‘Mid-century is very popular, especially with younger buyers. They didn’t grow up with this mid-‘50s style, so, for them, it’s all new and modern.’
– ANGELA ROWE, Interior decorator and owner, Decorating Den Interiors, Harrisburg.
Are you a fan of midcentury modern? Drawn to classic elegance? Does the handcraft of global décor grab you? There was a time when décor experts said to pick just one, but now we can mix and match or go all in.
“All of those are very popular this fall, along with a return to more casual, classic country styles,” said Angela Rowe, interior decorator and owner of Decorating Den Interiors in Harrisburg. “I’m seeing lots of colors, styles, finishes and fabrics. Mid-century is very popular, especially with younger buyers. They didn’t grow up with this mid-‘50s style, so, for them, it’s all new and modern.”
Those local trends are following the national trend of updated versions of successful pieces, plus an interesting array of new looks.
“Keep an eye out for versatile accent pieces, the kind that can work in a myriad of places, and consider material and color combinations,” says Beth Kushnick, set decorator for CBS’ “The Good Wife.” ”These are some of the easiest ways to refresh any space, and there’s a ton of stylish options out right now at a range of price points.”
She says fall 2014 is about finding pieces that provide maximum impact without a lot of effort.
Some themes this season:
Touch of Fall
“Texture is huge this season,” Rowe said. “I just did a showhouse this weekend in Marion and installed a rug that was supertextural, with big, fat yarns, really beautiful. I’m seeing a lot of fabrics layered with texture.”
But it’s not all about fabrics.
“Look for texture-rich accessories — like a box with stone inlay or a wooden sculpture — that add an element of nature to your space. Mix in a variety of metals to add a sense of luxury,” Kushnick advises.
Rowe said the texture trend isn’t limited to fabrics or accessories, either.
“I’m even seeing backsplashes in kitchens where they are adding stones, adding lots of texture,” she said.
Warm brass continues to play a big role, trimming tables, embedded in wooden trays, formed into curvy or linear vases and lamps. It picks up the midcentury vibe but suits traditional spaces too. Chrome and acrylic hit contemporary high notes.
On ceramics, you’ll find reactive and dip glazes, and more matte finishes than ever before.
Mercury glass, a décor darling for the past few seasons, gets a few tweaks with etched patterns and added color.
Light it Up
High-end lighting design has found its way into the mid-range market, which means pricier styles at mass-market retailers.
Look for shades with crisp geometrics, nubby textures and crewel-work patterns to update lamps for not much money.
“And don’t forget that smooth is also a texture,” Rowe said. “I’m seeing lots of chandeliers with smooth drum shades.”
Pierced metal is showing up in many accents, including lighting.
“This where you might see the country classic influence,” Rowe said. “Remember the old pie safes with the punched tin doors? That kind of décor is very prevalent.”
Milky glass pendants look country-modern. You’ll also find matte-finish shades with foil interiors that catch light dramatically; Ikea has table and floor lamps with coppery lining. A tapered table lamp like the Melrose from Crate & Barrel provides midcentury flair. Conical, brushed-aluminum sconces and pendants have space-age style. And for a luxe look, think about acrylic and crystal lamps.
Playing with color is not only fun but adds a nice flair to your décor.
“There are some gorgeous grays and subtle greens out this fall, and 2014’s radiant orchid and coral add a lush pop almost anywhere,” Kuschnik said. “You can make a big splash just by updating a wall color or bringing in a few vibrant accent pieces.”
You’ll also see carrot, purple, lemongrass, ocher, clove, molasses and olive in throw pillows, bedding and upholstery. Homegoods has a butterscotch leather ottoman, a pretty pink side chair, and a pea-green accent table in its fall collections.
“With all these color choice, gray is still a very important neutral,” Rowe said. “It lends itself nicely to mid-century modern. It’s a great background for adding a pop of color in furniture and accessories, like the Pantone Color of the Year, radiant orchid.”
Ombre, tile, ziggurat, cinquefoil and filigree patterns grace lampshades, rugs and drapery. Naïve woodland motifs and ’70s-era kitchen prints dress wall art and napery. The newest geometrics and traditional prints are overscale.
“I’ve seen lots of patterns and prints, and they are very large patterns,” Rowe said.
Responding to the midcentury trend, Ethan Allen has released a collection of Modern Art Master lithographs, including ones by Chagall, Miro, Matisse and Calder.
And Kushnick is enjoying wallpaper’s comeback.
“The new temporary wallpapers are a great option for apartment dwellers,” she says.
After a few seasons in a supporting role, midcentury modern takes the lead this fall and winter. Accent chairs are armless or lower-profile, and furniture has either a California-chic or Danish-modern vibe.
“Accent chairs are a whole category that has really taken off,” Rowe said. “I see many of my accessory vendors branching out into accent chairs.”
Upholstered furniture gets its shirt tucked in, too. No more slouchy, sloppy slipcovers — the newest pieces tend toward trim and tight, but in comfier, softer fabrics.
“Many of these accent pieces feature sleek, tufted backs,” Rowe said.
Another furniture trend is giving clients a wide range of choices.
“I’m already seeing many furniture companies moving toward the trend of giving buyers the option of customizing pieces,” Rowe said. “It’s great because you’ll get something you love and that won’t be cookie-cutter.”
Also, Look for side and coffee tables with metal legs. West Elm’s Waldorf coffee table is a slim rosewood slab perched on skinny brass legs. Cyan Designs’ Portman end tables are lacy, laser-cut iron drums.
And, you’ll see faceted pieces across the accessory spectrum, in mirrors, containers and trays.
Pop culture from the ’70s and ’80s shows up in vibrant retro-print pillows, furniture and accents.
Global and tribal motifs maintain a powerful presence, with India, the Americas and Africa strongly represented. World Market’s got a collection of well-priced round, carved tribal tables. In bedding, drapery, rug and upholstery fabrics, look for more new woodblock, paisley and medallion prints.
Ikat, kantha print and medallions grace textile collections at Pottery Barn, and there are Mexican tile print ceramics there too.
“Ikat patterns are very popular,” Rowe said. “It’s a very interesting look.”
Accessories like carved animals, woven art, sculpted paper and ceramic vases, and ironwork and glass items draw from distant cultures.
Vintage-style globes, steamer trunks, map art and travel advertising continue to interest home decorators. There’s herringbone, tweed, plaid, Fair Isle knit patterns and lots of new takes on faux fur — Nordic and Danish designs in textiles as well as kitchen and dining items.
The rustic romantic look also has staying power, with outdoorsy pursuits informing everything from art to dishware. Native American motifs have graphic style; DGoods crafts a trio of wood nesting tables with a design reminiscent of a Navajo blanket. (www.purehome.com )
Look for feathers, camper vans, arrows, foxes and trees, and expect this look to be represented in holiday décor as well.