Matchy-matchy is out, out, out. Make it personal, make it yours.
That seems to be the overall consensus among the local designers we canvassed for an up-to-the-minute take on fall trends in home and design.
“Anyone can do matchy-matchy, but advanced decorating is about breaking the so-called rules and personalizing spaces with idiosyncrasy and subjective notions of beauty,” says designer Terence Mack of Sparkill. “Design today is all about the fusion of disparate styles, exotic materials and decorative patterns.”
“It’s about creating a certain type of friction or clash in unusual and unexpected ways that looks and feels authentic and original,” he explains. “When a room is too pure with its styling it looks sterile and dated, hence the trend to mix historical vocabularies to create a new modern language.”
Architect Carol Kurth of Bedford says that the most interesting trend she and her firm are seeing is “what’s old is new. There’s a resurgence of interest in midcentury modern as well as things with a ’70s and ’80s vibe. Modern and glam modern.”
“Our firm has been doing modern design since our inception and has been having a great time recently revisiting some of these classic modern projects and giving them new vision (with new owners!),” she adds.
And Kurth wholeheartedly agrees about matchy-matchy. “Where years ago everything ‘matched,’ the new look is about curating multiple finishes. This is especially true architecturally, mixing industrial steel details with luxurious finishes such as a crystal chandelier — celebrating contrasts.”
For interior colors, gray is still gold. “When it comes to colors and woods, gray is definitely the new white and overall people are leaning more toward neutral tones,” says Jeff Eakley, the senior designer at Bilotta Kitchens in Mamaroneck.
But some decorators have had enough!
“The customers are still drinking the gray Kool-aid,” laments designer Lyn Peterson of Scarsdale. “When will they all realize that every house on their block also has a gray interior. Hmmm.”
“Hermes orange is hitting those gray interiors as is a bittersweet lemony hue,” Peterson says. “Contrary to TV-land titles, orange is not the new black. It’s red, the new neutral, go-with-anything color. And I love it.”
“Blue is inching up on gray as the go-to neutral/non color for today’s interiors,” she adds. “From soft washed gray blues that we see in rugs now, to a clean crisp navy partnered with soft whites.”
And say a heartfelt so long, see ya to granite. It’s sturdy aggregates that people want in their kitchens now. “They are comprised of 93 percent stone and 7 percent adhesives, and they even contain antimicrobial elements,” Peterson says. “I am installing Silestone’s Pulsar in my kitchen right now. What started out as a very synthetic looking manmade item has morphed into a series of really attractive options.”
“These aggregates are bulletproof, literally,” she says. “Do not scratch, burn or chip. And why not? In a world of stress, stress and more stress why not take some of the stress out of home maintenance?”
Amen to that! Now let’s hear some specifics from our team of designers.
Art and technology
After 20 years in the entertainment industry, Laura Blanco of Piermont is enjoying a second career in interior design.
• The blues: Blues are still very big, but looking ahead, you will see a lot of indigo and burnished indigo. As far as whites, I’m seeing clean, bright and neutral — not on the warmer spectrum.
• Cues from the art world: Interior design is taking many cues from the world of fine art, including the use of the word “curate(d)” when actually referring to design. Also, residential and commercial designs that appear gallery-like. And objects — furniture, lighting, rugs — that look like works of art.
• Technocrats: Architects continue to expand their brands by designing furniture, rugs and objects and taking full advantage of advances in technology. The use of 3-D printing is in its infancy and holds some promise once the object’s functionality becomes relevant.
In the kitchen
Jeff Eakley is the senior designer and director of product and business development at Bilotta Kitchens in Mamaroneck, so he has just the right perspective for what we can expect in kitchen design. Eakley, by the way, designed the kitchen for Westchester Magazine’s Dreamhouse Penthouse.
• Sleek style: Overall people are leaning toward clean lines, what we call transitional, to contemporary, even in more traditional homes. Either flat panel doors or varied styles of step doors like a Shaker-style are the top choices right now.
• Veneers and lacquers: High-gloss lacquers are also very popular as well as exotic veneers with either a custom stain or simply a high-gloss lacquer finish. Of regular veneers I’d say that rift-cut white oak and walnuts are most popular, either natural or with custom stains.
• Bye bye, granite: As far as surfaces go, there seems to be a big push for man-made surfaces mostly because they are more consistent in color and texture for people that are looking for that clean look. Quartz and materials like Caesar Stone are very popular.
Smarter and more durable
Lyn Peterson is a seasoned design pro and the author of “Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Kitchens” and “Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Renovating.” Motif Designs, the firm she runs with her husband, Karl Friberg, is based in Mamaroneck.
• Mixing in the hand crafted: We are seeing a return to hand-made and hand-crafted items and more articulated finishes. Hand-hewn coffee tables and dining tables are trending in all-white interiors for example. It is the Pacific Northwest influence. Seattle style? It started with the so-called “steampunk” look (horrid name), as evidenced in the Restoration Hardware catalogs — raw woods with metals.
