Design: What’s New For 2012

By Lana Torre

It’s a new year. There is hope that the housing market will finally take a positive turn in the US. We are fortunate, though, that Rochester hasn’t been hit like other areas of the country. Interest rates for mortgages are at historic lows, so if a new home or remodeling project is in your plans, here is a memo of what is in and new for 2012.

Think green. Save water by selecting new sink and shower faucets that use about one gallon of water per minute. Gray water systems can be implemented to recycle bath and shower water into water for irrigation for your lawns and flushing your toilets. Solar roof panels are back, and redesigned to provide 75% of your home’s energy usage, and some provide so much energy, you can even move your meter backward. Anderson Windows has developed a window with high E4 performance and the frames are made of a fiber that is 700 times more efficient than aluminum windows.

Fabric. Looking to add a punch to your family room without adding a great expense? Use toss pillows everywhere. The new fabrics are earthy, like linens and burlap, full of natural texture and interest. The newest patterns this year botanicals, ferns, sprigs and buds. Busy florals are back but the colors are muted and soft. Look for spring flower patterns in shades of light green and butter yellow

Area rugs. Think pattern here. Even if you are searching for a neutral sisal, find one with a pattern, like herringbone. Look for stripes of blues and browns or patterns of sea shells or lively circles. The price of area rugs has come way down lately, and a new rug under your coffee table is an inexpensive design fix.

Lighting. When looking for table lamps, pendants and chandeliers search out clear glass. New pendants shown in stores can even be glass jars or wine bottles made into light fixtures.

Furniture. Classic sofa styles are always in. Look for softly rolled or squared arms. Smaller sizes are back, gone are the chair and one half large scaled pieces. Occasional chairs with exposed high legs and large patterns are being shown.  If you have a large room, fill it with furniture arranged into decidedly different areas, like conversation and reading. Add case pieces like hanging cubbies or shelves for books and picture frames, usually painted in black. Mirrored accent tables will be big in 2011, look for side tables and bachelor chests. They will add interest to your room while creating reflective light. Place candlesticks on top, or sleekly framed family photos. Generally speaking, the look is more transitional to contemporary, clean and simple lines.

Recycle. Always green idea. Look for old silver pitchers, trays and ice buckets. Don’t even bother to polish them, retain the old, tarnished patina. Found bottles in colored glass are popular again. Greens and browns, earthy colors can be arranged on your sideboard or fireplace mantle. Always group objects in odd numbers for interest.

Enjoy your new year. Clean out, de-clutter, look for muted colors and natural fabrics. Keep it soft, keep it simple and make it another great year in the comfort of your home.

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