Q&A with Claude Hooper - Winter Interior

01 January 2023

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We recently spoke with Carrie Edwards from Claude Hooper to find out what the latest interior design trends look like and what to expect the trends to look like this year, plus much more. Claude Hooper is a well-established interior design consultancy and we have worked with them across a number of our communities.

What were the current trends of 2022? 

As working from home has become a lot more common, the trend last year was rich shades of green and warmer neutrals as people want to spend more time making their homes warmer, with a more vibrant feel to it. We also saw textures and soft layers being brought into the home such as boucle fabrics on soft furnishings to add comfort. Wall panelling was also in this year which gave homes a more traditional feel as well as including locally and sustainably sourced pieces of furniture which hold a story - this made the home feel much more traditional and cosy.

What do you expect the trends to look like this year? 

The one main decorating trend for 2023 is spa-style, consisting of more tranquil spaces so every room can be opulent meaning you can’t help but feel relaxed. The colours this year will range from ocean hues and midnight sky minerals to more earthy tones like Paprika and Wild Wonder – a glowing and uplifting tone. Wild Wonder makes us feel more connected with nature whilst feeling relaxed in a tranquil spa-style home. Another popular trend will be using furniture to bring people back together such as stylish accent chairs rather than loveseats - creating a more sociable feel. Additionally with the whole spa feel in mind and working from home being so popular, desk spaces or workstations will be disguised by pieces of furniture when sitting in the living room or kitchen to look like drinks cabinets or bureaus, creating a more relaxed feel to ‘hide the workday away.’

How would you summarise Claude Hooper’s Style?

It’s hard to decide on one style as every project we do is different so we have to tailor our style to it. However, when we were established in 1972 we were one of the very few furniture retailers outside of London offering high-quality design pieces from Italy and Scandinavia. We have always been a creative company and dedicate ourselves to translating current interior trends into a collection of exciting show-home installations. We pride ourselves on attention to detail and unique selling points by incorporating specific lifestyle elements. We love a challenge and our stylists dedicate themselves to recreating and staging believable homes.

What is your favourite project/community you have worked on?

That’s a hard one, I would probably have to say Jesmond Assembly. The project was one of the largest we’ve done to date, taking the longest amount of time from the start to finish and creating spacious, welcoming communal areas and warming furnished apartments. We are still involved in Jesmond Assembly furnished apartments now. However, there are some other stunning communities that we have worked on such as Cobham Bowers and Fitzjohn’s. The apartments we dressed at Cobham Bowers were beautiful and we are particularly proud of them. We also dressed a beautiful apartment down in Winchester which was really lovely to do. It’s very hard to decide which one is my favourite as each project is very different.

What is your favourite winter trend?

Anything that is snuggly, comfy and cosy. I don’t think it’s necessarily about the colour, it’s just about making your house feel homely. We’ve seen grey for years now on walls and what I’m loving is the fact we are now moving towards stone colours which are much warmer, almost like a Neptune colour which feels more warm than the classic grey but is still neutral in a house.

How do you tailor your interior design to each development?

Each development is very different so as a starting point we consider the brief and study the brochure for each community to learn more about the style. Also, there are often people who have reserved a property within the development, so we look closely at the clientele and their history to discover more about who will be living in the community and try to match the style of their tastes. It’s important to relate to the area, for example with Cheltenham you look at the shops and restaurants around the local area. Finally, trends at the time are important, so we tie all of this together to create a project which works.

Could you please provide tips on how to refresh your home? 

I think it can be very easy to do on a cheap budget by simply changing the small decorative features within a house. This can be done each season if necessary, such as purchasing new cushions or throws to match the colour of the season. Keeping the house very neutral with grey backdrops or warm light colours means it’s simple to add new decorative colours. For example, when plants began to trend, it was very easy for people to pop to their local supermarket or garden centre to purchase plants whether they were real or fake just to follow the trend.