Blog: October 2016

The 2016 home - according to John Lewis
By Coco Piras

John Lewis  and its sales are a bellweather for the British economy, and what we buy from the department store shows where the Brits are at when it comes to homes and interiors

So its 2016 trend report has some interesting findings - particularly that hummingbirds, flamingos and pineapples have caught our fancy in the year of Brexit....

The trend for all things plain and taupe is clearly in abeyance; no, this year we've wanted clashing patterns, colour and quirkiness in our homes. So John Lewis has crunched the numbers and found that...drum roll... 
●     Sales of its multi-coloured hummingbird wallpaper (£25 a roll) went up by 94 per cent, while sales of chinaware with bold patterns were up 52 per cent.
●     Eye-catching flamingos emblazoned everything from cups and cushions to wallpaper and fairy lights. Searches for 'flamingo' increased by a staggering 200 per cent on,  apparently.
●     Gold pineapples made a quirky style statement. The retailer had been selling up to 70 a day of its recyclable aluminium pineapples (£30) ...though things have calmed down a bit.
The year of the avocado
2016 was also the year of the avocado - though fortunately avocado bathroom suites aren't back in vogue - with searches for avocado-related products 85 per cent higher than last year.
Doing our bit to cut plastic waste
More of us are heeding the plea that we stop buying water in throw-away plastic bottles as that plastic waste is ruining the oceans. JL says so far this year sales of re-fillable water bottles are up 35 per cent. 
Smart home
You may be a Luddite and not mind drawing your curtains by hand..but more of us want to press a button for things to get things moving at home and we're embracing that word of the moment - connectivity.
●     Searches for smart home products on were up 670 per cent. Yes, you read it right, 670.
●     JL has seen an 81 per cent increase in sales of smart home products
So what are we leaving behind?
Well, women don't want to hear big hats anymore, preferring to have a disc-shaped fascinator perched on the head.
Are we getting less group-vain? Well, seemingly because sales of selfie sticks are down, and online searches for them are down by 50 per cent compared to last year.
Designers, stop designing CD and DVD storage units because we all have on-demand telly these days. And mobile phones are putting alarm clocks out of business - sales are down nearly 10 per cent.  
painting and decorating, eco friendly, eco home
If you're visiting people, here are some house guest faux pas you need to know not to commit
By Hari Alexander

This doesn't relate to things eco, but we were amused by it in the Deco office and have wildly differing views on a few of the faux pas..

Anyway, a flooring company has done a survey of 1009 British adults to find out what they consider the most annoying things house guests do.

Top of the list is using a mobile phone at the dinner table (we're all agreed on that) and apparently 77 per cent of those questioned don't like it when guests ask for the wifi password. Well, it does suggest the guest is anticipating being bored and needing to access YouTube Fifa videos...

Third on the list of top irritants is people wearing shoes indoors..and this is where I profoundly disagree. Indeed when I go to someone's house, particularly in the evening and it's not raining and my shoes aren't covered in mud, and I'm asked to take off my shoes, I feel like turning round and heading for home again. I don't want to have to spend the evening in my socks, I find it disempowering to be shoeless in a social gathering and I think it's rude to ask people to take off their shoes at the door.

I mean, let's imagine a posh party and a woman arrives at her hosts' door wearing beautiful high heels which complement her dress and generally make her look terrific, not to mention taller. To expect her to remove her lovely shoes and ruin the look of her outfit for the non existent possibility of damaging the hosts' carpets is unreasonable. Sure if shoes are filthy, take 'em off. But if you're so precious about your carpets, really, don't ask anyone to come round to your house.

Carrying on, we don't like visitors to look into our bedrooms without permission - we feel it's an invasion of privacy. And we hate people opening our fridges and peering inside. I must say, I'm with the survey on that given that my fridge is always pitifully empty bar that lone rotting courgette on the bottom shelf. 
When it comes to home entertaining, nearly a quarter of us say we expect guests not to arrive empty handed - a bottle of wine really is de rigeur, though if people are coming for lunch, we don't feel so strongly about it and only three per cent of those surveyed said they'd expect a guest to arrive with a gift. 
Apparently 22 per cent think it's very rude if you're a guest and you turn down food you're offered. And if you're staying with people for a few days, beware helping yourself to food! Eighty eight per cent of people questioned say they'd think it incredibly rude if a guest is helping him or herself to the contents of the biscount tin uninvited. 
Those top 10 faux pas in full:
Being on your phone over lunch / dinner
Asking for the Wi-Fi code
Wearing shoes on the carpet
Looking in bedrooms without permission
Looking inside the fridge without asking
Turning up to a dinner party without a gift
Helping yourself to food without asking
Putting your feet on the furniture
Turning down food when asked
Bringing around a pet without asking first
What do you think? drop us a line at
painting and decorating, flooring