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Home trends shift toward comfort and simplicity

Is glamor dying? • At the very least, as we approach the next decade during an uncertain economy, it's being redefined. • "There's a change away from the hip modernism we've borrowed from hotels with all the Lucite, mirrored furnishings and bright yellow and turquoise geometric carpets," said interior designer Peter Dunham of Los Angeles. "We want comforting things. More American pie, less flash in the pan." • So what exactly is in store — and will be in stores — for our homes in 2010? — Times wires


The sleek, sophisticated but comfortable style known as "soft contemporary" will be a key look for the new year, said Kris Kolar, vice president of interior design at Robb & Stucky Interiors.

Instead of the eclectic clutter that has been popular, there will be a move toward using just one or two eye-catching accents, she said. These "punctuation-mark pieces," featuring hand-worked techniques that give a custom look, may include special materials such as mother-of-pearl (above), flame mahogany and stainless steel.


Antiques in recent years have become more affordable. But some pieces can be unwanted, drab even. "Antiques don't always have to be these sacred things," said Keith Johnson, buyer-at-large for Anthropologie stores and the subject of the Sundance Channel's Man Shops Globe. "They can be reinterpreted."

One example? When Man Shops Globe visited Belgium, Johnson asked an artist to breathe new life into a wooden Louis XV headboard by spray-painting it, graffiti-style.


More of us are growing vegetables, crafting our own cheeses and battling city hall to keep chickens in our yards. Just as we've been reconnecting with the land, look for that bond to strengthen in the rest of the home. We'll use more locally harvested wood and reclaimed barn wood. We're becoming fonder of burlap-style grain-sack and rustic linen pillows. The fabrics follow on the heels of the classic rural European look popularized by Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt. He sparingly mixes industrial furniture with worm-holed unstained wooden pieces. Restoration Hardware's latest furniture (above) seems to be directly inspired by Vervoordt.


People made their first visits to flea markets and thrift stores in 2009, a trend that will get even bigger in 2010. A visit to the Salvation Army store turned up 48-cent pieces of classic creamy Ironstone dishware. "People aren't doing the full-scale bathroom and kitchen re-dos," says interior designer Peter Dunham of Los Angeles. "But they can easily perk up a room with textiles or a new lamp." Wary Meyers' Tossed & Found: Unconventional Design From Cast-Offs by Linda and John Meyers (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $27.50) features how-to ideas for thrift-store finds like this old trunk turned into a casual seat.


Black walls are turning up in home mags and blogs, much bolder versions of the grays we've grown used to. "Dark walls actually make smaller rooms look bigger," said Susan Bartlett Crater, granddaughter of Kennedy White House decorator Sister Parish. Crater and Libby Cameron this year wrote the book Sister Parish Design on Decorating (St. Martin's Press, $35). "Black also pops color in a sophisticated way."

Home trends shift toward comfort and simplicity 01/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2010 3:30am]
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Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Compiled from Times wires.

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