The stylish life is one that many of us maintain in multiple aspects of our lives. Having a nice living space is a part of that. It’s so gratifying to pass a room and take pleasure in the shade of paint on the walls, or a favorite lamp you found at a vintage shop. Whether you’ve had a lot of experience in furnishing and decorating your home, or you’re just starting to get interested, here is a list of home decor trends you can easily incorporate into your space. Bonus–all of these are possible even on a budget. Part 2 will follow next week, so make sure to check back!
This is probably my favorite home decor trend. First, it’s environmentally responsible. Take something that might have been pitched in a landfill, and make it into something new and shiny. Second, it’s almost always cheaper than buying brand new. Third, if you’re the creative type, it totally fulfills that desire to create. For instance, designer JAMESPLUMB takes old suitcases and makes them into drawers. This blogger took a file cabinet, turned it on its side, painted it, then used it for garage storage. And there are tutorials all over the Interwebs for using old ladders to make unusual bookshelves. The key is to keep an open mind. See a piece for what it could be, not necessarily what it was originally intended for. Looking for a bar but can’t find one? Try searching out an old desk that might be too small for your day to day work needs (as shown above) but use that instead.
Colorful front doors
Next time you’re in the car or taking a walk, take a look at the homes in your neighborhood. If any of them have recently been for sale, I’ll bet they have front doors painted in an accent color. That’s right, doors are no longer white, black, or brown. Now they make a statement. Dark grey siding? Bright orange door. Plain white home? Cheery yellow door. It’s a really easy, inexpensive way to change something up. Especially if you’re not in a position to repaint the entire exterior of your house, a fresh coat of accent paint on the door can make a huge difference. (Use color theory to pick the right color–there is a method to the madness.)
There used to be a lot more rules when it came to stylish living. Remember no white after Labor Day? Now there’s the trend of winter whites. Remember drinking red wine with beef, and white wine with chicken? Now you drink whatever tastes good to you. And so it goes with mixing things like woods, metals and other materials. Wood used to have to be matchy-matchy. If you had oak trim, you better have oak furniture, and of course, oak floors. Now mixing woods isn’t necessarily a decorating faux-pas. You can have white painted trim, for instance, with wood doors. You can mix copper and stainless steel. You can mix patterns. Go for it.
For a long time, solid colors were the preferred decor. Patterned fabric was out. Patterned curtains were out. Textured paints were out. For the love of God, NO WALLPAPER. The tide has turned. This may be the trend you are least interested in–there aren’t many dudes I know who want to look at wallpaper samples. Nevertheless, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that if a pillow made with manly patterned fabric caught your eye…you wouldn’t be out of line in coveting it.
Open shelving (but beware their tendency to produce clutter)
Full disclosure: this may be a trend, but it’s not my favorite. I really dislike clutter, and open shelving (i.e., shelves not housed within cabinets) can look cluttered if not done right (for example, the above photo via Target? That’s getting pretty busy.) . I do have two open shelving units in my home, but I’m really careful to use them only for decor, not storage. The vintage vase my grandparents brought back from China in the late 1950s? That’s on the shelf, centered by itself. The cheese plates and decorative platters I never use? They’re tucked away in a cabinet. If you use open shelving, remember this rule: less is more.
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