If winter is giving you cabin fever, why not give the cabin a whole new look? New furniture and accessories (or freshly painted walls) will brighten your home and your spirits. And ‘new’ doesn’t have to mean ‘trendy,’ according to local designers.
“St. Louis clients aren’t usually interested in having the latest thing,” notes Holly Blumeyer, of Holly Blumeyer Interior Design Group. “They’re not into fads—they want classic, good-looking design that’s comfortable.” Blumeyer believes these design choices indicate a national mood. “Part of it, of course, is the difficult economy of the past few years. People are investing in their homes for the long haul. They are revaluating what’s important and creating beautiful spaces where friends and family can gather.” The most frequently redone room, she says, is the kitchen. “We’re doing some fabulous kitchens, and the most important thing? There has to be room for more than one cook, because families are cooking together,” she explains. “And trendy isn’t showing up here, either. Sometimes the industry will try to put a twist on an old idea, like reviving harvest gold and avocado. But that just doesn’t fly in St. Louis!” Granite is still the most popular choice for kitchen surfaces, Blumeyer adds, along with marble and limestone.
Because people like ‘lots of different things,’ they will often challenge a designer to create spaces that combine diverse styles, says Cindy Hermann, senior designer at Diane Breckenridge Interiors. “One trend that I have seen is people holding on to things. They might like contemporary and rustic, for example, and I’m pulling those elements together for a shabby chic, rustic look with a modern twist.” Accents such as antler chandeliers and wood ceilings are showing up with increasing frequency, she adds.
While traditional design is popular in St. Louis, Hermann says her younger clients prefer a more transitional style. “For example, wood floors and area rugs are still a most-requested look, but we’ve been doing more floors out of pine, for a country French ambiance. Oak has long been the traditional choice, but it has a tendency to turn yellow over time.”
Wallpaper was out of favor for many years, but says Hermann, “Oh, it’s back! I’ve been doing a lot of flocked wallpaper in dining rooms, but not the busy patterns from the past. I just recently used a flocked paper with a chocolate background and a subtle chocolate leaf pattern. It was gorgeous—even the husband loved it! It’s elegant without being too formal.”
Using unexpected combinations of materials gives a fresh look to traditional furniture, says Josie Robison, a design consultant for Ooh La La Home Furnishings. “We are doing a lot of ‘collaging’ of fabric and leather. For example, a sofa might be covered in leather on the bottom and arms, with a mix of five or six different fabrics on the back and the pillows. It’s a gorgeous custom look and much warmer than an all-leather sofa.”
A room is much more interesting with a collection of favorite pieces of furniture, rather than the traditional matching set, Robison notes. “Look for unique pieces that you really love, and combine them for a one-of-a-kind room that is yours alone. If you love each piece, they’ll look great together.” LN