Decor, like fashion, is cyclical. While 2014 saw some wild, unusual and impractical fads (cowhide and burlap, anyone?), certain looks, like shades of blue, will continue into 2015 and beyond.
"In Minnesota, it used to be the norm to gravitate toward wintry colors [chocolate brown, golds, olive green, dark reds] and textiles in our homes because it felt cozier when it was cold outside," said Kristi Patterson of Grace Hill Design in Wayzata. "Now people want to brighten up and let their home be a fresh sanctuary. We want our homes to feel more like we are on vacation from the icy cold with fresh, bright colors, lighter fabrics and bold patterns."
Natural materials like coral, agates, bone and marble will reign this year, as will warmer-hued metals. Smaller-scale and multipurpose furniture is up-and-coming, as is writing on the walls — literally.
Patterson, along with Lisa Peck of Lilu Interiors in Minneapolis, Jill Tran of Tran+Thomas Design Studio in Shawnee, Kan., and Jaclyn Joslin of Coveted Home in Prairie Village, Kan., weigh in on the delightful — and the unsightly — decorating trends of last year, and which ones will hang around a while, to help you plan your 2015 projects.
Open shelving above kitchen counters
Joslin: This is a big trend! I love the look, but most people I talk about it with think it is not practical. If you have an innate sense of how to style shelves, and are good at keeping things tidy, then pulling this off adds great character to a kitchen.
Patterson: I believe that is going to stick around in 2015. People are looking for an open visual space in kitchens. It gives you so much more of an airy feel.
Tran: That one might be around for a while longer, and I hope so, because I'm remodeling my kitchen and I'm doing that. It makes the space seem bigger.
Peck: Cowhide is one of those things that's always around. It goes up and down; right now it's very popular. I think we're going to see more use of it with embossing on top of the cowhide and other more creative ways.
Joslin: Hides are great for providing texture and pattern without actually being a pattern. They are also great for layering.
Patterson: I'm seeing less of it. I'm seeing people going lighter and fresher. It's not being used in rugs as much, but it's still being used in things like stools and cubes and pillows.
Patterson: I don't see a lot of that. I think it's more country.
Peck: Oh. Can I say "no comment"?
Joslin: I have seen Mason jars being used in wedding or event environments that are going for a handmade earthy look.
Patterson: I was seeing it for a long time on the backs of chairs and counter stools, and I'm not seeing as much of it anymore. I think it's too casual, not very durable and not very soft. I still see it on tablecloths, but not on furniture pieces anymore.
Peck: Like cowhide, I think we'll see more creative uses of it [such as] wall finishes. It will be around in 2015 but we might see it fade out more quickly than the other trends.
Tran: True burlap is totally on its way out. We're going to slicker, more refined materials, weaves, sheens.
Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year
Patterson: I am seeing that coming in with furniture, fabrics for drapery, pillows and rugs.
Peck: Those color trends are for people who love the color. People who love the purple family of colors will continue to use it; otherwise, it will be set aside.
Tran: I don't think it ever really did [make it in]. I saw the woman who picked that speak once, and it was interesting to hear how they pick those colors. They kind of guess. Did you know chartreuse was around for as long as it was because of "Shrek"? A cartoon!
Black and white
Patterson: Black and white is still going to be a trend because it goes with gray so well. It's one of those color combinations that you can use a punch of color with — red, hot pink, turquoise, yellow.
Peck: Black and white is a classic instead of a trend. I think we're going to see more black used in kitchens in 2015. Black and white is very graphic, so it's only for those who like bold spaces.
Joslin: A well-done neutral room may be one of the hardest designs to achieve. It requires great restraint but can be so beautiful. Some of my favorite rooms are neutral with a mix of soft white, black and brown.
Patterson: We're seeing barn wood and reclaimed wood on walls and ceilings and beams. Because people are going cooler, with blues and grays on walls, people are looking at other ways to add warmth to a room.
Peck: We're seeing that move out into commercial wallcoverings. I think it will continue to be something that we see.
Tran: That's starting to die off a little. A lot of it follows the economy. The pendulum is swinging from anything you can find outside to the other direction, to shiny surfaces, elaborate trims, a lot of color. It's going to get fancy again, but it'll be more fun than last time.
Shades of blue
Patterson: Tons of blue — icy blue to cobalt and a lot of navy. I see navy as the new neutral because everything goes with navy. It's a way to ground a room. You can mix it with grays and whites and light blues, but you can still add orange and yellow, pink and red.
Peck: Indigos and blues — to me, those are a classic that have caught a trend tailwind. That will definitely stay around because we live in America, and everybody loves blue jeans and indigo.
Joslin: When is blue not popular? So many people love blue, and teal has been pretty popular lately.
Patterson: A ton of brass. Not shiny but antique brass and brushed brass are really big in lighting, lamps, mirrors, end tables and hardware for cabinetry. Brass is a really good way to warm up the white and gray that's going on with walls and upholstery. Copper is also making a comeback.
Peck: I don't think shiny brass is ever going to catch on at the high end. I think the mellower gold, the brushed brass, definitely has legs and people will continue to adopt it. Here in Minnesota, where people are conservative, some of them are still living with brass, but it's the shiny brass they want to get rid of.
Tran: It's here to stay. It's more of a gold leafing. It's not Grandma's brass. It was by far the predominant metal at market.
Other trends for 2015
Patterson: Statement lighting. People are going cleaner in their rooms, with less clutter and fewer things on their coffee and end tables, so lighting gives them an opportunity to put some personality in the room; it's becoming sculptural and artistic, with chandeliers and pendants and sconces.
Peck: Typography. On pillows, even on some upholstery.
Joslin: Ultra dark and black rooms. Going black is bold, and if done well is stunning.
Patterson: I am seeing big TVs with surround sound and big sectionals. They're a part of the lower level, but it's not its own room anymore, with recliners and cupholders.
Peck: Over the long term, I think home theaters will continue to be popular because people want to entertain at home. They're seeing their home as more of a place to gather with friends and family, and I think that will continue. Technology is always changing, so there's always something new and fun.
Tran: Those are going by the wayside. Technology changes, and you don't need a $60,000 setup. If you have room-darkening blinds, any room can become a theater if you have a big enough wall for the TV.
Peck: Vintage is always hot; it's just a question of what vintage. From midcentury modern to traditional vintage, I think it's always going to bear out.
Patterson: I do see it mixed with clean lines. There's definitely more of an eclectic mix — not that Old World look. Sometimes it's repurposed or mixed with more modern things.
Joslin: It's all about the mix. People love mixing high, low and vintage. It creates the ultimate "collected" vibe in a home.
This report includes material from the Kansas City Star.