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

Most Voted this post Fabulous
We want to hear your voice ... place your Votes NOW
  • Fabulous (3)
  • Inspiring (2)
  • Interesting (2)
  • More Like This (0)

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

We want to hear your voice ... place your Votes NOW
  • Fabulous (0)
  • Inspiring (0)
  • Interesting (0)
  • More Like This (0)

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.

Most Voted this post Interesting
We want to hear your voice ... place your Votes NOW
  • Fabulous (0)
  • Inspiring (0)
  • Interesting (1)
  • More Like This (0)