Top 10 Design Trends of 2009
Just as they do in fashion, trends come and go in home design. While overuse of fads can make a space look dated, adding a few stylish accessories or features can freshen up a worn out décor. No design is completely evergreen, but judicious selections wisely placed can convert any home into a timeless beauty. Incorporate suggestions appropriately to achieve the look that’s right for your home.
- Size. Baby boomers are downsizing, opting for newer urban homes that require less maintenance but offer more conveniences than their former suburban home. Inside the home, baths are going luxe while kitchens are becoming more compact for increased efficiency. Correspondingly, appliances are smaller and the introduction of sleek European cabinetry has begun.
- Floor plan. Mid-century modern and 1960s chic are making a comeback. Builders and buyers both like the simplicity of clean lines juxtaposed with dramatic drop pendants and creative built-ins that do double duty, such as two-sided fireplaces and TV platforms that swivel for viewing in two rooms.
- Bathrooms. Stone dominates in the bathroom, from counters to floors to shower stalls. To soften the look, antique dressers or Asian-inspired vanities are topped with larger, flatter built-in vessel sinks. Faucets – in brushed nickel instead of chrome – are wall-mounted for an uncluttered appearance. In the shower, dual rain showerheads installed in ceilings instead of walls and hand-held sprayers with adjustable settings deliver water to suit your mood. Motion light sensors are helpful for middle-of-the-night trips to the loo.
- Style. The Hollywood Regency style, where furniture and décor are mixed and matched to reflect the homeowner’s personality and collections, is re-emerging. But it’s not the only style regaining popularity. Visual clues are being snagged from Louis XVI, Craftsman and other eras. The key is to put a fresh spin on it, to reinterpret it through modern colors, fabrics and pairings. It could be considered the personalized and eclectic approach to design, with a desire for one-of-a kind items.
- Inspiration. The rebirth of older styles brings with it the reconsideration of former inspirations. Art Deco- and Art Noveau-inspired designs give a nod to shapes and patterns, paisleys, geometrics, floral, botanicals, animal prints and birds. An appreciation for handcrafted items with multi-cultural heritages from around the world means mosaics, patchworks and dressmaker details are showing up on everything from soft textiles to furniture. Latin American, Indian, Moroccan and Asian designs add glamour through embellishment and detail.
- Color. Bring the outdoors in to create a serene, natural interior environment that serves as a soothing retreat from a stressful world. Colors are going softer and more relaxing, with cool earth-tones such as blue, gray, brown and green. Warmer colors such as yellow, red and orange are used sparingly as accents.
- Green. It’s not just a color; it’s a way of life: green, sustainable and fair trade. Consumers want to fulfill environmental and societal responsibility with a single purchase. Energy-efficient appliances are a must. Solar energy, on-demand water heaters, geothermal heating, rain barrels and attic fans are all viable options that save money and the planet. Compact fluorescent lighting is giving way to halogen bulbs, which don’t use mercury or earth phosphors. Add a dimmer switch and reduce the brightness 50 percent for a 40 percent energy savings. And keep in mind that eco-friendly does not always require sacrifice. Bamboo floors are beautiful and affordable and many companies are producing eco-linens and bedding from organic cotton grown, spun, woven and sewn in Egypt by underprivileged women that look and feel like silk.
- Materials. It’s all about natural materials. Carpet is used sparingly, if at all. Instead, bamboo, exotic hardwoods such as Brazilian cherry, travertine and cork floors are used throughout the home, bedrooms included. One natural material that’s experiencing a decline in popularity is granite. Although practical, beautiful and increasingly affordable, some designers consider granite no longer “special” and have opted for honed white marble in its place. Other countertop alternatives include soapstone, poured concrete and Corian.
- Finishes. In keeping with the exotic and antique inspirations, walls are plastered or troweled for texture. Crackled, overstuffed, heavy Italian furniture is out, replaced by the sleeker lines of Art Deco styles. Stainless steel appliances are leaving home owners cold. They want a fresh, warm custom finish only an integrated cabinetry finish can provide.
- Specialty features. Open floor plans that combine kitchen, dining and family rooms remain popular. Lofts, the ultimate open floor plan, are luring buyers back to the city with their floor-to-ceiling windows (preferably original in pre-WWII buildings), exposed duct work, ventilation and brick walls, as well as proximity to work, dining and nightlife attractions. Other features that attract buyers include media rooms, work-out rooms, wine cellars and playrooms for children.
Lori Lovely is a real estate contributor for the Indianapolis real estate website of ICON Realty Partners, LLC. The website, located at www.indyhomespecialist.com, features helpful information about buying and selling homes in any market.
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