Brighten up your home with hot new colors
BY KIMBERLY ELSHAM For Sun-Times Media
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Wake your home’s décor from its long winter’s nap with bright colors borrowed from fashion trends.
“Interior finishes and design are coming again from fashion,” said Tracy Grosspietsch, owner and director of design at Abberlin Kitchens, Renovations and Baths in Lake Zurich. “It’s a rainbow of color, an explosion of color.”
“In the past years fashion has been really grey, brown, black, kind of stoic looking because we were going through turbulent times,” she said.
Now, fashion — and consequently interiors — are looking on the bright side.
“Tangerine is a hot color, and yellow and blues are on the comeback,” said Jan Jensen, interior designer at Honquest Fine Furnishings in Barrington. “It’s almost like a throwback to the 1960s.”
She recommended adding these bright tones into accent pieces such as pillows, rugs and lampshades.
“If the walls are more neutral you can pop these colors with art,” she said.
Not ready to venture into neon territory for your home décor?
“To tone it down, you can get into smoky colors or ocean blue if you don’t want to go with the bright neon,” Jensen said.
Background colors, such as those for walls or upholstery, can be anywhere from stark, bright whites to creamier tones such as beiges.
“You might be seeing more grays, tans and taupe in a deeper tone,” she said.
On the other hand, Grosspietsch said she has seen the same bright tangerines and yellows balance well with crisp whites in base colors.
In addition to solid colors, large, graphic prints are big for spring. Grosspietsch referenced chevron patterns, such as those recently brought to the masses by designers like Missoni. Look for similar zigzag patterns such as flame stitch or herringbone.
“In fabrics, you will see more florals and pops of color there, too,” Jensen said, adding that neon shades are showing up in large prints for all kinds of upholstery and coverings.
Fabric and color trends carry over to area rugs, too, which Jensen said are an easy way to makeover a room.
“If you’re not putting it in your upholstery, you can put it in your rugs,” she said.
“Not so much traditional Persian or Oriental-style rugs,” Grosspietsch said, referring to the traditional red, blue and gold tones found in those patterns, “but twists on that, more of an open pattern or blue-jean tones. People are also doing more abstract rugs.”
Such bold moves in patterns and color require balance in a room, which can be found in cleaner lines in larger pieces such as sofas.
“Right now we’re seeing things that are more what I would call transitional,” said Chris Fortezzo, manager at Toms-Price Home Furnishings in Lincolnshire. “Cleaner, less fluff, goop, fringe, tassels… just a cleaner, more casual aesthetic.”
“I think we find that people are look for more transitional furniture so they can go either way” from modern to classic, Jensen said.
Retaining some transitional pieces in a room allows for other creative additions, such as antiques or fun mid-century pieces from a resale store.
“Resource those kinds of things in a room so it’s not so matchy-matchy, so there’s more of your personality in the space,” Grosspietsch said.
“If you have really classic pieces in neutral colors, then you can flow with the trends as much as you want to.”
If all these ideas seem too scattered to sort out, Fortezzo said to consider working with a designer, who are often associated with whichever home furnishings store you visit and can provide recommendations for free.
“It can be daunting,” he said. “If you invest in talking to an expert, they can help eliminate some of that noise.”