Become a trendsetter ….From pastels to feature walls and ceramic ducks, there’s nothing dull about our interiors writes Bonny O’Shea.

You can be a trendsetter and you don’t just need to belong to the fashion world to be one.

Think about the living room of your childhood, or your grandparent’s house or your kitchen now. The saying “everything old is new again” has never been more true.

In the 1970s, the feature wall was in – that one wall with wallpaper. It’s back. Remember the ceramic flying ducks of the 1960s or the paintings of dogs playing poker? Coffee houses around Brisbane are finding old chairs and tables and calling them retro. So you’re thinking of renovating. What’s in? Well anything goes.

Rhonan and Pauline O’Brien’s Annerley house is an enchanting mix of family relics, antique shop and market finds and modern furniture and art – old made new. Art teacher Pauline is a trendsetter who likes to use colour to direct mood, with blue walls in bedrooms for its calming effect, but keeps the walls in the main areas white “…as it’s a great foil for effortless entertaining…and allows for easy accessories updating when it’s time for a change,” she says.An eclectic collection of pieces add character including a vintage prayer chair handed down from Rhonan’s grandparents and reupholstered in cowhide and stools made from tractor wheels. For a more homogenous look, be inspired by Hamilton couple Kate and Neil Robson of Number 12 Bed and Breakfast in Hawthorne. Their lifelong love for antiques, cooking and entertaining led them to convert their 1907 family household into a unique bed and breakfast. It pays tribute to the early 1900s in minute detail, from the country-style kitchen to the old saloon doors leading to the sitting room with “Number 12” etched in the glass.

Kate Robson’s tip – mix ebay discoveries with finds at local suppliers, antique shops and (if you’re lucky) overseas trips for pieces that “will last forever…and can get passed down from generation to generation.” Frank Cartwright of Red Hills recalls trends like the sunken loungeroom, the laminex kitchen tables and chrome- handled chairs. “The shag pile was popular for a while and is reappearing and cork tiles were in,” he says.

Merle Watson of Biggera Waters remembers the interior of her new home in 1977 with its white walls and a bold wallpaper print on one wall. “The feature wall was fashionable and home bars were in. The rumpus room—a large play room—was trendy; it is probably the equivalent to today’s media room,” Merle says. To celebrate 80 years of business, Dulux has recreated an iconic 1960s colour card as a nod the return of bold vintage palettes.

Dulux colour and communications manager Andrea Lucena-Orr says “People have fallen into the trap of updating white with another white, and by doing so they’re missing out on the emotional side – the way colour makes us feel,” Andrea says.
So do you want to become a trendsetter…if so where will you start?