January 30, 2012

Top 12 Decor Trends for 2012

Avocado bathroom suites, sandy-coloured fridges, plastic-smelling lino floors, shaggy shag-pile rugs … We all know some home-décor fads can cruelly creep into home-décor faux pas sooner rather than later. That’s why our 12 pointers for 2012 are designed for the tasteful long haul.

Think of it as the quickest shortcut to the Eighties: The colour gurus at Pantone will be encouraging us to embrace the far-from-shy “Tangerine Tango 17-1463” – everywhere from the bedroom to the sitting room. Just as fashion designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Elie Tahari are test-driving the tangerine dream in their collections, the home is flexing its colour muscle. Such spirited pieces include food-safe lacquered bamboo bowls; Philippe Starck’s ‘Masters Chair’ for Kartell – with an overlapping nod to designs by Eames, Saarinen, and Jacobsen ; and Farrow & Ball’s Blazer or Charlotte’s Locks paints.

More red in colour, but no less a statement is the Andrew Morgan bed throw. Nothing will be normal about the shape of your new bowl, or light, or chair, et al in 2012 … At the vanguard of this reimagining of shapes and materials is Vancouver’s Omer Arbel with his 19 copper series. Also see entreNous’ funky Tonelli-designed glass table sculpture  and Calligaris’s wiggly centrepiece bowl in cloud grey. Move over incandescent.  Households increasingly look set to switch to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting this year – just like VanDusen Botanical Garden, which saw its 1.4-million-strong light display go mainly LED this past month.

Although traditionally more expensive, this more energy-efficient light source is increasingly being used by designers for their creations. Turn on to their seductive power via the rotating LED Pixo Lamp by Pablo – complete with USB charging port in its base. Be imaginative, be bold is the new mantra when it comes to your statement walls. For a giant oversized swath of witty and notable wallpaper, see the patterns from Sweden’s luxe makers, Sandberg: Mr and Mrs Collins, Golf or Florentina. These blingy flourishes continue to add drama to the lighting world in 2012. Watch out for new pot-light chandeliers and extravagant beasts such as New York architect Daniel Libeskind’s 350-lb., nine-foot-tall by 2.5-foot-wide eL Masterpiece Chandelier.

For chandelier inspiration closer to home, dip into downtown hotels such as the newly launched Xi Shi lounge at the Shangri-La or the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Also check out Heather Ross’s antique gilded-metal Italian three-arm chandelier with leaf garland. Who wants all that manicured malarkey? Working out what works well in a West Coast outdoor space is all about low maintenance – and that goes for the furniture that makes itself at home inside as much as outside. Industrial Revolution has landed some handsome indoor/outdoor gear – stainless-steel chairs with a weave seat and back and steel-and-glass tables.

Inform Interiors also has the iconic Corbusier collection from Cassina, now available as an outdoor option.There’s a stronger vein of lighter industrial woods hitting the stores. Check out the Dockyard sideboard, $999, from Urban Barn, 2345 Granville Street. With smart designers continually ensuring that beauty and functionality are not on different trajectories, the boundaries are pushed year-on-year with double-duty décor.

A perfect example for 2012? Be enlightened with handmade soy candle holders that turn into food-safe bowls once you’re at your wick’s end.  Designed by Angela Sands, founder of Iowa’s Luminology, it costs $55, at Walrus, 3408 Cambie Street. When the Canadian-owned Fairmont Savoy Hotel reopened in London last year after a $350-million refurbishment, it led the way with a strong art-deco flavour. Because, presumably, there’s nothing like a retro piece of furniture to remind us of the really great times.

See pieces such as Urban Barn’s reflection mirror  or Ikea’s classic Karlstad furniture pieces; or the upcoming launch of its new Emmie quilt covers, curtains and rugs inspired by the 19th-century six-million pattern samples held in the Musee de l’Impression sur Etoffes in France.Florals pack a greater punch this year. For spring vroom, see the Chardon cushion as well as Indaba Trading’s orchid canvas, or its hydrangea collection.

Stainless steel and chrome may be safe choices, but bronze and copper are rising to the fore — as seen in both Michael Aram’s expansive bronze tortoise sculpture or the 19 copper series by Omer Arbel. Just as theatre-goers are flocking to see farces in these economically downturned times, so homeowners might want to add frivolity in their space. Raise the gloom with hooks that look just like cranes (just slip them over doors) or these pink money-bank pigs.

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