technical geometrics, biological patterns and interesting hazy and blurred effects whilst flower forms, bud and bulb shapes as well as  conical flasks and test tubes inspire product designers.

Botanical Laboratory’s colour palette is a haze of perfumed shades – diffused blush, peach, nude, clear blues and lilacs are combined with sharper acidic pastels such as  sulphuric yellow for a more artificial, scientific aesthetic. The colours gradually shift from iridescent gloss levels to chalky matte finishes.

Here you can see how to work this look into your wardrobe and your home, in my hand-picked collections for Her, Him and the Home:



1. Scarf by Ted Baker; 2. Sunglasses by Tnemnroda at Urban Outfitters; 3. Floral Garland Headband from Miss Selfridge; 4. Suit by Clover Canyon; 5. Spring Ring by Gahee Kang;  6. Tights by ASOS; 7. Daisy Cut-Out Bag from Accessorize; 8. Marc Jacobs Eau So Fresh Delight Fragrance from Sephora; 9. Shopper Bag by Ted Baker; 10. Dungarees from Zara; 11. Live Succulent Necklace by PassionflowerToWear on Etsy; 12. Blurred Floral Top from Topshop;  13. Lavender Sandal by Miista; 14. Eclectic Flower Necklace from Topshop; 15. Floral Nail Polish by Nails Inc (L-R) Queensgate Gardens, Richmond Gardens and Floral Street Mews



1. David Bertozzi by Danny Garçon for Vanity Teen; 2. Watch by Tsovet from ASOS; 3. Ladybug Print Shirt by Marc Jacobs; 4. Sunset Degrade Shirt by Vivienne Westwood; 5. Striped Classic Shoe by TOMS; 6. Tie-Dye Bars Tee from Urban Outfitters; 7. Live Rain Backpack by Lacoste at Urban Outfitters; 8. Floral Linen Shirt by YMC from ASOS; 9. Floral High-Top Trainers by Givenchy at Selfridges; 10. Green Stan Smith Trainers by Adidas from Size?; 10. Flower Cufflinks by Burberry; 11. Purple Floral Print Shirt by Paul Smith

Home: home

1. Meadow Chalk Wallpaper by Louise Body; 2. Bloom Lamp by Constantin Bolimond; 3. Aurore Wallpaper by Serena Confalonieri; 4. Test Tube Chandelier by Pani Jurek on Etsy; 5.Decorative Floral Ceramic Cups by LysaCreationDesign on Etsy; 6. Shift Cabinet by Pastoe; 7. Writing Table by Roel Huisman; 8. Big Bloom by Charlie Guda for The Cottage Industry; 9. Mawston Meadow Cotton Art Fabric by Liberty; 10. Floral Photography Print by Dullbluelight on Etsy; 11. Morning Dew Chair by Bruhl; 12. Coloured Pencil Tables by Nendo; 13. Isabel Garden Lampshade by Ella Doran

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KEY TREND: Eclectic Collector

“Even whilst we are in the city, we can still fantasize about ‘our countryside’- one romantically populated by horse carriages, Mr Darcy-esque gentlemen, wild pheasants and beautiful manor houses.” Yukari Sweeney.

In recent weeks, some exciting filming has been taking place near the Scarlet Opus studio, at Beverley’s Guildhall. ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice and will be aired in 3 parts on BBC1 over Christmas this year.

pemberley montage

The filming of this period costume drama has inspired me to give you an insight into a lavish Autumn Winter 2013/14 look: The Curator. Inspired by romantic tales of yesteryear, eclectic manor houses, and country gentleman styling, the trend is composed with a colour pallete of rich wine and port tones, absinthe green, flaking gold, rich oak, stucco neutrals and marble grey.

