In today’s busy family lifestyle, we find that a lot of client’s want to make their homes a serene haven to come home to. This is not to mean that they want pale pastel colours in their interior design plans. In days past the wallpaper border reigned, along with wallpaper wainscoting, and a border along the ceiling. This look is long gone, but wallpaper is back in a big way. Dramatic patterns are showing up and used in daring ways.
Feature walls in a dramatic shade are still very popular and colour blocking to enhance artwork or architectural detail is popular also (some photos courtesy of Better Homes or Houzz). Fuschia on all four walls can be sickening to some, but fabulous on one wall or ceiling, or as an accessory. Less is more.
Feature walls need not always be wallpaper. The array of stone and tile available today boggles the imagination. Why use some of these wonderful materials to accent your home?
Clever colour combinations such as hot pink and orange as well as turquoise and orange are now seen much more than in the fast. Fresh green, rather than beige, paired with deep brown was never seen formerly. Furniture is painted white, black, burnt orange, or what have you. This is not a riot of colour by any means, because it is thoughtfully and tastefully done.
Even when room designs are understated and the colour palette is subtle, there is often still a sense of drama. Part of this is due to today’s trend to tall ceilings, if we can get them, as well as the use of reclaimed materials such as exposed brick, which may be genuine or manufactured. The realism of the faux brick is astounding now, due to advances in photographic technology.
Area carpets are no longer the staid traditional styles of yesterday. Beautiful abstract designs with subtle shading anchor the new colour schemes and add classy elegance. They demand attention.
Artwork and accessories are no longer simply landscapes and figurines. Nowadays beautiful abstract colour exercises in bold frames grace the over mantle. Huge floor vases, abstract sculptures and water features add presence, shape, colour and even sound. Boldly framed, artwork can be affordable vintage magazine covers, found objects, colour exercises or what have you. Rather than hide inherited treasures away, they are touched up to make bold and inviting décor statements.
Contemporary style has become much more livable. Clients love a dramatic statement in their homes and it can often be achieved with broad sweeps of dynamic materials used simply, with an emphasis on keeping the lines clean, and the overall effect serene, though dramatic.
Seating options come in a great variety of shapes and sizes and are no longer only made in neutral shades. They can be the star of the show and and can act almost as accessories due to their interesting colours. The same is true for case goods such as buffets, armoires, chests and coffee tables. Homes are often larger these days and can accommodate large, dramatic furnishings. A bright red sofa in a minimalist décor scheme can look terrific and take an interior design plan from dreary to dramatic. If the red sofa is too much, one or two chairs done dramatically could do the trick. Tall two storey ceilings convey a feeling of spaciousness and can easily accept and show off a more dramatic approach to interior design.
Large, dramatic light fixtures add sparkle, whimsy, and illumination. Feathers, fuzz, leather, wood and string are all materials used in some of today’s innovative lighting.
Exposed ductwork in loft settings is now commonplace. No longer is this starving artist housing. Now the well heeled love the loft lifestyle. These spaces are often large and need dramatic colour to bring the ambiance into a scale that we are comfortable living with. Colour and texture can define living areas in lofts, since there are fewer divisions or walls, as there are in a conventional home.
Urban condos, on the other hand, are often quite tiny by comparison. In the past, it was assumed that small homes had to have light colours or they would feel small. This is true to some extent still, but for those of us who love colour but live in small homes, colour is key to a happy lifestyle. We are not willing to wait until we can attain the often impossible goal of a large home. Once again, thoughtfully done colour consultation is our friend. Lemon and raspberry can be paired with inherited antiques, believe it or not. The look is fun and upbeat and modern. Architectural detail should not be left out of pint sized homes. Make your home a tiny, perfect jewel, and enjoy living there. Big is not always better. In small homes, since the area is small, high end materials and furnishings do not have to cover as large an area as in a large home.
By the use of some of today’s interesting tiles and wallpapers, bathrooms can be enhanced to a spectacular degree so that the homeowner enjoys years of happy use of them.
Too many clients in small homes put off making their home a special place until they move to a larger one. Quality shows and is still quality when it comes time to move.
Clutter must be kept to a minimum, and furnishings must do double duty as storage pieces. Nesting tables, storage ottomans, pull-out sofas are all useful here. There is no need to deprive ourselves of colour, though. Sometimes painting a single wall and adding new draperies makes a big change.
In smaller homes there is often a notion that, because of the shortage of space, walls must be left neutral. There is no need to do without colour and style. Coloured draperies are an option, a hot red sofa, also, or toss cushions and floor cushions in a stunning array of shades. Wall art can still be interesting abstracts and likely there is room for one really interesting accessory. Sometimes a very large artwork can act as a feature wall. it adds drama and impact, and can be removed and replaced as tastes change.
Family photos, artwork, and accessories should be well displayed. Whether the frame is contemporary or traditional, they should not be merely hung helter skelter, but act as a design unit. Frames and accessories should relate to each other in colour and shape, and the entire arrangement should be balanced. A collection of your child’s recent masterpieces , beautifully displayed can be more gratifying than something less personal. It can be ever changing, as long as your in house artist is producing pieces.
Time worn elements such as inherited furniture and art can fit into a contemporary scheme and shine. Worn pieces should be refurbished. Colourful new cushions, draperies, and wall colour can be swapped throughout the home to freshen up different rooms for a constantly changing show of style. Inherited pieces should be displayed rather than kept in the back bedroom. If the fabrics are outdated, they should be reupholstered and brought into today’s décor.
If you hanker for a tropical holiday, but just don’t have the budget, your home’s décor can have a little tropical flavour. It could be bright, tropical wall colour, art or accessory pieces, and flowing draperies. It could be an accent table or an area carpet. You’ll love the space year round and maybe eventually get away too.
Converstional groupings of furnishings can be made more cozy in a large room with a punch of deep or dramatic colours used on the wall, artwork, or in the furnishings. Formal design schemes are still often making use of rich colour choices. Soaring windows can look stunning adorned with silk draperies in dramatic colour hues. The furnishings may have modern or traditional lines, but the fabric colour choice and some of the accent details may be entirely new and hot. Fabric technology has made tremendous innovations. Not only are fabrics interesting, but they are often durable, and sparked with subtle shadings that give them an aged appearance. Wallcoverings have made a huge comeback and should really be part of a modern room design. We truly live in a Golden Age of choice.
We recently did an interior design project for a client in the Erin Mills area of Mississauga. The final look is similar to the photo below. The family room furnishings were dated and there was no emotional attachment to any of the pieces. The rooms were not overly large but we had room to consider various options. Floor plans were developed for the process of space planning so that more than one option could be considered. We found clean-lined but relatively small scale seating, an upbeat area carpet in a colourful modern style, added co-ordinating custom draperies and accessorized to provide a finish with a flourish.
Whether your urban home be located in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington or Toronto, elements of similarity follow in todays decor trends. Space is not unlimited in suburban homes, and not all inner city homes are tiny. We are living in an age of information and dramatic and relentless change. Our decor tastes reflect this. The photos that we show are meant to inspire and to show the quality and type of work that we are able to achieve. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.
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