The Linen Look

Fire place, with mirror above the mantel in the Linen Look

The days are fresher, there’s a new lightness in the air and the world seems alive with possibility. The blossom and green shoots beckon us back into nature and encourage us to embrace change and new beginnings. The intoxicating spirit of Spring has taken hold at Cotswold Grey and it’s got us all thinking about a new look for our interiors this month. Specifically: the linen look.

 

There’s so much to love about linen. Probably the most versatile fibre available to the contemporary designer, it can be spun into an endless array of fabrics. Whether as luxury bed linen or heavy upholstery, it adds substance and style to any interior. It can create an atmosphere of rustic simplicity or urban decadence depending on how it’s deployed and the possibilities really are endless. The pale spring light has encouraged us to explore the softer side of linen this month and focus on an elegant natural palette, which we believe shows off the organic finish of the fabric to its best effect and offers the greatest potential for experimentation in your home.

 

Natural colour 

A natural colour scheme provides a wonderful opportunity to express personal style because it will emphasize the quality of your carefully chosen furniture and accessories. The serpentine form of an armchair upholstered in soft ecru linen might be an afterthought when lost in a saturated paint scheme but it will become a key feature in the linen look. Likewise, a sleek glass vase or candelabra will stand proudly as an exquisite design statement in its own right. This look turns the simple into a showstopper and creates a layered, welcoming finish.

 

Create visual interest

This layering is important. The number one rule with the linen look is to use different textures to create visual interest. A natural palette will never go out of fashion but is susceptible to looking bland without the proper design touches. Thankfully you can avoid this pitfall with remarkable ease. For instance, we’re particularly fond of including glass in these rooms and the hand-blown vases designed by Sempre  – like light captured in solid form – provide a fabulous crisp contrast to the soft nubby finish of the Van Thiel Cyprian bench in cream linen. You might likewise wish to introduce a silky-soft sheepskin to add a touch of luxury and a further layer of texture. Part of the appeal of this look is that it opens the door to all sorts of combinations and allows you to create a space that is perfectly tailored to your tastes and requirements without feeling pressured to conform to a strict scheme.  

 

Accents of colour

Don’t be afraid to add gentle accents of colour. It may be called the linen look, but this is an approach that welcomes variation. It all adds to the depth and can be achieved with a minimum of effort. Try introducing an arrangement of blossom or spring blooms to raise the key of your room, or hang a gleaming silver-framed mirror to add a highlight. What we love most about this look is its incredible versatility; it can form the bedrock of your design scheme for years without ever becoming tired and can be transformed with one or two simple touches whenever you feel like refreshing the room. Why not embrace the linen look this spring?

James Pilsworth
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