Interior Trend : Dark Colour Palette

30th September 2016

Such is the Scandinavian influence on design that the minimal, white on white trend has been an industry favourite for a few years now. Whilst it will always be a timeless look, it seems that there’s a darker future ahead of us. From Interior Designers and bloggers to Pinterest Boards and design magazines, there’s a clear, growing trend for pushing colour boundaries in the home using dark, rich and jewel-toned colours.

It’s easy to see why this is happening. Dark colours are sophisticated, comfortable and as timeless as their minimal counterparts. If plain is not your style and you’re thinking about bringing some dark décor elements into your home, these tips and interiors will offer an abundance of inspiration.

9 Tips on Decorating with a Dark Colour Palette

Luxurious materials

Dark interiors don’t have to be sullen or edgy.  Layer your space with luxurious materials like slate, ebony and leather to achieve a dark colour palette that’s smart and sophisticated. This apartment in Kiev by Dzhemesyuk & Yurov Design shows how inviting dark rooms can be. The air of luxury really brings to mind the sound of clinking of cocktail glasses, the pleasure of old, vintage books and memories of a time before designers felt the pressure to paint everything white for the sake of raw minimalism.

dark colour interior

By Dzhemesyuk & Yurov Design Via


Layers of Textiles

If you’ve painted a room in one dark colour, you don’t necessarily need other colours to add character to the space. Opulent textiles like plush velvet, silk, woven rattans and statement rugs add depth to your interior. In this home by interior architects Leqb, the master bedroom is piled with drapes, linens and cushions, which prevents the dark colours from looking too stark or monotonous.

Designed by interior architects Leqb via

Designed by interior architects Leqb via


Jewel Tone Touches

Dark colours do pose the risk of looking dull and foreboding in your interior. A great way to avoid this is to incorporate bright-dark colours into your colour palette. Rich jewel tones like emerald, teal and purple create a really luxe look whether used all over or sparingly. Perfect for creating an air of opulence in your space.

Dark colour purple teal living-room

Via Home Design


Go Green

The thought of dark colours can  instantly bring to mind varying shades of blacks and browns, but dark colour schemes are actually much more diverse than this. In the Elle Decoration EDApartment at Greenwich Peninsula, green botanic shades and earthly hues have been used to create a gorgeous dark interior with lots of originality and character. With Pantone including Greenery and Kale in their colour trend predictions for 2017, there’s no better time than now to start experimenting with green in your home.


Designed by the Elle Style Consultancy, Via Elle Decoration


Large Windows

Dark Colours work particularly well in spaces with lots of natural light. If you’re thinking of experimenting with dark shades, start in rooms with large, open windows that dominate a whole wall. The light coming through will really help illuminate and brighten up the space.

Designed by Jean Regauer, Via

Designed by Jean Regauer, Via


Abundance of Lighting

If you don’t have large windows or much natural light, invest in lots of indoor lighting instead. Pendant lights over dining tables, table lamps on dark surfaces, floor lights in dark corners and wall lights on black or dark painted walls all help to illuminate the space,  creating a really calm and cosy atmosphere. Especially in big rooms, you’ll need more than one light to brighten it up.


Yurov Design via, featuring the Flos Taccia Pendant Light


Accent Colours

Dark interiors don’t have to be all-dark. If a dark shade is your primary colour, try adding splashes of chartreuse, yellow or other bright shades as your secondary colour to liven it up. This way you achieve a dark and sophisticated colour scheme that’s also playful and very full of life.

Living room by UMKY Design via

Living room by UMKY Design via



Another way to add colour to a dark interior is by decorating the space with plants and florals. In this Strizh House in Ukraine, a large, leafy plant brings a touch of the outdoors in, giving life and energy to the dark elements of the decor.


Strizh House, designed by Oleksii Karman


Dark Suits all Decor styles

In terms of interior style, you can partner anything with a dark palette, even Scandi, so don’t be afriad to experiment! Dark colours go well with every look from interiors with a shabby, boho edge to luxurious ostentatious interiors. There’s no limit to what you can do when going to the dark side!

