Although people often look to designers for trends, I believe strongly in the importance of defining a personal style, and an interior aesthetic, that lives beyond the popular fads and captures true timeless elegance and an individual statement. However, that doesn't mean I don't know what the trends are!
Recently Breakfast Television invited me to introduce viewers to a few 2014 designer must-haves, and I found a perfect trio: marble, wood, and the colour mint. All three are huge for this year and beyond, for those who love a look that's "in the now", but each also has a classic appeal which can never go out of style.
Here's my advice for how to take these ageless ideas and apply them the modern way, for that next-level look.
1. Marble Magic
-Marble as a material has been prized seemingly since time began, but in recent years people have become more interested in making the investment in a big way. Running marble across your kitchen counter and up the back splash (or all through a bathroom) creates an undeniably luxe look. However, you can also consider using it in smaller hits, such as just on your island top, or a powder room vanity, to get the look with a much lower pricetag.
-If I could only take one piece with me in a move, it might be my marble top dining table -- the classic mid-century style will always work (and such pieces can be found or ordered from most boutique furniture shops). To go compact, look to accessible-luxury stores like West Elm for side and cocktail tables that contrast metal legs against marble tops for under $500, and Bodo Sperlein for marbled dishware that gives a sophisticated upgrade to the typical white table setting.
-To add hints of marble in an instant, you can now find many solid stone accents, such as trays, lamps, and even stools from accessory experts like Avenue Road. Again, the investment can be much more manageable than a full countertop slab, and the pieces can be moved and enjoyed in new spaces later. To learn how to make your own impressive DIY marble serving tray, visit my blog at tidg.ca/keepupwithyanic.
-Marble has become so coveted for its striking veining that manufacturers are also exploring using the pattern as a print. Try www.fermlivingshop.com and Crown Wallpaper for papers, and Donghia or Robert Allen for fabrics, and dress an accent wall, the interior of a windowed cabinet, or a chair in need of reupholstering.
2. Wood Wonders
-The showstopper of my segment for BT was definitely the suar-root console from Artemano - it's rough and wild appearance highlights how popular wood has become for the warm, natural character it brings to a space. For modern appeal, look to exotic trees (and other plants such as bamboo and eucalyptus), and cuts of wood that highlight the grain or natural knots and "flaws" which give wood its essence.
-Avenue Road provided a pair of exotic wood coffee tables with glam tops: fusing wood with hard materials like marble or gold always creates a beautiful contrast and highlights the complimentary textures. Wood, metal and glass in particular is a powerful trio; for example, try setting a traditional wood chair against a contemporary glass desk featuring metal legs.
-Wood also makes a beautiful treatment for walls (despite bad memories you may have of wood panelling of old). During my recent trip to the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver I was taken by how they applied rich rosewood to walls, and then continued the material to furnishings for a harmonious, zen effect. When renovating or refinishing your walls, look beyond paint and paper and consider returning to your "roots."
-To create a cozy ambience in a study, foyer or even powder room without a total overhaul, try BurkeDecor.com and their "Firewood" self adhesive paper, creating the effect of a lodge-like wood pile perfect for small walls and designed for easy application.
3. Mint Marvels
-Modern mint continues to draw from its namesake herb: a fresh green with an extra hint of blue. However, to keep the colour up-to-date rather than retro, you'll want to choose a slightly muted shade, with hints of grey neutralizing the electric undercurrents. For a reference, look to Benjamin Moore's Summer Basket Green.
-Mint's nostalgic charm is perfect for an art deco patterned wallpaper, like Graham and Brown's Deco Diamond. Use it with delicate white furnishings and gold for a feminine dressing suite, or combine it with masculine leather seating for a Mad Men style sitting room.
-If you are a bit colour shy, muted mint is a great colour to start with, and it can be introduced easily through a vast variety of hip accessories -- try pairing it with other greens or blues for a tone on tone effect. Look to IKEA (especially their "Trendig" line) for plates, bowls, serving trays, and even cool storage cabinets, or CB2 for vases or a slick modern cube table.
-It's because of its natural heritage that mint makes an excellent near-neutral, combing with most colours to work in nearly any palette. However, marble, mint and wood form an especially beautiful combination, bringing out the best of the warm grains, luxe veins, and enticing greens to create a perfectly timely and timeless trifecta of natural design essentials. Stick to these three, or combine a serving of each into any scheme, and you'll have a delicious recipe for trend-proof design -- guaranteed.