• Tables and chairs: Parsons-style tables are somehow oh-so-appealing, only in wood finishes this time around. We are seeing pine — yes ladies, pine. Wicker in a wonderful soft white tinged with gray is not just for the porch.
• Smarter rugs: Sisals, sea grass and jutes are still around, but consumers are more aware of their limitations. They are literally unsafe for babies, crawlers, toddlers. They do not clean and even water creates an irrevocable stain. Buyer beware. (These looks are now being replicated in jutes and even polypropylenes that are safer and more durable.) Remember that when choosing an area rug bigger is usually better. The size of a rug defines the size of a room. And your rug drives the color of your room.
• Fashion forward: The print riot that we are seeing on the runway is trickling down into interiors, but just not quite yet. Still, mark my words, you will see chintz very soon.
Glamor and zebra hides
Terence Mack has designed small — his own Sparkill cottage, and immense — a 19-bathroom manse in Alpine, New Jersey.
• Sexy kitchens: Glamor has definitely migrated into this room, with rich gemstone colors and finishes like agate and malachite, metal accents and decorative lighting typically only used in other dressier settings. Kitchens are more sexy — black is a trend — and dramatic and less antiseptic and utilitarian.
• Greens and grays: In terms of color, I’m seeing a lot of olive green, used as a warm and organic neutral, and in unexpected applications — in kitchens, for example. It’s a great color because it coordinates with almost any other color. Gray has also come into its own as a classic and very popular neutral.
• Skins on the walls: Hair-on-hide skins like pony and zebra that have been traditionally used on floors are now being seen on surfaces off the floor, even on upholstered furniture and furnishings. It’s about using a familiar material in an unexpected way.
Award-winning architect Carol Kurth has lived in Bedford for more than 30 years.
• Say it in black: My personal take is that black is back in new ways — hues of what I will call almost black, deep charcoals and the chocolatiest browns. Sometimes these hues are shot with metallic threads, such as fabrics and wallpapers with metallic backgrounds. Solid hues are often paired with textures and layers of more neutrals in shades that appear to have been tinted with black — blues toned with black to give a more muted sophisticated palette.
• Advances in lighting: Lighting is playing a major role in miniaturization of fixtures with LED lighting and all the new technologies that LED offers, now that warm spectrum LED lighting technology is a reality. Coordinating this with being able to access these through WiFi and on your tablet/iPad or phone from anywhere in the world, it’s making huge changes to the way we design the ambiance of spaces and create mood.
• Sound, too: Similarly, sound is taking on new meaning with apps like SONOS where music is at your fingertips without the need for costly wiring. Integrated LEDs in everything for the home will become a sparkling and intriguing aspect of design in years to come. We are just on the verge of having this technology plus solar/photosensitive components make a big splash into everyone’s homes.
What men want
Brittany Zachos of Pleasantville is the co-owner and principal designer of Five Gentlemen, an interior design service geared toward men.
• Upholstery: A trend that is currently popping up everywhere is the use of metallic leather. This is a great way to make a subtle statement without losing the comfort and sophistication leather already brings to any room.
• Statement tables: Statement pieces in the dining room are usually made with the chandelier, but current trends are changing that. Now the statement is in the table.
• More metal: Room accents lie with the use of mixing metal finishes and textures. From brass to chrome and hammered metal, the use of these finishes can warm up any space while adding the texture.
• Blues, greens and grays: The use of green, grays and deep blue hues are the colors that appear to be showing up everywhere. However, since these colors are classic they tend to keep any space looking comfortable yet sophisticated. If you are scared to use these colors on the walls, be sure to add these colors in your space through the use of accessories, draperies or even the rug.
Functional and fun
Lynette Tufano co-owns (with her husband, Anthony, and his brother Michael) and manages Suffern Furniture Gallery in Suffern. She’s also one of the store’s buyers and merchandisers. Tufano has contributed to the interior designs of more than 50 homes in Rockland and Bergen counties, and has seen more than her fair share of what’s hot and what’s not.
• Keep it clean: We’re starting to see furniture with clean lines, simpler styles and fabrics that are white, off-white and other lighter colors. The period style is noncommittal — also known as transitional — rather than being locked into a certain era.
• Accents and embellishments: Accent chests that people like to put in their foyers are starting to come in all sizes, shapes, sizes and colors. The chests are also embellished with drawers, mirrors and nail head leather, which makes them functionaland decorative. Coffee, cocktail and end tables are being embossed with decorative materials such as metals, glass, leather and wood.
• Shake up the bedroom:We’re starting to see wrought-iron beds or upholstered headboards and foot boards. They break up the heavy lines of the rest of the room’s traditional wood furniture.