Designed by Annabell Kutuc via

Designed by Annabell Kutuc via


Feeling Inspired? Shop the trend 


How would you make a dark interior work? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter


Time for more? Interior Trend : The Natural Home  | Fashion Week Trends That Work in Your Home | 2016’s Darkest Design Trend 

Featured Posts, Inspiration, Post

Fashion Week Trends That Work In the Home

29th September 2016

London Fashion Week has closed its catwalks but the talk of new trends is just beginning. Fashion bloggers and journalists have been quick to give us the lowdown on the trends to look out for in 2017, but we thought we’d go one step further and bring the runway to the home. Here’s a few fashion week trends that work just as well in your wardrobe as they do in your interior.


Gorgeous shades of beige and khaki graced the likes of Burberry’s & Calvin Luo’s runways, but this trend for neutrals works just as well in the home. Browns, beiges, greys, and creams give a minimalist feel to your interior whilst creating a really calm and cosy atmosphere to relax in.


Shop the Neutral Trend at Utility 

Pink & Blue

Ever since Pantone announced Rose Quartz & Serenity as their colours of the year for 2016, gorgeous shades of pink and blue have graced the interior and fashion design world. Even as we move into a new season of new trends these timeless pastel colours maintain their beautiful appeal.


Shop the Pantone Trend at Utility 

Black as Night

Alessandro Lucioni and Matteo Volta were just a few designers who kitted their models out all in black at London Fashion Week, but all black interiors have long been having a big impact on design schemes and create a really luxe look when mixed with splashes of white and grey.

Shop the Black Trend at Utility

Yellow Accents

Bold hints of yellow stood out in Proenza Schouler’s 2017 collection, and it might not be a coincidence that Pantone included Primrose yellow in their colour trend predictions for next year also. Yellow makes a gorgeous addition to an interior when used in small doses or as an accent colour. It’ a great way to usher in the warmth of Spring to your home.


Shop the Yellow Trend at Utility 


Extravagance dominated London  Fashion Week this year with  puffed sleeves, ruffles, extra long sleeves, layers, lace and sheen cropping up everywhere. Though the Scandi-influence on design has lead to a huge popularity in minimalist interiors, LFW reminded us of the beauty in that rich luxe look, which works just as well in your wardrobe as in your interior. Think rich dark tones, hints of gold, velvet textures, layers of textiles and ostentatious artwork to create a look of extravagance in your home.


Shop the Luxe Living Trend at Utility 


Monochrome is a timeless trend that’s forever being reinvented with patterns and textures. This year both fashion and interior designers have continued to pay it special attention, using checks, stripes and other patterns to give it an edgy, interesting appeal. When done correctly it’s such an easy way to master that chic in vogue look in your home.


Shop the Monochrome Trend at Utility 

Vivacious Colours

We’ve seen that black and monochrome had a large presence at Fashion Week, but fans of a brighter look will be pleased to know that vivacious colours made their mark too. Peter Pillotto’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection captured the joie de vivre of South American culture, using bright pinks, blues, yellows, greens and dizzy prints to capture that paradise vibe.  For interior designers, adding pops of one single colour has always been a great solution to to adding warmth to dull spaces and a bright on bright look has been gaining momentum for some time. It’s a great alternative to minimalism if plain is not your style.



Shop the Bright Trend at Utility 

Feeling inspired? Follow us on Pinterest to keep up to date with the latest interior trends!


Do you have a favourite fashion / interior look? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter 

Time for more? 10 Ways to Give your Home an Urban Luxe Makeover | 7 Things You Need To Know About Decorating With White | Interior Trend: The Natural Home


Liverpool ONE Student Event: Discounts to Look Out For

23rd September 2016

Fresher’s Week may be coming to a close  but luckily there’s still loads of events for Students to look forward to in Liverpool. This Wednesday The Liverpool ONE Student Event is back, and with so many brands joining since last year, expect bigger and better savings then ever!

What Is The Liverpool ONE Student Event?

The Liverpool ONE Student Event is the one day of the year when stores, bars & restaurants in the shopping centre offer up to 30% off in discount and other deals exclusively for students. The event also gives students a chance to win amazing prizes from Liverpool ONE stores and enjoy live music, giveaways & complimentary treats. All you need is a valid Student ID card and you’re good to shop till your loan runs out. (Although we wouldn’t advise it). Here’s some highlights you can look forward to.