Pieces that complete the look include Yukari Sweeney’s ‘Lord of the Manor’ wallpaper which celebrates the idea that we can all have a piece of the British countryside in our own homes. This is juxtaposed with antique and vintage pieces, as well as quirky takes on Dandy styling, for a collective, museum-like aesthetic.  A range of textures is key; from devoré velvet, to leather and tweed. Dark wood, antiqued metal surfaces and cut glass create a sumptuous look, while key details include quilting, scrolls and text extracts, equestrian styling and majestic woodland creatures… Montage

1. Book Page Table-Runner by Salt Harbor Style. This DIY runner is beautifully simple yet romantic as it tells a classic tale throughout the room. Take a look at some other ways to decorate with book pages!  2. Westbury Chandelier by Ralph Lauren. This gorgeous piece has unfortunately sold out, but could inspire you to create your own equestrian style lighting installations! 3. Cygnus hook by Anthropologie 4. Tweed Dandy Styling 5. Stag Head by White Faux Taxidermy 6. Stag Horn Candelabra by Ralph Lauren. This piece sums up the look perfectly; lavish and theatrical with a rustic country edge.  7. Silk Scarf by Liberty London 8. Brogue Footstool by Alexena Cayless. I love the combination of leather and tweed! 9. Wooster Pendant Lights by Jake Phipps. These lights are such a fun and playful take on the trend!  10. Stags Head Cushion by Rustic Country Crafts 11. Knotting Hill Stair by Knotting Hill Interiors. This stunning staircase was salvaged from the ruins of a French castle – amazing! 12. Lord Of The Manor Wallpaper from Yukari Sweeney’s latest collection – a Scarlet Opus favourite! 13. Wild Oak Floor Lamp by Anthropologie 14. Extinct English Gentleman Tile by Rory Dobner 15. Cast Shoe Doorstop by Tom Dixon. This modern un-lacquered doorstop, if left untouched, will tarnish and patina - a celebration of the ageing process. 16. Bookshelf Wallpaper by Young & Battaglia. Scarlet Opus will be using a similar wallpaper in the Trends Hub at Surfaces in Las Vegas, January 2014.  17. Pride & Prejudice Bauble by Wake Up Juliet. This is such a great DIY project for Christmas; use strips of sheet music or your favourite literature. 18. Rabbit Glass Round by John Derian

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Trend Arrival: Cultural Nexus

This months Trend Arrival posting looks at one of Spring/Summer’s more challenging trends, Cultural Nexus.  We welcome Anthony back as he explores this trend through the eyes of the nomad in his trend story, In Search of the Divine Unreachable  …


In Search of the Divine Unreachable

The nomad has been searching.  Searching for the fabled land that lies beyond the horizon, a world harmonious and of connected kinship.  He has found it.

The One with the Golden Hand came to him and whispered of the Divine Unreachable, through the beguiling sounds of the dulcimer he heard of the paradise that lays far across the desert, an oasis of kindness and wellbeing.  A vision of a Cultural Nexus appeared in the seductive flames of his evening fire as the cold swept over the desert.  The amber mirage evoked a sense of exploration, what lies outside this world of broken foundations and twisted lies, a land of bitter turmoil and unrest where the dunes themselves writhe with unease?

Left to right: Etch Web light in copper from Tom Dixon; Motion Gold mirror from Deknudts Decora range; Conical G occasional table by Nada Debs; Golden Hand from OBJECT, US; Day Queen cushion from Day Birger et Mikkelsen at Selfridges; Residential project by Sydney based Interior Designers Greg Natale; Amalfi Turquoise bowls in medium and large from Vivre; Shian ceiling pendant from BHS; Barcelo in Truffle fabric from Kelly Wearstler II collection for Groundworks (via Design Field Notes); Etch candle holder from Tom Dixon

Greed and vanity had changed his homeland of peaceful times.  As selfishness and gluttony scarred the land he began to see a changing shift; so much had been destroyed and corrupted, seeping into the earth.

