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Blame it on the popularity of visual media like Pinterest, blogs, and Instagram, our collective mentality of “instant gratification,” or the fact that you can now order furniture from almost anywhere in the world online. Whatever the cause, interior design has a much faster trend cycle than it did even just a decade ago, which
makes keeping your house en vogue almost as much of a seasonal, fluid project as updating your wardrobe.
So how is a time-strapped, style-seeking, DIY decorator supposed to keep track of the trends? We say turn to the pros. To help us decipher what’s currently in style and what’s on it’s way out, we’ve tapped Kimberly Pratt, owner of Kimberly Ann Interiors, and a design consultant at Ring’s End in Stamford.
As a professional decorator, what are the biggest trends in home decor you’re seeing right now?
There is a large amount of designing with texture instead of color. Many times, people chose to mix up wallpaper, fabrics, furniture and their millwork all in the same neutral tone. It is a form of understated elegance that also can go casual and stand the test of time. When color is added, it seems to be a very clean pastel color or something very strong and saturated. Nothing muddy, nothing in between. In our coastal area, shiplap is a popular choice in decorative millwork.
What trends are on their way out?
The gray trend has been overcooked. Although it’s neutral and will always be a good go-to for casual rooms, or an in between space, using it as a base for a homes palette has gotten very tired, and has lost its wow factor. When going gray, it’s best to make sure it has an undertone so it has some life to it and can easily transition to things with color. I strongly suggest staying away from gray floor stain as well if living in a more residential area.
Spring is here! What are your favorite ways to freshen up a space for the season?
Picking out a new rug for a room can really transform a space! Changing rugs seasonally or even twice a year, will allow a new base of colors to accessorize from. This time of year it’s ideal to involve more cheery colors into the room in celebration of spring. Ground pastels or pops of color in the rug and then follow through with accessories. It is also important to switch out any heavy winter drapery for something with a crisper and lighter air to it.
What about generally speaking: What are the best ways to give a room a makeover? In other words, what changes will result in the biggest impact?
Although design is in the details, big impact is often achieved with surface area. Wall application is usually the first to set the stage. Wallpaper or millwork applications are my favorite way to address sheetrock. Not only can it add texture, but often it becomes of work of art on its own with endless opportunities for a truly custom look. Because of the amount of options, it can embody the homeowner’s personality as well and really create that “at home” feeling for someone.
In addition to owning your design firm, you’re also a color consultant for Rings End. What interior and exterior paint color trends are you seeing this year?
Yes, I am right on the Greenwich line at the Harvard Avenue Paint & Design center! I often am guiding the selection based on the architecture of the home, and if it should be a warm or cool palette. More often than not though, people have resale in the back of their minds. This being said, exteriors are often white or neutral with a strong front door and shutter choice. High contrast is popular for outside to create curb appeal. For inside the grays are still a popular item on the menu, but more and more people are coming in to add bright clean colors and are going for the lacquered trim look by a high gloss paint.
Where are your favorite places to look for inspiration for your designs?
All of my design work is catered to the customer. I find inspiration in their lifestyle, personality, and in the bones of their home. But, I am always updating my idea library in the back of my mind. To do so I often look to art and my travels. Those are two places where you will always find unexpected design and composition, and be able to see the emotions from those things in a brand new light.
Last but not least, what’s you best advice for DIY decorators who might be struggling to find their personal style?
The hardest thing to do is decorating for your self, especially as a creative DIY person whose mind can picture a million combinations all at once. Always have someone come into your space with a fresh eye and ask for their opinion, even if it’s just a friend. Living in a space can create a mental block as you get so used to seeing it in one way! After you have hashed out layout and lighting, go shopping (or rummaging through your favorite personal mementos) and don’t stop until you fall in love with something. Use that one thing as your designs’ base in the room and build from there! And if you don’t trust your friend’s eye, but want to DIY, please feel free to come take advantage of the free decorating advice I can give you at my Rings End office at 87 Harvard Avenue in Stamford.
Thanks, Kimberly! We love your style.
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