Retail Offers

HMV and Beauty Bazaar will be offering 10% off, whilst a range of popular fashion stores are offering 20% off, including  Accessorise, Ann Summers, Schuch, Miss Selfridge, New Look, Nike, Office, Topshop, Topman, Victoria Secret, and Urban Outfitters. At Specsavers, students get 25% off any pair of designer glasses for over £69, including on the latest styles from Boss Orange, Karen Millan, FCUK and Tommy Hilfiger.

Over 40 retail stores in Liverpool ONE will be offering 10-30% off on Wednesday 28th September.

Over 40 retail stores in Liverpool ONE will be offering 10-30% off on Wednesday 28th September.


Food & Drink Offers

Shopping is thirsty work, and students new to the city will be pleased to know there’s a whole host of bars and restaurants in Liverpool to discover with your new flatmates… especially this Wednesday. For the Student Event  Las Iguanas will be offering  2 for 1 cocktails all day and 30% off your food bill when dining from the a la carte menu. Bierkeller are offering 25% off your first round of drinks, whilst the more health conscious students can enjoy half price smoothies from Fuel Juice.


Discover a huge host bars & restaurants on the Liverpool One Terrace


Fans of Mexican food will be pleased to know that Tortilla will be offering 15% off the bill, plus a free beer or Margarita with any Burrito, Naked burrito or Tres Tacos. If pizza’s more your thing, Pizza Express and Pizza Hut are offering 40% off the total bill, with 2 for one cocktails at the latter from 7.

And the best news? That’s not even half of it. Click here to discover the full range of food & drink offers at Liverpool ONE this Wednesday.

Beer-ito time! Let’s keep this humour rolling… #burrito #beerandburrito #humpday #downthehatch #corona

A photo posted by Tortilla (@tortillauk) on


If you’re thinking of investing in some high quality makeup and skin care but you need that extra push, look no further than Clinique at John Lewis. Clinique are offering a free 10 day supply of foundation custom fit to your skin so you can try before you buy. There’ll also be a ‘Pep Start Party’ hosted between 5 and 7pm, giving students an exclusive chance to view the new Pep Start Skin Care Range. All purchases come with a complimentary gift and free mascara.

That’s not all. Enjoy complimentary treats and prizes at Topshop & Topman  from 4pm, and free pizza and beer from the Vans store. Vans will also be hosting a ‘beer pong’ style game with chances to win shoes, instant wins and additional discounts up to 50%.

Find out what other freebies are on offer on Wednesday 28th September.


Text To Win is back this Wednesday, with chances to win exclusive prizes from Liverpool ONE stores. Don’t miss the Capital FM street team either. Join them in the Galleria between 10am-7pm for your chance to win a £500 Liverpool ONE gift card or enter the Capital Street Stars Giant Beer Pong game for a chance to win more  fantastic prizes from L1 Retailers.


Text to win what’s in these boxes! Exclusively for students Wednesday 28th September


Last but not least we’ll be offering 10 % off  non-sale items in our Gift store on Paradise Street. Check out some of the amazing stationery & home accessories you can get at an exclusive discounted price for one day only.

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Processed with VSCO with s3 preset



Visit 8 Paradise Place, Liverpool, L1 8BQ on Wednesday 28th September to see more. Just don’t forget your student card!

What bargains have you found for students in Liverpool? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter 

Time for more? Design Tips for your Student Room | The Best Cocktail Bars in Liverpool | Spotlight on Liverpool: Independent Liverpool 



Featured Posts, Trends

Interior Trend : Natural Home

16th September 2016
Natural Home Interior Trend

Interior trends for Autumn 2016

The use of natural materials in the home isn’t necessarily something new, but we’re noticing an increased use of natural furnishings and home accessories on social media. Through the use of natural materials such as wood, stone, metal and cork it’s easier than ever to integrate elements of mother nature into our homes. But it’s how you combine these materials to create a natural aura that’s more important. It isn’t just a case of buying everything in a wooden finish – it’s about incorporating all aspects of nature into the home to recreate the earthy, airy and spacious feeling of the great outdoors.

