Get The Look: Create a military inspired interior

Military style has been big on the catwalk for 2015. Gucci, Mulberry and Marc Jacobs all sent models down the runway this season in khaki-coloured dresses complete with metal buttons, canvas belts and even water bottles. From parachute-style full-length dresses at Ralph Lauren to J Crew’s rain macs reminiscent of Goldie Hawn’s get-up in Private Benjamin, the fashion set have been wholeheartedly signing up to the military look. And as ever, where fashion leads so interiors trends are sure to follow. Here’s our guide to adding some military style to your interior… without causing an all-out war on the home front.

necktie and coat of an old military general

Key colours

The base for any military look is the colour scheme – green and khaki are closely associated with army fatigues and camouflage, so they are obviously the place to start. But this colour range has a huge amount of variety, so think carefully about the exact shades you choose for a base. Military is a catwalk staple, coming back every few years. But while previous incarnations have concentrated on the smart, deep green of an officer’s coat, this season the colours are much more faded, soft and – yes – easy to live with. Think of the washed-out green of an old army tent, faded from years out in the desert sun. Look for greens with slight yellow tones in them, and faded shades that are closer to moss than a classic pine-tree green. Or, for a twist on the classic military colour scheme, you could even go for the same washed-out tone of blue and navy.

Vector - Camouflage pattern

Combine with accent shades

Think about camouflage print when putting your colour scheme together. You don’t have to be too literal, but noting the way that camouflage artists use a collection of subtly different tones is a perfect template for decorating too. A range of nature-inspired greens, khakis and sand shades will give you a ready-made colour scheme to mix-up with soft furnishings, flooring and accessories.

Summer is approaching and the traditional style of army chic can look a little harsh in the warmer months. To make the military trend softer, more feminine and summery, mix in a little faded pink – pink and green are wonderful camp-mates, as green takes the sugary sweetness out of the pink, while pink warms up green and adds a little fun. You can also add in slatey greys or unbleached linen colours without being given a dishonourable discharge from the military decorating corps.

Tactile textures

Although colour might be the most obvious way to add some army fashion to the home, it’s essential to get the textures right too. The faded colours suit rough, practical textures – think of the sturdy canvas of an army rucksack or old-fashioned tent. Real wool, linen and heavy cotton are perfect, with perhaps an undyed cream voile curtain (reminiscent of a mosquito net) at the window to add a gentler element. Another good texture to include is battered leather – something that looks like it’s seen a campaign or two. Either on the sofa or as an accent cushion this will add a rough-and-ready edge. For the flooring go for something neutral and hard-wearing. A sandy-coloured sisal carpet is perfect, or go for a tough laminate in slate or wood-effect.


Army accessories

This season’s version of the look is less about shiny metal medals and the smartness of the parade ground, and more about setting camp in the wilderness, so accessories that will look best focus on practicality. Swap a coffee table for a battered leather trunk in brown or green, ideally with brass studs or handles. Look for vintage industrial lighting (or high-street reproductions) with mottled green or dull metal shades. And for vases, swap out pretty coloured glass and add solid clay vessels in gun-metal grey. Artwork? A framed map or two is perfect – mount them above a desk area and you’ll have a study space fit for a Field Master General. At ease…

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