Relax, it’s only decor
Understated luxury on the list of trends for ’10
IT’S that time of year when blogs and magazines are full of the year’s top decorating trends. Flip through the pages and you’ll see traditional has had a relaxed makeover; modern decor has become softer and more earthy; industrial has moved from the loft to the farmhouse, and black is back in a big way.
And they all have one thing in common: None of the 2010 decor trends are in your home — yet.
Last year, we embraced safari style in our living rooms, Hollywood regency mirrors in every bathroom of the house and groovy fabrics on granny furniture. This year, it’s all about downplayed luxury: velvet-clad pillows and couches; unexpected wallpaper on places like the ceiling; upholstered walls with funky fabric and making sure one room has a spotlight piece — like a self-standing tub in the bathroom.
When it comes to design styles, understanding how to create “the mix” — blending old with new — is still all the rage. Traditional interiors don’t work unless they are relaxed with leather and chintz sitting side by side; girlie glam has gone downtown and found its way into warehouse spaces where chandeliers and concrete are becoming friends, and farmhouses have turned industrial with marble counters and exposed bulb lighting. It’s confusing, but it works.
“Trends are about modernizing older styles. A year ago, the industrial chic was all the rage,” says Margot Austin, the senior design editor at Style at Home magazine. “You know, lofts with exposed beams and lots of stainless steel. This year it has given way to a touch of country with soft shapes, white painted walls, apron sinks. All of that, mixing with stainless appliances and concrete floors.”
Part of a team that determines the Top 10 list for Style at Home, Austin weeds through many hot looks for interiors and pares them down to a simple list readers can translate into their homes. She doesn’t expect a whole room makeover, rather, she suggests figuring out which looks are for you and which ones you should ignore. “Lighting is still factory-like and industrial,” she says, as an example. “But that doesn’t mean you need to have exposed light bulbs dangling from every ceiling. One fixture in a statement room like a dining room or a kitchen would look great.”
In addition, she says neutral colours are still here but they are richer and warmer.
Citrus as an accent is passé, but green is still good this year, so go for an emerald or a malachite shade for pillows, feature walls and throw blankets. Purples are here to stay and always look great with grey. Furniture remains traditional with a twist, with camelback shapes, button tufting, nail head details and modern fabrics.
Yanic Simard of the Toronto Interior Design Group says home trends emerge from what is going on globally. “We’ve seen glitter, bold colours and modern neutrals. Next, I think we are going to see vibrant colours and accessories that are really unique and reflect the styles of the Middle East.”
Timothy Mather agrees. He’s an interior designer who is based in Toronto but has an international business. “There’s always a trend or two that reflect what’s going on in the world. The key is not to overdo it and to subtly add the trendy piece into your decor.” His trend list includes clean millwork, pale wood grains, art as a statement, minimalist kitchens and man-made surfaces.
“It’s a bit hard sorting through it all,” he says. “Because it’s not just about one look — there are so many options. The biggest trend I’ve noticed in the past year is that luxury is understated and pared down. It’s not so conspicuous anymore.”
OK, it’s great to be on top of the trends, but it’s way easier and cheaper to add an eggplant-purple scarf to your wardrobe than it is to have all your furniture reupholstered and nail-tufted to suit this year’s traditional reworked look.
All experts agree the best way to be trend-savvy is to not take any of them too seriously and to walk on the wild side with accessories. “Accent furniture, like side tables and chairs, are not as big an investment and a great way to test out a trend,” Austin says.
— Canwest News Service
Traditional settings are getting a fresh makeover in 2010. A milk can holding um
brellas and a nature-inspired lamp add punch in this entryway.