While attending KBIS with BlogTourVegas I observed a color trend that really caught my attention. Neutral tones (especially in tiles and woods) are warming up and moving away from cool gray and shifting to more of a brown/gray or taupe. In fact, the presenter at our visit to Walker Zanger tiles told our group in no uncertain terms that “warm neutrals are trending for 2015″.
Ever since the early 90’s when granite began to replace laminate for use on counter tops, it seems as if there was no turning back. Recently I had the opportunity to revisit laminate, first during BlogTourNY and now again more recently, during BlogTourVegas. Wilsonart is one of the generous sponsors of BlogTour and Modenus and during the the BlogTourNY trip I learned some really interesting facts about laminate and wrote about it here.
More recently while on BlogTourVegas I saw them again at KBIS. Wilsonart has partnered with healthy life style expertDanny Seo on some innovative new designs and I must say, I think he hit it out of the park. Thanks to Seo, I came away with some great ideas and inspiration for laminate use even beyond counter tops.
Look at this fun colorful accent wall made out of laminate strips. I love the wood tones mixed with the fresh turquoise and orange colors. Besides being eco friendly, laminate is a fraction of the cost of tile or stone.
Wilsonart: Linda Holt Photo
I love this artful arrangement of geometric cubbies Seo created. So fun in a kitchen or office work space.
artful storage idea with laminate: Linda Holt Photo
Wilsonart also makes a chalk board laminate. Seo used it both alone on the wall and also incorporated into the back of a craft center storage unit.
Chalk board laminate: Linda Holt Photo
Linda Holt Photo
The other exciting news we learned at KBIS is that Wilsonart has just introduced a line of solid quartz surfaces. Now partnered with the laminate they have something for every budget and style. The quartz colors and patterns are beautiful with everything from classic black and white to a variety of colors and patterns.
One that I was particularly drawn to is called Mehndi. It is a warm taupy gray color with copper veining running throughout. (at KBIS I observed neutrals warming up and trending away from the cool grays)
Mehndi from Wilsonart
Wouldn’t this quartz look gorgeous as a kitchen counter or bar top with a copper sink or maybe a rose gold faucet?
I was very inspired at KBIS seeing so many ideas for affordable and eco friendly customization.
Wilsonart has made what’s old new again and what’s new beautiful and on trend.
You know your product is a hit when 20 designers from BlogTourVegas walk into your booth, ooh and aww and run around taking photos of everything in sight. That is what happened when we visited one of our BlogTourVegas sponsors Walker Zangerat KBIS.
I have been a huge fan of Walker Zanger tiles since I first saw them and their new introductions did not disappoint. Below is a composite I made of a few of my favorites.
Walker Zanger at KBIS
My next blog post will be a bit more in dept about Walker Zanger along with more photos of their newest tiles. Today is a little sneak peak of what’s to come.
Color friends take note…is this the end of the cool gray trend? More on that topic in my next post.
Boy, did the reddish brown color choice cause controversy! Social media just about blew up after the announcement and comments were about five to one against the color. Interior designers were especially harsh voicing comments like “the 80’s called and wants their color back” and “Pantone is way off the mark on this one”. I personally was simply surprised by the choice as this was not a color that was on my radar. Oxblood Red yes, but Marsala is much more muted than oxblood and is more purple.
Now that I’ve had a few days to adjust to Marsala, I don’t love it or hate it. It’s really all about context and what colors are being paired with it. It would look quite nice as an accent color with dark greens, blues, or gold. Is this a color that I will be suggesting my clients paint their walls? highly doubtful, but then again, I never suggested last years color Radiant Orchid either.
The thing to remember is that the Pantone color of the year is all about marketing and I would say they hit a home run in that respect. It got everyone talking and even made the national news that evening.
Now, back to Barry Dixon. The talk was so timely because his idea on color is just the opposite of Pantone. Whereas Pantone is all about what’s hot right now, Dixon is all about timeless, classic beauty. He opened his talk with a beautiful image of a room the we all assumed was completed recently. He surprised us all by saying the room was done fifteen years ago. So what is his secret for choosing a timeless interior color palette? He looks out the window.
Pretty simple right? If you bring the natural surrounding colors into your home it will never be out of style. According to Dixon, “steal color from the outside elements-the sea, the sky, evening blues, lavenders, purples and grays”.
With his new paint line for C2 paint, Dixon did exactly that. He studied the surrounding colors on his farm in Virginia. He looked not only at the obvious like the grassy fields and surrounding trees and flowers but at hay bails, fence posts and the winter sky just before a snow fall. He “stole” the color of the eggs his hens lay and the early morning fog rolling across his lawn. He looked at the many colors of the sunset and sunrise and even the fur on his dog.
So here are my two take-aways from both the color of the year and Barry Dixon.
#1. Color preference is really personal and if you are not a fan of Marsala we have a saying, “if you don’t like the weather in New England just wait a few minutes” Mark Twain….. if you don’t like Marsala just wait twelve months.
#2. Nature never gets it wrong…if you bring the surrounding outside colors into your home it will always feel fresh.
