A well-fitting front door will prevent cold draughts, and create a welcoming entrance to your home. Natural wood grain is a classic choice, polished in any shade from light to dark to protect it from bad weather. Front doors can be painted in any colour, but traditional black or white gloss is never out of style. The latest vibrant trends include sunshine yellow, pillar box red or forest green.
Exterior door furniture (or hardware) such as knockers, letterboxes and push plates, are important features. There are numerous styles, so consider what would blend in with your property. Traditional lions head door knockers have some competition, dragonflies, dolphins and birds are just some of the quirky additions on the market at the moment.
Interior design teams are turning their attention to internal doors. Painting a door the same colour as surrounding walls creates a ‘hidden’ entrance, this uninterrupted colour also makes a room look bigger. A contrasting colour creates a different effect, making the door a centrepiece that compliments the décor.
Windows can also be treated as a decorative feature, there is currently a trend for heritage prints, inspired by William Morris or Delft. These bold, traditional designs work well in older properties, giving an elegant finish to plain coloured rooms. Matching cushions or lampshades add an extra layer of detail to your décor. For a more muted backdrop, earthy tones are popular this year, reddish terracotta, through shades of green to dark brown.
For extra warmth, thermal curtains and insulated blinds can improve your home’s energy efficiency. They help keep the heat within a room and also keep noise out, so if you live in a busy neighbourhood this type of window dressing could help reduce the amount of sound disturbance in your home.
Interior wooden ‘plantation’ shutters have been fashionable for some time. New, improved materials have reduced costs and improved durability. This allows easy management of light and privacy at an affordable price, as well as providing an effective block from cold draughts. Venetian blinds are also popular, especially in a dark wood finish. They’re generally cheaper than traditional shutters, but with the same control of privacy, and they can be layered with curtains for a softer finish.
As houses become more ‘remote controlled’, smart blinds have become the gadget lovers window dressing of choice. These can be operated by using your mobile phone, ensuring privacy at all times. External blinds are gaining popularity, giving a sharp outline to modern homes. These are a very eco-friendly option, as they allow more or less sunlight into your home and adjust the amount of shade according to internal temperatures.