BY MARGARET MORGAN
The harsh, dreary days of winter will be with us for at least six more weeks according to the groundhog weathermen. With such a forecast, we naturally look for ways to uplift our spirits. Since home is where the heart is, what better place to start than by giving the interior a face-lift?
Here are five new design trends to inspire:
Color is a good starting point, as a new coat of paint can totally transform a room giving it a fresh, revitalized look and, if it's a DIY project, be fun and therapeutic at the same time. Pantone LLC, based in Carlstadt, NJ, has announced the color of the year 2010 is turquoise, specifically Pantone 15-5519. And, it appears, that most designers universally agree.According to Pantone, turquoise "combines the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green" and is an "effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing." Categorically, it is a flattering color that can be mixed and matched with any color.
Other popular lively colors in 2010 are sunny, golden yellows, leaf greens and rich plum purple. Grey is back in vogue as the new neutral, replacing beige. Grey paired with warm colors – magenta, orangey reds or tangerine or juxtaposed with turquoise and aqua can have a mercurial effect. Orange, on the comeback trail as well, is seen in accents and accessorizing.
In a complicated world and uncertain economy, people tend to retreat into the comforts of home – the "stay-cation." What can be more comfortable than accessorizing with lots of pillows, giving a room a bright fashionable look without spending a lot of money?
Rather than reupholster a sofa, you can totally change its personality with a new assortment of throw pillows in different textures, shapes and accent colors.
An accessories trend that started in 2009 and is becoming huge in 2010 is the use of metallics. According to interior designer, Rob Amend, who is a partner of Red Ginger Home in Red Bank, "We're using metallics in accessories, wall coverings, wall art and fabrics. The metallics are softer and more muted and are intermingled in a melange of bronze, copper, warm gold, brass and silver."
Simplicity without losing the glamour
"People are purging themselves of ‘stuff," says Amend. "They want a more simplified, easy-to-take-care lifestyle, more casual and more comfortable. We may still see traditional draperies, but without the swags and jabots."
Fabrics are warmer, less complex, and in softer textiles e.g. chenille and velvet. Texture is important in selecting a fabric and there is virtually no pattern – chintz, florals, toiles are all out of fashion. In floor coverings, layering has become very popular, sometimes using several small area rugs of the same design, to cover an odd size floor.
In defining the overall trend in home interiors and furnishings, Amend explains that style has moved to a contemporary version of traditional, where it may echo a feeling of the past. Furniture designs have cleaner lines and are constructed in warm, often exotic woods.
A collection may have a theme, but each piece in the collection is individually styled. A great interest has arisen in collections of artisan works in furniture, rather than brand names. The collections of two women furniture designers, Adriana Hoyos from Ecuador and Californian Maria Yee, are showcased at Red Ginger Home. Both women create furniture as forms of art rather than as a manufactured assembly line piece.
Lighting as an art form
The most significant trend in lighting is variety and selection. Amend explains that sculptural pendant lighting has replaced the crystal chandelier. Lamps have become more beautiful, and recessed lighting is more for ambient lighting. He describes the current trend in lighting as "task lighting," having a variety of lighting in a room to serve different functions. Lighting by glass artists has become a growing trend in creating lighting as an art form.
Looking ahead in 2010, the future of interior design appears to be bringing us home to the past, when life was simpler and less complicated, yet comfortable and reflective of our own unique lives.