Some common features that you will see throughout the trend are; the use of big plants such as the tropical Dracaena and the large-leafed Monstera deliciosa, the use of metals such as copper and aluminium to accent the wood grains of furnishings and the combination of different wood finishes such as oak against walnut or beech against mahogany. You will also notice that many of the interiors have white or light wallpaper to accentuate the natural finishes of the furnishings in the room.

Another aspect of the trend is to have home accessories that are also nature friendly such as the Meraki Skincare Range and Eco Diffusers from Paddywax. These brands focus on sourcing sustainable materials, meaning you can carry on to enjoy nature itself when you’re not in the comfort of your own home. But not only do these brands use sustainable materials they also have great packaging to, using neutral tones that sit well on tables and shelves against all over your other homewares.

We’ve rounded up the best Instagram posts that epitomise the Natural Home trend to give you some inspiration on how to create an organic atmosphere in your home.

Natural Home


This light and bright bedroom space makes great use of home accessories with metal accents like the wire memo board and golden pineapple. With a touch of greenery and the lovely knitted grey throw it makes a lovely inviting space.


A photo posted by Ezgi Polat (@ezgipolat) on


The stripped back walls and clashing wood grains are what really make this little reading corner stand out. The heavy use of plants and understated metal accents with the silver tray and Hay Lup candle holder complete the look.


A photo posted by LuxeDecor (@luxedecor) on


The clashing natural wood grains of the door, floor and furnishings give are what make this inviting hallway. The addition of the wicker basket and large welcoming plant complete the airy and naturally spacious feel.



The earthy green wallpaper mixed with the natural tones of the couch, woolen throw and pillows make this living room feel like you’re actually in an urban jungle.


A photo posted by Jamie + Az 👬 (@22_squares) on


The use of wicker throughout this living space and the very soft greys and whites give a spacious and airy aura to this living room – like you’re actually out in the open air.

A photo posted by Immy and Indi (@immyandindi) on


The use of lighter woods such as ash and beech really give this home a bright and almost beach-like feel. And where is better in nature than the beach!?


A photo posted by Violet Wool (@violetwool) on


The natural wooden grains mixed with the furniture and the moderate use of greenery give this a space a clean and open atmoshpere.



The Meraki homewares range really photographs as well as it smells. This natural range of beauty products uses muted colours such as white, silver and brown to identify its link with nature.

Like what you see? Don’t forget to shop the Natural Home trend at Utility Design today. You can find furniture, gifts and home accessories that will bring the outdoors into your home.

Share your interiors with us on Facebook and Twitter using the #MyUtility for the chance to be featured on our Instagram.

Time for more Utility?

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Featured Posts, Inspiration

Design Tips for your Student Room

16th September 2016

Most student rooms are inspired by little more than a concrete shoebox, so when you move to university finding a way to add a personal touch to your space is so important. After all it’s where you’ll spend a lot of time, and you’re going to want to feel at home during those long days spent studying sleeping off hangovers.

Here are some cheap and easy design tips that will make your student room instantly better (without annoying your landlord!)

Print Your Memories

University is all about fresh starts and new experiences, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of the old with you.  Print a selection of your favourite photos (they’re not just for Instagram you know) and display them on your wall to add a personal touch to your room. Most photo print services like Snapfish  and SnappySnap let you upload your photos from your phone or social media accounts and have offers for first-time users, so it’s such a cheap and easy way to make your new room more homely.

Decorative Lighting

Lighting will go a long way in transforming your student room from dull dungeon to boudoir chic. Fairy lights or string lights are an obvious port of call and add a really cosy touch when wrapped around the bed frame. For something a little different, a nice desk or floor lamp like this Cinema Light Box will also light up your room with a homely touch.

Shop Decorative Lighting at Utility 

Hang Photos From Your Lighting

If you’ve taken the plunge and gone for fairy lights, why not hang some photos off the strings? All you need is clips or pegs (the ones off your Mum will do- washing will be a rare occasion) to create a personal wall display that will light up the room.

Sunday feels 💭 #UOHome #UOGoals

A photo posted by H a y l e y 🌿 (@hwil9598) on

Home Fragrance

Nothing says cosy like a scented candle, but in most student halls they’re actually considered a fire hazard. A few alternatives for infusing a lovely fragrance into your room are diffusers, room spray or incense sticks (if allowed). Even some simple air freshener will do the trick.

