Designing Mind

By Ilene Denton May 1, 2010

Parsons School of Design-trained interior designer Patricia Morrison Schimberg of Morrison Design, who created the in-law suite for the recent Sarasota Orchestra Designer Showcase, forecasts the new direction in home décor.

Trend No. 1: Mix it up. A few years ago clients would tell me, “I want a specific look,” whether it was beachy or traditional. Now they say, “I want my own look.” Instead of bringing me magazine pictures of very out-of-the-box scenarios when we first sit down together, now people show me pictures and say, “I like this piece,” or “I like the feel of this room.”

It’s not so much about fashion or trends. People are saying, “Let’s create something we can live with for the long term.” Maybe it’s a function of the economy—we’re not so interested in redoing every few years. They’ll say, “We want a modern dining table, but we have this antique we’re very attached to. How do you make that work?” That’s really fun for interior designers because we get to do our own thing instead of copying something.

Modern is one of the things people are more interested in mixing in, and the recent Sarasota Orchestra Designer Showcase was a good opportunity to show that you can use the clean lines of modern design and contemporary furniture in a Mediterranean architectural context. [To deal with those soaring ceilings] you can anchor the room with the right use of color—with stronger area rugs, for instance. Window treatments and artwork are [also] opportunities to balance the scale of the room. 

Trend No 2: Gray is the new neutral. Rather than thinking of gray as a cold, modern tone, it has a range and is being used in all its gradations, very often as a backdrop for colors that combine easily with it: yellows, earthy purples, lapis blues, tangerine—rich colors that are complemented by a slightly cooler color.

Trend No. 3: Nature rules. People seem to be drawn to natural materials, recognizing that they have their own quirky beauty. It stems from the green thing, but it’s not a fleeting fashion. There’s a certain imperfection that’s part of the beauty of natural silk and the patina wood floors get over time. In bedding fabrics, window treatments, flooring, people are drawn to what things naturally are, not heavy finishes. They are looking for authenticity. It comes back to feeling comfortable with mixing. The natural-modern mix softens the modern look.

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