"Fabric is back! Window coverings are getting more luxurious as silks and elaborate sheers are embroidered, dramatically coloured and embellished."
-- Lana Lounsbury, interior designer, Lana Lounsbury Interiors, Victoria
"Use recessed lighting to illuminate walls; it creates drama and makes a space appear larger. Centre lights only make a room gloomy and small looking."
-- Rob Everitt, interior designer, Everitt Design Associates, Winnipeg
"On a shady stone patio, try something easy on the toes, like a natural carpet made of mosses and ground cover. It can be cut into any shape, looks like a beautiful overgrown shag carpet, and with a misting of water now and then, it's virtually maintenance-free."
-- Sue Bennett, interior designer, Bennett Design Associates, Uxbridge, Ont.
"Shapes are a key trend. The curve breaks up the monotony of the many linear surfaces in today's modern homes. Look for curved countertops, even cooktops."
-- Debbie Travis, designer and tv host, Facelift Productions, Montreal
"If bling (think rhinestones, metallics, mirror) is your thing, this is your year! Wallpaper, pillows, china and even bathtubs are ablaze."
-- Kimberley Seldon, STYLE AT HOME decorating editor; Interior Designer, Kimberley Seldon Design Group, Toronto
"There's a strong trend toward weathered metals, like copper and oil-rubbed bronze -- and there's no better place to use them effectively than outdoors. The natural patina will grow more beautiful with time, and the metals will blend in with nature."
-- Vanessa Kiss, designer, Kiss Interior Design Studio, Toronto
"Mix it up: a formal mahogany dining table with acrylic chairs; ornate French mirrors and clean-lined leather furniture; and oversize chairs with mirrored tables. There's definitely a loosening of the design rules."
-- Jacqueline Glass, interior decorator, Jacqueline Glass & Associates, Mississauga, Ont.
"The trend toward more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products has given rise to the use of solar shades to maintain the view while keeping heat and glare at bay."
-- Catherine Pulcine, interior designer, CPI Interiors, Kanata, Ont.
"Patios are replacing decks for outdoor living. They need less maintenance and have a longer life. Popular materials include concrete paving stones and natural materials like Tyndall Stone. Movable shading devices for patio living protect skin from sun damage during the day and roll back for evening stargazing."
-- Malvine Giesbrecht, interior designer, Synergy Architectural Interiors, Winnipeg
"Outdoor living means time to relax and unwind. The flora in an outdoor room should reflect those same themes of easy living and low upkeep; examples include potted gardens, low-maintenance perennials and grasses, and xeric gardens with drought-resistant plants that require less watering."
-- Tazim Lal, interior designer, Tazim Lal interiors, Ottawa
"What's hot this summer: built-in gas firepits, cabanas with screens or drapes, outdoor gas fireplaces, bars, rustic teak tables, and large lounging beds with lots of pillows."
-- Lisa Duxbury, interior designer, Two Degrees Interiors, Winnipeg
"Fireplaces, comfortable all-weather seating (especially oversize, cushy sofas), coffee tables, lighting and area rugs can be used to create 'rooms' in our garden retreats. A more casual lifestyle trend has resulted in groupings of soft sofas and chairs replacing the formal dining table on patios and decks."
-- Gayle Kiss, interior designer, Kiss Interior Design Studio, Toronto
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