Trends for 2011

- Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Can you believe we are already well into February of  2011? I am still getting used to writing 2011 as the year when I fill in the date. I am not sure just where the first month of this new year has gone, but I can tell you what you can expect to see more of this year for interior design and decoration. Having just attended the Atlanta Winter Gift and Accessory Market trade-show I can share with you some of the trends I found featured on display in the showrooms as well as insights from the industry professionals who created them.


To use that old cliché, what’s old is new again. Perhaps it is a desire during these challenging economic times to return to a more prosperous era or just our love of nostalgia, but there is a return to period styles popular from the 50’s, 60’s, and even the 1970’s. Whether genuine period pieces repurposed for modern use or new items designed to look old, vintage will be hot in the coming year. 

After years of producing big, over-sized upholstery and casegoods, furniture companies are reigning in the scale to create more svelte silhouettes. Think of those round, angled, tapered legs seen on the furniture from the Mad Men television show. Remember those highly stylized, graphic, Merimekko and Pop Art fabric patterns from the 1970’s? They are coming back in a big way. In one showroom, I ordered an old industrial cart, once used on a factory floor, to provide a mobile work table in my client’s new art studio.


It’s no secret I am a big fan of color, so I am happy to report color is in again, and in a very big way. Saturated hues like citron and pumpkin, grounded tones like earth and mocha, and metallic tints of copper and brushed nickel co-mingled in the showrooms with soothing neutrals in complex weaves and interesting textures.

Strong hits of color are going to be popular on accent pieces like side tables and pillows, lamps and vases. I found a striking turquoise colored, lacquered, 3-drawer chest to use as a bedside table for a client. It is a color she loves and will make a nice accent against the natural sand-colored grasscloth we used on the headboard wall of her master bedroom.


When designing the look of your room, look past the 4 walls around you and consider the floor and ceiling as opportunities to add drama to your décor. These often-overlooked 5th and 6th walls of a space can offer endless possibilities for interest.

More options for wood floors come to the marketplace every day. Renewable and reclaimed sources are providing alternative choices. Fancy a bamboo or antique parquet floor for your new home office? Both are easily accessible. Want to jazz-up that boring ceiling? How about embellishing it with some textured paper or a shimmering iridescent paint color?


I know you may be tired of hearing it, but green continues to be keen in the world of interior design. And deservedly so, as materials that can be recycled at the end of their lifespan will be more in demand in the year(s) to come. Efficient technology continues to evolve and enhance our new-found eco-friendly collective consciousness.

Environmentally friendly products like copper, bronze, and linen contribute to healthy indoor air quality. Using natural textures such as jute, recycled polyester, and soy silk will keep it simple but green. Efficient LED lighting will continue to light our way in the future and better fluorescent bulbs will use less energy, produce cooler temperatures, and last much longer.


It is a new year and a time for new beginnings. Did you make any New Years resolutions? Maybe some include embracing your past, adding some color or interest to your surroundings, or making a conscious effort to be more environmentally kind. The upcoming trends in interior décor will help you keep those resolutions and have some style and fun along the way.

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