Condo Design Tips from an Award Winning Designer!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Would you like to know which is the MFADQ in January?

You may have guessed, the most frequently asked design question is “what are the color trends for this year?”. If you’re not new to my blog, you probably read about 2010 color trends, european design trends, fashion trends. Trends are not accidental, in fact, they are very much connected to how we live and transform our lives every day. Think of how much technology has influenced furniture design, automobile design, and fashion design.

Every year there are new trends in all areas of design, and while most people want to know which colors are trendier in 2011, there is more than color to explore.

If you search online for design trends you will find so many opinions and trendsetters that you may not quite understand how to use each trend. In fact, many trends vary from one company to another, which could be very confusing! I will try to translate some of the design trends and show you an easy way of recognizing if any of 2011 trends is for you.

Among all 2011 design trends, there are few that caught my eye especially as they are more oriented towards working around a personality as a trend instead of just a color or a pattern.

I think this year will be more about comfortable spaces and when you know how to combine "comfortable with stylish" you've got a pretty great space!

Here are some of my favourite trends from around the world :

1. COLOR- when it comes to color, each paint company has its own colors as defining for this year’s trend. Some chose what I call “happy colors” as a response to the global economy in much need for some happy news! and others chose “relaxing colors” in response to our society emotional stress.

According to Pantone Color Institute, 2011 color of the year is Honeysuckle- 'A Color for All Seasons Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it.' I would recommend to use this color wisely as it is a stimulant color.

As Pantone describes it 'Honeysuckle is upbeat and dynamic when used on large areas like the entry area of a house or an apartment. It is an appetite and conversation stimulant when used on the dining room walls. In the kitchen, it adds a fun touch on the table in placemats and other linens (patterned or solid), colored glassware, candles and small appliances.' 
Here are two examples showing one of the best way to use this color so it doesn’t become overwhelming in any space. Use a background of a neutral color, ideally a cool light neutral color and play with monochromatic textures- then insert this color as an accent just for an eye catching effect.

Looking for more colors for 2011? Benjamin Moore has put together a wonderful collection filled with colors for every age, every gender, every location. Here are the 3 style movements:

- Soulful… 'On the style front, this is visible in"ethnic glam" designs, pattern-on-pattern, map motifs and hand-worked decoration such as beading and embroidery.'

- Spirited…”The antidote to stress is anything that makes you feel happy, joyful, playful. Striking that emotional balance can be a challenge. In fashion and furnishings it's reflected in spirited designs featuring geometrics, stripes and cubes, dots and curlicues, studded or stitched outlines of shapes and silhouettes.”

- Dreamy…”Reality can be harsh and is best countered by a dreamy odyssey where wishes are nurtured. Translated into a design perspective, that means transparent and sheer materials, blurred decorative details and softened textures.”

2. Trends by Heimtextil -the biggest international trade fair for home and contract textiles held in January every year. They came up with 4 interesting trends, all four concepts are very easy to implement in any home design.

SOBRIETY– ‘a return to the essential and traditional- The new consumer landscape is characterised by quality, longevity, sustainability and significance. The Sobriety trend theme shows where short-lived, seasonal trends end and consistent value begins.‘ If you ever thought of creating a timeless design for your home that would not be affected by any trends, this is for you. Here is an image of a seating area you could create in your living room. The classic, simple and elegant style of the sofa and armchair will never lose their charm. You could play with the area rug and accessories that will add a tone of “trendy” to your overall furnishings.

MIX MASH- 'combines the high-tech with craftsmanship, new with old and it clearly shows how tradition is being turned on its head and stylized ethnic influences from all over the world meet with novel patterns, prints and fabrics.' Think for example of how you could create a clean contemporary design for your condo and still have some key pieces of your own cultural heritage or great findings from your travels.

UTILITY- 'consumer society has changed – utility invites you use it. Utility stands for simplicity, accessibility and an invitation to use. Nowadays, a decisive factor in purchasing decisions is the consideration about what is really important.' Is it more important to look good or to feel good? This relates to you as a person and to your space!  you can find more details here...

WILDERNESS STYLE- which means being at one with nature. A new interest in crafts from the past, including milling and wicker-weaving are evolving. People are looking for distinctive individualistic features marked by imperfection not perfection. A new organic look is being created.
While many of the new trends will make you wonder if... "should I change my current design to be more trendy?" or "how much should I tweak to create a trendy space?", I can assure you that any space made to look and feel comfortable will be a great start! But if you would have to choose one of the trends from above, which one would be your fav and why?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.