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Hot home décor: Bright, bold and a little retro

As an experienced author, journalist and editor, Sarah specialises in writing about business, property, travel and parenting. She's written for magazines including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Collective and Your Investment Property magaz...

The brighter the better

From SheKnows Australia
Whether you want to spruce up a tired living room or breathe new life into your backyard, the hottest new trend in home décor is all about bright colours, bold patterns and clashing prints.

Laminex Group design director Neil Sookee says 2013 is all about colour — the brighter, the better.

"Related to colour blocking, where large areas of contrasting chromatic colour are used side by side, this 'colour splash' trend uses a small area of contrasting colour, set against a neutral expanse," he explains.

"It represents greater confidence and expressiveness with the use of colour."

By definition, colour contrast "must be used in conjunction with white or other neutrals," he adds — so to make this look work, you need to pair bold, bright feature pieces with white, grey, black and brown base tones.

This means you can stick with neutral sofas, carpets, curtains and outdoor furniture, but spice things up with some interesting accessories. Here are some quirky yet affordable options to get you thinking...

For your living and dining room...

Frankie Ottoman

Equally at home in a kids' playroom as it is in your grown up living room, this comfy ottoman combines style and comfort. The 100 per cent cotton cover can be removed for easy washing and comes in a range of clashing prints, including pink candy cane stripes, a monochrome dog print and a red floral design.

Available from:

Price: $149

Scatter cushions

One of the easiest ways to refresh your space is to upgrade your cushions: It’s inexpensive, easy and makes a stylish impact. Don’t feel the need to embrace a "matchy-matchy" look and instead place clashing prints and colours alongside each other.

Available from: Big W

Price: From $10 each

Artificial greenery

Plastic plants have come a long way in recent years! No longer the tacky, fake-looking floral arrangements that lined granny’s hallway, artificial plants of today look lush and colourful. A potted (fake) plant is the perfect, low-fuss way to add greenery to your living space without having to remember to water it each week.

Available from: Kmart

Price: $15

Bold platters, jugs and goblets

Whether you’re entertaining outdoors or serving up food to a busy family, sometimes it’s better to leave the crockery in the cupboard and reach for plastic and melamine servingware instead. Don’t forget that platters, jugs, cups and plates in clashing prints and colours also look fabulous when arranged as decor pieces on tables or bookshelves.

Available from: Target

Price: $7–$11

For your backyard:

Long Island straw umbrella

This shaggy and playful straw umbrella is the perfect poolside accessory, and as the design encourages easy transportation — it’s lightweight with a retractable pole — you can pop it in the boot for a picnic or trip to the beach.

Available from: Target

Price: $30

Patio by Jamie Durie outdoor furniture

Add a splash of colour to your outdoor environment by investing in some bold outdoor furniture! This affordable range includes stand-alone chairs and sofas, plus a bold sunshine-yellow umbrella to shade your new outdoor setting from the elements.

Available from: Big W

Price: Peninsula dining chair, $68; 2.48m parasol umbrella, Patio chair, $198; 2.5 seater sofa, $398.

BBQ mini grill

Brighten your backyard with this gorgeous retro-inspired mini-grill! Available in vibrant shades of red, blue and lime green, this petite grill can handle steaks, snags and rissoles, without needing to fuss around with gas bottles: Just add charcoal heat beads and you’re good to go. Best of all, the mini-grill comes with a mini-pricetag of just $29!

Available from: Target

Price: $29

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