There’s always something to please everyone when it comes to décor
by Cheryl Cook
For every trend that comes or goes, there is a style guru who will tell you that you don’t need to follow trends to be stylish. Which is easy to say when you’re a style guru. For the rest of us, trends can be a helpful starting point or the seed of inspiration, or they can just be confusing. The key is to know how and when to incorporate a trend into your personal style.
Clients often say to me, “I don’t have a personal style in my home.” Trust me, you do. Your personal style can be found in that gut feeling of “I like that” or “That’s not for me.” If you haven’t quite harnessed your style—or even if you are one of those people who has a clear idea of how they want things to look—the latest trends can be helpful. The beauty of “this year’s trend” is that there is never just one, so there is always something to please everyone in the jumble of what’s hot.
To keep things simple, I offer up four trends that are riding high going in to 2019, and some tips on how you can easily incorporate these into your home and personal style.
Colours of the year
Every paint and colour company will have announced their colour of the year by now, and along with this will be several palettes of colours that they feel are trending. The choices can feel a bit overwhelming, so let’s focus on one family of colours that is not only on trend but has a lot of staying power in your décor.
Warm, earthy colours are showing up in the palettes of most colour companies. Don’t think back to the putty- and clay-coloured walls of the last decade. Instead, imagine barely-there, fleshy shades that recall natural materials such as hemp, oatmeal, and linen. Even traditionally bigger colours such as blues and greens are showing up in understated, misty versions.
If you are thinking of walls, these subtle, earthy tones will sit beautifully in the background, giving a soft, tranquil base to your rooms. Using these colours in your larger items of furniture, such as sofas, loveseats, and areas rugs gives you room to play with accent shades in smaller items such as cushions, throws and wall art.
While they are a natural complement to traditional styles, if your preference is for a more modern look, pair these nude tones with crisp accents in whites, darker greys, and blacks for a fresh and clean feel.
Matte black is showing up across the spectrum of products in interior décor, so it can easily be introduced into your home. Most kitchen appliance manufacturers now have matte black options, but the kitchen isn’t the only space where this trend can shine—or not shine, as it were!
While black is often seen as a hard or edgy addition to your décor, if implemented well, it can offer a clean, crisp look, and add an instant dash of drama to a space.
In the bathroom, matte black tile floors can ground your space visually, and allow white tubs, sinks and walls to stand out. A black and white bathroom can reinforce a heritage theme (think penny tiles and black, claw-foot tubs) but can also create a minimal modern spa feel. In other rooms, black hardwood or laminate flooring creates a real statement that is, at the same time, a classic look.
For accents, think of light fixtures such as kitchen pendants, or furniture such as benches, dining chairs and accent cabinets in matte black. And there are myriad smaller items like picture frames, kettles, dinnerware, candleholders, and clocks that can be added to the space to bring emphasis to this theme.
Matte black is also a natural complement to the next trend I’m going to talk about.
I have a love for warm metals, and it shows in my personal home style. But this doesn’t mean that my living room glitters in gold from one end to the other. Trends are great but embracing them whole-hog can be a bit like seeing someone dressed head to toe in one designer’s label. It doesn’t seem to be their personal style, so much as the designer’s.
If you enjoy brass, gold or copper, you don’t need to switch out every item that has chrome or brushed nickel on it. You can start small and pepper warm metals around your décor, or choose one as a dominant warm metal and really go for it. But having chairs that sport chrome legs when your coffee table has brass accents is not going to break your style.
Get creative with adding warm metal accents. Larger items like coffee tables and bar carts can set the tone, but don’t forget smaller items like vases or candlesticks with a brush of gold, or a piece of wall art with copper steaked through it. In the bathroom or kitchen, if gold feels like too much, consider brass taps or towel bars for an instant dash of drama and warmth.
And about the matte black—why do warm metals work so well with it? First, the blacks used are often cool blacks, and opposites work well in this way. Warm metal with a cool accent colour is a good rule of thumb for a visually beautiful contrast. But warm metals are incredibly versatile, and you’ll find that pairing in them with dark wood tones will also create a very mature, dramatic look.
Houseplants are the unassuming saviour of home décor. They add colour, warmth, lushness, and life to a space, while at the same time finishing it beautifully. They are also one of the most neglected parts of home décor, so often sit alone in a corner or on a window sill, in the same dull container they were brought home in. That’s no way to treat what could be one of the best pieces of your room’s style.
And in 2019, it’s not just style that matters, it’s size. If you love African violets or other small houseplants, by all means, continue pampering them. But it may also be time to consider a few displays of larger, more robust greenery. Think yuccas, palms, philodendrons, and fiddle-leaf figs, just to name a few.
When bringing in any type of plant to your home, you need to be honest about how much light is available to them. Head to your local greenhouse or garden centre and have a talk with the staff. You may discover that many of these plants thrive in indirect light, and don’t require a lavish sunroom or southern exposure. I recommend putting plants in groupings that vary by height and type of plants, for a sense of fullness and visual interest.
We all know that as living things plants require a bit of care—water, light and the occasional bit of fertilizer. But they are also part of your décor, which means thinking beyond just sustenance. Consider the containers they will live in and how these will fit into the style of the room. I would describe my personal style as a bit eclectic, so creating matched sets isn’t what I look for. But if you prefer neat, orderly sets, then that’s your personal style—indulge it.
I recently acquired a Christmas cactus from my sister, who thought it was a bit old and ugly. I gave it a quick wipe, bought a modern, brass container on a stand, and gave the cactus a home with a few palms in my living room. It may come as no surprise to you that when my sister saw it, she wanted it back! Treat your greenery like décor and it will pay off in spades.
Those four trends are leading the way for 2019, yet each one of them can be implemented in homes with a wide variety of styles, from traditional, to eclectic, to modern. Trends can give you the inspiration you need to kick start a decorating project but remember to heed what your gut reaction is telling you about your personal style and choose your trends wisely.
Intro image: Bigstock/Yastremska