Nancy Fire, the design director of HGTV Home says you can keep pace with current trends and still achieve a timeless quality when it comes to decorating your home. If you love the popular farmhouse esthetic, for example, don’t be afraid to add contemporary elements to avoid looking dated and refresh as needed. By conferring your personal preferences in colour, design and texture on your living space, you’ll protect against a homogenous look and insure a distinctiveness that will outlive the vagaries of trends.
Q What is the latest on displaying photos? I have lots of old family photos and would love to do something creative to showcase them.
A We all know gallery walls are important, but you can also use a floating shelf and create a stacked layout for a more casual esthetic. Also consider hanging your pictures outside of your bookcase, creating a curio feel.
Q I know farmhouse style is everywhere, but I do like it. Is it trendy or classic enough to not look dated soon?
A Farmhouse style is here to stay, but updating is a must. Try mixing more contemporary items to refresh the farmhouse feel. Do not be afraid to add more colour and different finishes to your decor. A great example would be a farmhouse sink in a colour other than white or cream.
Q We are working on redoing our bathroom and are having the hardest time selecting a light fixture. What would help give us a fresh, modern look?
A It depends on the size and scale of your bathroom, and the height of your ceilings. Don’t be afraid to mix different types of lighting, such as sconces and overhead lighting. Also, it is fun to add vintage-style Edison bulbs.
Q I have heard that granite is past its prime. What are some great options for kitchen counters? I’m looking for something that is durable and won’t look dated in five years.
A There are a lot of options, so it really depends on your esthetic. We are seeing coloured counters coming back into style, but that is limiting if you are looking for something timeless. There are many materials besides granite that you should consider such as Caesarstone, marble, butcher block, quartz, concrete, recycled glass, tiled countertops or even lava countertops; they are beautiful and highly functional.
Q Are open floor plans a trend, or will they go by the wayside at some point? It seems like that is all anyone talks about on the TV renovation shows.
A Open floor plans are here to stay because there is a demand in newer constructions to have more open space to create more duality in the home. Not everyone uses a formal dining room anymore, and homeowners want to be able to use that space as a home office,yoga studio, etc. It’s all about flexibility.
Q I painted and decorated my house in fall colours when I moved in 14 years ago. Now that greys and blues are in style, how do I update the colour scheme on a tight budget?
A Look at the room colours that you really want to keep and decide what colours work for you. Then you can slowly add different colours to the mix. Think warm grey, softer blues and some “greige” (a mix of beige and grey).
Q Is grey out? I just painted my whole house grey to get it ready for sale, and I hope it doesn’t turn off buyers.
A Grey is loved by many because it is such a universal neutral. It is the perfect backdrop for any colour. Don’t forget about textiles, with which you can bring some colour into your home as well.
Q My wife and I are renovating our kitchen and disagreeing about what to do with the designated eating area. The kitchen has a half-wall on one side that looks into a step-down family room with lots of light and high ceilings on one side. On the other is the back wall of the house, shared with the kitchen, with big windows looking to the backyard. I want the character of a banquette and the environment it creates to get cosy and spend time together. She doesn’t want to commit to the built-in solution or having to buy another table.
A Luckily, there’s an easy solution. We call it the “movable feast.” Banquettes on wheels allow you to move the furniture as needed. There’s no need to make something too permanent. This way you can enjoy your space in many different configurations.
Q I can’t tell you the number of homes that have all-white kitchens and all-grey bathrooms. What happened to colour? I understand grey can be soothing, but so can pale blue, green and yellow. Any idea when colour will go back into style?
A Yes, it is happening now! People are not afraid of adding colour to their homes through decor, textiles and even accent walls. You will be seeing more of that in the upcoming season.
Q I am in desperate need of new bath towels. Any recommendations? Nothing luxury if possible.
A Do some research because there are so many great options. One option would be going the sustainability route, and purchasing towels made of bamboo instead of cotton. I also love a treasure hunt, so I usually go to stores that carry luxury brands at affordable prices.
Q I really want to paint my brick house from 1897. Although I normally think historical houses should stay brick, this particular brick is ugly. Is there a way to change the look of the brick itself, or can I just paint it? I was thinking either white or navy.
A I love white brick with black shutters. It’s great to update a historical home but keep it classic.
Q We have a small eat-in kitchen space. We don’t use it at all, so there are three pieces of furniture (an antique sewing machine and two desks), along the back wall of the house and the back of the kitchen cabinets, which divide the kitchen from this space. Any thoughts on how to make this space more useful?
A Why don’t you gut it? You could make it a craft space or give it more of a lounge feel so people can sit while you cook. Another idea would be to make it into a working pantry.
Q The arm of my leather sofa has ripped about an inch long. Is this something I can fix myself or do I need a professional? Or should I just put a throw over it and pretend it isn’t there?
A Too funny because I am actually in the same predicament! I have chosen to use a throw. You can have it mended if you’re willing to invest in the piece.
Q Our family room is too neutral. Our throw pillows have some hints of blue and green, but I’m stuck on what colour to paint the walls. They are currently a sage-green colour, paired with a beige couch, taupe chair and grey-and-white rug. I would love to do a dark navy for contrast, but my husband thinks it’ll be too dark. Any suggestions?
A Dark navy will make the space really moody. Why not add some grass cloth or wallpaper to an accent wall to create colour and texture as a compromise?