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Primavera: Allegory of Spring

 To “Say It With Flowers” seems inadequate


Still, honoring the arrival of spring can be more than the evident spring in your step. In the same way you distinguish between your cold weather wardrobe and warm weather clothes, consider where a “seasonal wardrobe” for your home furnishings and accessories can breathe new life into a stale winter environment.

Sing Spring with delicate water colors and soft fabrics.


Let it be Silly Season with those outrageous colors you have secretly coveted but were afraid to use.

Let me count the ways:

  • Slipcovers for the upholstered furniture are an inspired idea.  They can be removed for dry cleaning when necessary and offer opportunity for seasonal variety.
  • Switch out the bedclothes.  A different set of sheets, shams, pillowcases, blankets, bed spreads and/or duvet covers will give you the look of a redecorated bedroom, instantly.
  • Don’t overlook the effect of switching out the pillows on chairs and sofas too.  This goes for the throws and blankets that may be in use as well.  These small changes in color and texture make a notable difference.
  • Speaking of “throws”: throw rugs in certain areas can easily be replaced with inexpensive, light-weight cotton dhurries.  Stripes always look fresh and add punch.
  • Some of your window dressings can be switched out for lighter sheers or taken down completely this time of year.
  • Rotate your artwork and wall hangings. They have a big effect on setting the tone on your environment.  It’s a good time to lighten up and create a more playful “point of view”.

Meet Your Greens:

  • Nature is bountiful now so there is no excuse for not treating yourself well, and often. A gorgeous bouquet of flowers is always delightful, but don’t forget that using big leaves and fronds by themselves in glass vases can also be a striking arrangement. An additional perk this time of year is the availability of lemons or seasonal fruits to fill big bowls.  Your rooms will be scented in a wonderful way.
  • If you have abundant space and light, indoor trees are a wonder both for architectural effect and sheer beauty. Some flowering trees supply “scent opportunities” as well.
  • Terrariums and their distant cousins, Bonsai, are charming any time of year. A tiny little garden at your fingertips is particularly uplifting when the Winter Doldrums settle in.
  • Whether you choose vases of flowers or the drama of the gifted tree, don’t lose sight of the principles of balance and scale. A dinky waist high tree in a big corner looks silly.

Restraint and a plan will save the day.

Related Posts

Seasonal Decorating #1: Spring Break

Decorating With Flowers & Trees #1: Say It With Flowers

Decorating With Flowers & Trees #2: Meet Your Greens



Home Style Bloggers reported a trend recently

towards more masculine interiors than in the past.

 It seems men are working from home more now than ever.


 One can only hope.


Along with Pantone, the other harbinger of things to come in home decoration is the twice yearly High Point Furniture Market.  For more than a century, High Point, North Carolina has been known as the Furniture Fair Capital of the World and is regarded as a Crystal Ball in predicting home furnishings trends for the coming year. On display, are the home fashions on which each exhibitor has placed their stake and produced for the current market, in hopes of being competitively ahead of the curve and on top of consumer need and desire.

The race doesn’t always go to the swift and the strong, but that’s how you bet.

Pinocchio blogged too. What turns a trade show into mass marketing on a retail level is in the hands of bloggers reporting from location. Admittedly, this can be like the story of a car accident witnessed by 10 people and Everybody saw something different.

Still, there were a few trends mentioned by several observers:

  • Emphasis on menswear fabrics with a nostalgic or vintage feel. Upholstery dressed in this fashion was used in settings that implied a Men’s Club, or at least a Man Cave. To wit: there were dark woods, hides and leathers, hounds tooth, neck tie stripes and classic grey flannel.
  • Even a modern look is still referencing a “modern” of yesterday. The 60′s era Mad Men look seems to be morphing into a 70’s era expression, destination unknown.
  • Am I blue? Though Radiant Orchid is the color of the year, at Highpoint, it was blue running to teal. The color of the year apparently has soft boundaries. Saturated colors and color blocking are still big. Could Orange wall graphics and shag rugs boomerang back into fashion again soon?
  •  Art Deco sees yet another revival and there is lacquer everywhere. Along with this, layering of rich materials in a single piece was often seen. This could be a polished metal such as bronze or gold and embossed leather along with multiples of other textures and materials. The range of materials used is broad: Semi precious stones or finishes made to mimic, as well as Lucite, bone, shells and even woven cane.
  • Repurposed From Some Other Century.  The impetus towards a greener point of view over the past few years spawned a review of our notions about reclaimed and vintage home furnishings and décor. Recycled, upcycled and reclaimed are today’s home style buzz words, all in search and service of shrinking our individual carbon footprints.

