The articles are out and the designers are busy making predictions, choosing colors and engaging in energetic discussions on the New Year. What are the trends for 2011? What do the professionals see for the future of our homes or offices? Here are a few ideas to get you started and possibly influence one or many of your decorating projects for the next 12 months.
1. Small space living. I know it’s been said many times in the past few years and certainly magazines such as Dwell have been part of this movement-but possibly this thought has finally gone mainstream. Gone are the vulgar McMansions of the early part of the decade or the tacky Old World Style that makes a better fit in Vegas then suburbia. Small space living is using smaller spaces, living with a smaller carbon footprint, waste less and consume less. Just think how much money you save on maintenance and how much less your utility bills would be if you lived in a smaller home? Not to mention less cleaning!
2. Gray. Yes the color gray–but soft tones, not battleship. Imagine warm gray with lemon yellow in an office or bedroom? How about graphite gray with bright white trim in a living room; turning this space from ordinary to sublime and sophisticated. Balance gray with purple, lavender and espresso brown accents for a modern take.
3. Clutter removal! Let’s learn to live with less. (See Design Trend 1). Organize the clutter. Get to the Container Store, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware or whereever you can find clear plastic bins and organize with these containers. You can see through them instead of having to open up a cardboard box and discovering items that you don’t need. Now that you know what’s there, decide what to do with it. If it’s been unused for more than 12 months perhaps it needs a new home.
4. Mixing global ideas with vintage charm. Forget about the outdated way of thinking that told you that everything in one room had to be from one design style. Mix it up. An Indian blanket with global spice tones sharing a space with Latin inspired pillows adds charm and interest. Frame old black and white family photos and place these on a side table with African vases and you have a collection that draws people in and makes a conversation piece. Combine patterns and texture with textiles, wall paper or wall décor.
5. Simple living. Less furniture but high quality purchases. Gone are the days of buying furniture every few years. Choose timeless classics such as pieces made in mid-century modern style that will sit well in your home for years. The mid-century style remains hot and getting hotter. Finding used pieces for low prices isn’t as easy as it was; savvy sellers figured out the actual worth and value of this furniture. City dwellers have more access through stores and on-line sources but be persistent.
6. Garbage is out. I just discovered reusable produce bags from reuseit.com . I can use these at the store for my produce and even wash the food in it when I get home. Buy in bulk and bring your own reusable bags to fill. Rice, flour, dried fruit, grains and nuts can all be purchased in bulk. The plastic bag you just used and threw away will be on this planet longer then you will.
7. Classic cocktails. Create a bar in your home with classic mixers, a shaker and some high ball glasses. Use a mobile bar cart in glass and metal for a 50’s take or a classic sidebar or buffet and assemble your bar on top. Forget the lemon drops and try a Manhattan , a Rob Roy or a Sidecar. Your bar should include bitters, sweet vermouth, bourbon, whiskey and gin. (drink responsibly)
8. Swedish design. Bright whites and pops of color in simple shapes and patterns. Perfect for textiles and wall art, Scandinavian influence in home décor has a long life and works well in most rooms in your home especially in high energy spaces such as kitchens and family rooms.
9. Classic dishes, casseroles and bowls from the 50’s and 60’s especially brands such as Corning Ware, Pyrex and Bauer. I have had luck scouring antique stores but eBay and Etsy have plenty of choices too.
10. For our last trend let’s move outside to that water hungry monstrosity sitting in your front yard. Yes – the lawn. Get rid of it and replace it with a Mediterranean garden that uses less water, less fertilizer, less maintenance and is much more attractive. Add a walkway that meanders through the garden and create sitting areas. Think of your front garden as a place to invite your neighbors for a few minutes to sit in the garden. Plant herbs and lavender and potted vegetables. Put this space to work and be kind to the planet at the same time. Remember, that fertilizer you use gets into the ground and ends up in our water supply. Yuck…fertilizer in our water?