You update your wardrobe each year by adding key pieces — a killer pair of jeans in the cut du jour, the must-have boots or tote of the season, a statement blouse in a trendy pattern. Keep your home as fresh and on-trend as your wardrobe with some strategic updates. We asked local design experts how to keep our homes looking current for 2016. The recurring themes? Bold colors and patterns, industrial elements, and wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper!
1. Oversized Pendants
Chicago designer Mitchell Channon says you can make a bold statement with large-scale light fixtures — and they’re not just for the dining room anymore. “Hanging one in the living room adds glam … creating a glittering focal point,” he says. Be sure to hang pendants at least 90 inches above the floor, so even your tallest guests can comfortably walk beneath them.
2. Bold Colors
Gray palettes have reigned supreme in interior design for several years now. Unsurprisingly, the pendulum is swinging back toward bright, vivid hues. Channon says to look to your wardrobe for color inspiration, and then use a favorite shade to update your décor. Maze Home in Winnetka is a great source of colorful, patterned accents, from throw pillows to decorative trays, for adding pops of color. Channon advises clients to be unafraid to go big with color: “Paint it on all the walls, or cover the whole sofa with it.”
3. Super-Sized Patterns
When it comes to architecture, fashion and interior design, Channon says the trend is “big, bold and eccentric” (as seen in this black-on-black wallpaper). “The bigger the room, the bigger the pattern,” Channon says. “Rule of thumb: If you squint and lose sight of the pattern, it’s not big enough.”
4. Wallpaper as Art
Wallpaper need not have a diminutive print that fades into the background. Amp it up and use wallpaper to create a focal point. “A feature statement wall completes the look in any room and eliminates the search for that perfect piece of art,” North Shore designer Mary Nigh says. “Go for big geometric prints, or textures — grasscloth and cork are a must.”
You don’t have to wallpaper your entire living room to get in on the trend. Experiment with bright, playful wallpaper patterns in unexpected spots in your home. “We tend to use them in small spaces such as this laundry room to make a statement,” Ellen Duffy of Northfield-based Avenue Interiors says.
5. Industrial Accents
The easiest way to give traditional décor some modern edge is by mixing in a few well-placed industrial accents. Think reclaimed wood, antiqued tin, distressed leather. “Create some edge with oversized industrial lighting or rustic bar stools,” Nigh says. “Don’t let the reputation of metal scare you — a juxtaposition of wood and metal leaves a space feeling clean, chic and serene.”
6. Painted Wood
If you’ve been eyeing a heavy-looking piece of dark wooden furniture for a makeover, now is the time to do it. Duffy says painting dark wood a light color (like the gray wash she used on this previously dark desk) is the perfect way to update existing pieces.
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