This year’s décor trends are budget-conscious and green.
We all know the fashion police. They’re the ones who tell us what to wear and when to wear it.
Though less familiar, the décor police sway us, too. Without their guidance, our homes might still be rife with shag carpeting, wood paneling and olive-green appliances. Like the fashion police, they’ve been known to change their minds; most recently they decreed we should welcome back wallpaper.
As with fashion, décor trends often mirror what’s going on in the world. This year’s trends are influenced by the sluggish economy and a desire to simplify and live more sustainably.
The following trends can help you update your home, watch your budget and be kind to the Earth:
Texture is always in style, and easy to achieve. A textured rug adds character; textured draperies, linens and pillows delight the sense of touch and make a room inviting. Even if it’s as simple as displaying a few baskets in unusual shapes and sizes—these utilitarian catchalls are back in style, too—texture is a turn-on.
Bring Home the World
Even if you opt for the increasingly popular staycation, you can still bring the world home to your house. Souvenirs from past adventures add personality to a space, and prompt happy memories when you’re at home instead of the beach. If you want surf and sun, but can’t afford the airfare, choose accessories that transport you to your desired destination—think seashells and sand as part of a bathroom candle-scape. If it’s adventure you crave, buy safari-inspired bedding or linens.
From recycling to lighting, greener homes are a big trend in 2010 and the foreseeable future. Whether you’re simply replacing an incandescent with a compact fluorescent, making recycling routine or shopping for green products, your home is an opportunity to do your part for the planet.
In every room of the home, bold patterns are all the rage—and the funkier, the better. If you need convincing, see how easy it is to create a little magic by tossing a few boldly patterned, brightly colored pillows onto a monochromatic sofa. Or try layering exotic rugs over neutral carpet.
Metallics are big in the fashion world and they’re now figuring prominently in home décor. Think shiny, shimmering draperies or metallic-flecked kitchen countertops.
The Fifth Wall
Now it’s OK—even fashionable—to wallpaper once again. Relatively inexpensive with nearly limitless style and texture options, wallpaper is back on the décor-police radar. But why should walls get all the love? Wallpapered ceilings perk up a room, lend elegance, make it more intimate and cozy, and even hide imperfections like cracks. But don’t use the same wallpaper for the ceiling as you do on the walls or you’ll feel boxed in.
When we’re stressed about the present we often long for days when things were better. That’s why floral patterns, retro flair and heirloom colors such as timeless greens and smoky blues are back in style. Recycled furniture with distressed finishes also reminds us of the “good old days” without breaking the budget.
And the new brown. For bedding, window coverings, upholstery, walls and wood, gray is a calming, neutral color that goes well with just about any other color, especially bright, modern hues like tangerine, teal, lemon or magenta. Purple is still hot, too; try just about any shade of purple with gray.
Grow Your Own
Whether it’s just a few potted herbs, a couple of tomato plants or a full-blown vegetable garden, homeowners are discovering the joys of growing their own food. In today’s world of soaring food prices and concerns about food safety and chemical agriculture, it just makes sense. Those who lack green thumbs or garden space are heading to farmers’ markets or Community-Supported Agriculture farms, where they can purchase fresh, locally grown produce instead of supermarket fare with large carbon footprints.
Handmade goods, especially those that render something old new again, are gentler on the Earth and your budget. And artisanal goods purchased through fair-trade organizations empower craftspeople in foreign countries to preserve time-honored traditions while taking steps to ensure a better life for their families and communities.