What's in? What's out?: Personal touches with color, texture

cmiller@newsobserver.comDecember 28, 2012 

What’s hot in home décor – and what’s on the way out as the calendar flips to 2013?

We asked members of The N&O Design Team to give us a peek at the latest trends and to share a trick or two to help the budget-conscious among us make what’s on the way out in again.

Wallpaper, metals of all sorts (and mix ’em up to make a statement!) and bold color are in, as are eclectic looks in furnishings and accessories that give your space that curated-over-time feel. Their top “outs”? Fussy, meticulously matched or ostentatious décor that screams money.

But don’t get hung up on the “rules” or be a slave to trends, our design experts say. Your space should tell your story and reflect your passions.


Geri Johnson of Home Styles in Cary

IN: Spaces that are eclectic, personal, inviting and fresh, that mix styles, textures and colors in interesting and different ways.

OUT: Rooms that are overly matched, themed or heavy.

To help make your “out” spaces “in,” consider:

• REassigning items to a different room or function. Mix it up!

• REinventing items by painting them black, white or a fun color.

• REmoving dated items and taking them to the attic or donating them to a good cause.

• REplacing tired items with something fresh like toss pillows in a new color to tweak your home’s palette.

Bright and light

Jill Metzler-Wiese of Just Jill! Interiors in Durham

IN: Hot pink is the in color; rich gray and butter yellow is the hot combo. October’s furniture market in High Point had every showroom comparing their pieces to fashion. Brightly colored leather is an accent to tweeds, houndstooth and heavy cottons in gray (the new tan). Buttons on upholstery are a must; add bling via lamps or pillow fringe accessories.

OUT: Big, heavy, dark brown leather upholstery on every seat in a room. Sofa, loveseat and recliner? Way too much weight! Adding a brightly colored area rug and large textured pillows will tone down the dreary feeling. A bit more to invest? Reupholster cushions in a heavy woven multicolored fabric. A gallon of paint and a rainy Saturday afternoon can yield some terrific results.

Industrial elegance

Alison Steele of A+S Design in Durham

IN: There will be a continuation of industrial materials formed into elegant pieces like Tommy Mitchell’s amazing metal flowers and cocktail tables, made in Hillsborough. Don’t forget the local talent we have all around us!

OUT: Teal green. Emerald is the color of the year for 2013, so get your greens right!

Go graphic

Erin Cook of the Two Story Cottage (design blog) in Waxhaw

IN: Bold, colorful accents such as wallpaper are being paired with globally inspired accessories for a graphic, modern look. Brass is making a comeback along with calming neutrals and weathered wood.

OUT: Matching furniture sets are out. Break up furniture groupings and mix pieces with what you already own or replace an end table with a garden stool for a layered look.

Metal mania

M.A. Allen of MA Allen Interiors in Raleigh

IN: Mixing metals. I love a blend of warm and cool metals in hardware, lighting, plumbing and art and accessory selections. Long gone are the days of ordering all plumbing, door knobs, cabinet hardware and light fixtures in one finish, like oil-rubbed bronze or satin nickel.

OUT: If you have one finish throughout your home, swap out a matching light fixture for one in another finish and then use art and accessories to blend the differing finishes. Take it room by room.

Sustainable and local

Anne DeCocco of DeCocco Design in Raleigh

IN: More conscious shopping: People are starting to realize the impact that shopping locally, supporting small businesses and looking for those “made in the U.S.A.” labels can have. My clients also ask about sustainable products more and more, so I see that as a wonderful trend that’s really picking up steam.

OUT: Anything poorly made or hard to keep clean!

Brass is back

Susan Tollefsen of Susan Tollefsen Interiors in Raleigh

IN: Brass is back. Not the lacquered, shiny ’80s brass, but vintage brass with a patina. I am using it on interior door hardware and in bath fixtures. You must use the good stuff. Heavy and slightly tarnished are good.

OUT: Espresso wood – the veneer stuff you have seen in every mass market merchant. It’s too commercial, boring and has no history. Look for quality vintage wood or paint the espresso wood. A shiny, lacquered finish will give it new life.

Glamorous color

Barbara Clare of Chroma 7 Color Design in Chapel Hill

IN: For dominant colors, muted tints of dusty salmon and lavender; shades of marine blue, terra cotta and Victorian burgundy. Think softened glamour with a retro feel; earthy, organic artisan crafts; the shadowy depths of Sherlock Holmes. For dominant neutrals: mid-tone browns with yellow undertones. Think leather satchels, camel coats, peanut butter on crispy toast.

OUT: High-voltage electric neons used as dominant colors. Want to rev up this muted palette? Spice up your spaces with 2013’s accent colors: tangerine, magenta and chartreuse. Think warm glowing sunsets, vibrant pink orchids, and the energizing yellow-greens of spring. Black is out as a dominant neutral. The overall look for home décor in 2013 is soothing and restful. Warm, mid-tone browns can ground your rooms and provide a softer contrast.

No limits

Christine Rosario of C.R.I.D. (Christine Rosario Interior Design) in Raleigh

IN: It’s all about giving a space attitude, with bold textiles and colorful patterns. No color is off-limits. Florals, checks and stripes will headline. Incorporate colorful pillows and throws in all sorts of patterns. One of my favorite ways to freshen up in my own home is to buy art online from poster companies and frame it in vintage frames I find at local flea markets. The cost is relatively inexpensive, and the impact is dramatic.

OUT: The old rules of matching drapes, paint, etc., are gone. Be adventurous. Experiment.

Go for whimsy

Stephanie Finucane of The Right Hue, LLC in Cary

IN: Two hot colors in 2013: emerald green and yellow. And citrus hues! Whether it’s floral, vintage or folklorish, patterns are back in wall coverings or linens. Whimsical is in!

OUT: Neon, but don’t expect colors to quiet down too much. Tangerine tango (2012 color of the year) has staying power, but don’t be tempted to go all matchy-matchy. Mix it up with other brights like fuchsia and turquoise.


Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Design in Raleigh

IN: Create your own design statement with custom-made fabrics, artwork, murals or wallpaper. Show your personality using your own design, have one created for you or choose one from online libraries all using new digital printing techniques.

OUT: Avoid boring “one-size-fits-all” design formulas and strategies that lack interest and feel contrived. Instead add unique design elements like custom-made fabric to make a statement about your life.

Welcome Art Deco

Lori Zannino of LZ Design Consulting, Charlotte

IN: Mixing bold jewel tones and neon brights mixed with muted grays and beiges. Also in: textures (wide knits, burlap, wood grains, etc.) and mixing metals and woods in furniture and décor items. Art Deco style will see a resurgence with mirrored furniture and decor with strong angles.

OUT: An all-neutral color palette. Make this “out” an “in” by adding pops of color in your accessories.

Chevron and showers

Rosa Plaza Dest of Rosa Dest Interiors in Charlotte

IN: Chevron is in and in a big way. From wall coverings to fabrics to floor coverings, you are seeing it everywhere.

OUT: Gold-framed, glass-enclosed master bath showers. A sure way to make a huge visual impact is to replace these with frameless glass. Not only do you get an updated bath, they’re also much easier to clean.

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