Your home should reflect your style as it gives you a place to relax and be inspired at the same time. However, with a myriad of paints, rugs, lighting and furniture, the design realm can be an overwhelming pool to dive into. Fear not! Interior Designer Diane Pelzer, with Hoffman and Albers Interiors, offers tips to help you get your toes wet in the design world and make a trendy splash in your home.
The trend of the economy has seeped into the trends of design as more and more people are looking for increasingly more pocketbook-friendly ways to refresh their rooms. But just because the economy is down doesn’t mean that the look of your home has to be too.
Instead of thinking of the bigger picture of the entire house, take your redesign dreams one room at a time, Pelzer says. Determine which room needs a makeover the most, and put your efforts (and your money) into that specific area. Once you conquer that space, recover from the labor of redesign and the blow to the bank, and then head out to the next project.
If an entire room can’t fit into that tight budget, just take on a particular part of the room. “Do what you can as you can do it,” Pelzer says. Accessories make for a fairly affordable way to give a new look to a space. Changing out the old tables with the new or hanging a different piece of artwork on the wall really can help in satisfying the need for new. “At least give yourself the feeling that you’ve gotten something done,” Pelzer says.
Another way to cost-effectively update an area is to update the existing pieces. An old wooden table or cabinet easily can transform into a completely different look. “Strip it and paint it. Give it a new look,” Pelzer says. And instead of buying a brand new couch, switch out the upholstery with a more friendly fabric (maybe one that matches one of the other trends in this story).
Brightening Your Life
When you’re looking at fabric swatches to figure out what new upholstery would be perfect for your couch, think bright. For the 2009 and 2010 season, bright colored sofas are dead-on trend, Pelzer says. For example, Hoffman and Albers Interiors threw a party at their store, and the theme color was mimosa. The yellowy orange color brought some vibrancy to the party as it showed guests the way for furniture.
Purple is also back, in a softer hue, Pelzer says. And red almost never fails for a color choice. Red is becoming more like a neutral color because of its versatility in design, Pelzer says. It can almost go with any color — black, white, taupe, purple, green, anything.
If the money for a bright couch isn’t in the bank or it’s too risky of a design leap for your taste, follow the trend with accessories. Bright throw pillows can bring a neutral sofa to life, and you can fire up that loveseat with some red accent pillows.
Merging Metallic into Design
Besides bright colors, “metallics in fabrics are very hot,” Pelzer says. Whether that metallic gem shines in clothing, throw pillows, a funky art-deco chair covering or window panels, make sure that your home is sparkling. “It’s a little bit of glitz and glamour coming back in,” Pelzer says.
While the metallic trend applies mostly to fabrics, because the metal can be woven into fabric pretty easily, the metallic trend doesn’t stop there. In fact, you can create a wall design in a faux finish that uses a metallic paint to bring home the trend at an affordable cost.
Maintaining the Green Approach
Just like in every other industry and aspect of life, the design industry has been touched by the green movement. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified buildings have become more popular and more common in the home building industry, but the requirements to be LEED Certified extend to the interior design components of the house.
Cork and bamboo are two “green” materials that have made their way into design. Cork comes from the cork oak, and in obtaining the cork, the tree is not damaged because another layer of cork grows quickly. Bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant. Because of these facts, cork and bamboo are considered renewable resources.
Besides cork and bamboo, recycled and reclaimed accessories and furnishings prevent the overuse of resources used to make a brand new item while they avoid the dilemma of disposal. Reclaimed wood is especially popular in current trends and Hoffman and Albers Interiors has some items made out of reclaimed wood, including tables and accessories. Despite the fact that they’re made of “reclaimed” material, these attractive pieces blend in with furnishings made of non-reclaimed materials, Pelzer says.
Another material used for eco-friendly designs is fabric. Many organic cotton and hemp fabrics have hit the market recently to promote more sustainable practices, but the big surprise is in the water bottles. Today’s technology now recycles plastic water bottles and turns them into fabric to make clothes or other material. The fabric resembles polyester, which is made from petroleum just like plastic. “I don’t think that the public knows too much about it,” Pelzer says.
With more than 30 years of experience in the interior design industry, Pelzer has seen trends go in and out, some after only six months. But the eco-friendly lifestyle seems to be more than a passing fad. “I don’t see the green movement going out of style at all,” Pelzer says.