Com­fort and joy

The Telegram (St. John’s) - Home Buyers' Guide - - MY HOME NEW FOUNDLAND -

I al­ways look for­ward to pre­views of what is new and trend­ing for the com­ing year. It’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing to sur­vey the lat­est in paint colours and wall cov­er­ings, a fresh take on pat­tern shapes and sizes, and how dec­o­ra­tive cladding, in­clud­ing tiles and stone, are be­ing uti­lized. This year’s splen­did ar­ray of­fers some­thing for ev­ery taste and style. What stands out across all decor types is a con­tin­u­ing em­pha­sis on all things that bring com­fort and op­ti­mism to our homes. Call it a back­lash given the scary head­lines and chal­lenges of modern life. What­ever the rea­sons, we crave an invit­ing en­vi­ron­ment, rooms that of­fer a col­lec­tive hug. Here are some in­spir­ing thoughts, and prod­ucts that are ready and wait­ing for you.

Soften up those hard edges on fur­nish­ings with cur­va­ceous shapes. Rounded sofa backs, padded arms, plump cush­ions and tac­tile fab­rics are de rigor. Yes, you can be so­phis­ti­cated and comfy. Vel­vet is su­per pop­u­lar, and smooth fab­rics in bold colours.

Cof­fee ta­bles shine bright in brushed me­tals and glass, with rounded edges and see-through sup­ports. www.ur­ban­

Prac­ti­cal and open so­lu­tions to shelv­ing and stor­age are in­dica­tive of a looser, less than per­fect at­ti­tude, where every­thing is out in the open, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble, and part of the over­all decor. Shelves are an eco­nom­i­cal al­ter­na­tive to kitchen cab­i­nets, es­pe­cially the up­pers. They are easy to or­ga­nize and ac­tu­ally make even a small kitchen ap­pear larger. Whole walls in the liv­ing area are ar­ranged with a va­ri­ety of wood and metal stor­age units that can be fash­ioned for an in­dus­trial, modern or tra­di­tional style.

Wabi-sabi is the tra­di­tional Ja­panese aes­thetic that en­com­passes the art of im­per­fec­tion. It gives the nod to pot­tery that is cracked, chipped or un­even, mis­matched wood grain, weath­ered walls, peel­ing paint finishes. It’s a com­fort to think that a messy bed, or un­tidy room is ac­cept­able, and it does fit into a re­laxed mood.

Dark colours are show­ing up on more than fo­cal walls; whole rooms are painted in deep red, pow­er­ful pink, bold black and nau­ti­cal navy. Brightly coloured fur­ni­ture and art­work stand out against these rich shades. Painted fur­ni­ture con­tin­ues to be pop­u­lar, trans­form­ing sec­ond­hand finds as well as new ta­bles, chairs and cab­i­nets.

Wall­pa­per has come full cir­cle and is on ev­ery­one’s list. But these pa­pers are bet­ter qual­ity and colours and images have shifted with the times. Ever pop­u­lar flo­rals come in sizes from small to big and fat. Light and shad­ows bring out the em­bossed tex­tures in fine grass pa­pers and re­veal the beauty of lay­ers of colour in the painterly wall­pa­pers.

The metal scene is ex­plod­ing around us, from the mul­ti­ple metal­lic sheens show­ing off in fin­ger­nail pol­ish to floor­ing pat­terns en­riched with sliv­ers of sil­ver tile. Metal­lic paints cre­ate a shim­mery lux mood on walls and fur­ni­ture. From fash­ion to home de­sign, up­hol­stery and drap­ery fab­rics are threaded with colour­ful me­tals that link to brushed metal de­tails in fur­ni­ture.

Al­ways on trend, na­ture’s lush shades and rich pat­terns are at the core of de­sign. Green is a liv­ing colour, and per­me­ates life and the fash­ions we cre­ate. Bring­ing it in­doors is eas­ier than ever with over­sized images of flora and fauna show­ing off on wall­pa­pers and fab­rics. Have you thought about a jun­gle room? Or per­haps an English coun­try gar­den over­run with botan­i­cals? Bring com­fort and joy to life, it’s never been eas­ier.

At right: Curves are comfy and ap­proach­able, pop­u­lar in sofa and fur­ni­ture style.

Photo at left: Re­cline fire­side with lay­ers of soft, thickly tex­tured blan­kets and cush­ions.

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