(BPT) - Renew. Rejuvenate. Reinvigorate. The same objectives people have when making their personal New Year’s resolutions can be just as easily be applied to their homes. There’s no better time to give a home a fresh look, whether it’s incorporating a new color palette, adding accessories, repurposing furniture or putting something interesting up on the walls.
A kaleidoscope of color
Residential interior designer Gary McBournie recommends happy hues such as turquoise for a kitchen, chartreuse for a dining room and coral for a bedroom. Roger Hazard, a Sharon Springs, NY designer who starred in the Emmy-nominated "Sell This House,” agrees that color palettes will embrace a variety of bold, punchy accent colors but also notes a seismic shift in neutrals from the “brown fatigue” of browns and beiges to bright gallery whites and truly neutral grays. Purples can be paired with accents of copper and well-worn leather in a masculine den; layered with gold, gray and white for an elegant bedroom; or highlighted against subway tile and chrome fixtures for a statement master bathroom.
Every wall has a story
Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, predicts that wall murals will be even more popular next year as more homeowners and business owners embrace this unique, distinctive way to transform any room. Simple to install and remove, Murals Your Way’s more than 750,000 images, along with the ability to create a personal mural from a photograph, make wall murals an attractive and affordable design trend.
It’s only natural
Miami-based ASID and IIDA award-winning interior and furniture designer Bea Pila sees natural elements increasingly created into luxurious furnishings. Look for lamps embellished with geodes and natural gems, feather-adorned pillows and sharkskin as a rich table finish. Stone and stone veneers make for an interesting organic interior wall covering, says Debbie Wiener of My Designing Solutions, as do sticks gathered in groups as triptychs or propped up against the wall.
Lighting can make a key difference in a home by setting the atmosphere of a room or helping showcase decor elements. LED bulbs deliver the same warm glow as traditional incandescents but use 84 percent less energy and last up to 20 years, according to Maxwell Ryan, founder and CEO of Apartment Therapy. Interior design expert and InStyleModern.com executive Maria Samuels suggests multi-tiered chandeliers and other ornamental fixtures using LED lights to give a modern twist instead of traditional artificial illumination.
The furniture forecast
Pila notes that 60s-inspired acrylic furnishings can be timeless when designed into a classic silhouette, with the pureness of the acrylic’s clearness creating a striking effect. Washington, DC designer Darlene Molnar predicts that velvet sofas will be a top trend in 2014, with jewel colors or gray bringing a soft elegance to rooms after years of sharp clean lines. And furniture designer Clint Parker notes that Earth-friendly, sustainable eco-furniture is gaining steam, with new composites and fabrics such as hemp and sorghum making the concept more accessible.
Accessorize the positive
Anything goes in the world of accessories. Pila notes an African influence in lamps made of horn and Kuba cloths fashioned into pillows, rugs and blankets, while Ian Kennedy of Ruby + George touts Native American-inspired artwork, rugs and antlers passed down from generation to generation. Wiener suggests gas-fired home “fire walls” under a wall-mounted big-screen television that can serve as a source of warmth and an art focal piece.
The simple life
Internationally recognized artist and award-winning Austin designer Pablo Solomon sees a continuation of uncluttered, simple, practical, multifunctional and renewable designs. He recommends adopting the mantra “less is more” to focus on quality, not quantity, when it comes to art, rugs and furnishings. Tie interior design with outside landscape views to evoke a feeling of openness and flow from the inside out.
What’s old is new again
Los Angeles-based Linda Brettler, AIA, suggests finding creative ways to repurpose, recycle and reuse by relocating pieces from other rooms in the house or seeking out older, better-made items from architectural salvage sites. Salvaged or antique tiles can give an authentic patina to a historic home, and Brettler recommends mixing tile and stone so the look isn’t so intense.
Finding your comfort zone
According to Elissa Morgante, principal at Morgante Wilson Architects in Chicago, people are moving toward much more casual and interactive living. This translates into making all rooms in the home inviting and multifunctional, to foster togetherness in comfortable spaces that will actually be used.
Hazard adds that practicality and individuality will dominate next year, with upholstery expected to bring presence and sophistication while still delivering all-day comfort.