Seven deadly decorating trends

It’s easy to get caught up in the new trends each year, and so far 2011 has brought forward a huge change in home decor. The 1970s and early 1980s are dominating the looks; from punchy patterns, shiny metallics to the heaven-help-us colours of painted appliances.

Trends usually come in three timelines: five-year trends like flooring, paint colours and furniture pieces; two-year trends like bedding, towels and lighting and then seasonal trends like candles, faux florals and tabletop accessories. In short, the more money you spend on something, the longer it should fit its trend life.

Here’s a roundup of this year’s biggest decor trends that you’d be best staying away from.

Antique brass

There’s a popularity of getting away from the shiny chrome and nickel plated finishes and going toward and unpolished brass; certainly a dramatic change. Unpolished brass; like grey paint colours is being used as a catalyst to get us away from the silvery-tones metals. I suggest using old brass finishes only on old traditionally inspired pieces. A classic old-fashioned wall sconce or brass nailhead trim on the edge of a leather wingback chair will belong forever.

Honeysuckle pink

That bright, rich pink is (by The Pantone Institute standards) the colour of 2011. It is an optimistic colour which is ‘good for the times’ they say. The only way I would use it is if Pantone could magically turn me into a teenage girl. Pink is one of the most difficult colours to accept in decorating although if used properly, it becomes unnoticeable. How to use: Have it as a third colour in the room, not first or second. Some great colour combinations to incorporate pink: grey/teal/pink or brown/beige/pink.

Greige-stained wood tones

It’s that driftwood coloured finish on wood; think of old, worn oak that has been bleached by the sun; similar to driftwood in its texture and colour. It is meant to get our eye excited about something more than just dark espresso wood tones and we are seeing it mainly on traditional-shaped furniture. How to use: in all white rooms, a small furniture piece in a guest room; it’s considered the look of new country so if country decorating is your thing… go for it.

Grey power

All this trendy grey colour that we’ve been seeing is simply a way to ease our eyes away from the golden-taupe colours we were decorating with over the past 10 years. Unfortunately grey will only be around for about one to two years so use it sparingly. Want a bit of grey to update your space and feel trendy? I suggest using it in small amounts like painting a powder room or adding grey bed sheets. For paint, choose cooler/grey-based paint colours; shadowy, cool colours are what’s important to achieve, not the actual colour of grey.

Large print wallpaper

Large floral prints, metallic and velvet flocking are all reminiscent of the 1970s. Anyone who just removed the original stuff hung 40 years ago sure as heck will never be hanging it again.

I suggest using this new trend in a very selective way; use it on one wall as a focal point like behind a bed.

For less of a commitment, frame the trendy stuff in large, inexpensive Ikea frames and hang in groupings. If wallpapering the walls, be sure to prime the walls properly so that when the time comes the paper can be easily removed.

1970s-inspired furnishings

Chrome tubular, caramel leather, owl-motifs, useless ceramic and pottery figurines are iconic of the 1970s and will most likely be admired by some born after 1970.

How to use: Selectively, one ’70s classic piece can absorb itself into the room without being overly noticeable and add some charm.

Coloured appliances

Cobalt blue, red, hunter green and orange; everybody remembers (or has seen) the avocado-coloured fridge and harvest-gold stove. Enough said.

How to use the new brightly coloured appliance trend: incorporate in a Mondrian-inspired kitchen using red glossy cupboards, yellow rubber floors, cobalt blue appliances, white countertops…. A chop-a-block of colour could look kind of cool… please don’t add hunter green coloured appliances to a golden colonial oak kitchen — yuck.

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