Photo Gallery: 2012 Decorating Trends
Learn what’s hot for the coming year.
Add showstopping lights to a dining or living room.
This elegant, oversized pendant brings just the right touch of chinoiserie home. Reminiscent of classic paper lanterns, its pared-back, cage-like form has stunning sculptural presence. Painterly patterns, inspired by marble veining, are swirling their way from Florentine paper onto furniture and accessories, like this showstopping table lamp.
Infuse a living room with colour and texture.
Large swathes of solid hues are key to this new bold look. Go bigger than throw pillows and accessories to add dramatic punch; a colour-saturated rug or wall anchors a room, or as shown here, two bold lilac chairs make a serious statement in an otherwise-neutral space. Plus, the latest upholstered pieces are dressed in fabric from top to bottom. Sleek, fully covered seating proves that everything old is hip again.
Get real in 2012.
Through prints and paintings, we’re experiencing the everyday in high definition. This exquisitely rendered painting by Carly Waito is a perfect example, depicting a gemstone in a way that feels photographic. Also, broadleaf ficus trees are sprouting up in stylish homes everywhere. A fiddleleaf fig (or Ficus lyrata) looks sculptural and modern in a large seagrass basket, especially taking centre stage in a bay window, or as an exclamation point in a dining room corner.
Introduce soft florals this year.
A soft palette is applied with a watercolourist’s delicate hand to craft this year’s subtle star. Watercolour-inspired wallpapers add handmade charm to a hall, bedroom or bathroom, or work to balance edgier looks for floral-sundress-meets-combat-boot confidence. Also, these new oversized florals (on the settee, right) are a far cry from Granny’s chintz. The familiar patterns are supersized, so the look is fresh yet approachable. Apply the fabric to just the upright section of a settee and pair it with bold wallpaper for a mesmerizing look.
Choose cabinets that are rough around the edges.
Rough-hewn wood cabinets add soul to this year’s must-have kitchen look, making the all-white versions seem a little sterile by comparison. Not unlike the appeal of an old butcher’s block that wears its age with pride, a reclaimed-wood cabinet finish balances sleek countertop materials. Similarly, refined industrial is ever-present in 2012. Though the look is still true to its factory roots, with rough wood and steel elements, pieces now have unexpected elegance. Case in point, the fully lacquered interior of this multipurpose sideboard.
Splurge on some timeless accent tables.
A touch of brass used to be enough, but this year’s tables, like this demilune, are fully kitted out in the warm metal for a luxe look. For a coffee table alternative, choose a couple of nesting tables for maximum versatility. This white set is actually a coffee table and a side table, but they can replace a traditional single table in front of a sofa.
Look back to vintage objects for decorative impact.
The eye-catching European look of placing handles in the centre of the door is picking up steam in North America now. While some are functional, with a mechanism running the width of the door, others are purely decorative, adding symmetrical polish to any front entrance. Or create personalized art with an arrangement of vintage finds. Industrial parts and moulds, like these formerly functional discards from a metal smelter, are all the rage when amassed and hung as sculptural art.
Add a few artisanal accents.
At almost six feet wide, this mirror (upper left) adds 3-D drama to a living or dining room. Hung above a mantel, the multifaceted shape allows for a look that’s more dynamic and artistic than the go-to rectangular mirror. This year, the organic-shaped accessories we know and love are taking on highly reflective metallic finishes. The polished bronze hue of this statement bowl is a sophisticated foil to its artisanal shape.
Inject rooms with bold colour and pattern.
2011’s popular natural linen wakes up in beguiling new shades, like this dark amethyst that ignites the sheets, especially in a neutral space. The colour is even more striking when the organic fabric is left to crinkle, creating depth and shadows. For even more punch, pick up a Navajo rug. Southwestern style is bucking its head again, showing up on rugs and throw pillows. But those who lived through it the first time need not cringe — mixed in with other patterns, these multicoloured designs have enduring appeal, adding a rich North American flavour without being too thematic.
Opt for smooth, organic shapes.
We first saw the egg shape in tubs, looking like spherical sculpture in bathrooms. Following suit is the oval sink, equally organic atop retrofitted wood or modern table-style vanities. Equally flowy, the humpback sofa has made a triumphant return this year. The classic sofa style with a signature centre hump has old world drama built in. Clean and unencumbered by a fussy skirt, the new camelback shows off its shapely lines, both straight and curvy.