The latest decorating trend: soft is the new sleek

The latest decorating trend: soft is the new sleek

After years of hard-to-maintain minimalism at home, you can relax, because now decorating your house is all about soft textures and higgledy-piggledy design.

After years of hard-to-maintain minimalism at home, you can relax, because now decorating your house is all about soft textures and higgledy-piggledy design.

It’s more than 20 years since we were exhorted to chuck out our chintz, and ever since then the interior design mantra has been ‘less is more’. We’ve simplified our sofas, pared back our picture frames and taken our inspiration from clean, modern Scandinavian design.

And while that mid-century style is still the height of interior design fashion, there’s been a recent move to soften those hard lines and make our homes that little bit more, well, cosy.

We’re not saying it’s time to bring back all those fuddy-duddy florals (although bold prints are definitely making a comeback, in contemporary colours), but as shown by last year’s obsession with the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ (cosy warmth), there’s an appetite for what you might call the ‘perfection of imperfection’.

Here are five great ways to soften the style of your own home.


This may be a stretch if you like knife-edge corners on your bedlinen and perfectly placed cushions on your sofa, but choosing naturally creased fabrics such as Irish linen can bring a natural sense of relaxation to your home. Don’t go overboard – part of the power of this look is the contrast of a rumpled bedspread over perfectly ironed sheets.


We’re not talking floral sofas or wallpaper in every room here, but adding a really contemporary take on an old-fashioned print by the likes of William Morris can create a wonderful talking point in your home. It could be a cushion, a newly upholstered chair, or even a single wall that’s boldly wallpapered. The secret is to go for something traditional in design, but choose more modern colours.


This trend isn’t all about looks: it’s how you feel in your home, too. If your bedlinen is soft, your towels are fluffy and your cushions are radiantly clean, then you can get that ‘hygge’ effect without even trying. Use Fairy Non Bio Fabric Conditioner when you wash your linen to get huggably soft textiles that are gentle enough for even sensitive skin.


So much of your home’s atmosphere is down to lighting. Instead of relying on ceiling and pendant lights, wire in some wall uplighters in a soft, unglazed ceramic (these are super-cheap), and fill your rooms with mismatched lamps. For the softest atmosphere of all, ditch the electrics and go for candles. (Just don’t leave them unattended!)


This may bring back memories of dusty house plants and indestructible spider plants, but hanging baskets and terrariums are having a real moment, and bring a nature-loving mood to your home. There are some beautiful big glass bowls around, planted with succulents that need virtually no care, or if you prefer something more practical, why not get a self-watering herb planter, so you always have fresh herbs ready to cook with?

How do you keep your home warm and welcoming? Share your tips in the comments box below.

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No more Itchy skin


I love Fairy it leaves my clothes soft and comfortable, with no more itchy irritated skin. Fantastic.

Good value

Elizabeth 23/07/2017

Lovely smell leaves you clothes clean and fresh all day

Amazing smell

Maura 23/07/2017

I love using Fairy. It is the only brand that I use for washing clothes. They always smell amazing when you take them in after drying and open the hot press it's the first smell you get

Warm home


I find a smile at the door to greet people and also the smell of fairy non bio as i am drying clothes on the clothes hanger helps also

Ever so soft

Catherine 21/07/2017

Since my Daughter was six month old I started using Fairy non bio washing powder. She is now 33 and she still uses Fairy non bio in her own home. We can both tell from the fresh smell in the bedroom that the bed clothes have been washed in Fairy non bio. We would not use anything else. Catherine

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