The Hut talks inspiration, trends and homeware must-haves for this season with buyer Jen Hill.
Regularly on the lookout for up-and-coming collections and brands, The Hut’s head homeware buyer Jen Hill spends a large part of her working hours travelling Europe in search of the most exciting new arrivals in the homeware world. “The homeware industry is as exciting as it has ever been”, according to Jen, “and we are more invested than ever in personalising and styling our homes”. From attending the world’s prestigious homeware fairs such as Paris’s Maison & Objet or London’s Top Drawer to meeting new brands in Copenhagen or the Cotswolds, Jen specialises in translating an ever-changing industry into a unified collection of homeware representing the best the industry has to offer in the homeware department at The Hut.
Regular time away from home helps inspire Jen to understand what the home should be and what we want in our personal space after a trip away or a long day at work. For Jen, the home is place to unwind, to let go, to feel completely at ease. It is somewhere that is in many ways personal, yet also somewhere to be enjoyed and shared with friends and family. We recently paid Jen a visit to catch up on this season’s biggest trends, her homeware essentials, tips on hosting the perfect dinner party & much more.
- Question: What are the key trends you have seen coming through for the Spring/Summer season?
Metallics have been big for a few seasons now, but the trend appears to be evolving this season. While shades of copper and rose gold have been the must-have metallics for the past couple of years, this season is seeing a move towards more industrial metallics in terms of both colour and finish.
We are finally also beginning to experiment more with texture this season, juxtaposing different materials to give more depth and character to our interiors. I like combining ceramics with wood, glassware and soft table linen at home to create a textured, laidback, rustic feel.
Cool whites and minimalist spaces have also become popular of late, but look set to be ousted in favour of warm shades of terracotta for this season. Perfect for giving a warm, rustic feel whether used as feature walls in bathrooms of for cladding fireplaces, I enjoy contrasting terracotta with florals and greenery around the home.
- Question: With the evenings stretching out for longer, summer is typically a more social time of the year when we invite guests into the home. What are your essentials for hosting the perfect dinner party?
With dinner parties, the devil is in the detail. Investing in luxury essentials will help elevate the dining experience and I always appreciate good quality glassware whether dining at a friend’s or out at a restaurant. Whenever I have guests round, I always enjoy the excuse to show off my LSA International glassware collection which never fails to draw compliments.
I would also recommend using homeware and tableware that invites a sharing environment that generally lends the table an open, warm ambience. A current favourite is Broste Copenhagen’s smoked effect carafe, which also doubles up as a striking contemporary centrepiece.
- Question: As modern life quickens and contemporary kitchens become increasingly smaller, a current trend in the homeware world is clever gadgets and tools designed to maximise space and save time in the kitchen. What tools would you say have helped elevate your kitchen experience?
The homeware industry has never been as exciting as it is today, and I am always in awe of the work designers are producing today that are helping transform home life. For me, Joseph Joseph is synonymous with innovation in kitchenware design and frequently solves common issues we all face but never really think about. The brand’s iconic INDEX chopping boards were a game-changer in saving space in the kitchen as well as catering to the different ingredients we all now use in the kitchen. I am also a huge fan of Joseph Joseph’s Chop2Pot chopping boards. We’re all in a rush when we’re cooking and when transferring ingredients from the chopping board to the pot, we nearly always end up with food spilled around the stove and on the floor; the Chop2Pot has changed that with a startlingly simple yet brilliant design.