Hot Topics for Home Decorating

Most of us can’t resist picking up those home decorating magazines or visiting the websites that offer the latest Quick & Easy Decorating ideas and Home & Décor trends to help us create Better Homes or a House Beautiful. Whether your style is Southern Living or Country Living, we just want some Real Simple tips and ideas to make our House & Home a Romantic Home, a Traditional Home, an Ideal Home, a Fresh Home, or at least something we can be proud of when friends and family stop by.

So, we flip through the pages, skimming the articles penned by the “experts” and scanning the before-and-after photos, trying to glean something that can be translated from haute décor to something we can afford, some ideas that we can realistically use to add a bit of panache or pizazz to our own home sweet — if a bit tired looking — home.

Enter Angela Rowe, a Decorating Den certified designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors in Harrisburg, one of the most pleasant, knowledgeable and helpful decorators you’re likely to encounter. After collecting what the above-mentioned designers touted as the latest trends in home decorating, Angela graciously offered to help make sense of it all.

“So many of the trends you’ll read about in these magazines and on these websites are for someone living in a New York City apartment or a Los Angeles loft. They’re just not going to fly in Southern Illinois,” she says. “What I tell my clients is, ‘Don’t talk yourself into choices that you might regret, just because it’s something that’s new or trendy.’”

So, we threw some haute décor trends at Angela and here’s what she had to say.

Furniture is trending toward lighter woods such as walnut, oak and cherry.

“The trend I see in furniture is customization, choosing from several different finishes for the one that suits you, making these new pieces truly your own.” she says.

“I’m also seeing a continuing trend of what one of my co-workers calls the “Mad Men meets mid-America” look, based on the styles of the ’60s, the time period of that popular television series. It’s mid-century modern with very sleek, straight lines, shiny surfaces and uncluttered looks.”

Outdoor fabrics are trending away from the practical and more toward indoor fabrics that are varied and luscious.

“What I am seeing is outdoor fabrics such as Sunbrella coming indoors on sofas and chairs,” Angela says. “They’re beautiful, but they’re also practical. They don’t fade as quickly and they’re easier to clean, so they’re able to withstand the messiest kids and the worst spills.”

Trending in upholstery are hide rugs and fur.

“I don’t see fur hides as being super popular for furniture coverings, but I do see animal prints and faux fur hides used for accent furniture pieces,” she says. “That can be really fun.”

This year white walls will be replaced with dark, moody walls, accented with mixing and matching metallic accessories.

“Gray has been the neutral color and top choice for the last year and a half, and I’m still seeing shades of gray as the most popular color for walls,” Angela says. “Metallics have been popular for a while, but the whole accessory market is what is really booming in home décor. That’s another way to really make a room your own, a way to bring drama, glamor and your own personality into your home. Accessories can change the whole look of a room.”

Blues will be a big trend this year — more rich, saturated colors like navy and indigo to vibrant shades like peacock blue and cobalt.

“All shades of blue are always popular, but the new color for 2014, according to the Color Marketing Group, is Radiant Orchid, a cross between fuchsia and orchid with pink undertones. Last year, it was emerald and before that tangerine,” she says. “Now that doesn’t mean you throw everything out each year for the new color, but it’s fun to look at what you have and decide if this year’s new color is something you can play with for accent pillows, for example.”

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