Rio Inspired Interiors
August 5, 2016|Trends
- his week will see the colourful city of Rio de Janeiro play host to the 27th Olympic Summer Games. A city of juxtapositions, Rio’s contrasting landscape of sea, concrete and jungle is as eclectic as its approach to design. Separating the land from the sea is the iconic Calçadão de Copacabana, a mosaic walkway crafted from contrasting white calcite and black basalt stones. The curved sidewalk, inspired by the patterns of Lisbon’s Praca do Rocio, fuses together the features synonymous with Brazilian design. From its modern aesthetic, to mixture of colours, textures and cultural reference points, the Calçadão is a distinctly Brazilian work of art. As a homage to the energy and colour of Rio, we explore how some of this vibrancy can be woven into interiors.
Rio is a kaleidoscope of colours, from the emerald green of the palms that line Ipanema beach to the ripe oranges of Brazil’s fruit-bearing trees. Rio’s carnival, held each year in February, is the ultimate celebration of colour where the streets are transformed into waves of richly saturated hues. These jewel-bright colours provide the perfect focal point within a room, which can be softened with accessories and cushions in complimentary colours. Speaking of colour’s transformative properties is Leatrice Eiserman, the executive director of Pantone: ‘colours this season transport us to a happier, sunnier place’. With vivid shades such as the yellow-based red Fiesta and Buttercup, a jubilant yellow, making this year’s Pantone edit, it’s clear that tropical hues are very much on trend.
Another emergent trend this summer is the profusion of palm-prints on offer, mimicking the lush vegetation of Brazil’s rainforests. Exotic prints provide a non-committal way to freshen up an interior whilst adding visual interest to a space. Luxury interior and fashion designer, House of Hackney, takes the natural world as a starting point for each new collection. Two of their botanical-inspired designs include the retro Palmeral with its explosion of palm leaves and the elegant Pampas depicting the intertwining silhouette of banana leaves and ferns. Matthew Williamson for Osbourne & Little’s Tropicana is equally striking in vibrant greens and blues. For a more subtle nod to the trend, Williamson has designed Cocos, a wallpaper decorated with the diffused silhouettes of swaying palms. French design house, Ananbo, specialises in panoramic wallpapers of far-flung destinations, offering a more classic take on the trend.
Other tropical motifs such as flamingos and pineapples also provide an unexpected touch of the exotic, as well as an injection of playfulness. When crafted in quality materials, such as this cut-glass chandelier, the overall effect is still luxurious in feel. For a truly statement piece, Drummonds have designed a freestanding cast-iron Spey bath hand painted with an eye-catching design of tropical flora and fauna. Available in either a polish or lacquered finish, this roll top bath is the ultimate in design escapism.
Along with colour, we have observed a shift in interiors to incorporating more natural materials like wood and stone into the home. This is especially apparent in the summer when natural as opposed to synthetic materials are favoured for their breathability in the warmer months. Woven baskets, wooden bedsteads and coffee tables all reference Brazil’s commitment to resourcefulness and craftsmanship, whilst making for simple styling additions that can be changed seasonally. The muted quality of these pieces provide an effective antidote to the exuberance of colour in Brazilian design, achieving an equilibrium between vibrancy and sophistication.
As the world sits poised in anticipation of Saturday’s opening ceremony, Rio has already won gold in our eyes for its infectious use of colour and pattern in interiors.
Composed by LE.