If you're looking for new ways to spice up your home, 2009 offers some bright ideas. Whether you're looking to update your entire living room or simply refresh your style with some affordable accessories, here are some of the trends shaping this year's colors and designs.
Purple, purple, purple!
Emerging as a hot fashion color last fall, purple is not just a fad, it's an entrenched trend, strongly influenced by the election. (After all, red plus blue equals purple.) The Color Marketing Group suggests a grayed-out violet will work equally well as an accent or a neutral, and you'll see redder, plummier purples and blue-influenced fuchsias in a huge range of products. Purple is 2009's "must have" color. In addition, Pantone Color Institute forecasts other lively colors and sophisticated, grounded hues with Fuchsia Red, Salmon Rose, Palace Blue, Lavender, Rose Dust and Vibrant Green predicted to be popular.
Wood is good.
Wood remains the leader in materials, which is great for the eco-chic trend. A shift toward lighter finishes is really going to keep this category going. Look for gray wood. Dark is not done, but it's evolving.
According to Kathy Peterson - celebrity design expert and co-host of Lifetime TV's "The Balancing Act" - wood flooring is blending into an eclectic mix of wood tones. She also forecasts hardwood wall coverings (wood, resin, metals) with seamless panels of custom designs becoming focal points of a room. The popularity of wood throughout the home is gaining popularity, with floors, walls, ceilings (bead board) and furniture incorporating wood at their center. Another interesting eco-friendly product is silk-like luxury eco-bedding - natural silk-like linens are created from organic materials such as processed wood-pulp, and are given gorgeous color through the use of non-toxic dyes.
High fashion details and styling will jump the fashion runways and sashay their way into home furnishings. Accent pillows and other soft textiles will sport gorgeous dressmaker details from sexy belts and glamorous beading to 3D floral details. Look for intricate weaves, fine and elaborate textures, and lustrous overtones in fabrics. Visual and textural variety is important - stripes, paisley and botanical patterns are showing up in updated and reinvented ways this year.
Also, look for patterns in décor and tableware. New interpretations of fine point illustrations are decidedly decorative. Experts at the Las Vegas Furniture Market suggest that patterns such as Greek keys, camphor leaves, medallions, iron work patterns, scallops and architectural elements are making their way onto tableware and accessories.
Design without borders.
Global and multi-cultural decor inspired by China, Russia, Latin America, Morocco and India (primary influences) are mixed and matched to create a global design tour at home.
A cool, clean, Asian-influenced aesthetic is inherent in the forecast. Watch for "eastern cool" and aged neutrals from the landscape - stone gray, moss green, deep indigo - accented with lacquer red and sky blue. A continued interest in metallics, particularly with special finishes such as blackened patina or hammering. Also look for natural forms and materials. Consumers love the traditional black and red lacquer, but new, unexpected colors such as white, aqua, coral and lemon are giving the trend a fresh look.
African influences can bee seen in accessories such as rocks, fossils, horns with a metallic coat. Leopard and tiger skin patterns are paired with unnatural colors to make them feel new. Moroccan motifs, such as grillwork, stars and paisley, work well in sheer and lustrous tapestries. Add in exotic grasses and metal and lacquered wood to round out the look, and you have an African trend to reenergize the global mood for the balance of the decade.
A sophisticated take on preppy is inspired by the New England shores, with moody mid-tones such as classic camel in the luxury market. Look for beachy, dreamy hues - sandy taupes punctuated by barn red, salmon pink and grass green. This color palette reflects a rustic, worn feel.
Eco-friendly decor and furniture products continue to be in demand by today's energy-conscious and environmentally-aware consumers. Interior designer McKinley Adams predicts consumers will be interested in sustainable building materials that may cost a bit more up front, but will save money in the long run. He also sees a surge of interest in vintage furnishings for inside the home, while other designers anticipate increased use of grass cloth and natural finishes.
Also, watch for blue to become the new "green" - various greens have symbolized "green living" over the last few years, but in 2009 the "green" environmental message is delivered by the color blue. There are watery blues, sky blues and a whole range of blues that now represent our commitment to living on a greener planet.