By Kim Cook
Are you a fan of midcentury modern? Drawn to classic elegance? Does the handcraft of global décor grab you?
There was an era when experts said to pick just one, but now we can mix and match or go all in. Each season brings updated versions of successful pieces, plus an interesting array of new looks.
This fall is no exception.
“Keep an eye out for versatile accent pieces, the kind that can work in a myriad of places, and consider material and color combinations,” said Beth Kushnick, set decorator for CBS’ The Good Wife. “These are some of the easiest ways to refresh any space, and there’s a ton of stylish options out right now at a range of price points.”
After her sophisticated sets drew an online following, Kushnick has created her own furnishings line, which debuts this fall.
She said fall 2014 is about finding pieces that provide maximum impact without a lot of effort.
Some themes this season:
“Look for texture-rich accessories — like a box with stone inlay or a wooden sculpture — that add an element of nature to your space. Mix in a variety of metals to add a sense of luxury,” Kushnick advised.
Los Angeles-based designer Trip Haenisch said, “I’m seeing a lot of fabrics with luxe textures this season. Linen velvets and woven fabrics are really in. You can quickly and inexpensively incorporate texture into your space through the use of pillows and throws.” (www.triphaenisch.com)
At fall previews, retailers were showing soft throws shot through with metallic threads or embroidered with subtle sequins. Rose gold is the ingénue on the metallics stage; its soft, pink-tinged finish looks new, and you’ll see it on tabletop accessories, lamps, even silverware.
Warm brass continues to play a big role, trimming tables, embedded in wooden trays, formed into curvy or linear vases and lamps. It picks up the midcentury vibe but suits traditional spaces too. Chrome and acrylic hit contemporary high notes.
On ceramics, you’ll find reactive and dip glazes, and more matte finishes than ever before.
Mercury glass, a décor darling for the past few seasons, gets a few tweaks with etched patterns and added color.
High-end lighting design has found its way into the mid-range market, which means pricier styles at mass-market retailers.
Look for shades with crisp geometrics, nubby textures and crewelwork patterns to update lamps for not much money. (www.target.com)
Pierced metal is showing up in many accents, including lighting. Milky glass pendants look country-modern. You’ll also find matte-finish shades with foil interiors that catch light dramatically; Ikea has table and floor lamps with coppery lining. (www.ikea.com)
Play with color, Kushnick urged.
“There are some gorgeous grays and subtle greens out this fall, and 2014’s radiant orchid and coral add a lush pop almost anywhere,” she said. “You can make a big splash just by updating a wall color or bringing in a few vibrant accent pieces.”
You’ll also see carrot, purple, lemongrass, ocher, clove, molasses and olive in throw pillows, bedding and upholstery.
Ombre, tile, ziggurat, cinquefoil and filigree patterns grace lampshades, rugs and drapery. Naïve woodland motifs and ’70s-era kitchen prints dress wall art and napery. The newest geometrics and traditional prints are overscale.
Kushnick is enjoying wallpaper’s comeback. “The new temporary wallpapers are a great option for apartment dwellers,” she said.
After a few seasons in a supporting role, midcentury modern takes the lead this fall and winter. Accent chairs are armless or lower-profile, and furniture has either a California-chic or Danish-modern vibe.
Upholstered furniture gets its shirt tucked in. No more slouchy, sloppy slipcovers — the newest pieces tend toward trim and tight, but in comfier, softer fabrics.
We’re seeing a lot of side and coffee tables with metal legs. West Elm’s Waldorf coffee table is a slim rosewood slab perched on skinny brass legs. Cyan Designs’ Portman end tables are lacy, laser-cut iron drums.
You’ll see faceted pieces across the accessory spectrum, in mirrors, containers and trays.
Pop culture from the ’70s and ’80s shows up in vibrant retro-print pillows, furniture and accents.
Global tribal motifs maintain a powerful presence, with India, the Americas and Africa strongly represented.
In bedding, drapery, rug and upholstery fabrics, look for more new woodblock, paisley and medallion prints.
Accessories like carved animals, woven art, sculpted paper and ceramic vases, and ironwork and glass items draw from distant cultures.
Vintage-style globes, steamer trunks, map art and travel advertising continue to interest home decorators. There’s herringbone, tweed, plaid, Fair Isle knit patterns and lots of new takes on faux fur — Nordic and Danish designs in textiles as well as kitchen and dining items. — AP