Artist, color expert and design guru David Bromstad gave us the lowdown on which must-have decorating trends are expected to make a splash this year. From bold graphics to hot hues, learn more about the looks you’ll want to bring home.
Wallpaper isn’t just for stuffy formal dining rooms or outdated powder rooms. Papered walls have gotten a modern update in recent years. "Wallpaper is making a huge comeback," says Bromstad. "We are going to see a lot more big, bold, graphic wallpaper like we used to see years ago." For those wary of committing to a wallpaper pattern, try using a decorative stencil instead. "Bold graphic stencils will be all the rage," Bromstad predicts. Stencils are an ideal option for decorators who are renting, since the graphics can easily be painted over.
A few years ago, faux bois patterns that imitated real wood were popular for home accents. This year, real natural elements are expected to be incorporated in home decor. Homeowners can bring in nature by using various woods, seashells and natural grasses in their decor. Bromstad says that he is already seeing this in Miami, where he is based -- "although in Miami we kick it up a notch," he says.
Outdoor spaces have been gaining popularity over the past few years and will continue to be big. "We have seen this trend progressing for some time now," explains Bromstad. "This year I think people and families will spend more time together in their outdoor spaces. Bigger outdoor kitchens, patios and outdoor luxury items will continue to be all the rage." Outdoor living spaces will get an update this year by incorporating "bold colors and exciting prints on outdoor furniture."
Lighting is increasingly becoming an important design element, with more people paying attention to task lighting, accent lights and the overall ambient light in a room. Bromstad tells us that "lighting makes a huge impact on the ‘feel’ of a room." We will likely see more chandeliers and interesting lighting sources rather than sterile ceiling fans in bedrooms and living rooms. According to Bromstad, "People are starting to step out of their element and take design risks, which is great." His advice? "Go ahead and throw that giant chandelier above your bed and bring in some deliciousness." We couldn’t agree more.
The days of buying a complete matching furniture set are long gone. "A collected, eclectic look is the No. 1 rage in design right now," says Bromstad. "The age of matchy-match furniture pieces is finally over." Cultivating a personalized space with only pieces that you love is about more than just expressing your individuality; it’s friendly on the wallet, too. "People are very conscious about their interiors, and with everyone’s budget being on high alert, it’s actually cheaper to add to what you already have instead of buying a whole new living room set," Bromstad explains. "This also gives you the opportunity to take those pieces that have been handed down to you by your grandparents or parents and reinvigorate them with new upholstery and a coat of paint for that grandma-chic look that everyone is craving."
As host of HGTV’s Color Splash, Bromstad is up to date on all the current color trends and must-have hues of the year. He says that shades of purples have been trending for several years, and this year is no exception. "From shades of gray-purple and lavender to vibrant and bright, purples are resonating with people's psyches because they're flirty and sassy," says Bromstad. Our need for bright, bold colors may help provide us with a much-needed psychological boost. "With the global and economic troubles, everyone is trying to bring in as much color in their lives to lighten up the mood."
Global color authority Pantone named Tangerine Tango as the 2012 color of the year, and we were curious how to use this vibrant orangey hue at home. Bromstad suggests that brave decorators can try the bright color on an accent wall, while cautious ones can incorporate the trendy citrus shade in home accents like pillows, throws and accessories. Tangerine Tango is a "gorgeous color," Bromstad says. "It doesn’t take much to make an impact."
Incorporating current interior design trends into your overall decor is easy to do. Bromstad suggests bringing in trendy pops of colors though accent pieces and accessories. Consider changing out a plain area rug with one that has a bold pattern. Try taking a color out of that pattern and emphasize it as an accent color by adding a throw pillow in the same shade on your couch. Bromstad also recommends mixing patterns and prints. "Designers are using bold patterns on couches and chairs, and then adding a different bold pattern on their area rugs and pillows," he says. "When done right, it’s a fabulous look."
Bromstad’s final advice for bringing decorating trends home is simple: "Just do it, people. Work that designer in you!"
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