by Ashley Cole
A new year inspires one to look inward, take inventory and perhaps re-direct efforts toward a healthier, more meaningful life. The long, cold days of winter also encourages one to look around, assess surroundings and boost initiative to refresh interior spaces. As a professional designer, one of the most asked questions is what the current trends are and how to incorporate them for a new look in an existing house. With all of the home improvement shows, design magazines and unlimited online resources for all things style, everyone now has access to follow what’s trending. Sometimes it can be tricky to seamlessly choose what will work, what to invest in and what is just a passing phase. Everyone’s design philosophy is unique to them, so to be honest, the trends should influence the outcome of a project very little in comparison to other factors. Who has the funding and time to completely overhaul their home every few years? Function, existing architecture, comfort and personal taste inform what direction the style of a home will take. That doesn’t mean we can’t take clues from what is trending. Who doesn’t love to be inspired? Discover what resonates with you and add in pieces little by little or create a long term plan for larger renovations. Here are the trends you’ll see carried into 2013.
1) Personalization is what is hot in the design world. An extension of a homeowner’s style is seen in the return of monograms, natural curiosities (found objects like animal skins, bones and drift woods) and creative tools turned decoration like chalkboard walls. These allow opportunities for personal expression and reflection of daily experiences.
2) Nostalgia is a theme we’ve been seeing as an influence in color and pattern trends for the past few years. It continues to reign supreme in today’s interior. When times are tough, people are comforted by “the good ole days.” As technology and society race to push the speed of our daily lives faster and faster, a natural tendency emerges to balance it with hints from a slower, more simple time. You will continue to see the use of industrial antiques, nautical design elements and items inspired by old time transportation (railway, air and ocean liner).
3) Indoor/Outdoor living. Even in non-temperate climates, such as Michigan, homeowners are asking for ample connection between their interior and exterior space. We’re seeing large expanses of wall that open to a deck, live wall planters that bloom into lush greenery and interior planters that occupy extensive areas of rooms. Outdoor “rooms” are created with fireplaces and exterior furniture so nice you’ll want to use it inside. The growing food fascination with the “farm to table” movement is driving front yard, edible and roof top gardens in urban areas. Natural, organic materials continue to find their way into homes via environmentally sustainable furnishings, fixtures, flooring, fabrics and countertops.
4) Man Cave is one for the boys. Moving beyond the basement, the man cave is dominating the entire home (sorry, ladies). A Ralph Lauren sophistication is thriving with menswear inspired fabrics and accessories. Spaces are filled with over-scaled, comfortable furniture upholstered in cigar colored velvet, cognac leathers and metal accents. Herringbone, stripes and plaids play off one another in layers of texture and warmth. Walls lined with bookshelves and bold, dark wall colors like midnight blue and deep slate gray add drama.
5) Jewelry is a trend that helps the ladies out. This glamorous theme balances out the masculine man cave concept. Rich jewel tones, mirror accents and precious metal finishes (gold, silver and bronze) are being used in every way imaginable. Unlike the brassy colors of the 80’s, new gold and bronze finishes are rich and delicious. You’ll see everything from fabric and furniture to accessories and wall coverings inspired by luscious jewelry.
Trends inform and inspire us to develop our own personal style. Don’t feel you have to mimic what you see in the magazines piece for piece. Take an overall theme and work it in a way that is an expression of your own home and way of life. A pleasing aesthetic that is both fresh and timeless will emerge. Happy designing to you this new year!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ashley Cole is a professional interior designer based in Grand Rapids. Her work has been featured on HGTV as well as numerous publications, including Kitchen Trends and Home Magazine. Ashley’s passion is “creating environments that enliven the spirit”.