On-Trend Interior Design
The style spectrum for 2012 ranges from classic to cutting edge. The interior design community is responding to changes in the economy, technology and demographics in its ethos for current designs.
As an interior designer I naturally stay up on the trends – by attending local design seminars, participating in workshops hosted by both local and national product and supply partners, attending national home furnishing trade shows and receiving industry tip sheets. Armed with all that knowledge, here is my interpretation of what’s hot in interior design.
With a salute to the stars and stripes, patriotic spirit is flying high. American values and traditions are playing a proud part in our interior designs. “Made in America” or an Americana theme is in. We will see federalist details and historical references with simplicity and nostalgia being key. In support of our nation, manufactures producing American-made items will be in high demand. Expect to see distinctive furnishings and décor incorporating red, white and blue.
Industrial on the inside
The industrial trend has evolved with a look that is ”right-off-the-factory-floor,” suggesting hard work and craftsmanship. Exposed bolts, repurposed goods, rough wood and steel supports are displayed purposely. Expect to see aged patina, burnished detail and a satin finish. Some of the biggest statements, literally, are dining tables; many of which have a practical bent despite their size, turned legs and raw detailing. Metal stools on natural floors, with no stain, will also draw attention.
Sustainable design is here to stay and more widespread than ever. The emphasis on “green” is still very much alive and growing. Interest continues to center around ways in which it can improve our built environment’s impact on the Earth. Expect green design features and green manufacturing techniques that positively contribute to this worthy lifestyle commitment.
Today, design is about smaller, well-planned spaces made with quality materials. The interest is on fewer, but higher-end products with a custom, handcrafted sense. The drop in square footage will lead to the living room disappearing altogether, and the kitchen and family room will form a single “great room.” Watch for savvy furniture pieces designed specifically for small spaces. Other areas within the home that may become increasingly uncommon include dining and media rooms. The laundry area and walk-in closets will still play an important role in the floor-plan design, however, Americans are saying “no” to the McMansion/manor and are ready to scale back and choose more mindful living arrangements.
Cutting-edge technology is enabling design-oriented manufacturers to produce stylish products that are also durable and easy to use. Expect to see more attention put on products and home improvements that offer more style along with performance and comfort. Retiring baby boomers, in particular, have made universal design a significant area of focus. The concept of designing all products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptation or specialized design, will be prevalent today and in the future.
This year nature-inspired elements rise to a whole new level. Gilded branches for an elegant table base, oversized antler-inspired floor lamps or layered cowhide rugs are just a few examples of clever craftsmanship. From shell and dandelion-inspired pendants to decorative vine balls, naturally inspired pieces are having their moment in the sun. We will see seashell accessories (say that five times fast!) and even insects. Plus, loads of driftwood, crackled bark, twigs, reclaimed wood and rustic yet refined live-edge furniture.