Montreal Gazette - - HOME FRONT - KARL LOHNES

They say that ev­ery­thing that goes around comes back around again, and I am cer­tainly a be­liever of that when it comes to home decor and its trends. I’ve seen the re­turn of vel­vet-flocked wall­pa­per, shag car­pet and brass light­ing in my life­time. Usu­ally, a trend that was tra­di­tional is rein­vented as mod­ern or vice versa. For in­stance, vel­vet wall­pa­per was orig­i­nally used in very tra­di­tional 1970s homes and it re-ap­peared back on the dec­o­rat­ing scene a few years ago in a hip, mod­ern way. Golden oak wood fur­nish­ings and floor­ing from the 1980s has re­turned (in a slightly cooler stain) in mod­ern homes and is ap­peal­ing to an en­tire gen­er­a­tion that doesn’t re­mem­ber its last run of pop­u­lar­ity. Here are a few for­mer stars that have re­turned to the stage to set a stylish decor scene for the next few years.

Old World Charm: Many old el­e­ments are stripped out of homes dur­ing thought­less ren­o­va­tions. Look to re­place some of those el­e­ments, such as a chan­de­lier or fire­place man­tel, that suit the era of your home. With a lit­tle re­search you can in­tro­duce a touch of that orig­i­nal look back into your space with­out com­mit­ting the en­tire house to the look. Give your old-world finds a new-world feel by treat­ing their shapely sil­hou­ettes to a fin­ish in very dark colours (like pur­ple or black). The dra­matic look will be sim­ple yet so­phis­ti­cated. If your look is mod­ern, in­tro­duc­ing a tra­di­tional el­e­ment will also cre­ate a dy­namic jux­ta­po­si­tion. Got an ex­ist­ing un­us­able fire­place? Reignite it with pil­lar can­dles or fire­place in­serts to help cre­ate the old world charm.

The re­turn of glam­our: The look of shim­mer and glam­our is mak­ing its come­back in light-re­flec­tive vel­vet fab­rics, coloured glass­ware and silk fringe ac­cents on fur­nish­ings and draperies from the 1960s.

Look for luxe fab­rics like vel­vet up­hol­stery on sim­pler, sculp­tural mod­ern chairs and ot­tomans, and satin and silk fringes adorn­ing down-filled pil­lows.

Keep an eye out for the re­turn of the new art glass: it’s colour­ful and comes in mod­ern shapes that act as or­ganic sculp­tures.

Fash­ion in­flu­encers: The 1980s re­mind me of the high-waist light denim jeans (now re­ferred to as “Mom jeans”) with patches, pock­ets and ap­pliqués. Now the look is com­ing into the home with ac­ces­sories like wo­ven rugs and pil­lows that cre­ate a feel­good com­fort. Think Boho Chic or farm­house style dec­o­rat­ing and this retro denim trend will fit right in. Denim can be pur­chased at tex­tile stores and makes ex­cel­lent up­hol­stery fab­ric for fur­nish­ings, head­boards and even draperies. Imag­ine a junk-shop Vic­to­rian style sofa up­hol­stered in denim — the new ca­sual vibe will give new life to this overtly se­ri­ous fur­ni­ture piece. For a fab­ric that used to be rel­e­gated to dec­o­rat­ing boys’ rooms, denim is now right at home in liv­ing or fam­ily rooms. Blue — one of the most loved colours in dec­o­rat­ing — will make denim a long­time ca­sual favourite.


Hunt for orig­i­nal vin­tage el­e­ments and then, with a lit­tle el­bow grease, make these trends at home in your home.

■ Up­date, up­date, up­date! What goes around rarely re­turns look­ing the same so buy an orig­i­nal and have it re­uphol­stered in an up­dated fab­ric or get a fancy old dresser and paint it an on-trend colour (like pale pink).

■ Shop on­line. You can find many of the orig­i­nal trends at on­line auc­tions and clas­si­fieds for a frac­tion of the price of a re­pro­duc­tion. Al­though in­ex­pen­sive, there’s still clean­ing, re­strain­ing, re­uphol­stery and adorn­ment needed to al­low it to fit into to­day’s trend of rein­ven­tion.

■ Pic­ture this. Re-frame mod­ern art­work or pho­tog­ra­phy with an or­nate ro­coco style frame. Sud­denly, your very sim­ple art looks mu­seum wor­thy and gets a boost of old-world charm. Re­mem­ber, old with new and new with old is the rule here.

Do you have a decor dilemma or want to give feed­back? You can con­tact Karl Lohnes on Face­book or In­sta­gram at Karl Lohnes De­signer, or via email at klohnes­decor@sym­pa­tico.ca. Karl has worked as a home decor ex­pert and prod­uct de­signer for 25 years. He ap­pears Thurs­days dur­ing the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morn­ing Mon­treal.


Vel­vet fab­rics, dim­pled fur­ni­ture and painted-out mould­ings are all mak­ing a come­back to cre­ate an on-trend room.


Faded denim, ap­pliqué and tas­sels cre­ate a feather filled Boho-chic ac­ces­sory for the bed or sofa. Sa­man­tha Pynn’s Grey-Blue Medal­lion Cush­ion, $65.


Bring­ing new life into an empty fire­place is easy with the Op­tiMyst elec­tric fire­place insert, which uses steam to cre­ate re­al­is­tic flames, $849.

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