Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Trendy or Stylish?

One thing we are asked often is "do you think this look will last for a while"? Sometimes, the answer is simple - NO! But where exactly is the line between "trendy" and "stylish"? Here are some trends in interior design that we hope will stay!

"User Friendly"
Now, more than ever, we are entertaining ourselves at home. That naturally leads to the desire for a home that is comfy, cozy, casual and easy-to-keep. Our more casual lifestyle has led to rooms that are truly "functional" - the living room is for living, not keeping the antiques, the dining room is for the evening family meal, not just for when company arrives. Space is at a premium in most of our homes, so why not make the most of it?

"Environmental Decorating"
Natural fabrics, earthy colors, post-consumer content - these can all be beautiful things! Wood blinds, wool rugs, stoneware - these are all great examples. Even faux-wood blinds, surfaces that emulate stone or fruit and vegetable motifs could all be used as an example of environmental decorating. Wood flooring, skylights, rock fireplaces - all of these items have a natural element to them. With the rise in log homes and a return to a more simple life, natural elements have become very commonplace. We seem to enjoy "bringing the outdoors in", so why not bring some nature into your own home?

"Boldly Moderate"
Using neutrals for the major elements of your decor (i.e., walls, rugs, etc.) allows the opportunity to use bright, bold colors as accents, rather than as the main focus. I love this movement in design. Using a more muted palate allows you to showcase a few special accent items. It also allows you to be more versatile in your decorating. Love hot pink this spring? Use it as an accent with decor elements - then when muted orange comes in as your color of choice this fall, you aren't having to repaint and reupholster!

"Energy Efficient"
This seems to be quite a commonplace term nowadays. It is great that so many designers and manufacturers are beginning to "go green" in ways that aren't necessarily obvious by the end-use consumer. There are many ways that manufacturers do this - environmentally conscious foams, fabrics and processing methods are just a few. While this can tie into the "Environmental Decorating" section, I feel that it deserves its own. Having an energy efficient home helps not just the environment, in the long run, it can help your pocketbook in the form of savings on your heating/cooling bills, food costs and utilities. This is a great place to start learning about some of the many ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your own home.

Keeping these tips in mind should help you be able to design decor around you, as a person and be decor that will last for a long time. Everyone has their own style and what you are comfortable with is what you should choose. It's your style - be proud of it!


Today's Tip:
Do you have cushions that have lost their fluff? Try this quick tip: put it in the sun for a few hours (careful to test color-fastness on a small, inconspicuous area first!), flipping the cushion after an hour or so. This draws the moisture out of the cushion, naturally restoring the prior fluff!


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