This may be a good time to point out that just because an item can be reclaimed/recycled, doesn’t automatically mean it should be. If it was ugly junk before, time might not have improved its status. Just sayin’…

No need to compare and despair. The reported home design fashion trends are by no means a mandate. Your taste preferences may fall somewhere between “homiest home” to “show-stopper statement interior”, but to truly be a home you love to live in, let your home design grow and evolve over time, just as you do…or at least look that way.

The idea is to bring luxury into living every day, without being ostentatious. Make the experience of spending time at home something to look forward to, by seeing your home as your personal oasis of special comfort and pampering.

A reporter asked Joan Didion if she used her good silver every day.

“Every day is all there is”, she replied.


Related Posts

 Design Trends Now & Then #1: Orchid Dreams To Purple Haze

Get Your Own Designer Look #1: Vision Quest

Get Your Own Designer Look #2: Balancing Act

Get Your Own Designer Look #3: It’s In The Mix


For a look at the Fashion Trends reported on the Highpoint Market website, check here:



 In general, the mood of the country is always reflected

first in clothing and cosmetic styles,

closely followed by interior fashions.


Semantics of one color, light to dark: lavender, orchid, aubergine, eggplant, purple

Interior fashion isn’t like clothing fashion (usually),

when what you wear depends on your mood,

the weather and sometimes both.


It doesn’t change radically in sudden gestures. It morphs slowly over roughly 10 year increments. You have time to adjust and catch up from where ever you are. In the meantime, consistent with the fact that America remains one of the worlds’ leading authorities on capitalism, retailers in all fields want some means  to interpret and illustrate the national pulse.

They look for suggestions on which way the wind will blow next, and if possible, dress them up to move them along in the direction of the next great must have purchase.

One of the major barometers that retailers watch closely every year is the Pantone Color Institute. Designers and brands are polled about colors they’re featuring to aid in its decision for what hue will tinge the next 12 months.

The most anticipated, popular color serves as a kind of mood ring for the national frame of mind.

CARLSTADT, N.J., Dec. 5, 2013 – Pantone, today announced PANTONE® 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, as the Color of the Year 2014.

“Expressive, exotic Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and warmth”

It’s going to be a good looking year, apparently. Rather than re-inventing the (color) wheel. Here are a few bits of Purple Prose directly from Pantone for you to assess as you see fit. Visit here for the Pantone report:

Radiant Orchid for Beauty:A modern and surprisingly versatile shade, Radiant Orchid enlivens the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic. Blending both cool and warm undertones, purple is an appealing hue for distinctive combinations and flattering to many hair, eye and skin tones. This multifaceted hue is seductive when combined with red and pairs well with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink, which provides an assortment of lipstick and blush options. Radiant Orchid’s exuberance also acts as a brilliant finishing touch to nails.
Radiant Orchid for Fashion
.A dazzling attention-getter, Radiant Orchid permeated the runways during the spring 2014 fashion shows and is already making its way onto the red carpet. It’s expected that variations of this hue will carry into men’s and women’s clothing and accessories throughout next year too.”

Try this at home? Pantone goes on to suggest Radiant Orchid for paint color, accent pieces and accessories. That it complements olive and deeper hunter greens, and is particularly gorgeous with turquoise, teal and even light yellows.

It shouldn’t go without saying. While color neutral environments based on gray, beige and taupe have been Interior Fashion Darlings since the 90‘s, a little Radiant Orchid sprinkled about could have the effect of “re-energizing and unifying diverse spaces while lending an uplifting effect.”

It’s a family of colors. Though Pantone has singled out Radiant Orchid as the magical color that speaks to the National State of Mind (such as it is) this year, it’s good to remember that it’s a shade of  Purple. It’s composed, basically of Red and Blue in some proportions, with white to lighten the mix as called for.

50 Shades of lilac/orchid/purple, etc…Regardless of the final color, it will have an effect on your mood whether you wear it or live with it around your home.

  •  Going to the Dark Side: Purple/Eggplant/Aubergine still equals magic, creativity, joy, luxury and sex. The effect of purple can be uplifting and calming simultaneously.  It even offers a sense of spirituality and mysticism.
  • Or Lighten up: Lilac says femininity and spirituality. There is an implicit dreamy quality about lilac and it’s sometimes associated with a mythical, mystical twilight zone between heaven and sky. If you’re looking to invoke a calm sanctuary for your bedroom/bath area, lilac is a good bet.

By the way, studies show that if you are very creative, eccentric and/or a teenage girl, this might be your favorite color.

Next time: Design Trends Now & Then #2: This Year’s Model

Related Posts

Wall Color Selection #2: Special Effects of Red & Purple & the Shades Between

Get Your Own Designer Look #1:  Vision Quest

Get Your Own Designer Look #2:Balancing Act

 Get Your Own Designer Look #3: It’s In The Mix



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