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A few words to keep in mind when thinking about updating your home: simple, earthy, functional. Current decorating trends are just that according to Donna Boonstra of Raymond, owner of Custom Interiors and Company, Inc. "The trends really depend on how you live," she explained.
Her motto? "Love the home you live in." Your home should be functional for your lifestyle no matter what the current trend.
Boonstra has been in the decorating business for over 17 years and has seen the trends, from colors, patterns, and styles and everything in between, come and go. At one time for instance "country style" was all the rage but lately the "eclectic" look, which combines classy, old, modern, bright, animal, and everything else together in one room is popular. Boonstra, who likes to keep it simple, admits that she isn't totally in love with the current "eclectic" phase citing that too much going on in a room can make it hard to relax. "The eye needs a resting place in every room," adding with a laugh that less stuff in a room is also less to dust.
When transitioning from one trend to another Boonstra encourages homeowners to work with the pieces that you have and go from there changing color, pattern, texture, and accessories to update their home to a more modern feel. She used her dining room as an example.
"This used to be decorated in a country theme," she said pointing to her dining room. "But now I have an Italian theme. I kept my country style furniture (a table and hutch) and my paint color stayed the same. I added a border, new window treatments, fabrics, and accessories to update the room." Working with what you have and updating the simple things is much more cost effective she explained.
So what is trending now in home decorating? Boonstra talked about some of the modern aspects of home decor.
Colors come and go. The country blues and peaches of the early 1990's are long gone, as are the off-whites and jewel tones of the last decade or so. Earth tones have claimed their place in the color palette of today's homes.
"What was once burgundy has now shifted to more of a barn red," said Boonstra. "Hunter green has been replaced by more of a sage green." Gold and earth tone browns are also very popular. "These warm, neutral tones are easy to work with and they add richness and warmth," she said. Also up and coming is the color grey.
She also added a tip that she picked up at a design show earlier this year. "You should add the color red in every room. Red makes everything pop."
Boonstra said that today's popular furniture, think solid color microfibers and leathers, has made it easier to pull pattern into a room. "Decorating-wise the microfiber frees us up to bring more pattern into a room."
A quick flip through latest home decorating magazines and you'll see it all. Animal prints, floral, tweeds, stripes- almost an "any anything goes" feel is trending right now when.
Accessory-wise, home decorating has trended from "collections" to more of a trend towards displaying just one key item. For instance, instead of a big silk flower arrangement, the trend now is to use one stem in a covered container with some natural rock. She also displayed another accessory made with dried beans-- an open glass container with layers of beans and a candle. Simple, earthy, and cost-effective.
Another trend has been the use of white birch sticks or bamboo. "I've seen branches used in about everything," said Boonstra.
Regardless of current trends Boonstra offered up a few tried and true rules of home decor, no matter what your style or what the home decor magazines tout:
· Lighting- "Lighting makes or breaks a room and is a huge part of decorating," she said stressing the importance how the lighting sets the ambiance for a room regardless of how the room is decorated.
· Entryway- "Decorate your entry way first." The entryway in any home should be warm and inviting. "It's the first thing people see when they enter your home."
· Inspiration piece- "Pick an inspiration piece for your room and base everything off of that." The inspiration piece in Boonstra's kitchen, for example, was a watercolor painting made by her daughter. "I based the entire area on this piece," she said.
· Use what you have- "I can go into a home and move a few pieces around and it makes a huge difference." Sometimes simple changes are all it takes to change the look and feel of a room giving it an instant update.
· Don't make things too perfect- "At the design show they told us to always make a mistake. If a room is too perfect it's not inviting. You want to be comfortable in your own home."
**We would like to say 'thank you' to Melissa Hoffman Bodin at The Raymond-Prinsburg News for publishing this article.
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