Much like we can expect from the American people in next year’s election, the votes among the nation’s top interior designers and manufacturers are split when it comes to forecasting what will be “hot” in home decor in 2008.
The good news is that there’s no mudslinging or veto power. In fact, design bipartisanship is encouraged, as it results in a myriad of choices for today’s style- and value-conscious consumers.
Here are the top 10 trends on the ballot for 2008:
1. The Incumbent
Wall murals are always a hot ticket, particularly those produced by Hopkins, Minn.-based Murals Your Way (www.muralsyourway.com), the industry leader in the production of decorative wall murals for more than 35 years. “Personalization is the key driver in mural selection,” says Todd Imholte, president of Environmental Graphics, the company that operates Murals Your Way. “We are finding more and more people choosing a mural that fits their personality.” With a gallery of more than 5,000 images, as well as the ability to create a custom mural from a personal photo or artwork, the possibilities are truly endless.
2. The Front-Runner
Timothy Corrigan, recently named to the AD100: Top International Architects And Interior Designers by “Architectural Digest” and to the “Robb Report” Top 40 Interior Designers in the World, predicts an increased emphasis on “cozy comfort.” More vibrant, colorful rooms that feature antiques and upholstered, over-stuffed furniture found in secondhand furniture stores, flea markets and estate sales will create an easy, comfortable home without sacrificing elegance or beauty.
3. A Grass Roots Initiative
Recycling, reusing and refurbishing will come into play when developing and producing home products, says Lori West, ASID, of Bliss Creek Interiors. Recycled carpeting, grass cloth wall covering, bamboo flooring and a simple, decluttered environment will foster an enhanced earth awareness and conscientiousness of living.
4. The Caucus On Color
A “spice-infused” palette will be the hottest look in accent colors for the coming year, according to Davis Remignanti, lead design consultant for Furniture.com. Carnelian, flax, russet and acid green will be especially popular, with blue as the dark horse candidate. Reflective materials like chrome, mirrors and mercury glass will make strong room accents.
Celebrity design expert and author Kathy Peterson of “Kathy Peterson Inspired” forecasts unexpected color combinations like chartreuse with aqua, brown with burgundy, and deep purple with dark red. The Olympics in China will also influence color on the warmer side, adds West, with reds blended with coppers, burnished oranges and browns.
5. Lobbying For Lighting
Jeff Dross, trends expert and senior product manager for Kichler Lighting, notes that smaller dining rooms have created a demand for smaller furniture and fixtures. Pendant-sized, three-light chandeliers, such as the new Pendalette, boast an original, clever design while providing a unique source of task or accent lighting. Dross also sees a continued emphasis on energy-efficient products, as well as a growing interest in kitchen cabinet lighting with multiple light sources.
6. Adding Textures To The Ticket
“More and more people will be looking to appease all of their senses, including that of touch,” says Kathy Hoffman, ASID, of Susan Fredman & Associates, Ltd. A unique blend of textures — such as silky, velvet drapery; fabulous, nubby pillows; and natural stone fireplaces — will create a clean, attractive space that also calms and soothes.
7. Primary-Ly Modern
According to Hilary Sopata, ASID, of Interior Visions Designs, Inc., the style in 2008 will be all about floating objects. Spheres hung at different heights forming the new chandelier, chairs that cantilever out from their bases, and plinth base furniture with a shadow underneath for a hovercraft sofa look will provide a streamlined, contemporary style.
8. Campaigning For Less Busy Kitchens
Traditional kitchens will continue to become simpler as far as trims and molding details are concerned, according to Kaye Hathaway, ASID, of dea design group, ltd. Heavy carvings and elaborate moldings have come to an end, and glazed paints and rich warm woods like cherry and alder will be very fashionable. Quartersawn or riff-cut white oak will make a comeback in more modern kitchens.
9. A Nomination For Glamour
“The recent interest in natural materials has spawned a renewed fascination for glamorous and refined designs,” adds Remignanti, in a look he calls “Luxe Redux.” Refined silhouettes and finishes, gently swept lines, strong geometric forms and finishes that emphasize exotic veneers will create a look that is elegant, but in an approachable and welcoming way.
10. An Age-Old Platform
A design trend that originated more than 5,000 years ago, Feng Shui maximizes the “life areas” of a home by balancing the elements of nature (water, fire, metal, wood and earth.) Joyce Kocinski, ASID, of Design in Balance, predicts a continued interest in rearranging or replacing furniture and accessories to enhance the positive energy of each living environment.
No matter how design industry experts debate the issue, the poll on 2008 trends is clear. With equal representation given to a variety of home decor influences, no quorum will be needed to create a personal, livable home environment.