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No rules for today’s interior decorating trends

by on March 20, 2014 9:37 AM

STATE COLLEGE — When it comes to today’s trends in interior design, the only rule is there are no rules.

Area decorators offer insight on today’s dwelling fads, as well as ways to refresh a space in time for spring.

Cherie Miller, a home staging and interior designer with Stone Arch Real Estate, said she doesn’t regularly use the word “trend” when it comes to home design; many clients are not particularly interested in fitting into a certain “style.”

A common tendency Miller has noticed in her line of work, especially in the Centre Region, is a movement towards transitional decorating. People are allowing room for change. They are keeping their options open.

Neutrals are in, Miller said, as well as some geometric designs, including Chevron and Ikat; bold and enlarged floral, as opposed to small floral prints seen in the past; and stripes, specifically one large stripe as opposed to many small ones.

“It’s kind of this blend of styles,” she said. “Anything goes.”

Miller, who has her interior design degree from the Art Institute of York, said beige and tans are popular colors in all areas of decorating.

“Gray is a big color,” she said. “It’s romantic but it goes with everything. It’s the new neutral.”

Walls, patterns and window treatments

People are using less color on their walls, Miller said. However, in kids’ rooms and bedrooms, people paint with a variety of different colors; there isn’t really a spotlight on a specific color or color scheme.

In common spaces, such as the living room, “they’re playing it safe” with neutrals, Miller said.

A common pattern Miller sees in such accents as window treatments, rugs and pillows is Chevron or other geometric patterns. Quatrefoil, resembling a lose keyhole, is also really popular, she said.

For those who are unfamiliar with the pattern, it’s reminiscent of a diamond, but rounds off at the edges, Miller explained.

“Stripes are still popular,” she added.

Miller, who primarily designs kitchens and baths, said those who are interested in incorporating bold patterns like Chevron may want to use it on a throw pillow instead of on the wall, since it’s such a statement.

Metallic splashes are also seen a lot these days, Miller said, including on pillows.

“It’s not uncommon to see these sparkly pillows coming back out,” she said.

Today’s window treatments really focus on curtains and blinds, Miller said; treatments that are simple, clean and easy to maintain.

“Everything heavy is way out,” she said.

Monograms are also fashionable for every aspect of the home, Miller said. A few years ago people used full words as decoration, such as the word “Eat” in the kitchen, and so forth. Today, it’s less about words and more about initials.

“They’ve always kind of been around,” she said.

Refreshing a room

There are a variety of ways to quickly rejuvenate a room in time for the season change without spending a lot of time or money.

Miller recommends changing throw pillows to add some variety, as well as choosing a new area rug or hanging a piece of artwork.

Jessica Dolan, owner of Room to Breathe Home Organizing and Staging in State College, encourages repurposing items, such as antiques. For example, a tea cup collection can be used as paperclip holders, she said.

“Most people have everything they need already in their homes,” Dolan said.

Another way to spruce up a room is to change the paint color or hardware on an old piece of furniture to bring it back to life, she said.

“(It’s) amazing what a gallon of paint can do,” Dolan said. “You can customize, these days, anything.”

Another idea may be to move some furniture around, Dolan said.

“That can really change the energy, too, in a room,” she said.

Starting from scratch and tips for organizing

When beginning the decorating process from a blank slate, the best way to begin is to examine the layout of the room, and look at the room as a whole, Miller said.

“Knowing what you want is great, but you have to keep the whole room in focus,” she said.

For example, if a particular room has a great view, the furniture should be arranged around the view.

“Don’t compete with focal points,” she said.

In the bedroom, the bed should be the focal point of the room, Miller said; it should be seen upon first walking into the room. And to complete the bed as the focal point, Miller recommends hanging artwork above the bed, she said.

Dolan, who calls herself “Bringer of Order” in her business, presents some straightforward ideas to organize a space or room, even for projects that seem overwhelming.

She recommends choosing an easy area of the home to get started, such as a junk drawer or one shelf. When a small project is completed, the motivation may propel more organizing.

Dolan recommends moving clockwise around the room to avoid “ping pong’ing.”

“It’s helpful to have boxes or store bins next to you for sorting,” Dolan said. Boxes can say “donate,” “toss,” “keep,” and “maybe,” she said.

It’s conducive to remove tossed or donated items from the house immediately, Dolan said, to prevent a change of heart.

“There are so many great charities around State College,” she said.

Dolan also recommends abiding by the “one in, one out,” rule: when a new item is brought into the home, an old item should be tossed or donated. This avoids accumulation, she said.

Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
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