Shop Scented Candles & Diffusers at Utility

R o 🍂✨ G o d a f t e n 😊

A photo posted by Louise Torp (@homebyise) on

Invest in Good Bed Linen

If there’s one thing you should use your student loan to splash out on it’s bed linen. Your bed is the easiest way to add colour to a room, especially because in most accommodation it takes up the most space. Your bed is also where you’ll spend a lot of your time so you need to feel comfortable. If you can, invest in a cotton-rich set, as cotton is by nature more soft and breathable than polyester. Anything with a thread count of about 200 will feel great against the skin.

Check out The Independent’s 2016 Guide to The Best Single Bedding for Students– starting at under £10.00!

We’ll just be here until further notice. ☁️ #UOonCampus

A photo posted by Urban Outfitters (@urbanoutfitters) on


Stock up on Pillows

Your bed is practically your sofa in Halls, so pile it up with cushions for chaise-lounge vibes. By making it less like a bed and more like a couch, you’ll create a comfy and inviting space to relax in when you’re not sleeping- perfect for when you just want to chill or have friends over.

Extent of resume: made Buzzfeed’s top trending post about 14 best dorm rooms ✨

A photo posted by Caroline Neupauer (@cneups) on

Wall Decor 

Walls are one of the easiest places to put your own spin on a room- they’re like a blank canvas for your creativity. Luckily there are loads of ways you can spruce up your walls without leaving any marks or dents. Tapestry, posters, confetti dots and wall decals are just some ways to add character to dull walls.

Shop Wall Decor at Utility

Washi Tape 

Landlords don’t have the best of reputations- especially when it comes to returning your deposit. Washi Tape is therefore a God-send when trying to put your own spin on a room without causing any marks/damage. Washi Tape is reusable, repositionable and doesn’t damage paint, so it’s great for decorating shelves, accessories or sticking up prints- there’s so much you can do with this simple, cheap accessory.

Shop Washi Tape at Utility

Recycle Old Bottles

Wine isn’t just for drinking. Turn empty glass bottles into vases, candle holders, light jars or decorative pieces for your desk. These DIY projects from BuzzFeed are a good place to start.

Wardrobe Storage

Don’t underestimate how small your wardrobe might be. Your parents will tell you to take less clothes, but why do that when there’s so many cheap solutions for enhancing your storage space? Depending on how much stuff you have you’ll find that things like a shoe rack, over the door hooks, scarf/accessory organisers, storage hangers and maybe even a small clothes rail will come in handy.

Shop Wardrobe Storage at Utility 

Sprucing ma room up. 👼🏼 #clothesrail #suchfun #ace #roomdecor

A photo posted by Sam Marshall (@samjx.m) on

Storage Boxes

You may also find that your room is not equipped with as many shelves and drawers and you’d like. Over the door storage is a great way of saving space, but otherwise you’ll probably need a few storage boxes for under your bed or in the corners of your room. Try and get ones that fold or are small enough to transport as this will come in handy if you move into housing in second year.

The Muuto Restore Storage Basket featured below is available at Utility. Buy now.

Home Accessories

Luckily your student room will be  furnished with everything you need- the only problem is that it’s furnished exactly the same as every other room in the building.  Home accessories like plant pots, pen pots, ceramics, candles, mirrors, desk tidies, and other little pieces are a great way to show off your individuality in your room- and it’s the small details that make a difference anyway!

Shop Home Accessories at Utility 

Good Morning Sunday 🌸 #mywestwingstyle @westwingde

A photo posted by I N T E R I O R D E S I G N (@lifetimepieces) on

Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind

Despite its reputation, first year isn’t just for drinking and sleeping. You will have work to do, and you’ll want a nice desk to do it on. Investing in some nice stationery and desk accessories will come in handy when you get round to doing those essays and studying for exams.

Feeling inspired? Check out our top 10 home accessories for your student room 

Shop Student Living at Utility 

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Time for more? Decorating With White | Office Styling For The Harvey Spector Look | The Comfiest Chairs on Instagram