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New Condo? Go Bold

By:  Mary Taggart
The National Post

High fashion has successfully crossed over to the living room.

In fact, decorators and the home fashion industry regularly monitor the rarefied world of haute couture, cribbing notes and tailoring trends, starting with dramatic, vibrantly coloured rooms filled with luxe textures and a metallic edge for homes in 2009. The days of stark simplicity and neutrals seem to be fading away as 2008 comes to an end.

It can be a confusing and expensive exercise to overhaul home spaces, so we gathered notes from designers and shop owners on what's hot and what's not. These are some emerging trends for the coming year.

- Colour is key Vibrant tones and colour combos that pop are in vogue. Passionate purple, deep raspberry, spicy orange and apple green are all colour trends for 2009. Greys are gaining strength, along with deeper tones of white and cream.

These deep neutrals are the ideal backdrop for furnishings in lush shades. Drop a plum sofa on a grey carpet for a fab look or paint an entire room in your favourite vibrant colour.

- Pillows and more pillows The quickest way to liven up a room is by adding patterned and colourful pillows to a couch, says Kristen Vint, design consultant at Newbury Interiors.

Go for plush and eschew tassels, says the decorator, adding it's a similar story in fashion where ruffles and lace are tops, not sequins and bling.

- Just wanna touch Extravagance and rich fabrics are replacing stark simplicity, says Mary Birtch, owner of Elite Home Decorating in Ottawa.

"It's a refreshing change," says Ms. Birtch, who started in fashion as an haute couture designer before jumping into home decorating. Clients are bypassing neutrals for bold combos of fuchsia and apple green and opting for patterned fabrics and wallpapers.

Ms. Birtch recently renovated a condo, painting the walls in a soft blue-grey and adding washed velvet sofas with pillows in popping colours.

- Soothing wood Turn to warm tones found in exotic woods. Brazilian cherry or oak flooring stained a medium colour is far ahead of dark shades, says Ms. Vint. Wood furniture is also making appearances in lighter, warmer shades. "We are seeing much less of the black wood that was so popular a few years ago."

- Bold accessories If a redo of an entire room is not in the budget, then add an occasional chair in an animal print, vases, glass lamps or decorative plates in vibrant colours, geometrics or bold florals.

- Full metal Add iron stair rails and spindles or an iron room divider, metal light fixtures and door hardware in rubbed bronze. There is also metal artwork to spice up the walls.

- Mix it up A combination of modern and traditional is making cameo appearances in every room, including luxurious velvets on sleek dining room chairs or a couch.

- Luxe in the bath Clients are combining sleek vanities, opulent lighting and traditional faucets in contemporary chrome and nickel, says Tracy Kerr, a designer with Ginger's Bath in Toronto. Buyers have moved away from claw-foot tubs for free-standing tubs so their room has charm and clean-lined sophistication.

Buyers want simple plumbing fixtures and then dress up the room with mosaic tiles and ornate accessories, says Ms. Kerr.

Free-standing bathroom sinks are hot sellers, along with single, oversize sinks for the kitchen. The trend toward treating the kitchen and bathroom like any other well-furnished room is gaining strength, says Ms. Kerr.


Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 03:02PM by Registered CommenterElaine in | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

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