(ARA) - From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for today's cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.
The facts about furniture
According to Emmy Award-winning home design expert, author and TV/radio personality Christopher Lowell, upholstered furniture coverings are being driven more by texture and less by prints. Yesterday's bulky, stationary pit sofa will be replaced by lower backs and seats along with smaller "footprint" pieces clustered into conversation groups for more flexibility and ease of interaction. Stacy Garcia of Stacy Garcia Design Studio sees a movement of woods from very dark mahogany and espresso to lighter and mid-toned woods, with raw, natural walnut, cherry and white oak being especially prevalent.
Make a statement
For homeowners interested in adding life and personality to a bedroom, living room, family room or office, a decorative wall mural is a quick, cost-effective way to go, explains Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, whose products have been featured on the TODAY show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Divine Design, Man Caves and Moving Up. With 25 mural categories including Disney, famous artwork, cities and cityscapes, nature, and sports, as well as the ability to create murals from favorite photos, the choices are virtually unlimited. The company also recently launched a repositionable wallpaper line.
The right touch
According to Lori Dennis, interior designer, author and upcoming star of HGTV's new show The Real Designing Women, next year's textures and fabrics will include iridescent metallic woven within fabric; strong patterns and bold prints; modern floral; tailored woven fabrics like tweed, herringbone, plaid and houndstooth; velvet/velour, sumptuous dupioni silk, and faux fur. Natural fibers such as bamboo, jute, eucalyptus, cotton, silk, wool and cork will remain popular, adds DeAnna Radaj of Bante Design LLC.
A splash of color
Deborah Wecselman of DWD Inc. suggests starting with neutral hues of taupe, beige, cream, grey, black and white, and then adding unexpected pops of color with bold accessories from bright yellow paintings to royal blue vases. Dennis echoes this vibrant color spectrum, with rich jewel tones like emerald, amethyst, sapphire, ruby, garnet and citrine along with deep teal, fuchsia, honeysuckle, coffee and gold.
Light up your life
According to Bradburn design team manager Martin Lucki, lighting options will include linen shades with clean tailored lines and a play toward texture. Lamp bodies will be made of carved reclaimed woods deftly finished in soft, neutral tones that showcase the natural wood grain. Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, who considers decorative lighting "the piece of jewelry in a room," recommends architectural sconces for applying makeup or shaving to avoid the shadows cast by overhead lighting.
Please tread on me
Kitchen designer/blogger Susan Serra sees a renewed interest in woven or knotted textures on rugs with "back to basics" motifs that harken back to simpler times. These rugs are easy and cheerful to live with, make a design statement, and serve as interesting foundations for rooms with upholstered or casework furnishings most often seen in neutral colors. Lowell also sees a trend toward investment area rugs on tiled floors or those resurfaced with wood or faux wood veneers for better wear and tear and a greater perceived home value.
Decorating on a dime
According to artist/designer/author Pablo Solomon, people will continue to look for unique, cost-effective ways to improve their homes. They'll buy and restore secondhand furniture, swap artwork and accessories with friends, and use yard sale proceeds to purchase new items for their homes. Consignment stores and estate sales will be hot in 2012, adds best-selling author and home design expert Lauri Ward of Redecorate.com, with people discovering the benefits of buying older, distressed pieces that are well made and affordable. Chairs and sofas that can be reupholstered or slipcovered, and cabinets for storage, will be sought for their quality as well as the aesthetic interest they add to modern rooms.