Antiques and Interior Design: the experts reveal the trends for 2018

Ahead of the annual London Art, Antiques & Interiors Fair that takes place this weekend – Friday 12th to Sunday 14th January – at the London ExCel, DesignCurial were given a sneak peek into the trends that experts see gracing the antiques and interior design worlds this year.

The London Art, Antiques & Interiors Fair returns to the London ExCel this weekend with an array of experts giving talks and sharing their expertise. One hundred specialist dealers will be showcasing their unusual and highly sought-after items over the Fair weekend, ranging from classic to contemporary designs and with price tags to match – from between £50 to £50,000 per item!

Ahead of the fair, DesignCurial were offered a sneak peek into what the Fair experts think will be the sure-fire antique and interior design trends for 2018. What do they tell us? In summary: there is a dramatic, continuous rise in popularity of mid-century and Scandinavian design; ‘Chinoserie Chic’ – looking to the East for our furniture inspiration – will become a major player in 2018; and our growing, green-fingered attitudes might mean that antiques are the way forward.  

Without further ado, here are what the experts have to say about the anticipated trends of 2018!

Judith Miller

“We are still in the lure of 20th century design, whether it’s mid-century Scandinavian ceramics and glass or Art Deco style,” says Judith Miller, acclaimed author and expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. “I’ve noticed that people are undoubtedly becoming more and more confident about combining the old with the new and that will most definitely continue into 2018 – merging stylish modern designs with unique, statement pieces.”

Her advice to home designers is, “create your own style.  You’re the one who will be living in your home so it’s important to find a style that suits you.” For those who are interested in antique shopping, but don’t know where to start, Judith says, “look, look, look!  Go to antiques fairs, dealers’ shops, museums, exhibitions.  Read books.  Establish a good relationship with dealers in an area that you are interested in.  Don’t be afraid to ask.  And if you see something you love and can nearly afford – buy it! You will only regret it later if you don’t.”

Judith Miller will be speaking at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Friday 12th, Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th January at 2pm.

Mark Hill

““The only rule for 2018 is that all rules are off,” reckons Mark Hill, fellow author and another expert on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. “We buy antiques today because they appeal immediately to our eyes and hearts, and then they enrich our minds.  Before, interiors were strictly defined – from the Georgian dining room to the ubiquitous ‘shabby chic’ French country look.”

What exactly does this mean for interior design? “Eclecticism,” Mark argues, “is the new minimalism – mixing and matching seemingly disparate pieces together to build a unique and individual look that defines you. Quirky is cool.  1970s Italian goblets on a sideboard from the 1790s?   A collection of Victorian transfer-printed and guilt plates arranged asymmetrically on a stark chalk-white wall?  Why not?”

Then again, he does see some trends coming through in 2018 in this new world where there are ‘no rules’. “Bold forms, or richness in terms of colour and pattern, layered against a strong colour, are on trend.  Also, watch out for the return of what is inadequately descried as ‘brown furniture’.  I’m seeing more and more buyers returning to Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian furniture”.

“There’s also a rise in interest in pieces that show the hand of the craftsman,” he continues, giving the examples of a “sparkling cut glass vase, or a wonderfully weathered piece of folk art.  Our eyes have been assailed for too long with mass-produced, machine-made rubbish lacking in soul!”

Mark Hill will be speaking at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th at 4pm and Sunday 14th at 3pm.

Clare Pascoe

Founder and director of Pascoe Interiors, Clare Pascoe, predicts that the ‘dark colours’ trend will continue in 2018 – but with a twist. “The new ‘monochromatic scheme’ will exclude black and revolve around almost black blues and greens contrasted with crisp white or pastel walls,” she says, calling the look ‘Scandi-Noir’.

The BIID Registered Interior Designer also predicts that lighting is also going to become more important when designing interiors and choosing new products. “Lighting is key to any room,” Clare argues. “It changes the ambience and interiors on all levels. A very strong monochromatic Scandi-Noir scheme could be seen as typically masculine, so to counteract this, embellish it with an oversized brushed brass, feather or glass feature chandelier to inject feminine glamour for a balanced interior.”

Clare also has some thoughts on the wider context that interior design finds itself in; she believes that, mirroring the attitudes of people from around the world, design is going to become even more environmentally aware. This will result in a rise in the popularity of antiques.

 “People will be turned off buying products that date quickly or are not made to last,” she explains, “They will want to invest in timeless, classic brands that have a history and a long future. I can see an emerging movement that centres around making sustainable, ecologically aware decisions becoming a pivotal and growing trend, in the same way the Modernist movement caused such excitement during the Mid Century period.”

Clare Pascoe will be speaking on “Designing Modern British Interiors” using Mid Century furniture and lighting at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Sunday 14th January at 12pm.

Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines, CEO of The Antiques Diva & Co, believes that 2018 is the year for ‘Chinoiserie Chic’. What exactly does this mean? “More and more Asian antiques are taking places of prominence in people’s homes as the design world looks East for inspiration,” Toma explains. “As interiors become more minimal, clean lined Asian antiques are a perfect way to add patina without creating visual cacophony.  I’m seeing, for the same reason, a rise in Art Deco furniture as well as empire style chests of drawers.  People want the gravitas of antiques even in modern décor.”

She also sees the world of antiques becoming more inclusive. “Today, antiques are for everyone,” Toma reveals. “People will use antiques in unexpected ways and unexpected places – from chandeliers in the bathroom to 18th century mirrors in the kitchen.  As the green movement becomes de rigger, repurposing and re-using remains en vogue.  Antiques are green, and as millennials catch the wave of this realisation, I predict by the 2020s, antiques will become the next ‘Ikea’ – aka the go-to choice for the first homeowners decorating their space.”

Toma Clark Haines will be speaking at the London Art Antiques & Interiors Fair on Friday 12th January at 12.30.

For more information on the London Art, Antiques & Interiors Fair, please visit their website

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