Remember “Shabby Chic”? Well, get ready for a sleek new take on that warm and welcoming home decor style — a little more sophisticated, served up with a fresh ethnic twist that Dana Poor, trend forecaster with Cotton Inc., attributes to our growing awareness of “global issues” and “a backlash to over-the-top luxury.”
Comfortable doesn’t mean clutter, here — simplicity is the key to contemporary decorating style, says Betty Jean (she’s the designer who did such a great job on my much-loved full-spectrum kitchen). The new color palettes are soft and earthy, she says, great for picking up on rich-textured ethnic fabrics. Ceramic tile is losing ground to cork floors, which are warmer and just as durable, but it continues to outpace wall-to-wall carpet as the flooring of choice.
Most designers are looking for a renaissance in hand-crafted textiles, such as knitted or crocheted throws, quilts, and will cosy-up those impressive-but-impersonal great rooms with interesting nature-inspired scatter rugs, in faux fur and sheepskin, or in handwoven and hand-hooked styles. Indoors or in the garden, look for touches of warm copper and mosaic in everything from accessories to artwork.
“People are looking for a personal connection with their home products,” Dana Poor told Furniture Style magazine. “They want a product that looks as though human hands have touched it and that it was made especially for them —or, that they made it themselves. Or that looks like it was passed down from another generation, even if it wasn’t.”
Mix, don’t match — but do keep the lines clean and simple. Think “global village” and the sophisticated traveller’s pied-a-terre: display your exotic souvenirs, yes, but only a few choice pieces of impeccable quality — or the wildly unusual. Less is more.
The nostalgic sleigh bed, pictured here, is a fine example of the new trend towards comfortable curves — crafted in burnished walnut, with American walnut veneers and birch solids. The design — Country Living Portsmouth by Matt Hurley, Dudley Moore Jr. and Lesli Chastain for Lane Home Furnishings — was a Finalist in the 2005-2006 Pinnacle Design Achievement Awards by which The American Society of Furniture Designers honors “better-quality, well-designed home furnishings sold through retail channels.”
Check out the casual mix of textiles on that bed, just like Grandma used to have, and the simple retro wall decor. The rich wood floor (notice the contrasting trim?) and warm-neutral textured rug pull the whole bedroom together. Nice — and very live-in-able!