How to Style the Soft Utility Trend

What is soft utility. Neutral coloured bed with grey striped sheets, scalloped fabric bed head and green floral cushions and pillows.What is soft utility. Neutral coloured bed with grey striped sheets, scalloped fabric bed head and green floral cushions and pillows.

The past couple of years have seen some unexpected trend pairings in the interior design space — think decorative minimalism, refined bohemian and cosy glam. Enter one of our current favourites: soft utilitarian. Borrowing some of our favourite elements of utility style décor, and reimagining them in spaces that feel serene, warm and inviting.  

What is Utilitarian Style? 

A perennial favourite, utilitarian and industrial style interiors are known for their bold lines and heavy-duty materials. Between the exposed brick and polished concrete of it all, you’d be forgiven for thinking that utility-inspired décor needs to lean harsh or intense.

 
Thus, soft utility décor was born. Pops of colour and cosy textures invite opportunity for self-expression; there’s plenty of room to make this trend your own. If you’re interested in learning how to style your own soft utility inspired bed, here's the lowdown. 

Mixing stripes and florals. Close up of a neutral bed with grey striped sheets and a green floral pillow. On top sits a bowl of figs and a small green notebook Mixing stripes and florals. Close up of a neutral bed with grey striped sheets and a green floral pillow. On top sits a bowl of figs and a small green notebook

Expect the Unexpected

The term ‘soft utility’ says it all — this trend is about unlikely pairings. Our Abbotson Ticking Stripe collection is the perfect base for mixing and matching aesthetics. With a utilitarian-inspired ticking stripe and neutral palette, this design brings an industrial style influence that doesn’t feel overpowering.

Our favourite odd-couple pairing for stripes? Florals, of course. Their organic shapes bring a softness and warmth to your space. Our Dallery design is a perfect example, with its expressive hand-painted florals and pops of vivid colour. 

Bring Balance 

When pairing pieces together, it’s important to strike a balance between aesthetic influences. Whilst we’re all for print mixing and purposeful colour clashing, we want to avoid the risk of feeling overstimulated. Bedrooms are for relaxing in, after all.

Whether you opt for complementary colours or soft neutrals, colour-blocking is a great way to provide some breathing room. A common theme in the soft utility trend is a neutral base, like our Abbotson Linen collection in flax. Light and soothing, these tones trend away from harshness and lend a calming quality to your space. 

Introducing these hues in larger pieces of bedding like a bed cover or sheet set will help break up your printed pieces and give them room to shine. 

Industrial style bedroom. A grey striped bed sits in a room with white walls, timber flooring and a white sculptural spiral lamp.Industrial style bedroom. A grey striped bed sits in a room with white walls, timber flooring and a white sculptural spiral lamp.

Introduce Texture 

One of the most effective — and literal — ways to soften your utility-inspired bedroom décor is with texture. Relaxed fibres like our Belgian flax linen and cotton chambray bring an inviting, lived-in feeling to your bedding ensemble. 

Decorative additions like cushions and throws are a simple and effective way to introduce pops of contrasting texture. Texture can be introduced through visual cues like the hand-painted florals of our Ilaria cushion, or more tactile finishes like our Ostan cushion or Oncot throw

Embrace Colour 

As we mentioned earlier, neutrals are a cornerstone of the soft utility interior trend. Pairing neutrals together can lend a soothing feel to your space, keeping things light and airy. Warm neutrals like flax evoke a cosy feeling, whilst cool-toned hues like white and silver are great for a neat, crisp aesthetic. 

If minimalism isn’t your vibe, or if you’re just wanting to inject some more personality into your bedroom décor, colour is our favourite way to do it. Layering colourful pieces into your bedding gives you space to make this trend your own and really let your creativity flow.  

We love the fresh green hues and pops of pink in our Dallery pillowcase pair and European pillowcase — the pastel base keeps this pairing nice and light. Carry your accent colour of choice into your cushions and throws to really tie the look together. 

stripes and florals home decor. A wicker chair sits in a white hallway, draped with a green knit throw and various printed cushions scattered across the floor.stripes and florals home decor. A wicker chair sits in a white hallway, draped with a green knit throw and various printed cushions scattered across the floor.

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