In the spirit of David Letterman''s much-loved Top Ten lists, interior designers and industry experts share their predictions as to what will be hot in home dÃ©cor in the coming year.
Certain themes will continue from previous years, with some gaining momentum as they become more widely accepted. Still others will explode onto the scene as fresh, inventive options for today''s decorating enthusiasts. All of them will be woven together seamlessly by the thread of personalization and comfort.
Color is key in home fashion, according to Lori West, ASID, of Everyday Spaces, Inc., with red taking a turn to the softer side with offerings of peach, melon, and muted yellows and oranges. Blues, greens, aquas, purples and pinks will continue to evolve, and be featured in both brilliant and more subtle hues.
Sarah Anderson, ASID, of Sarah Anderson Interiors, agrees that this year''s fashion colors will focus more on natural but slightly muted brilliance in the mineral and jewel tones, and sees browns remaining strong as backdrops for more potent splashes of color for impact and drama. Based on PANTONE''s Home Furnishings Forecast for 2007, Anderson suggests consumers look for hints of violets within taupes; deep browns and grays; and hues like "Adobe Rose," "Deep Taupe" and "Grape Nectar" added to the natural palettes of greens and desert tans.
Vicki Ingham, senior editor and group manager of Home Decorating & Design Books, sees formal and traditional decorating styles enjoying new popularity with younger homeowners, as GenXers look to historically inspired design as an anchor. Pairings of traditional and casual, or traditional and modern - once the preserve of high-end designers - will also become increasingly main stream. Ingham cites Vera Wang''s new line of home goods for Kohl''s as directly targeted at the consumer who wants "classic style with a modern twist."
According to West, anything goes with regard to textiles - from opulent layering of shimmering tones and earthy textural weaves, to sleek modern and retro chic (retro in line and shape; chic in the combinations of current color and texture.) Anderson adds that in addition to variations on textured leathers, wovens and textures made from resins intertwined with bronzed and antique silver metallics will add a glimpse of glamour.
Madonna''s newly adopted son has one. So does Andy Roddick. For years, decorative wall murals have been popular and cost-effective ways to change a room''s appearance. According to Todd Imholte, president of Environmental Graphics, which produces the Murals Your Way line of wall murals, this trend will continue to gain strength in the coming year. "There''s no better way to customize a home or office than by adding a decorative wall mural," says Imholte. "By reflecting your individual tastes and interests, it creates a very distinctive look, plus fosters a warm, comforting living environment."
The Murals Your Way Web site contains over 5,000 images licensed from world-renowned artists and photographers. Also available are custom murals that can be made from personal photographs, artwork, or illustrations.
Ellen Sideri, founder and CEO of ESP Trendlab, also recommends hand-painted murals, printed murals, wallpaper, upholstery, wood paneling or walls clad with a "skin" of tiles or mirror. She sees "wrapping" or "enveloping" rooms as one of the hottest trends in home dÃ©cor, as it adds texture, warmth and glamour to even the most minimalist setting.
Today''s consumers are seeking a look that''s beautiful and sexy, but also practical for daily living, says Scott Yerkey, ASID, of Scott Arthur Yerkey Design, Inc. Rather than having a certain style imposed on them, consumers will continue to design their homes to reflect their individual habits and lifestyles. Trevira decorative and upholstery fabrics will be popular options, as they''re full of life and texture, yet also user-friendly and functional.
Well-designed rooms are about finding the "wow" factor in combining seemingly disparate finishes, materials and textures in new ways, according to Furniture.com lead designer C. Davis Remignanti. Grain, imperfection, age and character will continue to dominate wood finishes, with a focus on time-proven styles rendered in finishes that emphasize the natural quality of wood.
Paula Peterson, ASID, of Interior Viewpoints, predicts kitchen and bathroom cabinetry will continue to boast a more customized, furniture approach. Cabinets will take on a more casual look by receiving painted and glaze finishes, and may also feature a combination of wood, glass, stone and metal (including wire mesh in cabinet doors.)
Stainless steel''s dominance as the "in" metal is over, says Frederick Miller, ASID, of HKM Architects + Planners, Inc. Warm-toned, oil-rubbed bronze and copper will become more prevalent in hardware, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and will also take center stage in both large and small appliances. In addition, the shiny, mirror finish of chrome will make a strong comeback, appearing in unexpected places like decorative accessories, vases and small furnishings.
Miller also cites a focus on "sustainability." The availability of green products is increasing dramatically, thereby allowing professional and amateur designers to create aesthetically pleasing homes and workspaces, while minimizing their environmental "footprint."
The relaxed yet ultra-stylish cottage look has recently taken off, adds Remignanti, with even the trendiest pied-a-terres in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles adopting a "lake retreat" attitude. This cozy ambiance fosters the prevailing theme that "every room should be a living room" of comfort and relaxation.