At Hoskins Interior Design we do not take the idea of “trends” lightly. Our approach to interior design is based on creating value for our client’s investment. Many times what are termed as trends are actually fads, which are short-lived and therefore require another investment sooner rather than later to remove the now out-of-date look. Unless they are prepared to redesign their space in 3-5 years, we advise our clients to stick to classic traditional or classic modern designs that suit their everyday needs.
There are, however, useful interior design mega-trends that we have seen developing over the past few years through our work in renovations and new construction. These style characteristics are shaped from the evolving way people live—the functionality that surrounds their daily lives. Below we note the trends we feel will stick around and prove to be a solid investment for our clients:
1) Smart Homes – More and more we are being asked to incorporate the latest in home technologies into our design schemes. We are now beyond placing an intricate entertainment system in one room. Wireless technology allows homeowners to consume their media from anywhere in the house. Creating functional workspaces all over the home is now what is important. Also, central brain systems for smart homes are becoming more popular. We are staying on the front end of the internet-of-things trend as more advanced capabilities are emerging from lighting, heating and cooling, and appliance industries.
2) Organization – As lives have become more complicated, we are seeing a desire for organizational solutions in all areas of the home, but particularly in home offices and mudrooms or laundry rooms. The traditional room by the front door is no longer cutting it for the remote worker or entrepreneur. We are now turning those offices into highly-functional spaces designed around how the person works. The goal is to have everything they need at their fingertips. Are they a “piler”? We make sure there are plenty of built-in trays where they need them. Do they need to see everything they are working on at once? We install a large work surface. Is filing their preferred organizational style? We place many file cabinets within their reach. Designing for increased productivity and easy technology use is the goal behind today’s home office design.
We are also creating central hubs for home organization. Homeowners have moved from the messy desk in the kitchen to the organized arrival center designed around how the family lives. The main non-public entryway, usually a mudroom or laundry room, tends to be the perfect place to create this space. The needs of today’s families have surpassed installing some lockers for the kids’ boots and backpacks or cabinetry above the washing machine and dryer. Computer stations, mail processing areas, key landing space, pool area prep and even a central workspace for projects or home-based businesses are being included in these highly functional spaces. Another benefit is the ability to hide your family mess from public view!
3) Simplification – Whether homeowners are downsizing or just looking to declutter their lives, we are seeing a growing demand for smaller, more functional spaces. This trend has led to new homes being built with fewer, larger rooms that serve as flexible spaces that can evolve as the homeowners’ needs change. Also, millennials and empty nesters alike are moving into cities. They are having to do more with less space, driving them towards simplification and functionality. Design schemes include clean lines in simple, uncluttered and informal spaces, with built-in organization systems that hide mess behind cabinet doors. These homes are being designed to support how the occupants live, creating a space to escape the harried pace of the outside world.
4) Sustainability and Energy Efficiency – As Americans shift toward healthy, local options to put in and on their bodies, that sensibility is extending to their homes as well. While natural, sustainable and healthier home improvement materials have been around for a long time, we are seeing a growth in the number of clients asking for these products. This increased interest may be influenced by recent graduates of design schools who are even more educated on this aspect of design.
5) Outdoor living – While one generation downsizes, the next buys up those large houses from the 60s and 70s and makes them their own. The desire for simplification noted above applies to these homeowners as well. As they design their interiors as a place for respite, they are also looking to their outdoor spaces to do the same. The “staycation” that emerged during the recessions is still popular, as is entertaining at home in an outdoor room. The goal is to sit around a fireplace, pool, or outdoor living area that is as well-designed as the interior of the home. We approach these outdoor design projects just like interior projects as we are still designing a room; it just happens to be outside!
6) Aging in place – Many people want to stay in their home as long as possible as they age. Aging-in-Place is a design movement that has emerged over the past decade to support this trend. Best practices now exist to create a home that is safe and comfortable for both homeowners and visitors with limited mobility.
We encourage our clients who like to have the “latest” look in their homes to embrace that desire! However, we advise them to add those unique elements through smaller investment items like throw pillows, accessories or paint color. Replacing those touches in a few years makes freshening the look less costly than having to redesign the whole space. In the meantime, we will continue create interior design schemes that suit their aesthetics and functional needs while adding long-term value to their homes.
