Re­lax, it’s only decor

Un­der­stated lux­ury on the list of trends for ’10

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Tanya Lin­ton

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.

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