Thursday, February 14, 2013

Trends for 2013

I have been an Interior Designer for over 25 years, and in the beginning of every year, my clients always ask me “what is trendy this year?.“ My first reaction is that they should do what THEY love in their homes and not worry about trends, but realistically everyone wants their home to look “in style”, so knowing and keeping up with today’s trends is very useful if not essential.
So what is trendy in 2013? 
Today people want their homes to be clean, simple and sparsely furnished. Negative space is in… and clutter is totally out. First and foremost, homes need to be open and spacious; they need to exude an aura of comfort and well being and make people feel welcome. People want their homes to be a haven of refuge that shield them from the outside world. 
Today people love texture rather than lots of color; monochromatic color schemes with lots of texture  is “in”.  Everywhere you look in a home, everything is white…. white… white; white walls, white trim, white upholstery and even white cabinetry which exudes a clean, pure yet comfortable feeling..  And everything that is not white is gray…Gray is the new black  - especially a soft light  blue grey… which is soothing and restful and makes people want to sit down and relax. For awhile color was “out” altogether, but today some color is back and people are complementing their monochromatic color schemes with punches of color.  The pantone color for 2013 is emerald green and greens of all shades are soothing, restful, calming and natural and look fabulous juxtaposed against a white background. So the trend is to upholster your large soft furnishings in white or grey and add green pillows, green accents and maybe even green chairs to create the “punch”. Below is a photo of a family room in the heights that I just finished with exactly this color scheme. It is clean looking yet fresh and welcoming.

And to contrast with the all this white and light gray, all the floors are now dark and wood. Years ago, people ripped out the wall to wall carpet in their downstairs areas, their living rooms, dining rooms and family rooms and replaced it with wood flooring. Now wall to wall carpet is being touted as a harbinger for mold and bacteria and is considered “bad” for sick people, elderly people, babies and people with allergies. So people are ripping out the carpet in their master bedrooms and in their entire upstairs –  and replacing it with wood flooring – and they love wide plank (5” or even wider) dark  wood floors. Another new trend is “green design” and people are  either re-using old wood floors from dilapidated homes…which look marvelous and make the home seem “lived in” or purchasing new hand scraped floors which give off the same “comfortable, lived in look”.  The only problem with dark wood floors is that they make a space look smaller and darker… so beware of installing dark wood flooring in small dark spaces as they will look smaller and darker. I have found that using a medium colored stain such as a walnut will still look dark enough to look “trendy” without being so dark as to shrink the space.

Once the wood flooring has been installed, people realize that from both a visual and an acoustical viewpoint, rugs are a welcome addition to warm up the space. Rugs are also soft to the touch when we walk barefoot, so are comfortable and make us feel good and today everyone wants to “feel good”. Years ago people loved Oriental Rugs but today they can be too patterned and appear busy. New Tibetan wood/silk rugs that are textured rather than patterned, or that have some pattern but lots of negative space are very popular and are in keeping with this open uncluttered un-patterned look that is so popular today

Dark kitchen cabinets are also very popular today, especially if paired with white countertops. White carerra marble countertops are very popular but they are not such a good choice for a busy active family that actually cooks, because they are porous and will absorb oil, dirt, wine etc and stain easily. A new popular choice that is “sustainable and green” as well as “white” is using white quartz countertops that are not porous so will not stain.