Real Decorating Trends – More Color!

A Swedish living room that approached perfection – Ada and Darcy Blog

The resurgence of Bohemian design ( justifiable fear of the ’80’s precludes the term “shabby chic” amongst designers) in combination with the “undecorate” movement have revealed an unexpected patina-silver lining to the perils of bursting economic bubbles and the reaction of neurotic markets the world wide. The world as a collective has been given pause for introspection, and one of those re-examinations is the manner in which we design our homes. The room (above) is a perfectly choreographed statement of both the process and expression of new values harmonizing with the expanded interpretation of home and lifestyle – we paint it white when we want to create a new slate, and we take stock of assets and impediments to goals.

I characterize expanded because we are spending more time at home, and the emphasis on entertaining has created a new geography for good food and ambiance – the homes – meaning where you dwell, as opposed to whether you own it.

And that’s the best news – the use of white and brights in the undecorate-Bohemian style has blurred those lines of one-up-man ship between homes and apartments. In this style, wall color doesn’t break the design deal. Most land lords don’t object to white in some form.

To make it work, you need 3 ingredients:

A bright and savvy living room via the Ada and Darcy Blog

Something old or antique

  1. Something with a patina surface
  2. Pops of color
  3. Vintage Lighting
  4. A repetition of shapes
  5. Items re-purposed to either function visually or literally in unexpected unexpected ways.

This formula netted last week’s Design Star kitchen co-designers Danielle and Brittany a win on the kitchen challenge.

Danielle and Briitany’s kitchen on Design Star – image via HGTV

This is a set, but also a great example of this grass-roots trend at work – and see the colors of that “color palette of 2012″ at work and play in this design – the two tones of chalky turquoise ceramic with white on that perfectly styled side board with patina – an antique mirror would have made it even better – Bohemian style chandelier, and suitcases on baker’s rack in the kitchen? Why not? As Design Star judge Vern Yip (who liked this design so much he said it made the hairs stand up on the back of his beck) remarked, “this represents the way people live”. With access to an audience of over 4 million viewers, I would judge him qualified to stand on his statement!

Look at the language spoken between elements that have been preserved and passed down for decades (below). They’re speaking a common language that says “home” to those who dwell and those who are welcomed alike.

God is in the details in styling – image via Ada and Darcy Blog

This floor pantina’d by wear make me wish I could see more of the house!

Kitchen – from Jonathan Lo Pinterest boards

Antques can be pricey – but remember, a purchase of an antique is an investment. If you change your look, you may find that it fetches more than you paid when it’s time to change your look!

A detail from a colorful glass chandelier from the Ada and Darcy Blog

Walls in apartments and homes slated for remodel can be rough and convey a look you’re not going for – undecorate is a style that offers penance for wall sins. Tool board wall paneling painted white is no longer reserved for the garage!

Work by editorial stylist Chrissie Cremers (via Vanessa Colyer Tay Pinterest)

If you don’t like the look, get a miter block and a simple hand saw and frame a vintage shower curtain with moldings! In un-decorate, anything goes….

A vintage shower curtain from

If you are uncomfortable about mixing pattern, start with a whimsical art piece for inspiration and mix stripes instead – all you have to remember to mix stripes successfully is to use a color palette common to all fabrics, and to vary the widths.

A Bohemian room from the original Bohemian blog, SFGirlByBay

So don’t be afraid – it’s hard to get it wrong! Gather what you have, and revisit its potential – then add a few newer items, like acrylic chairs or modern organic accents like raw wood, and find an object with a patina surface and get un-decorating!

The best way to consider design regardless of style – l-ionTumblr