An apocalyptic event had cleansed the land.  He had seen it coming, a monolithic cloud of dust sweeping over the distant mountains towards the besieged.  The ground shook and swelled, rising high like the mountains and sinking into great gorges of chaotic proportions.  His once beautiful homeland fell into the depths: the withered and dead palms snapped in the vicious winds; sand cascaded over the whitewashed mosque, flooding the cavernous halls of worship; a thousand soaring minarets crumbled like dust; the fountains of gold cracked and endless harems perished.  He saw the domes on the palaces of those too blind to see their own undoing, collapse; the life-giving creek bled dry as it fell into the cracks of the earth; sand and water mixed and swallowed all, taking back the life it had given.  The screams of his forsaken kindred pierced his ears, they bled with the pain.

Paint colours in Islamic pattern, top to bottom; Golden Riches, Bronze Sculpture, White C3-4 & High Spirits all from Dutch Boys paint range

Left to right: Brass table lamp from Dunelm Mill; 3-piece beaten metal tray set from Pols Potten at yoox.com; Watson Table from Paul Loebach; Mistic Candelabra from Gaia & Gino; C occassional table from Nada Debs; Thabo Boa washbasin from the Vitruvit’s Ethnic collection; Cooper swiveling unit from Armani Casa; Brubeck Wall Scone from Mondo, NY; Selection of fabrics from American designer Kelly Wearstler (as before); Tiwi tea-light holder from Nkuku

He turned and left his hilltop viewpoint; filled with the hope of a promised better land he left all that was his previous life behind in the destructive chaos.  The setting sun in the distance, a deep orange light casting long shadows over the red desert dunes: that is where he is headed, beyond the swirling sands and over the horizon.

Left to right: Tempest in Truffle fabric from Kelly Wearstler II as before; Truro Gold Bowls from Vivre in 24K gold; Belle jewelry box from design studio Claesson Koivisto Rune for Skultana; 2 tier pendant from Dumelm Mill; Gold plated brass Camel Camel necklace from OBJECT; Web Dining Table from Mondo, NY; Seehotel Uberfart wall panels by Casador Interiors; Celeste porcelain dinnerware (inc. bowls and plates) and Glass candleholder all from LSA; Espresso Cup & Saucer in porcelain and 12% pure gold with 18K gold holder from Merdinger; Candlestick from Y’a Pas Le Feu Au Lac at Yoox

Alone in the vast expanse of hot sand, breathtaking mirages, and exotic oases, he walked toward the vanishing point.  The nomad had the Wings of Gabriel to carry and shield him from the beating sun and the voice of The One with the Golden Hand to guide him.

He was close: the scented lakes and rivers of truth drew him towards the Land of Punt, far beyond the desert dunes of his renounced former land.  Meaningful and honest, kind and fulfilling, the discovered land bore the fruits of a new life.

Left to right: Sahar ceiling light from Kafka Goes Pink; The Fragmented Clock by Nada Debs from the Carwan Gallery, Lebanon; Etna Vases from Armani Casa; Brass Trivet by Oji Masanori at Orphan Socks; Coro Dessert Dishes from LSA; Under Plate/Charger from Merdinger in porcelain and 12% gold; Residential project by Greg Natale, as before; De Sade Table from Jonathan Logan; Wine Carafe and Glass from the Midas Collection by Skitsch, IT; Platform Rainbow Table from Karen Chekerdjian Studio; Copper Chandelier from Justine Ashbee and Iacoli & McAllister at OBJECT; Venini Vase by Rodolfo Dordoni available at Yoox; Henna Table Lamp from BHS

His precious dream had come to bear a world of wonder, the nomad has come to reach the Divine Unreachable.

