From underfoot to overhead, find out how to make the best of a room’s surfaces with these expert opinions, styling tricks, paint trends, tiling tips, advice for wallpaper, rugs, flooring, and more.


The fills, finishes, tiles, floors and wallpapers that are emerging as go-to contemporary classics that read as both time-tested and ultra-modern – the perfect foundation for new ideas.

Left: Shenzhen Exclusive Penthouse by Dariel Studio,


Flooring material of the moment? I love using an exterior brick inside.

Tips for tiling walls? Play with unusual tiling layouts. The tiles don’t need to be costly if you’ve got a creative pattern.

What is the paint colour for 2018? A dusty baby blue.

Ideas for painting walls? Consider hiring a colour designer, like Freya Lincoln, to custom-design a colour for your walls. I quite like to paint the wall, mouldings, cornices and skirtings one colour.

Groundbreaking material for walls? Padded fabric is a great idea to explore.

What are the biggest trends in wallpapers? I like a natural fibre wallpaper that adds depth and warmth to a room but isn’t overwhelming. You get some amazing grasscloth wallpapers.

How to create statement flooring? Stripes are bold and classic.

Best value for money when choosing flooring? A concrete screed is never a bad idea. It’s hard-wearing, practical, cost-effective and a great starting point from which to layer. Concrete screed has more soul to it than a porcelain tile does.

What to know when renovating walls and floors? Never paint an imperfect wall in gloss paint. Unless you’re going to plaster and burnish a wall three times over to achieve a perfect finish, the imperfections will just make it look cheap.


From Sixties patterns to Seventies-inspired tones and materials, here’s
the lowdown on retro-influenced accents for all your living spaces

Left: Downtown Mexico by Cherem Serrano Architects,


Ideas for a statement wall? Dark, moody walls create depth and focus. They also provide a punchy backdrop for accessorising with woods, foliage and lighter accents.

Wallpaper: how do you mix things up? Wallpaper is a great feature in a room. It doesn’t just have to be applied to a wall. Add a printed wallpaper to cupboard door fronts.

Groundbreaking material for walls? Leather or brass sheeting.
Wall divider ideas? Create a shelving screen that functions as a bookshelf or feature, as well as a room divider.

Flooring material of the moment? Terrazzo.

Where to use carpet? Use carpet as a zoning tool, especially in open-plan areas to demarcate the lounge from the dining area, for example.

How to create statement flooring? Add brass edging strips into your tile layouts to create detail.

Must-have rug? Brabetz wool pile custom rug with an abstract print.


The counterbalance to bold trends and feature walls
and floors is a selection of muted tones and understated finishes that will act as a backdrop for statement furniture

Left: Lemon Locke in London by Grzywinski+Pons,


What are the big trends in walls? Not only walls, but ceilings are being covered in graphic wallpaper. A few companies are getting these graphics right, such as Lemon.

Tips for tiling walls? Spanish architectural firm Arquitectura-g are doing some very interesting things here. They are using mosaic tiles in muted tones and tiling bathrooms from floor to ceiling. This is something I find quite interesting – one solid, muted tone throughout a space.

Ideas for statement walls? Avoid them. Rather, paint the entire room the colour you had in mind – it’s a lot more impactful and really creates a mood.

Flooring material of the moment? French oak.

How to create statement flooring? Using a patterned inlay in the same tile creates a nice demarcation of space.

What are the biggest trends in wallpapers? Strong, Italian Sixties graphic colours.

Best value for money when choosing your flooring? Engineered oak.

Wall cladding: what should you get? I like travertine as wall cladding. It’s soft and textured.

What to know when renovating walls and floors? Always get references from a number of people for the contractor or sub-contractor doing the work. It’s one thing to have a beautiful tile, but it could be ruined with bad workmanship.


Clever mixing and matching produces distinctive looks reflective of a sophisticated eye. Consider coupling powdery-hued mosaic tiles and polished granite accents, or leather-look and patterned wallpapers. To create a unique look, go beyond expected pairings

Left: Bridgevest Office in Rotterdam by Studio Tomorrow,


What are the paint colours for 2018? Ochre is making a comeback and pastel colours will be big.

Must-have rug? Overdyed traditional rugs are amazing.

Wallpaper ideas: how do you mix things up? Apply wallpaper to larger areas instead of just a feature wall. It’s a great feature in a small bathroom to have all the walls wallpapered.

Groundbreaking material for walls? There are some amazing products made out of bamboo, which can create really interesting finishes.

Wood panelling: what to get and where to get it? BestWood Flooring has a great range. The lighter timbers are popular at the moment.

Innovations in flooring? Wood-look tiles.

What to know when renovating walls and floors? Choose something that is fairly neutral for the larger areas and bring pattern and interesting finishes into the smaller areas so as not to overwhelm the space.

Tips for tiling walls? Make use of patterned feature tiles, or lay the tiles in an interesting way; for example, rectangular tiles laid in a herringbone formation.