Fall decor: Feel-good vibes and per­son­al­ity

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - REAL ESTATE - By Kim Cook

For keen se­rial re­dec­o­ra­tors, it’s time to start think­ing about an au­tumn re­fresh. This fall, in­te­rior de­sign­ers say there’s de­mand for eclec­tic styles, in­ter­est­ing prints, rich hues and warm tex­tures.

Style sense

The trim, tai­lored lines of mid­cen­tury decor have been en­sconced in the home fur­nish­ings mar­ket­place for sev­eral years now; ver­sions of iconic pieces can be found in all big-box re­tail­ers. Has the beloved style peaked?

Some de­sign­ers see an eas­ing of the fever, but that doesn’t mean mid-mod is go­ing any­where.

“It has sat­u­rated the mar­ket,” says de­signer El­iz­a­beth Stu­art, of Mount Pleas­ant, South Carolina. “(But) I think the in­ter­est­ing thing is that un­like the ‘in­dus­trial’ look, the mid­cen­tury ‘come­back’ has proven not to be just a fad but an aware­ness and a re­spected way of de­sign­ing.”

Chris­tiane Lemieux, who founded the home-de­sign and fash­ion brand Dwell Stu­dio and now runs the cus­tom fur­ni­ture re­tailer The In­side, sees change com­ing.

“In­te­ri­ors have been clean, mid­cen­tury-in­spired and fairly generic for the past few years, (but now) peo­ple are crav­ing the ‘new and more.’ En­ter max­i­mal­ism, specif­i­cally through the lens of Bri­tish de­sign, which is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a ma­jor re­vi­tal­iza­tion,” she says.

Elab­o­rate pat­terns, or­na­men­ta­tion and luxe ma­te­ri­als are hall­marks of that style. De­sign­ers like Miles Redd and Ken Fulk are known for their lay­ered, cu­rated in­te­ri­ors.

“The beau­ti­ful thing about max­i­mal­ism is that it’s en­tirely per­sonal,” says Lemieux. “You’re en­cour­aged to choose pieces that vis­ually ex­press your in­di­vid­u­al­ity. My No. 1 max­i­mal­ism tip: Strive for per­son­al­iza­tion over per­fec­tion, and you can’t go wrong. The more you mix, the bet­ter the re­sult.”

She has in­tro­duced a chintz fab­ric col­lec­tion at The In­side. And at Au­gust Abode, there’s a Not­ting Hill-in­spired chintz wall­pa­per col­lec­tion.

In his fur­nish­ings col­lec­tions, Bri­tish de­signer Ti­mothy Oul­ton melds re­spect for his­tory with a mod­ern­cool, slightly re­bel­lious vibe. He takes clas­sic pieces like tufted leather chester­fields, steamer trunks and Deco-era chan­de­liers, and plays with scale, in­cor­po­rates a cheeky flag print or rein­ter­prets a sad­dle or avi­a­tor’s chair as seat­ing.

If you’re not com­fort­able go­ing to the max, there’s another emerg­ing look that finds the sweet spot be­tween “lots” and “lit­tle,” and that’s max­i­mal min­i­mal­ism. This al­lows you to keep your clean-lined aes­thetic while adding just a touch of some­thing bold. Maybe it’s wild throw pil­lows. Or over­size art. Or a col­lec­tion of ob­jects — but in­stead of cov­er­ing ev­ery sur­face, you dis­play them in a con­tained way on a sleek shelf.

All the feels

“Shear­ling and boucle and vel­vet, oh my!” says John McClain, whose stu­dio is in Or­lando, Florida. “Deep, cozy tex­tures are crop­ping up on more than just pil­lows these days — en­tire so­fas, chairs and head­boards are sport­ing lus­cious up­hol­stery rem­i­nis­cent of lambs, pup­pies and ponies.”

These ma­te­ri­als cre­ate a calm­ing, homey feel­ing, he says. He sug­gests also adding a hide rug, faux-fur throw or Nordic knit pouf for a fash­ion­able look.

You’ll find seat­ing from CB2, Houzz and Ar­ti­cle up­hol­stered in soft, nubby boucle. West Elm, Tar­get and World Mar­ket are among re­tail­ers of­fer­ing poufs with Scan­di­na­vianstyle pat­terns.

So­phis­ti­cated hues

McClain is ex­cited about some new, warm grays, like Ben­jamin Moore’s Gray Owl, Dunn Ed­wards’ Foggy Day and Sher­win-Wil­liams’ Re­pose Gray.

“Adding lay­ers of darker, mood­ier colors on top of this new gray leads to a so­phis­ti­cated and al­most sexy feel for fall,” he says.

Ben­jamin Moore color and de­sign ex­pert Han­nah Yeo notes another chic combo: “From pale but­ter­milk to rich gold, yel­lows are mak­ing a strong vis­ual state­ment. Soft yel­low mixes well with gray and warms up wood tones.”

And Los An­ge­les de­signer Jane Bree­gan fa­vors colors that “ap­peal to the emo­tions.”

“I see fall’s color trends mov­ing to­ward darker, deeper hues like dark teal, ma­roon, plum,” she says. “These colors cre­ate a re­laxed at­mos­phere that con­trasts the bright, elec­tric tones of spring and sum­mer.”

PPG’s color of the year is Chi­nese Porce­lain, a dusky navy. Fash­ion’s fall col­lec­tions from Ar­mani, Philip Lim, Chris­tian Siri­ano and oth­ers fea­tured the hue in vari­a­tions rang­ing from quiet grayed blues to vi­brant cobalts.

Brass notes

Com­ple­ment­ing all the rich blues, teals, berries and greens are the met­als, and de­sign­ers say mix­ing them up is the way to go now.

“Mixed met­als def­i­nitely in­fuse an eclec­tic bal­ance this fall,” says Bree­gan.

Rose gold may be on the wane, but brass and gold ac­cents are trend­ing, as is matte black. Sil­very nickel and steel are al­ways in. The mix isn’t solely about ma­te­rial or color; it’s also about fin­ish. Matte, pol­ished, an­tiqued and brushed give home dec­o­ra­tors many op­tions to pro­vide in­ter­est and depth.

How do you de­cide which to use? McClain’s trick: rep­e­ti­tion.

“Cre­ate a rhythm through themes,” he says. “For ex­am­ple, ap­pli­ances and plumb­ing fix­tures are stain­less steel, cabi­net hard­ware and light fix­tures are brushed brass, and all door, hard­ware and win­dow frames are matte black. Then punc­tu­ate your metal mix­tures with pic­ture frames, lamps and ac­ces­sories.”

GE Café’s new ap­pli­ance suite lets you cus­tom­ize knobs and han­dles, for ex­am­ple. “One of my clients opted for cop­per ac­cents on her stain­less ap­pli­ances for fall, and plans to change again for spring,” McClain says.

Sur­faces with per­son­al­ity

“Wall­pa­per is hav­ing its day,” says Joan Craig of the New York ar­chi­tec­tural and in­te­ri­ors firm Craig & Co., cit­ing pa­pers with nat­u­ral tex­tures, cus­tomiz­able hand paint­ing and smallscale prints.

“Beyond rooms, we’re lin­ing ceil­ings, cabi­net in­te­ri­ors and book­cases,” she says.

Ter­razzo has found a home in many de­sign­ers’ hearts. “It’s been around for 10,000 years and it still looks mod­ern,” says Craig.

STEPHEN ALLEN

An in­te­rior by John McClain De­sign.

THE IN­SIDE

The In­side’s slip­per Chair cov­ered in an up­dated chintz fab­ric

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