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Interior Design Trends Freshen Homes for Spring

Area designers suggest seasonal ways to change interior spaces

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Great advice from William Morris, 19th-century artist, textile designer and writer. 

Home design trends change about every five to seven years, said Karen Golden of Golden Interiors in Port Washington. Spring of 2012 is ushering in neutraltones splashed with bright colors. “We are working with a lot of grays, creams and blacks with tangerine, lemon or lime green,” she said. “But it’s not a crayon box.”

Furniture continues to scale down while some have multiple uses, such as ottomans that serve as a coffee table and open for storage. “I don’t want to use the word ‘contemporary,’ but furniture is becoming sleeker and more tailored. Although I have clients who love Country French or Italian.”

She said having a home that is designed with your style and things you love is important. Golden has designed her sunroom in soft dark colors with dramatic yellow furnishings. “I’m always hearing how much people love this room.”

Kathy Steinmetz from Sturgeon Interiors in Whitefish Bay is also seeing the neutral palette with a pop of color. “Gray is the hot neutral — in all shades from pale gray to charcoal,” she said. “Gray is versatile in contemporary or traditional decor and doesn’t fight with other colors in a room, and serves as the perfect backdrop for artwork.”

Pantone Color Institute — the creator of color trends, has deemed Tangerine Tango as the 2012 color of the year. “It’s a red-orange that is sure to energize any interior space,” she said. Steinmetz suggested trying it in small doses as an accent in your room in throw pillows, artwork or accessories.  “If you love the orange, paint an accent wall or add an upholstered piece or paint all four walls of a room, adding welcome warmth on a cold, snowy winter day.”

Bold prints are still hot, Steinmetz said. One example is Ikat (pronounced ee-KAHT), an ancient technique of patterning textiles. 

“As interior design trends are constantly changing, it can be exhausting to try to keep current with all the latest trends. The best advice I can give is to start with good classic, core pieces you love and work from there,” she said. “You can inject some of the latest trends in accent pieces scattered throughout your home.”

Design is what you love, said Luanne Gitzlaff, owner and designer with Inside Look in Mount Pleasant.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t put a little spring in your home. “People want user-friendly and comfortable design,” she said. If there is something you love in your home, give it some new life by trying it in another room or in another way. 

“We are seeing earth tones or neutral palettes — not so many patterns and prints as in previous trends,” Gitzlaff said. Wood and tile floors are rich and true, she said. Use quality mainstays and add or change out valances, pillows, throws, tablescapes and floral arrangements to add a fresh, spring-like look to your home. “Your home should be comfortable and safe — not a showplace.”

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