A sit down with Julia Kendell

Posted: 2nd Aug 2018

We catch up with Julia Kendell, BBC's DIY SOS guest designer and spokesperson for The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show (21-23 September, ExCeL, London), to find out the next big trends, tips for decorating on a budget, and much more

1 What’s been your favourite trend of 2018 so far, and why?

I have really enjoyed the increasing march of rich, luscious velvets in to interiors this year. They provide a welcome luxe touch to the industrial trend that has continued to gain in popularity, adding both a feminine vibe and splashes of vibrant colour. The instant warmth and tactile presence of velvet provides the perfect juxtaposition in an organic, cool environment and I, for one, love the contrast! For an on-trend look, choose a soft-pastel tone rather than a powerful, deep shade.

2 What do you predict the next big trends will be?

Warm gold and brass has been big news this year but I predict it will skyrocket for 2019 with matt finishes and distressed bronze and brass taking the lead. Paired with matt black finishes, there will be more choice of glamorous gold furnishings and fittings at high-street level, making it a more accessible trend. The 80s is currently being re-played in the fashion world (why?!) and there are some who predict a move towards the trends of that decade in interiors, but I can’t see it. I started my career in the eighties and trust me, it is one look that doesn’t need resurrecting. I can, however, see the traditional country house style playing in to interiors for 2019.

3 What would be your one tip for a homeowner who is decorating on a budget?

I would suggest looking for well-constructed, second-hand furniture that can be upcycled inexpensively to create one-off items. Better for the environment too, it is far easier to create a curated and considered interior scheme with unique pieces. Furniture paints are so easy to use now, it is perfectly possible to transform a table or chest of drawers in just one day, with very little skill. 

4 What’s your current favourite upcycling project for our readers to try?

My favourite item to upcycle is a vintage suitcase or trunk. Adding hairpin or tapered wooden legs will convert the case into a stylish side or bedside table, and shorter legs are perfect to create a coffee table. Fixing the lid open and inserting a fitted cushion to the body of the case will also make the most adorable cat bed!

5 What’s your favourite space saving hack to try around the home? -

The under-stairs cupboard situation has always aggravated me as it generally becomes a hole of doom, however hard you try to tidy it. The new stair drawer storage system (http://clevercloset.co.uk/under-stairs/) will maximise the efficiency of leaving the house in the morning by providing somewhere organised and accessible to store shoes, boots, bags and kit. A local joiner will be able to quote for the work. 

For those who are interested in discussing their property ambitions with Julia on Saturday 22 September, the show is offering all our reader free tickets to attend - you can apply for yours here: http://www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/homestyle

T&Cs: Please note that tickets must be redeemed before on 3PM 20 September 2018. Additional T&Cs apply: www.homebuildingshow.co.uk/terms