“Fashion may influence design,” interior designer Sandra Nunnerley is fond of saying, “but you can’t change rooms every season.” Of course, she is right — but that doesn’t mean we can’t follow the shifting moods and preferences of affluent stylesetters. While you may not be able to easily change out your white-washed oak floors for high-gloss dark ebony or switch your stainless steel kitchen appliances to matte black — you can breathe new life into your home décor with considerably less trouble.
For inspiration, we recently turned to the designers and tastemakers at Ethan Allen. Specializing in creating livable luxury environments since 1932, the venerable American furniture retailer was recently commissioned to reimagine the lobby of the Madison, New Jersey corporate headquarters of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. We asked Amani Thorpe-Lee, local director of sales for Ethan Allen, to look ahead for what’s energizing designers and decorators. She offered up four refreshing home decor trends that are taking shape for 2018. And the real beauty is, no major redecorating or redesigning is required!
1. Joyful Treasures
“If it brings you joy, it’s important,” says Thorpe-Lee. “Treasured finds from special places take center stage with an over-scaled feature like the Ming Display Cabinet.”
Thorpe-Lee points to the furniture retailer’s Ming collection as an example. “This group of elegant Asian-inspired designs include several display pieces. Whether the display is open, as seen in the over-scaled cubbies in this statement making cabinet or behind glass as in the console versions, seize the chance to feature your most cherished objects prominently.”
2. Understated Opulence
“European tailoring for today’s lifestyle is less fussy, yet still elegant and crisp,” says Thorpe-Lee. To illustrate, she calls attention to one of their designers’ concepts, called “London Calling.” This look is “at once, powerfully elegant and simple” she describes. “While it’s common to be afraid of the dark when decorating, don’t be. Give your walls a lesson in bravery by painting them the darkest of charcoal, and like a fine collared dress shirt beneath a suit, add bright, almost white trim. Hand applied guided details on the bed and chest adds richness to this space while the understated roman shades and reserved use of accents maintain a quietly relaxed feel.”
3. Reflect the View
If your living room is facing the Pacific Ocean, why not bring calming blue into your space? It seems only natural, right? Advises Thorpe-Lee: “Choose colors and materials that marry well with the view from your home.” The deep blue, white and brown tones of this living room are reminiscent of tall cliffs and the deep and lively Pacific. “While the ocean roils outside this transitional space, a contrast of calm is created with symmetrical pairings throughout. Homage is paid to the drama of crashing waves as rich blue walls are paired to bold effect with crisp white wainscoting and luxuriously tufted sofas. Classic shows its modern side on these Shelton sofas with sharply appointed details like nickel nail head trim and fluid tuxedo arms. The overall result is as refreshing as the seascape beyond.”
4. Primitive Mixed With Posh
“Juxtaposing texture, form and period is a great way to make a unique style statement,” explains Thorpe-Lee. To illustrate, she shows us an example of a room using a graphic black and white palette. “It’s also a modern take on an earthy theme,” she says. “The living room balances natural materials and global influences with a spirit of grace and elegance.” It’s all in the details. “Primitive motifs in the tribal inspired shag rug tell a story of exotic travel, while the stately Mansfield sofa is dressed down in a textural linen weave. Classic design let’s its hair down in this room. You can almost hear the harmonies of South Africa playing on the integrated surround sound.”