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The Edit: Surface Design Show 2018 by Tash South

Choosing surfaces and materials is one of the most exciting stages of a project. Brick, marble, stone, wood, leather, I could go on and on, and with even more innovative and unusual materials being created each year, the choices really are endless. Last week I visited the Surface Design Show, in collaboration with Treniq, to discover all the new and amazing surfaces for 2018 and I wasn’t disappointed! There was marble with oyster shell, 3D wood laminate, timber terrazzo and even a composite made from mushroom, all so cleverly creative and beautifully tactile.

Treniq teamed up with Scin Gallery this year to curate a display at Surface Spotlight Live, the section of The Surface Design Show that hones in on the innovations, trends and colours that will influence the market over the next year. This was definitely my favourite part of the show, it’s so refreshing to see such innovation and creativity. More and more, designers are coming up with clever ways to use waste and surplus products, like timber shavings, coffee grounds and even salt, and turn them into beautiful materials that wouldn’t look out of place next to the most luxurious traditional materials.

There was just too much eye-candy to list in a regular blog post, so I’ve put together my edit of the show in this video instead. Enjoy!



About Treniq

Treniq is an international interiors network where you can discover design professionals, connect and build relationships, and trade using easy and efficient tools. We enable professional buyers like interior designers, stylists, architects, and property developers to source luxury interior products from furniturelightingdécor & lifestyle to rugsartsurfacesfireplaces and much more. Create your free trade account today or contact us for more information at

Not Just for Halloween: Deliciously Dark Interiors by Tash South

Oooh, it's the spookiest time of the year… that haunted, dark night when the dead walk again and creepy pumpkins wait to greet us on doorsteps. Usually my best effort at Halloween is a single, badly carved pumpkin that looks more hilarious than scary.

This year I'm taking Halloween much more seriously, I'm taking the dark side… inside.

Don't be afraid of the dark! Be brave. Experiment with inky hues and slightly surreal objects for an utterly dramatic interior. Paint the walls dark and add jewel tones and texture for a space that will wrap itself around you and create a level of cozy that even Hygge can handle!

Here are your five steps to build a deliciously dark space from start to finish.

1. Start With Dark Walls

The perfect spaces to go dark in are North-facing rooms, and small spaces with little natural light, don’t fight nature, embrace the darkness and use it to your advantage to create a dramatic and cocooning interior. Light from the North is cool and harsh and it can be very difficult to create a feeling of light and space. So don’t fight it - go intense!

You may be surprised at the swanky and sophisticated space you will end up with. For gorgeous examples, check out Londoner, Abigail Ahern, whose signature style hangs off dark, bold backdrops.

(Image credit:

2. Add Statement Furniture

Here’s your chance to add some colour. A small amount of jewel tone in a fab texture will go a long way, try a green, red, yellow or turquoise velvet sofa, chair or bed for sophisticated contrast. Even a beat-up tan leather pieces work with dark walls, this really doesn’t have to be an expensive look – use some of what you already have and mix in some new elements. An old sideboard and mirror painted in a gloss red like the example below can be quite striking.

Green Velvet makes a great match for dark walls.

Image credit: The Selby

You can copy Abigail Ahern's Red console and mirror combo style with some gloss red paint.

3. Nail The Lighting

If you’re going dark on the walls, it is essential to get the lighting right. Try to avoid just one strong light, like a single bright pendant, for example. Add many light sources to the room in the form of floor, table and wall lamps to create little puddles of light around the room, which will intensify the cocooning effect you’re trying to achieve.

Dark walls combined with a yellow chair, lots of texture and great lighting. Image Credit

Abigail Ahern's bedroom with perfectly planned lighting.

4. Liven it up with Plants and Texture

This look needs some foliage, it will provide a break in the solid colour and add much needed texture. Try one large impressive plant strategically placed, or a few smaller ones, either arranged around the room or in a group.

Even more texture can be added with rugs and sheepskins, natural materials and hides work really well with this look, or if you want to go really wild, try an animal print rug or throw.

Dark walls need some foliage. Image Credit: Photo by Martina Gemmola / Styling by Ruth Welsby

Rocking the look with all the elements; Mongolian sheepskins, foliage, animal print rug and skull artwork. Boom!  Image Credit

5. Unique Accessories and Art

Now this is where I get excited! Grab the chance to bring in a touch of quirk and eccentricity to make your home unique to you. Scour charity shops for old paintings and artworks you can update, or search for some unusual pieces online.
I’ve discovered some awesome pieces recently from Mineheart who support British design and manufacturing and French company ibride,, who also produce some highly unique pieces. Use some interesting artwork to break up those dark walls - like “Madame Blush”, below,  from Mineheart.

At Ibride, the trays and bookshelves are so good, they can easily be displayed as art – your guests will definitely do a double-take!

Madame Blush by Mineheart

ibride's Divina Console and the birds are called Adam Decorations

Want to try the look in your home?

Then come on over to the dark side!  I've searched the high street, trade shows and the internet, to put together the moodboard below to help you on your way, and if you need even more inspiration, check out my Deliciously Dark Pinterest Board.