I'm feeling a shift in design lately back toward traditional, historic elements and a resurgence in appreciation of cozy, timeless spaces. I think perhaps that after the last year, we are craving a little more comfort and want our homes to reflect that change. Here are few trends I've noticed that strike a balance between of-the-moment design and a nod toward history.
Natural Wood Tones
Along with this warming and softening is a shift from the cool grays that dominated the 2010s into deeper tones of brown, both on fabric and hard furnishings. I'm seeing more mixing of wood tones and a general embracing of the material in its natural state rather than white-washed or painted. This transition goes quite nicely with vintage rugs, as they often feature shades of brown or warm taupe. If you are like me and don't want a space to feel overly traditional when using wood furnishings, try adding a metal and a painted piece to the mix.
The perfect antidote to a room full of serious brown furniture is a whimsical curvy chair or two. Upholstery with curved arms or backs are a design staple, but even the bases are taking on a more voluptuous look these days. This can actually be a space-saver in tight spots, and is more pleasing for conversation than a straight sofa without the harsh 90-degree angle of a sectional. The design was popular in the middle of the last century, so to keep your room from feeling like a groovy time capsule, be sure to include pieces from other eras, too.
Design by Studio McGee
A checkerboard pattern is certainly nothing new, though it is definitely having a moment and is a surprisingly versatile design element. There are so many options for execution: large tiles, small tiles, straight- or angled orientation, high contrast colors, low contrast colors, shiny material, matte textural material, tile, painted wood, and the list goes on. Truly, it can be implemented in so many ways that it can feel whimsical or serious, but is always classic.
While classic, budget-friendly, and not without its place, the era of the white subway-tiled space seems to be closing, with a trend toward hand-crafted and even hand-painted tiles that are truly beautiful in their own right. Handmade tile offers a depth of color and texture that just cannot be replicated by a machine and often no two tiles are exactly the same, bringing a feeling of imperfection to a space, a great way to bring authenticity to new construction.
The imposing, show-stopping kitchen has had its day, and the shift now is back toward simple, utilitarian spaces that are beautiful in their functionality. British companies Plain English and deVOL have recently expanded into the US market and brought with them a long history of bespoke cabinetry and a distinct authenticity. Hallmarks include few or no upper cabinets, inset doors and drawers, natural materials, hidden appliances (a fabulous European range being the exception), finishes that will patina, and of course, color!
It might go without saying, but each of these elements pairs nicely with vintage rugs, and I have recently brought some spectacular new ones to the shop. Browse my latest offerings or get in touch if you are looking for something specific.