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It’s a new year, and we’re well into a new decade of home improvement, and stylish interior design. Let’s take a look at what some of the experts in interior design and home staging are saying about design trends of 2011.

What trends are up and coming, only hinted at during 2010, but expecting to be big in the coming year? Most importantly, how do you incorporate some of these trends into your own home in order to get a new start for a new year and new decade?

In thinking about this question, I thought I’d ask a few of our friends in the design and home staging spheres to weigh in one their own points of view, based upon their extensive work with clients and on what they’ve noticed as common threads when doing their own research.  Here’s what they had to say.

Erin Lochener, design and home furnishings blogger and DIY maven:

Animals! From pandas to bunnies and every cute mammal between, animals are making a surprising foray onto the design scene. Here’s a pigeon wallpaper that’s all the rage. It only takes a few key features to freshen up your decor for the new year. Try your hand at incorporating these quirky (and furry!) friends to stay ahead of the curve in 2011!

Roslyn Ashford, interior designer, homestager and blogger

Ikat fabrics; bright, and bold

In 2011, we will see more ethnic and cultural fabrics – like ikat, suzanis, batiks used in the home. Not just in pillows and throws, as was common in 2010, but these fabrics will make next step into home items like suzani bed linen, ottomans, window shades and possibly in area rugs and floor mats.

The natural color and patterns mix complement the neutral grays and browns that so many North Americans already own, so purchasing these smaller items will give homes a nice new look without having the break the bank.  And the authentic patterns and fabric signal a more comfortable and relaxed way to live.

Catherine Avery, interior designer, blogger, founder of Avery Design Interiors

I think the interior design trend will be toward “slow home” movement and comfort. What I mean when I say “slow home” is building smaller more customized people-friendly homes and slowly acquiring meaningful possessions or re-purposing existing furnishings.

I think there will be an emphasis on more entertaining at home – smaller more intimate gatherings. They will update their kitchen with some new appliances as they will be cooking at home more for their friends and family. I envision families curled up around a warm, possibly new, fireplace enjoying time together. Also, people will focus on accessorizing their homes with new draperies, pillows or a comfortable cashmere throw.

Wanda S. Horton, interior designer, blogger, principal of Interior Concepts

As consumers have watched home values change, many have decided to stay in their current homes and are opting for improving their spaces, not with the anticipation of resale, but with the idea they can create a more positive, personal living environment.

Living better means optimizing space through function, optimizing emotional experiences, and planning for all of the occupants’ life stages. (read more from Wanda’s original post …)

Kathy Barlow, “Chief Design Junkie”, founder and operator of HomeWorkshop.com

In 2011, plums, purples, goldenrod and a greyed-down deep turquoise, will enrich a primarily neutral color palette. Natural and light wood tones will blend with found objects of character. Warmth will be added by colorful artisan creations, with more emphasis on reuse and recycling in art.

Spaces will reflect a thoughtful editing, driven by an economy that has made people question what they need, and the source of their decor. And manufacturers and suppliers will continue to give the consumer more control and participation in the design and customization of home decor and furnishings.

Heather Stewart, Founder of HS Home Staging, social media practitioner, blogger

These are design trends I see growing in 2011. First, there will be more use of monochromatic color  in rooms, such as using one colour of paint on walls, trim and ceiling – this lets the entire architecture of the room show instead of just those details picked out in stark white. Painting furniture pieces the same colour as walls – soothing, easy on the eyes.

Second; warmer metals. I love that the cool metals of past years are now joined by warm bronze metals in hardware and accessories – I’m still not sold on going back to brass, but love the variety of bronze finishes we’re seeing.

Third; color. I love that we’re seeing neutrals infused with more color as well as more punches of color in accessories. Even the monochromatic paint trend mentioned above is showing up in colors on walls, not drab neutrals.

Thanks, everyone!

Cheers,

Rob.

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Rob Jones

Rob served as Editor-In-Chief of BuildDirect Blog: Life At Home from 2007-2016. He is a writer, Dad, content strategist, and music fan.