SOOOOO what side of the fence are you on? trending or timeless?
The BIG announcement of the “color of the year” by the Pantone Color Institute will be announced probably mid November.This is the color pick everyone waits to hear about with baited breath and will be splashed all over the media.
Over the past few years, some of the larger paint companies have also jumped on the band wagon and have their own pick for color of the year.
Benjamin Moore has announced that Guilford Green HC-116 is their pick for color of the year.
Being of half Scottish heritage, I think I have plaid in my DNA. My maiden name is MacFarlane and as a kid I remember my dad wearing a bright orange and green tie that was “The MacFarlane Plaid”. My mother joked she thought it was one of the ugliest plaids and that she should have married a Campbell because she much preferred that clan’s dark green and navy plaid.
Plaid, or Tartan actually goes back as far as 100 BC, created by ancient Celtic populations. As early as the Roman conquest of Britain in Julius Caesar’s day, the Celts of Scotland and Ireland wore primitive tartans. Each clan or tribe wore their own unique plaid which was associated with their specific region or district of the country. Your clan’s plaid colors and pattern would quickly identify you as friend or foe. Actually, not unlike the Bloods (red) and Crips (Blue) of today.
I’ve always associated plaid with European country homes, Ralph Lauren, rustic cabins and Christmas like in these images below.
Technically, plaid is really not a trend since it’s been around for centuries but what I have started to see is a new interpretation of plaid. A fresh spin so to speak with updated colors like on this chair I spotted last week at the Boston Design Center.
Fushia plaid chair at Boston Design center
I wonder if any of my clansmen ancestors would have worn fushia plaid even if the dyes were available at the time.
Plaid rugs are becoming very on trend. This is the latest window display at Stark carpet at the Boston Design center.
Plaids are also on full display at Kravet Fabric with at least a dozen panels displaying plaids in almost every color and size.
Kravet Plaid Fabrics
Plaid is one of those prints that has a lot of personality so if you really love it take a look at this room done by Anthony Baratta.
A more subtle way to bring in plaid is to use it on the floor like in this fresh and airy beach house designed by Victoria Hagan.
Using plaid on a piece of furniture is also a fun way to bring in plaid without too much of a commitment.
Also, don’t forget about pillows and accessories as a way to add a bit of plaid.
Since this post is about plaid I want to share with you one of my most coveted possessions. This tiny book entitled Scottish Clans and Their Tartans has been passed down the generations and has ended up with me. It is so old that there is no publish date on it. My great grandfather’s name is written on the inside in pencil but it might go back even farther.
The book gives a brief history of all the Scottish clans with their corresponding plaid. Here is my ancestral plaid on the left and my late mother’s favorite, the Campbell plaid on the right.
I agree that the MacFarlane plaid isn’t for everyone but at least it makes a statement!
How about you? What do you think of the return of plaid?
If I had to pick my absolute favorite element when designing a room, I would have to say it would be a tie between choosing a color palette and designing custom window treatments. Since I am currently working on designing window treatments for multiple spaces in a very large home, I have paid special attention to what the top designers have done at this seasons show houses.
This is what I have seen as the latest trends in window treatments.
1.Hang em’ High This is not really a “trend” but for those that still don’t know this….drapes are hung high these days and off the window. I want to emphasis this because I went to a home just last week and the client had her window treatments mounted directly to her window molding (which was at least 18 inches below her ceiling). This is a no no, hang them high!
Boston magazine Design Home
In the living room at the Hampton Show House, the drapes were hung from the ceiling molding since the windows went all the way up. Take note too of the gold rod and hardware… the trending color in metals.
Patrik Lonn Design Hampton Showhouse
2. Sheers. Yes, even though sheers have a bad rap for years, I saw them over and over at the show houses. Today’s sheers are not your grandmother’s nylon ones but are made from a variety of materials such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen. Not only can they be beautiful but sheers are very functional. Sheers allow in the light while at the same time protect furniture, floors, carpet and other decorative drapery panels from the harming effects of the sun.
West Chin design Holiday House hamptons
The sheers Jen Going used in her Holiday House Hampton bedroom were embellished with decorative raffia circles.
Jen Going Interiors Holiday House Hamptons
3. Embellishments and trim. Tapes, trims and fringe are really trending right now. Not only are they a fun way to add more detail but you can also use them to jazz up inexpensive panels or shades without breaking the bank.
Michelle Smith Holiday House Hamptons
Katie Leede Design
I love this green trim Gil Walsh used on the leading edge of her bright floral patterned panels in her Hampton show room.
Gil Walsh Interiors Hampton Show House
A few other observations I made are that natural fiber shades are still going strong, drapery rod finials were not elaborate (many rods were simply capped) and a surprising number of the show rooms used my favorite rod which is the soft bend rod (also called the French bend rod). No finials needed and it gives a nice clean look.
Brady Design Holiday House Hamptons
I would love to hear if you have a favorite window treatment. Also, do you have an opinion on “to pool or not to pool?” I would say it was about 50-50 at this season’s show houses.