The Great British public have spoken. Our recent survey reveals what people really think about this year’s trending interior designs.

2018 was an exciting year for interior design with plenty of new trends to get excited about; from the bright colours of Maximalism to the obscure tones of Nordic Noir. As part of our retrospective on the year, we’ve surveyed the British public on the year’s hottest trends. As you might imagine, their opinions are varied but intriguing…


Woodland Retreat - Dated, Cosy, Homely or Dull?

Woodland Retreat was a key look for autumn/winter this year. Decorators paired autumnal shades of deep brown and berry red with wooden finishes and distressed furniture to create a timeless, sophisticated feel. The style was popular across the UK with more than half of respondents reacting positively to the trend; 86% described it as either ‘homely’ or ‘cosy’.

Rich Pigments - Classy, Bold, Boring or Old-Fashioned?

"In 2018, more and more people adopted bold colours to bring their homes to life." Lucy Searle, Real Homes Magazine

Welsh people seem to have a fondness for Rich Pigments; a style which involves the use of deep, rich colours such as blood red or royal blue. Only 4% of those surveyed thought this was ‘old fashioned’, instead the majority (87%) reacted positively describing it as ‘classy’ or ‘bold’.

Ice Cream Pastels - Fun, Modern, Childish or Impractical?

The hottest summer 2018 interior design trend was Ice Cream Pastels, from wall paint to furniture. Most respondents (60%) described it as ‘modern’ and ‘fun’ and it was particularly popular in the Midlands, where it's the number one style. There was a small minority who didn't approve - 11% described the look as 'impractical'.

Velvet - Luxurious, Stylish, Dated or Sleazy?

"Velvet sofas with charming silhouettes are the thrones of Instagram. Emerald is the preferred shade but mustard or even pink is coming on strong." Barbara Chandler, design editor of Homes & Property at the London Evening Standard, @sunnygran

Velvet was back with a bang in 2018, and our survey confirmed its popularity amongst the British public - many described it as 'luxurious' or 'stylish'. It was only in the South West where a significant amount of people found it distasteful – 20% thought that it was sleazy.

Nordic Noir - Sophisticated, Pretentious, Cool or Boring?

"Although Instagrammers with pale, light schemes still tend to have the most followers, there's an emerging band of popular influencers who have fully embraced the dark, dramatic interiors", Lucy Searle, Real Homes Magazine

Inspired by cult crime TV shows such as The Killing and The Bridge, Nordic Noir became a popular interior trend in the early part of 2018 and consisted of mostly black; black walls, black furniture, black cupboards and so on. While the people of Norway have gone all out on the darker interior in 2018, the British public seems undecided. While some were very enthusiastic (young people and residents of the North East described it as ‘sophisticated’ and ‘cool’) many were left cold by dulcet tones, particularly those in the 50+ age bracket who mainly described it as boring and pretentious.

Maximalism - Busy, Gaudy, Exciting or Classy?

Equally as divisive was the Maximalism trend. Despite being slightly more popular with women, more people described it as ‘Gaudy’ or ‘Busy’ as they did ‘Exciting’. The majority of respondents (41%) considered maximalism to be busy, with 80% of the South East judging it negatively. Meanwhile, almost a third of the South West thought it was exciting, as did a quarter of men. Interestingly, the older respondents were, the busier they thought it was.

Tropical Decor - Fun, Tasteless, Garish or Flamboyant?

The most popular trend of 2018 was tropical decor, which involves the use of striking botanical wallpaper prints, ceiling fans and the defining feature ornament of the year – the pineapple. Surprisingly this trend was most popular amongst Scots who in high numbers, described it as fun (51%) and 40% of the over 50's describing it as flamboyant.


Pendant Lighting - Cool, Trendy, Pointless or Overdone?

Inspired by the most stylish of bars, pendant lighting is becoming a staple in modern homes. And, half of the respondents thought it was trendy. Meanwhile, 30% of 50-60-year olds thought it was overdone. The North West also felt the same, as the second most popular answer hitting 28%, compared to the 70% of southerners who thought it was trendy. Do Northerners prefer to keep it simple?

Fringe Accessories - Classic, Old-Fashioned, Tacky or Stylish?

Fringed lampshades and accessories might be a blast from the past, but some things are better left there. An overwhelming 48% of respondents thought that these accessories were tacky, with old-fashioned being the second most common response.

Some were a fan of the fringe, including 20% of Southerners who thought it was stylish and 33% of Midlanders who considered it a classic. While half of the 50+ age group mostly thought it was tacky, more thought that it was classic and stylish compared to younger respondents.

Wes Anderson Inspired - Cluttered, Fun, Pretentious or Creative?

Well-renowned for his interior style, respondents were undecided on whether Wes Anderson’s design is tasteful or tasteless. Most thought it was creative, making up 47% of the votes. However, 50% of the 60+ age group considered it to be cluttered. One man’s junk is another person’s treasure, it seems.

Below is a selection of graphs outlining the nationwide results. If you'd like to see a breakdown by region, gender and age get in touch via email:

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Chapel Interiors are suppliers of high-quality paint and wallpaper from leading designer brands including Little Greene, Ralph Lauren, Zoffany and many more. Based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, browse our extensive range online or in-store today.