12/27/2013 05:22 EST | Updated 02/26/2014 05:59 EST

Pale pastels, bold graphics set to colour home decor and fashion in 2014

TORONTO - Whether you're seeking to make a minor ripple or sizable splash in your home or wardrobe in 2014, prognosticators are hoping to help make the new year a stylish one with predictions of noteworthy new looks in decor and fashion.

Suzanne Dimma, editor-in-chief of House and Home Magazine, Benjamin Moore colour expert Sharon Grech and Lisa Tant, vice-president, fashion editor at Holt Renfrew share their views on notable trends and suggestions on how to incorporate the changes within your interiors, apparel and accessories.


1. Cool hues. Colour trendsetter Pantone opted for vibrant pop with the selection of Radiant Orchid — a purple hue infused with hot pink — as its colour of the year for 2014.

But the ultra-bold shade seems to be the exception rather than the rule with a sleek yet more subdued palette of colours emerging for home interiors.

Paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore selected Breath of Fresh Air — a pale, sky blue hue — as its colour of the year. While there were several examples of deep blue, teal and purple featured in its 2014 Colour Trends Guide, the company's standout hue for the new year was among a vast array of softer shades like Distant Gray, Peach Parfait and Lavender Mist.

Grech said the intention was to create a collection of colours which weren't specific to one particular style as has been customary in the past.

"Even though it's often the most economical part of your design project, it takes up a lot of space. And if you get that too strong, that's what you'll notice," she said in reference to paint colour choice. "Even if you spend a ton of money on your new sofa or your Carrara marble countertop, if you get the paint colour wrong, it throws everything off."

In the vein of paler hues, Dimma suggested opting for a soft grey which she described as "a new neutral."

"That's a huge change from white, and that will imbue everything with so much warmth," she said.

In its presentation of home, food and lifestyles trends for 2014 — which were also featured in its January edition — House and Home Magazine pointed to painted-out trim as a top decorating trend. The publication suggested coating walls, baseboards, trim and crown moulding in the same shade, transforming the space by making "a room feel larger, giving it a sense of full saturation."

But paint colour change shouldn't be limited to the walls. Grech suggested infusing colour in unexpected places such as the stairs, bathtub or adding a few coats to refresh a new or preloved dresser.

"Sometimes you just need a little hit of it and I think furniture is great way to do that."

But before cracking open that paint can, ensure that your colour of choice will work well within your space, Grech noted.

"Even if you see it in your neighbour's house, you probably have different lighting and your context is different," said Grech.

"People are always asking: 'Are accent walls on trend?' I think if you have open concept spaces they're going to be, because it's a great way to make one particular area to define that space with colour, make it feel like a different room even though it's completely open to the rest of your house," she added.

2. Pretty patterns. From the walls to tables to floors, there are no shortage of spaces to adorn with colourful prints.

House and Home spotlighted blue and white dishware, painted tiles, whimsical wall murals and geometric wallpaper and fabrics among its decorating do's for 2014.

For those seeking to make a splash with a fresh print, Dimma suggested seeking out a Persian or Turkish rug.

"That's an easy thing. Roll out a new rug and you're going to get a whole new look."

3. Classic and contemporary. While rugs and wall coverings are decidedly more bold, there is a more minimalist approach being seen in other core pieces for the coming year. Dimma highlighted 50s-inspired chairs as well as more contemporary sculptural lighting fixtures both of which conjure a modern vibe.

She isn't surprised to see the gravitation towards retro-inspired '50s and '60 era furnishings.

"When you think about it, we always find through cycles in design that we look back and then we make it new again, and it's probably just at that point in the cycle," said Dimma.

She said many companies are re-releasing new versions of classic designs, and believes there is also a yearning among many for simplicity within the current ultra-connected environment.

4. The artisanal touch. You don't need large-scale pieces to lend an ample dose of personality to your space with carefully crafted pieces such as a knitted wall hanging or tabletop pottery.

"Introduce a new lamp and you can completely change the look of your room," said Dimma. "If you can change up the look of some of your smaller pieces on your table, maybe just do a series of bowls in (a) glazed finish. That's a really simple thing to do, and pair it with your white dishes, for instance."



1. Twist on the classics. Whether it's a basic T or button-down blouse, these style staples likely already have a home in many wardrobes. But for the coming year, expect to see classics making a comeback with a fresh take on several fashion essentials.

"There's a really great trend of a new way to wear really good classic pieces," said Tant.

"A crewneck tee is being worn with everything from suits to jeans. It's kind of like that essential piece," she added.

Tant said another prime example is the latest incarnation of crew neck-style sweatshirts showcasing bright, graphic patterns. There are also a variety of options for sporting a classic shirt.

"One of the ones that I really liked was the shirt being worn as a dress with ... a bright, colourful patterned crewneck on top," said Tant.

2. Pale hues and bold blooms. When it comes to injecting a little extra colour into the wardrobe, Tant suggested opting for a softer touch in the form of a pretty pastel.

"We saw pale pink, pale blue, mint green," she said. "It sounds kind of girly and you might think that sounds too sweetie pie for a lot of women. But it's being cut in really simple shapes like a pale blue trench coat or a pale pink motorcycle jacket, a mint green pencil skirt. It's really kind of cool colours and classic pieces."

For those keen to crank the colour or longing for a bolder statement in the form of pattern, blooms are back in a big way. Tant pointed to emergence of large, bright, bold florals and tropical patterns for the coming year.

3. Cool coats. Biker-inspired chic remains a perennial favourite albeit with a fresh twist for the new year, as Tant pointed to the emergence of cropped jackets in softer shades.

"You just can't go wrong with a style like that, and I always say to everybody you shouldn't buy something that you can only wear one way," said Tant. "A pale pink motorcycle jacket you can wear with jeans, you can wear with white trousers, you could wear with a dress. You can really wear it a lot of different ways, and that's what I loved a lot about clothes for spring."

4. Feeling fringe. Expect to see a little something extra in the form of embellishments on apparel and accessories for the new year. The fringe is flowing and in abundance as a stylish addition to many key pieces.

"A really big detail is fringe," said Tant. "(On) bags where it's swinging from the bottom, or it's going back the down of dresses, almost like a horse's mane.

"It's swinging from top hemlines,"she added. "You've got a T-shirt with a great fringe on the bottom."

5. In the bag. If you're seeking to go more spare in your wardrobe additions, perhaps consider a tried and true accessory common for everyday use as a must-have: A leather tote.

But rather than brown or basic black, Tant recommended embracing a more unconventional hue for your tote of choice.

"How amazing would that be in pale blue? It would give your whole wardrobe an instant update."