For anyone around in the 80s, like myself, I remember sitting in the tranquillity of the doctor’s waiting room with subtle tones of pinks and greys.  Mum was considering what pastel colours to bring together in the master bedroom and I was helping my friend paint her hairdressing salon in the early 90’s terracotta with a forest green trim – together with a random paint effect wash on all the walls!  Primary colour mixing was everywhere including clothing, not to mention neons and fluros.  Rimu was the ultimate in wooden furniture design and we had every girl’s dream – the brat pack consisting of Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson and Andrew McCartney.

Just like fashion, colours and interior styling is often influenced by the past.  This time around however interior stylists use the concept of textures, toning and pattern mixing to a greater degree to bring a fabulous layered look into play.   Nothing is or should be over styled – our favourate mantra is “less is more”.


Like most styling in the 90s there as a cluttered and over styled aspect to the use of these colours.  Today we use great simple forms and colour pops to bring interest and style into a room.

Various tones of reds, yellows and blues are used prolifically now but these are more in the autumnal rich colours such as rust, mustard, navy, and olives, amongst many other sumptuous colours.

Don’t be afraid to mix a terracotta with a navy, a mustard with a navy or rust, this resurgence of colour mix will work if you layer with texture and bring a commentary pattern to the front of a cushion, on artwork on the wall, or great vase or a rug.

Then and Now


Thankfully the chinzy, floral swag is a certain thing of the past, however strong bold florals are currently a trend loved by many.  Again, not overdone, and offsetting the large print with plan complentary colours allows a beauty and richness in any setting, including this amazing splashback by Miss Lolo.

Large strong botanical artwork, prints, wallpaper or bed linens can speak for themselves without adding more, and more and more – let them be the hero in a room.


Neon was everywhere in the 80s, clothing, signage, and interiors.  And for those not brave enough to go Neon – pastel was just the white-washed version.   We don’t see it as much these days but those who use it well for interior styling, tend to not take neon literally, more utilise the colour palette of neon to add a splash to their home.

This example shows pops of neon against a darker wall color, however, stying a shelving unit with a couple of neon accessories such as vases or a book cover will give a great effect also.  Graffiti artwork is very on-trend and this tends to include neons – a great way to bring this look into a room.


What can we say – Rimu – it was everywhere in the 1990s and it was crucial that we acquire a full set of bedroom furniture that all matched, or dining, coffee, and hutch dressers for our living rooms.  We still see the odd home that contains traditionally styled rimu in force in their home.  Sorry people, this was a 1990s trend and it is certainly time to invest in some new furniture.

Today we see a well thought through a mix of wood grains, wood tones, and the use of various other materials for furniture including laquers, mirror, glass, concrete, resins, and various metals.  Bringing a mix of these together in a room in a well thought out way will provide longevity and interest in your interior styling.  I will allow you to add various layers of soft furnishings and change these over time if you wish, without the need to necessary change investment furniture pieces.

If you have space, invest in a great buffet or sideboard, invest in a great coffee table – these things do not have to match each other and no rimu should be in sight.

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