Furniture on Trend
For many, the new year signals a fresh start. And what better way to make a grand debut than to update your home with on-trend, fashionable interiors.
As Arizonans embrace the cool winter weather, the design world is heating up as design professionals and furnishing experts sharing their predictions for what you’ll be seeing in Southwestern homes. Five trends are at the top of everyone’s forecast: Expect to see transitional style, comfortable and serene spaces, bright pops of colors, metallic finishes and wood accents making a statement in 2020.
One of the hottest looks in interior design right now is the blending of traditional and contemporary elements. Known as “transitional” style, this approach incorporates furnishings, fabrics and finishes that reflect both the past and the future and combine for a clean and edited look. Scottsdale-based interior design studio Mary Meinz Design predicts that this family-friendly and personalized look will continue to grow in 2020 and beyond. “Clients, no matter the style of home, are tending toward a more stylized interior for ease of maintenance and a clearer expression of self, as well as a restful and uncluttered appearance of their home’s interior,” says principal designer Mary Meinz, ASID, a Phoenix Home & Garden Masters of the Southwest award winner. Her firm specializes in residential interior design from new construction to remodels.
Ornate curves are giving way to straight lines in sofas and headboards, and light-colored woods are popping up on everything from flooring to sofa legs and dining tables.
If you can’t replace a large piece that’s upholstered in a dark, dated print, consider getting refinished in a solid-colored velvet or linen for a fresh feel. “We don’t see tassels and trims anymore,” notes Claudia Levinson, co-owner of Feathers Fine Custom Furnishings, a North Scottsdale-based custom manufacturer of upholstered furniture, drapery, window treatments, bedding, case goods and cabinetry. “While designs may still veer toward the traditional, they’re featuring a lot of clean lines.”
Jem Funk, senior account manager and interior designer for Premier Lighting, an Arizona leader in interior and exterior lighting with showrooms in Scottsdale and Tucson, adds that light fixtures are also keeping up with the changing trends. “A lot of people, including myself, are mixing the traditional furnishings with contemporary lighting because they want a bit of warmth,” she says. “They don’t want really modern furniture, but they’re willing to be more creative with their lighting fixtures. Everything is going very sleek, almost futuristic.”
Comfort & Serenity
Coming home to a restful environment is imperative in today’s daily hustle and bustle, and believe it or not, having a place where you unwind and refresh, whether it’s a single room or the entire house, can be achieved with little effort. No matter the size, this retreat should be calm and thoughtful, with plenty of zones that facilitate personal interests, such as listening to music, meditating and reading, that help provide an escape from everyday stresses. If you’re considering giving your home a Zen makeover, consider such factors as lifestyle, entertainment needs, and the size and age of your family. You’ll want to make sure that the home functions for every member and provides plenty of spaces for kids and adults to have private time.
Often overlooked, lighting plays a major role in determining a home’s atmosphere. “Bulbs make a huge difference,” says Funk. “It’s all about the color temperature of the bulb or the Kelvin temperature of an integrated LED. If you go too cool or bright, above 3500K, you’re going to lose that warm effect. If you go to the warmer spectrum, in the 2200K to 3000K range, you’re going to get a more cozy feel.” Funk also suggests adding dimmers, whether through individual switches or whole-house smart technology.
For Masters of the Southwest award-winning interior designer, Amy Klosterman, owner of Scottsdale-based firm AB Design Elements, using a limited colors palette throughout the home creates a calming effect. “Oyster, greige and pewter hues mixed with soft textures is a good base for a luxurious and comforting interior,” she explains. Keeping the color scheme soft and muted is easy on the eye Additional touches can be added for even more comfort. Accessories should also be thoughtfully curated. “Lighting should be layered and adjustable, while plants, candles and carefully edited artful objects add a final layer and help create a gracious and inviting home,” she says.
While a muted palette is perfect for finishes and large furnishings—and has dominated the design stratosphere for the past few years—vibrant hues are all the rage with furniture and accessory manufacturers. “Color is everywhere this year,” says Levinson. “We have not seen color in a long time, but it’s coming back.” She notes the use of pinks, greens, purples and other jewel tones on accent chairs, pillows, wallcoverings and artwork. “Everybody’s still keeping the basic grays and taupes for sofas and chairs—although we don’t see as many desert tones, even here in Arizona—but then adding a bright pillow or blanket.” For a look that captures the feel of the natural surroundings, Levinson recommends using a soft neutral as a base color, or ground, for your design and then complementing it with shades found in nature, such as the bold pink of the bougainvillea blossom.
Alan Reinken, founder and principal of La Maison Interiors, agrees that rich colors add personality and visual interest to a home. Based North Scottsdale, Reinken’s full-service design studio also offers a showroom that displays the newest trends in furnishings and accessories. “We’re still using a lot of gray in furniture and fabrics, but we’re starting to bring in all kinds of different colors,” he says. Reinken notes that he’s seeing more and more requests from Valley homeowners for blues and greens, especially in fabrics.
While brass and gold are popular on Pinterest, “they haven’t caught on as much this area,” notes Reinken. “We’re still finding a lot of demand for silver and stainless steel finishes. We’ll use gold sometimes, and we’ll even do a nice combination of silver and gold together. It works especially well in fixtures.” Reinken notes that mixed metals are trending in jewelry and on watches, so it only makes sense to do the same thing in the home. “There’s no hard-and-fast rule that you have to have everything silver or everything bronze,” he explains. “It’s okay to mix the finishes.”
If you want to incorporate this elegant trend into your dwelling, you don’t have to splurge on a total remodel. From wall finishes to furnishings, appliances to accessories, there’s an array of gleaming options that will instantly up your abode’s glam factor. One of the easiest ways to add metallic shine is through artistic light fixtures. “Homeowners are starting to embrace mixing a variety of metal hues and hardware instead of everything being matchy-matchy,” says Funk. “Think bronze paired with gold or black accents, or find a fixture that incorporates chrome and black in a bold design.”
Klosterman recommends pairing metals, whether polished or textured, with soft hues, such as taupe, oyster, greige, ivory and dusty pink. “I love the beauty of sculptural light fixtures and incorporating saturated accent colors in subtle ways,” she says. She also mixes the material with clear acrylics and milky stones. “Fabrics and carpets with metallic thread accents pair nicely with bleached oak wood flooring and neutral taupe tiles,” she remarks. Levinson adds that metallic leathers, real and faux, are also trending on upholstered furniture.
The increasing popularity of Scandinavian design, with its use of pale wood floors and simple wood furnishings, as well as the return of midcentury modern’s minimalistic appeal has brought about a new appreciation for the lighter tones of wood. Gone are the dark mahoganys, reddish cherry shades and yellowish glazed oak of years past. Taking their place are organic touches of maple, ash and pine. “A lot of trends will start in Europe, especially in Italy, and right now we’re seeing furnishings in light wood tones coming from that region,” Reinken notes. “Dark browns were overtaken by grays, and now we’re going to even more natural wood-looking hues that show the grain.”
Wood is also making its presence known beyond flooring and furniture. It is popping up in ceiling and wall coverings, from elegant veneer wallpapers to rustic planks; in decoration, including natural burls and driftwood branches used as artwork; and on kitchen cabinetry, where glossy white or black finishes combine with exotic species, such as ipe and tigerwood.
Whatever design trend you wish to follow when decorating your home, Meinz recommends keeping your focus on longevity. She notes, “Melding your personal self with the colors, style and inspirations of 2020 will be refreshing, but being loyal to your own style is an important part of timeless design.”
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