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Trend Arrival: Simply Flawless … From the Catwalk into the Home

Interior trends have generally been behind those of the fashion world; their colours, textures and materials have been making their way into our homes for some time. What’s interesting now, is the speed at which they’re making the leap from catwalk to furnishings. Many big fashion houses like Fendi, Armani and Calvin Klein have branched out into interiors, seeing the potential for a new consumer base. It’s uncommon for a reversal of these roles to be seen, but fashion designers reaching into the interiors sector has been met with apprehension as the fashion industry has a considerable hold over consumers buying into its branding. With major fashion designers entering the market, at what has become a tricky time, could it be a threat? Fashion brands are powerful, and they mean everything when we buy into their image, we want to be seen with their label. Fashion moving in on interiors gives them another canvas if you like, to stamp their strong branding across furnishings  (you can read more on this issue in an article by Victoria for The National newspaper here).

Left to Right: Lady Lara Yacht from Fendi Casa; Corona jugs from Armani Casa; armchair from Calvin Klein Home.

One trend we forecast at Scarlet Opus for the current A/W 11/12 season is ‘Simply Flawless’ (the trend board was showcased in the SURFACES Expo Trends Hub at the beginning of 2011). In post recession consumerism, less is more. As Victoria stated in the A/W 11/12 trend report “consumers are making fewer purchases less often, as they review their spending patterns, their possessions and their lifestyles. More than this they are taking a long considered look at what is really important to them and what they really need i.e. what brings personal happiness, satisfaction and ease.” With consumers choices at an overwhelming high, they can feel the need to strip back and slow down on their buying decisions; “Do I really need this?.” It’s this attitude that drives what we at Scarlet Opus call New Minimalism, an uncluttered and efficient way of living. Consumers are now looking for pieces to invest in that will serve them over a longer period of time. Think of fast fashion for example, a few wears of that top… you become bored. Next! The fad has moved on. Buy something else… and quick! We find the New Minimalism is the polar opposite to this, with consumers now looking for new robust yet pure products and styling that serve them well over a lifetime. In comparison ladies fashion, as Victoria put it, is “a groomed ladylike perfection reminiscent of Grace Kelly… and for the world of Interiors it translates to an extreme paring down.”

The look of New Minimalism, and in particular this seasons trend ‘Simply Flawless’, is a striped down nude aesthetic that at first glance can be perceived as an exposed and bare look. Products are increasingly simple, and more-so made from one single material thus exposing the manufacturing traits without a surface finish to hide them. The facade of ostentation is broken down and lets the consumer appreciate its pure beauty as the designers strive for a flawless look. (On a side note, whilst in London recently I passed Coutts bank on The Strand. In the window was a striking red dress with a decal informing of the hours taken to create each silk chiffon flower, then hand applied, costing a rather ridiculous amount of pennies. Not one single person on that busy Saturday afternoon gave it a second glance. I personally found that ostentatious ‘look how much we spent’ display off-putting).

Left to Right: Hermione de Paula ready-to-wear S/S 2011 collection; Iris van Herpen S/S 2011 collection.

‘Simply Flawless’ takes its inspirations from recent fashion designs evoking beautiful and delicate forms, an elegant feminism. As we see above, the rose prints of Hermione de Paula and the sculptural forms of Iris van Herpens SS ’11 collection relate directly to the ‘Simply Flawless’ trend.

Left to Right: Zara Woman current S/S 2012 high street collection including leather jacket and  peep-toe wedges; Nicholas Kirkwood S/S 2011 collection.

Footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood created some almost interior-product-looking heels for SS ’11 making full use of the current penchant for lace and nude colourways. This bare feminine look is also available in Zara’s new SS ’12 high street collection (as seen above).

Marchesa really upped the stakes with their SS ’11 collection too with soft camel and shell ruffles and folded almost ‘laser cut’ looking dresses (as seen below).

Marchesa S/S 2011 collection.

Now in Autumn Winter 2011/12, the trend of ‘all things nude’ has transitioned into the interiors market. Furnishings, accessories, surface materials and lighting all convey the trends concealed, subtle aesthetic. Tones of soft rose pink, tan and camel are used right across the interiors spectrum. The trend has also worked its way into interior design. Interiors specialist  Celerie Kembles has created a subtle, calming interior palette with striking graphic elements in her Manhattan Upper East Side home.

