The coronavirus pandemic has had a profound effect on how we view our homes. For many, it used to be that they were only occupied for part of our lives, but now, as we are confined to the same four walls for working, socialising, exercising, and everything else, the spaces we inhabit are having to adapt to our new lifestyles. With that in mind, comfort, practicality and escapism seem to be the recurrent themes in interior design trends for 2021. Additionally, in stark contrast to the minimalist interiors that we’ve seen in glossy magazines for many years, we are looking to fill our spaces with more objects to hold our attention as we are spending more time at home.
With everyone wanting to create a sanctuary in this period of uncertainty, we’re looking to maximise the level of comfort in our homes. This includes the use of warm colours, soft textures and natural materials, which obviously lends itself well to the rich patina and gently-worn textures of antique furniture, but the furniture itself needs to be big, inviting and plush, such as this pair of easy armchairs in the manner of Howard & Sons.
A pair of easy armchairs in the manner of Howard & Sons. Estimate £1,000-1,500
Using more textiles can also nurture a feeling of comfort. Antique rugs, like this Persian Kashan, immediately bring warmth and interest to a room and, in a similar vein, textiles such as this large Brussels tapestry or this pair of verdure tapestry cushions, can soften an interior without being over-powering.
(1) Detail from a large Brussels tapestry, 17th century. Est. £2,000-3,000, (2) A pair of verdure tapestry cushions,19th century. Est. £200-400, (3) Section of a Persian Kashan carpet, 20th century. Est. £2,000-4,000
As our worlds have become smaller during lockdown, there has been a growing appreciation of the simpler things in life, demonstrated by the rustic, cottage-inspired interiors seen across Instagram and in publications such as The World of Interiors.
We have loads of great pieces of furniture in our forthcoming sale, but the simple charm of old country pieces, such as this cherrywood kitchen table, work perfectly in this style. To go alongside, objet d’art with natural influences, like this sweet pair of carved marble owls, help to emphasise the trend’s rural associations. Last but not least, nothing says rusticity like unique pieces with bags of character and natural patina, like this zinc bathtub.
(1) A cherrywood kitchen table, 19th century. Est. £400-600, (2) A pair of carved marble owls, 19th century. Est. £600-800, (3) A French zinc bath tub, early 20th century. Est. £200-400
On the other end of the spectrum, ‘maximalism’ embraces bright colours, busy patterns, and an eclectic mix of styles that help to inject some vibrancy and excitement at a time when life is feeling a little flat. A couple of lots in our forthcoming sale that really sing are a William and Mary wingback armchair upholstered in striking zig-zag fabric, and Lionel Bulmer’s spirited composition, Untitled. If you're looking for a gentler introduction, this pair of ‘tobacco leaf’ dishes are super colourful and would easily brighten up any display!
(1) A pair of English pottery 'tobacco leaf' dishes,19th century. Est. £200-400, (2) Detail from Lionel Bulmer (1919-1992) Untitled. Est. £1,500-2,000, (3) A William and Mary wingback armchair,18th century. Est. £700-900
It’s not surprising that we are seeking some escapism and to satisfy our craving for travel. Collecting world artefacts has become a popular past time for many. This Syrian chest of drawers and camel table would be sure to introduce some Eastern delight into an interiors scheme, and the near pair of Qajar pottery tiles are a classic example of the gorgeous Iznik palette beloved by many collectors, interior designers and interiors enthusiasts alike.
(1) A Syrian ebonised, mother-of-pearl and bone inlaid tall chest of drawers, 20th century. Est. £1,500-2,500, (2) A near pair of Qajar pottery tiles, late 19th century. Est. £400-600, (3) An Indian carved teak occasional table,19th century. Est. £700-900
The forthcoming Fine Interiors auction takes place on Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 March. A selection of preview lots are currently available to view here, and the full catalogue will be released shortly.
Stay up to date with the latest news, inspirations, and sale highlights by following the department on Instagram @swordersfineinteriors
For more information about the sale, please contact the team - firstname.lastname@example.org | 01279 817778