What design trends are you looking to bring into your home in 2017? Leave a comment below to let us know!
For homeowners, color seems to be one of the most challenging aspects of interior design. Their frustrations are understandable—walking into a paint store and trying to choose a shade of off-white is overwhelming! At Hoskins Interior Design, we are fairly loose about color choices, allowing the personality of our clients to drive the scheme. In general, our philosophy on using color in interior design is built upon four ideas:
Color is a very personal preference. If orange is the “hot” color right now, and you abhor the color, then do not use it! All the colors that exist are available for your use in your space—why limit yourself to a passing trend? Color in your home is not the same as color in your clothing. The investment in painting your wall, purchasing a sofa, or installing window coverings is very different than buying a sweater. These interior design investments are more difficult to change, so we advise approaching your decisions with that fact in mind. There will always be new ideas in color. Unless you are sure you are going to love a trend for a long time, it is best to incorporate it in smaller items like toss pillows, bench seats, hand towels or even flowers. We feel it is best to participate in trends in a fleeting way since they are by their nature fleeting. Fads we completely ignore!
Color establishes the atmosphere of a space. In general the warm color families like reds and yellows stimulate and uplift. Cooler hues like blues and greens soothe and calm. Understanding the look you are trying to achieve will drive the direction of your color scheme. You receive the biggest impact for your design investment with vertical surfaces—the walls. Therefore, wall colors and coverings, draperies and artwork must be well chosen to set the correct tone for a space. “Noisy walls” in a spacious room where you spend a lot of time will lead you to tire of the look quickly. Color on large pieces of furniture can have the same overwhelming impact. Due to the investment furniture requires, we tend to choose timeless pieces that complement a space rather than take it over.
Neutral wall colors set a classic backdrop for a space, allowing you to easily change the other elements in the room as your tastes evolve. Classic does not mean traditional however, unless you want it to. Modern, transitional, eclectic—all styles are supported with this easy-going color scheme.
You cannot make color choices from a picture on the internet, paint fan decks or chips in the store. For example, there are thousands of colors of off-white and cream—they can be pinkish, greenish, yellowish, etc., and you will not be able to see that undertone until you bring it into your space. Light has a tremendous effect on color, particularly wall paint. We suggest you test colors by painting them on a large piece of poster board and placing it around your space at varying times of day. This experimentation is the only way you will know how the color will act in your space. And, it is a lot less expensive to buy 2-3 quarts of test colors than many gallons of the wrong color.
It is the details of color that are the most challenging. For example, when creating a neutral space (leaning to whites and creams) including visual interest can be difficult. When color is not the feature, quality becomes the basis of the design, so execution is very important. Elements like furniture with rich tone-on-tone fabric patterns and lovely silhouettes, accessories with unique shapes and textures, and window treatments and floor coverings with interesting patterns will determine the success of the design.
On the other hand, using rich color can disguise other elements, allowing the bold hue to be featured. When your budget requires a slow investment in quality furniture and accessories, color can take up the slack.
If your home does not have lovely architectural details like intricate woodwork and moldings, you can paint the base moldings and window trim the same color as the walls to allow them to recede. Those elements are not important to the space, so let something else like the furniture or accessories pop instead!
When using deep colors, we find that you will most likely end up with a less intense tone than you originally expected. These rich tones are especially wonderful in small rooms that you are in and out of, like laundry rooms, powder baths and children’s rooms. These spaces offer the opportunity to delight without overwhelming, and they are easy to change when you tire of the color.
There really aren’t too many rules with using color in interior design. We encourage you to be open minded enough to give yourself a taste of something new when it is appropriate. If you are struggling with your color choices, reach out to us! We’d love to help.
During our visit last month to the Atlanta Market, we were thrilled to find many opportunities for design inspiration. One piece that particularly jumped out at us was this white linen cube covered with leather. The texture added by the cut-out leather made the mono-colored piece stand out. White on white rooms offer the chance to play with texture, materials, shapes and silhouettes rather than color. Finding this piece gave us a new way to think about designing this type of space. And, beyond the white on white, we also liked the idea of adding texture to furniture or artwork by combining these two fabrics. Have you come across a piece that inspired you recently? Tell us about it!