From Lonnymag.com Nov/Dec 11 edition. 

Glass House, by American architect Philip Johnson, is currently undergoing refurbishment as it gradually opens to the public. Using wallcoverings and fabrics from Fortuny, the interior styling is definitely ‘Simply Flawless’!


Moving on, we now look at the best international products currently available  in-store or online to kit your home out with the New Minimalism…

I love these mosaic tiles from Massimiliano Adami that successfully showcase what ‘Simply Flawless’ is all about with each tile being unique. Plus silverware designer Victoria Coleman has created these pure, simple bowls and they convey the trends vision for sculptural, nude pieces. Finally flexibility in form is translated through this superb chair from Hive Modern in diamond quilting…

Left to Right: Beside – Unexpected tiles from Massimiliano Adami in partnership with DesignTaleStudio; Concord Chair from Thomas Pedersen available at CouchPotatoCompany.com; Velvet cushion in Dusty Pink from Ceannis, Sweden; Caviar rose glass cluster light from Arteriors Home; Venini ballloton vase from Barneys New York; Oval vase from Ora Home; Orbit table lamp from HSN, US; Silver Bowls from Victoria Coleman; Pols Potten vase from yoox.com; Technobodi lounge chair from Hive Modern; Basket weave Jewelry Box from Barneys New York.

I discovered Edgy Tiles at the Surface Design Show earlier this month, from Austrian creative duo Patrycja Domanska and Tanja Lightfoot.  They are also available in tones of grey but this particular colourway of tan, blush and grey seen below fits the bill! It could be said Jonathan Adler has taken the nude trend quite literally with his range of white ceramics. And this Luciana porcelain vase from his ‘Muse’ vessels range also includes a good few more exposing elements!

Left to Right; Edgy tiles on display at the Surface Design Show 2012; Egg Vase from Moooi; Georg Jensen cocktail set from Barneys New York; Luciana vase  and Lantern bird house both from Jonathan Adler; Dauville gold-brushed nesting bowls from Canvas, NY; Frost Chair from Furnid; Grasshopper floor lamp from Gubi. Paints: Sealock and Ole from Haymes Paints, AU; Rosso from Porters Paints, AU.

I’ve really liked the vessels from Ferm Living for sometime now and after seeing the sculptural products in the flesh, they would certainly sit perfectly in the ‘Simply Flawless’ trend. The inner rims are exposed and the new range of concrete grey colours meant they had to go on this list!  Diamond quilting is also a definite ‘must have’ for this trends styling and the fine bone Crushed china bowl amongst the blush, neutral colours “communicates confidence, modernity, luxury and assuredness.”

Left to right: Marquis Rug from West Elm; Linen cushion in Sand from Ceannis, Sweden; Atlantis table light and Greek Key silver velvet pillow  both from Zinc Decor, US; Tress table light from EDC London; Driade Adelaide from Nest; Crisscross Ball pendant light from SCP by George Nelson; Geometric vessels from Ferm Living in white and grey; Gap Chair from Artifort; Crushed Bowl from Muuto; Jewelry chest of drawers from R&Y Augousti at Barneys New York.

As we move forward, the relationship between fashion and interiors is no longer a one way movement, with the transitions being more fluid and interior trends becoming inspiration for catwalk pieces. Design has been said to be interdisciplinary, and fashion designer Paul Smith is quoted as saying “Fashion, design, furniture, film architecture, textiles – all leave an impression on each other.”

Many thanks to Anthony for todays visually gorgeous posting…I feel calm & inspired and we hope you do too.

For an extra dose of  inspiration relating to the ‘Simply Flawless’ trend’s colour palette, check out this post from TheBeatThatMyHeartSkipped which showcases photos of buildings in NYC…just LOVING the colour tones!

Check back on Monday when Shelley & I will be celebrating 3 years of blogging!

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