The good news is that we’re more than half way through January; the bad news is there’s still some way to go before we’ve seen the back of this drab, grey month.
Either way, this is a good moment to take up a new interiors trend: tassels and fringes, which can bring much-needed colour and fun to our homes.
Tassels were originally knots used to stop threads coming undone, especially on the ends of woven fabric. Over time they took on a more powerful significance.
Cheery: Oka’s Tarma range has removable tassels. The prints on the sofas and armchairs were inspired by rugs, which is why tassels were included on the bottom edge – attached with Velcro
Tassels were worn by Egyptians and priests in ancient times to ward off evil spirits. Pharaoh Tutankhamun was found in his tomb wearing them around his neck.
But it was the French in more modern times who made tassels a fashionable trend.
‘The fringe of today will be far more styled and less casual, and serves as a great way to soften your interior,’ says Andrew Dunning, design director at London Contemporary.
‘Many homes can be full of hard surfaces, and finishes with soft furnishings are needed to make them feel more liveable.’
If you decide to go with the trend through accessories, use cushions and textiles with tasselled edging.
For a bold and colourful take, try cushions from the M&S X Fired Earth Casablanca collection, such as the Kubba in ochre (£35). Or choose a soft velour oblong cushion in one of several rich shades, including plum-purple and bottle-green (£14, Next).
If you have already gone to town on colour schemes for walls or sofa fabric, try more muted tones.
The Kerala tasselled cushion in soft coral (£36, French Connection) or the rust-coloured Roux cushion (£130, Soho Home) will do the trick.
Dunelm’s Fiesta rattan tassel shade (£28, dunelm.com)
Fringing is often seen on light fittings, too. ‘It will soften them,’ adds Dunning. ‘Tigermoth Lighting do a great range with fringing in metal.’ Tigermoth uses tiers of chain strands, in bronze, nickel or gold metalwork (from £594).
If you want to stick to fabric, a talking point would be the Mable fringed lampshade by Tinker & Tallulah in leopard print with scalloped edging and an extra- long neon-pink fringe and decadent braid (from £205, Wolf & Badger).
On a budget? Try Dunelm’s playful Fiesta rattan pendant shade (£28) or the Ero velvet pendant (£65, Oliver Bonas).
If you dare, check out Pooky’s flapper lampshade in acanthus blue or goblin green, both using fabric from Sanderson’s archive (from £44).
You can even dress your windows with playful tassels. The Mindra curtains are striking with a block colour and a contrasting bright tassel trim (from £176 a pair, Anthropologie). A single voile panel with a tassel trim makes for a pretty feature (£22, Dunelm).
Designers are adding tassels to seating, too. Go for a fringed border in a bright, contrasting colour around the bottom of a sofa, armchair or dining chair.
The Tarma range at Oka has colourful, removable tassels. The prints on the sofas and armchairs were inspired by rugs, which is why tassels were included on the bottom edge — attached with Velcro.
Sue Jones, Oka’s co-founder, said: ‘Fringing is a great way to add a bold design feature to something simple. Tassels and trims can add a playful edge.
‘We made them detachable so people have a choice. Tassels aren’t always that practical in homes with pets or children. This way, your sofa can adorn its “party skirt” when it suits you and be removed for pared-back or practical moments.’
One stand-out style boasts soft charcoal stripes and metal studding with a border of daring red tassels (£2,395 Oka).
A statement chair from the new artisan collection at KD Loves might turn your head. Each limited-edition piece is handmade by the British craftspeople, using fabrics from the finest artisans around the world.
The Kelling chair has Indian fabric with multi-coloured tassels around the base (£1,500).
If you’re not in the market for new seating, cheat by draping a tasselled throw over a sofa or chair. Try the Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Cabin throw in rust or ivory (£148) or a Poppy Field throw in pink or blue (£46, French Connection).
Emma Deterding, creative director of Kelling Designs and KD Loves, says: ‘Not only can tassels be used to introduce colour, but it’s a look that helps bring movement and personality into the home, too.’
Savings of the week: Fluffy towels
Sumptuous: Egyptian cotton towels from Habitat
In the last days of the sales, the best bargains are often to be found — in my super-scrimping experience.
So maybe it’s time to start looking, if you intend to treat yourself to more sumptuous towels for that home spa experience.
For example, for £20 you can have a four-piece bale of grey towels from Habitat — it was £40 (Argos).
At Dunelm, Egyptian cotton towels are down by 20 per cent; the colours include burnt orange, ochre and teal.
Prices range from 96p to £16.80 based on size. Similarly, colourful shades can be found at Piglet In Bed, where towels in a cosy cinnamon colour have been reduced by 20 per cent. Prices are from £3-£23.
If white and neutrals are more your thing, The White Company has 30 per cent off its waffle-edge towels in pebble and silver, from £4.20 to £44.80.
The prices of the Christy Refresh line in white and cream have been cut by 60 per cent, with the bath sheet now £15. Here’s to more luxurious bathtimes.