Design Lesson

Design lesson: Trends and how to use them

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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Trends and how to use them

The 10 per cent rule. Similar to a nutrition guide that has fat and sugar at the top of the pyramid, when incorporating trends into your home decorating, it's best to follow the 10 per cent rule. Ten refers roughly to the percentage of trendy items that a well-designed room can contain. It's also the percentage of decorating dollars the smart consumer allocates toward purchasing these fashionable finds. From shag rugs and Indian silk lanterns to pop-art pillows and fluorescent vases, trendy attention getters are best enjoyed in moderation. Here are some great ways to add what's new to your decor.

Wallpaper. Faux finishes move over! Grass paper and textured wallpapers are hot for both traditional and modern rooms. Toiles, damasks, florals and stripes have never looked better; find new ways to use patterned wallpaper, such as on a ceiling or lining the back of a glass-front cabinet.

Glass tiles. With the highgloss, slippery wet look of water, glass tiles add a refreshing splash of style to tired kitchens and bathrooms.

Stove hood chimney vents are no longer strictly utilitarian. You can find them dressed in fine metals like copper, zinc and brass or disguised behind wooden panels or trendy tiles.

Stripes.
Decorative stripes are turning up on everything from stair runners and pillows to dishes and bath towels. They offer precision and order and are a welcome addition to any room.

Compartmentalized bathrooms. Separating the toilet from the rest of the bathroom, even if it's only with a half wall or an acrylic or frosted-glass wall, connotes a feeling of graciousness in this hard-working room.

Eighteen-inch-thick mattresses. Deeper and more luxurious than ever, today's beds are all about comfort.

Wall-mounted faucets and vessel sinks. Commercially inspired lines of wall-mounted faucets pair perfectly with countertop vessel sinks; both are destined to be residential classics.

Decor dos and don'ts
DO eliminate last year's trends before incorporating this year's hot stuff. Trend overdose is never in style.

DO scour fashion magazines to stay ahead of the trend curve. Also visit fashionable retailers, like Caban, that carry the latest homewares.

DO spice up monochromatic colour schemes with trendy accessories in striking colours. A shot of tangerine, for instance, is this season's cure for boredom.

DON'T forget the lesson of the avocado fridge or harvest gold oven: stick to a neutral palette for large, long-term-investment pieces.

DON'T use limited decorating dollars filling up on empty offerings. The smaller the budget, the more money that should be spent on classic pieces of furniture. A Louis XVI bergère chair, camelback sofa, Noguchi coffee table or Barcelona chair never strays from good taste.

DON'T make large purchases on an impulse. When in doubt, walk away. If you return a week later and it still makes your heart flutter, then it may be worth having.
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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Trends and how to use them