Guest Post: Looking at the Print on Print Trend

Written by Guest Blogger Olive

“It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. And it’s a truth even more universally acknowledged, that a wife is always in want of this season’s trendiest items.” – Jane Austen (with some liberties)

Photo: AzureAzure

Truth is, we all love to be “in style”.  And while style is easy to spot from a catwalk during fashion week in NYC, it’s also safe to say that, that said style can be found as a display in any storefront window. Which means interior design is included. Because fashion dictates style and style dictates décor. Which is why you can just about always expect any trends in fashion to show up in force in almost every other aesthetic medium you can think of. I guess we just can’t ever get too much of a good thing.

What can you expect to see this season? Prints, prints, and more prints. In fact, go ahead and use the stylist jargon and call it print on print (All the good names were taken). You’ve probably seen the clothing take on this trend already; some designers like Louis Vuitton have taken the mod approach with an homage to Twiggy. Think structured geometric prints in monochrome. Meanwhile, others like Dolce & Gabbana have opted for paisley, read anywhere from Oriental hues to Southern belles. Then there is always the classic standby- floral, which was executed flawlessly by Erdem.

Photo: House Beautiful

But European fashion houses aside, it was only a matter of time before this trend came around. After all, Asia has been playing with print on print in clothing for years now. Not to mention how much English country homes have been obsessed with it for generations, a quick look-see in any Rothschild manor or villa will prove this. Of course now that American Vogue has jumped on the bandwagon, we have no other choice than to go all in. Literally. Which means interior design is no exception. You heard it here first folks!

Don’t get nervous, just because it’s a trend doesn’t mean you have to rip out carpet, binge buy Oriental rugs, and sell the new furniture set. Nor does it mean you have go out and buy a whole new china set, and burn any current bedding. Unless you really want to. (Which isn’t so far fetched because this is a trend that is everything you want it to be and more). Rule of thumb: If it can fit in a shopping cart it’s an update, if it has to be delivered to you then it’s an overhaul. And whether or not you are just updating or overhauling – print on print will work for you. After all, it’ll be on all things big and small. Pretty prints are no size-ists.

Photo: Designers Guild

 Just like anything, use your personal preferences when working with print on print. If you love clean lines and the modern look, stick with the geometric monochrome prints. If you are a romantic, like me, then play with florals and vintage patterns to create you aesthetic. 

The great thing about print on print is that you can play with so many colors without looking like you went A.D.D with your color palette. The key is combining prints with similar color palettes but different proportioning, just like in clothing. You can use prints in something as small as lampshades and throw pillows, to larger items like wallpaper and curtains. It all depends on how much print you can take. Of course, when it comes to the realm of interior design, print on print can be extended to layering textures and fabrics together as well.  Just like in fashion the key is to be playful and bold with how you layer prints. To make it work; make it you, your personal taste and style.

And of course, the old adage still works: less is more. Too much print reads too matchy matchy. Put in some playful layering here and there.  Consider this trend a recycling from aesthetics seen in the 60’s and the early 18th Century.  So when looking for inspiration you can pull from there too! Oldies but goodies, you know?

Photo: Angel in the North

Regardless of how you feel about print personally, it’s a trend that is going to be around in various forms for a while. To be ahead of the curve start snapping up patterns you love now, before it shows up on a grand scale and it’s near impossible to find the quirky print you loved from that catalog. Or even worse, before that print you loved showed up everywhere and in every living room while you have to sit there knowing you would have done it better!

By Olive

Guest Post: Efficient Elegance: Beautiful, Beneficial Bathroom Design

Written by UK Guest Blogger Helen Davies

Over 60% of the water consumption that happens in our homes happens in the bathroom – which is why any savings we can make here will go a long way toward cutting our overall usage.

With many governments, campaign groups and individual householders on a drive to save water, it’s worth remembering that this quest to reduce our impact upon the planet can help us on a financial level, too. Reducing the amount of water our bathroom suites consume doesn’t just cut our water bills. A lot of the water we get through in the bathroom is heated first so, by cutting water use, we can cut energy use (and therefore our quarterly energy bill) too. Double the savings – great news in these cash-strapped times!

If you’ve always assumed that reducing your water consumption means taking a ‘sackcloth and ashes’ approach, though, you’d be wrong. We can reduce our water use without making our lives miserable and our bathrooms boring!

First stop: the toilet. This is the biggie of water consumption – and manufacturers are making great progress toward helping us reduce our use here.

If you have an old toilet, you can add an inflatable ‘hippo’ to your cistern, displacing a proportion of the water and reducing the water used per flush. The next time you upgrade your bathroom suite, however, your new toilet will most likely be a model with a six litre, dual flush tank: these use less water overall, and give you the option of a short or long flush each time. A smaller cistern means a prettier looking toilet too, in our view – so that’s a bonus!

Next: the shower. Remember, we’re looking to save both water and power here. A simple water aerator can reduce the hot water we use in the shower each day – without reducing our powerful shower spray to a mere trickle. It works by adding air to the water flow: you get a lovely, bubbly effect and you simply don’t notice that less water is being used.

Again, a new model of shower will be very likely to have water saving technology built in, but you can also fit a lovely new shower head to your existing shower system to take advantage of modern technology – and update the look of your bathroom into the bargain!

Finally: taps. It’s pretty much the same story for your basin and bath taps as it was for your shower. Aerating the water produces lovely bubbly water that’s a joy to use, and you can buy new taps (which will give your bathroom an instant facelift) or retrofit an aerator nozzle to your old taps.

We love to save water here at Better Bathrooms so we hope we’ve inspired you to give your bathroom an eco-overhaul – and bring a little extra luxury to your life as well!

Helen Davies is a keen blogger, interior designer and freelance writer.

Images courtesy of Houzz.com