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Home trends to watch for this season

Bold. Moody. Earthy.

There is a shift happening right now in interior design as people are moving away from white and grey and choosing to bring in darker hues, rich textures and natural materials to create spaces that are warmer and calming.

“It’s almost as if everyone just wants a big hug from the stresses of COVID and everything else over the last couple of years,” said Amber Bauman, principal interior designer and owner of Grey Pearl Interior Design.

“We really are looking for a cozy space to recharge and be at peace.”

Bauman spoke with us about the latest trends in interior design but pointed out that sometimes trends are to be ignored, as it all comes down to what clients want, what works for them and their homes.

“Homes typically dictate the style of the decor and how we treat that space,” she said.

“But having said that, I am really enjoying the shift right now.” As it happens with clothing styles, what was old is new again in interior design. “What I love about design and what I do is we are always looking to the past for inspiration, but we never copy, it comes back differently, and we approach it differently,” she said.

“The nature of trends is that they come from some place and time in history which allows for our modern interpretation.” Bauman said she is seeing more handmade, natural materials, tapestries, textiles and wall coverings. People are choosing matte finishes over high gloss.

“I’m really excited about everything coming up, which kind of started last year but it’s really coming into effect now ... earth tones, shades of brown, pinks, warm whites, mauve, muted greens and blues.”

Monochromatic layers of colours, textures and textiles are also being introduced. For example, a black accent wall with paneling, a black television, black cabinet and black vases. “Layers of black but in different textures and objects,” Bauman said. “Another example is painting your walls, your trim and your doors all the same colour, which is quite different.”

Moving to the kitchen, Bauman said lately the trend there is also “anything but white.”

“I still do white kitchens and I will always do white kitchens,” she said. “I think white kitchens are always going to be a thing and they will never go out of style. But again, just going away from stark white. We’re seeing a lot of off-white, oyster, cream, taupe.”

Also, wood is appearing more often in the kitchen. While in the past it would be the whole kitchen, Bauman said now it could be just the wood on the base cabinets or an island, and the upper cabinets oyster or something softer.

Different door styles are popular right now, such as fluted, reeded and face frame. They add dimension to the space along with texture and warmth. Bauman said granite countertops are popular, and for backsplash they are seeing more texture and three dimensional tone-on-tone.

In the bathrooms, the No. 1 request from Bauman’s clients is: “easy maintenance.” “We’re seeing a lot of large format tile and also slabs. Obviously, it does come down to cost, but those are the areas that if you don’t want grout lines and you want solid walls, then that would be the way to go.”

Bathrooms are also seeing more muted tones and layered lighting. Homeowners are wanting to transform their bathrooms into a spa including features such as steam showers and saunas.

“It also stems from COVID where we couldn’t leave [our homes],” she said. “Those saunas were popping up everywhere. People wanted these areas where they didn’t have to leave the house and still have that experience.”

Next is the entryway to your home. People are paying attention to these areas a little bit more, Bauman said. They are focusing on function and opting for built-in storage or cabinets that can store items like shoes and coats if they don’t have a mud room. Lighting can make a huge difference to these areas, and Bauman suggests adding wall sconces or replacing the old ceiling fixture with something more fun.

Wall treatments, artwork, tapestry or a mirror and decor are being added to these entryway areas. Bauman noted she is seeing reeded or fluted wall paneling in this area, too.

“Wall paneling adds durability, which is a big thing in entrance ways, especially when you come into a landing and you either go up or down stairs,” she said. “Those walls get beat up really bad.”

Don’t forget to consider the important component of lighting in your home, as this can often be overlooked. Bauman recommends layering the light, making sure you have your general illumination, your task areas covered and then your accent or ambient lighting.

“What I’m doing in all my projects is every switch must be dimmable, because we really want to be able to control that light,” she said. “And now with all the LED fixtures out there, this is possible.”

Finally, something to consider is statement lighting. Bauman said she takes her lighting fixtures very seriously, and they are a combination of art and function. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. They are really coming out with a lot of options that are more afford- able and you might just need one of these fixtures or two of them and they really can just change a space, plus they also add great light.”


Paint: At a minimal cost, paint can totally transform your space, Bauman said. “If you have cabinets ... they can be painted. It’s not a long- term solution, but it definitely will save you quite a few years before you have to re- do that kitchen, so paint is No.1.”

DIY Decor: Take an old canvas piece of artwork and cover it in a textured plaster — those are very in right now, Bauman said. “Even old vases, re-cover with textured plaster, or spray paint or paint. Maybe you like the shape of something, maybe you like the style, but you don’t like the colour. DIY decor is a big one.”

Start fresh: Either DIY from your old items or donate/sell them and buy a few new staples. Add either real or faux plants.

Invest in main furniture piece: If you have it in your budget, Bauman suggests investing in your main piece of furniture. Spend a little more money on the piece that will get the most use, such as a sofa or sectional. “That’s what you will use the most, that’s what will wear the most, so you really want to get something that is comfortable, looks good and easy to clean,” Bauman said. Accent chairs or island stools that are not used as much can be purchased at a lower price point to offset the cost of a major investment item.


Modern farmhouse: The past few years, this is what everyone wanted when they were building a house. White, black, relaxed farmhouse. But now Bauman said we’re transitioning from that design style.

DIY paneling: Putting up an accent wall and painting it an accent colour.

Over-decorating: Too many pillows on your bed or couch? Homeowners are moving toward more practical selections and looking for quality over quantity.

Stark white and white marble: Bauman said there will always be a place for it, but people are shifting toward warmer styles.

Coloured appliances: Could be fun commercially, but this trend is over for the residential projects.

- Article written by Jillian Austin, Freelance Writer with the Brandon Sun.

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