Must-have interior investments for summer 2012

It may come as a surprise to some, but being on trend spreads further than the realms of your wardrobe. Interior design trends are influenced by economical, scientific, environmental, political and social factors. One strong influence for this summer’s interior trends is this year’s Olympics – meaning that bright, bold colours are in vogue. The recession also plays its part – retro modernism, repetitive patterns and calming colours are in, an effect of our double-dip-recession-inspired austere times.

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So, if you’re thinking of refreshing your home this summer – here are some suggestions as to how you can stay in fashion without the pressure of having to worry about your wardrobe.

Taking it outside Investing in your garden or balcony will be a popular option this summer – so we can forget the rainy spring and really make the most of summer. Whether you invest in some new cushions and throws for your outdoor dining area or splash out on a hot tub - whatever will entice you outdoors is a smart investment.

Colours Blue is the colour in trend this summer, as found from research by Dulux. Mixing pastels with bright colours is popular this season. By working in a few bright colours, perhaps even some neon, will ensure a fashion-forward house this summer. Livening up your home with colour is the number one tip from interior designers this summer.

Working colour into your home is easy – a colourful rug, patterned curtains, a bold throw or brightly-coloured lamps are all easy and cheap ways to celebrate colour this summer.

Patterns Patterns are definitely something to focus on this summer if you want your house to be the most stylish on the street. Mixing and alternating clashing, bold patterns is the quickest way to go to the top of the style stakes. Try combining stripes, polka dots and chevrons in a range of colour palettes.

Dramatic, gothic floral patterns are also popular in the interior design world this summer. As are strong, geometric patterns – not only printed but in furniture, too. Triangular and hexagonal inlays in cabinets and tables are growing in popularity.

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Accessories If you’re looking for some more modest and inexpensive ways to add some summer 2012 style to your home, accessories are a good way to go.

The design to look out for this season is foxes – they’re going to be popping up in stores everywhere. Whether it’s in the form of a picture for the wall, a tea towel or a figurine, this trend is one of the easiest to perfect.

Design This summer, interior designers are embracing the Victorian way of decorating. That is, clever crowdedness. The Victorian’s adorned the majority of their furniture will cleverly-placed pieces – bell jars with fabric flowers, for instance. To add to this, lampshades with intricate patterns, mini statuettes and faux stuffed animals are so Victorian.

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Furniture In relation to interior design, ‘upcycling’ is reusing and reinventing unwanted, old furniture and materials – turning it into something functional. Seeing the potential in unused, redundant material could be a cheap way to a stylish home this summer – a recession-inspired trend worth taking note of! Whether it’s making your own pillows from old fabrics and ill-fitting clothes, or renovating an old chair – this is one trend that will offer you more than aesthetics – but a new hobby, too.

Whatever 2012 design trend you decide to embrace – there’s no better way to make your guests jealous than by having a home that looks like it came straight out of an interior design magazine. If you keep up-to-date with catwalks, there’s no reason not to surround your home in up-to-date trends, too.