Interior Style Trends 2012 – Katie Ridder on Design Lemonade!

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Last week’s Green Basement introduction gave me pause for thought. I doubt I am the first or last designer or weekend warrior to discover that either economic or environmental inevitabilities divine reluctant choices.

Take my basement wall to wall choice; since the end of the 80’s, the carpet industry has been challenged to reinvent its residential product base, as designers and weekend warriors alike have turned away en mass from wall to wall carpeting at large.

A great way to find inspiration despite lemons is to keep a design library of books and articles of designers whose elemental signature makes the most of your particular dilema, and whose style strikes a cord with your style preferences. Sure enough, my own library yielded yet another dejavu moment. As I leafed through my sources, Manhattan designer Katie Ridder’s Book, entitled simply “Rooms” jumped out at me once again (to get your own copy click here; I highly recommend this as a source).

Katie’s designs are to the potential for carpet use, what Yo yo Ma brings to the cello.

I have always admired the timeless tension created by her unique mix of drama and restraint – the painter who understands when the last brush stroke has been rendered, is truly an artist – the ability not to overwork is a practiced art form!

A dining room design by Katie Ridder – image from her website portfolio

I thought all of you might enjoy sharing the view a fresh lens has to offer to enable envisioning that sparkling glass of lemonade result when design vision transforms a space fraught with lemons.

I called Katie this morning, and she was kind enough to add her thoughts to the mix!

Katie acknowledged the trend of turning away from wall to wall carpet use, by a number of clients as well. But she also validated the practicality and potential for the use of wall to wall carpet in finished basement spaces. Her expertise has been gained first hand.

The island of Manhattan is the terrain of true survivors. Occupying a thin strip of land that is home over 8.3 million people, New York City is situated belligerently at the threshold of its ultimate difficult neighbors – The Atlantic Ocean, and Hudson River.

But adversity is part and parcel of a NYC address, and died in the wool Manhattaners will tell you they would call no other place home. Like many basements with a NYC zip code, Katie’s has flooded 3 times. Her solution? Glued-down indoor-outdoor wall to wall carpet which is at once the most durable solution for a damp environment, and the most economical flooring surface to replace.

Katie’s basement solution of choice – Bolon

Katie’s brand of choice is Bolon Carpet – she loves the durability and the style options.  “It’s cost effective, easy to install and can literally be mopped clean with soap and water…”and it feels quite nice underfoot” Normally a commercial solution, Katie advises “there’s nothing at all wrong with acrylic carpet in the basement”.

Remember, consideration of out of the box solution is the mark of great design – never pay a penny for the unremarkable!

“I also frequently recommend wall to wall carpet for bedrooms, in apartment settings. The rooms tend to be small, with layouts interrupted by a number of openings. Unifying the flooring with carpeting immediately creates the illusion of space”.

A bedroom design by Katie Ridder – image from Elle Decor via her website

To add a thought or two to Katie’s suggestions, there are a number of ways to treat a design plan predicated on wall to wall carpet.

A traditional dining space, ala Katie Ridder – image via her website.

Just pretend your carpet is a hardwood flooring. Furniture Today says that lights and oatmeal shades are the 2012 trend in residential wall to wall. No surprises here – think of it as very light flooring. Layer on area rugs with compatible neutrals color palettes to define living zones in your basement room and unite your color scheme. This effect works especially well for people who favor traditional style.

Design vignette by Katie Ridder; image from her website

Variations on the Chinese Trellis pattern are big and add a strong graphic element. Color keeps  a neutral horizon to grounds brighter elements or invites drama to your floor plan with a bright pop of color. A patterned floor paired with a mirrored console or dresser never fail to impress!

Flor Carpet Tiles

Flor also makes an incredible selection of colored, patterned and textured floor tiled carpets. They also offer a pattern builder that’s fun and easy to use.

A graphic high quality area rug gives a high end look to any room – when you want to change the look, roll it up, and reinvent another room in your home or apartment with what you own, and start all over on your neutral wall to wall landscape.

A thomaspaul area rug with Design Legacy Chair and Pillows, and a Bethel chandelier

Stop by MyHomeFaceLift for area rugs for any room!

Extra special thanks to Interior Designer Katie Ridder for the generosity of her time and images!