Harvey Norman’s lead designer Rachel McCann on Key Interior Trends

We’re always on the lookout for exciting new trends and styles that are emerging in interiors and who better to give us a few pointers than the head of store design and accessories buyer for Harvey Norman.Rachel McCann has been working in the homewares and interiors world for more than 15 years. KIM WILLOUGHBY caught up with her to find out what’s new on the décor landscape and share her insider’s perspective on key looks for 2014:

Q: What would you call the biggest style statement in interiors for 2014?A: Industrial chic is by far and away the biggest look of 2014. It’s a fantastic look as it’s such an interesting mix of eclectic mismatched items. The older, the more rusty, the better. I’m a big fan of it and my own house has looked like this for quite a while, exposed floor boards and brick walls are my new obsession.

Q: Does this mean the vintage vibe we’ve witnessed over the last few years is waning?A: No way, it’s just getting bigger and bigger, there is a newfound love for old, worn and vintage inspired looks. Old really is the new new. I think it has taken an even more rusty dusty appearance though with industrial chic really rearing its head this year, less soft, feminine, chic and more punchy New York loft.

Q: What trend are we going to see more and more throughout the year?A: Metal has made a big comeback, in furniture and accessories, in wall hangings — anything from Coca Cola to gasoline images are huge, metal is at its best with rusted edges and multi-coloured finishes.

Q: What is emerging as the must-have shade this season?A: The absolute must-have colour, and my own personal favourite, is yellow! Whether it is canary or English mustard, it’s just fabulous! It’s a very bright colour so use it wisely, our bestselling retro telephones are available in English mustard, that one item is enough to give your room a lift and I promise you it will be the biggest talking piece of the house!

Bengal 8 Drawer Sideboard, €599, Harvey Norman

Bengal 8 Drawer Sideboard, €599, Harvey Norman

Q: For those who are slightly afraid of colour how dowe incorporate these bright shades into our home?A: Don’t be afraid of colour, it’s fabulous, I have been adding the colour yellow/lemon to our stores all this week and everyone agrees it just puts such a smile on your face. If nervous, add elements in flowers, cushions or as suggested our retro telephone, but mostly in small inexpensive items you can change around easily, I’m not recommending a yellow sofa! Try our new Yankee Sicilian lemon candles, they smell amazing and add a fabulous pop of colour to your room!

Q: Are we seeing any alternative pattern to rival our love affair with florals in 2014?A: I suppose we have Cath Kidston to thank for the new floral obsession. It’s a look that is not going away, mixed with polka dots, birdcages, butterflies and any feminine vintage accessories.

Stripes are always high fashion as they are elegant and timeless, but they are seeing a big resurgence this season. JIGSAW have launcheda stunning silver grey stripe with wooden button mix, and for The Linen Room (textile) range I have chosen a super fresh, crisp blue and white nautical stripe, they are both stunning simple and classic.

The chevron pattern is also huge this season, I have to say I love it; I have it in store in grey and white bed linen.

Q: Who are the top designers in your range at the moment?A: Orla Kiely is just huge right now, she has a natural affinity with a lot of Irish women. Her soft autumnal shades and quirky patterns are a must-have in mugs, stationary and now wallpapers, she is most definitely the designer of the moment.

I have just brought in some of her papers, I personally love her mustard stem (the plain pattern) but her original design, the multi-colour stem is just always the bestseller.

Orla Kiely Mugs, €12.95

Orla Kiely Mugs, €12.95

Q: Finally with summer fast approaching what advice have you to make the most of outdoor space?A: Balconies need foliage for softness, too much concrete or wood can look cold. I suggest lots of plants, real or fake if you’re not green-fingered, there are lots of great artificial plants on the market, we have some really cute topiary ball plants from €14.00. Add Orla Kiely retro plant pots for great pops of colour, add hanging love hearts, quirky signs, even hang mirrors, but my favourite item in store right now is our hanging ‘light bulb’ tea light holder, hang them anywhere and everywhere, they are perfect for parties, tied in groups along your washing line or in the trees, it’s the best €5.00 you could spend this year, I promise!

In Short: The lead interior designer at Harvey Norman, Rachel McCann opens up about Key Interior Trends and her advice on styling your home

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