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“…it is necessary to give a good deal of thought to accessories and never buy anything on impulse that does not fit into your well-established program.”

  • Genevieve Antoine Dariaux

Fashion trends are largely ephemeral. I strongly advocate buying classic neutral colored comfortable core pieces whether it be for your wardrobe or home, then thoughtfully add/rotate fashion accessories to add elegance and distinction. When accessorizing make sure to make it reflects your signature style and not a big box store cookie cutter clone of what is in this season’s trend list. And never forget: less is more, unless you are going for an over-the-top look.

“Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.”

  • Giorgio Armani

If I had known in my first half century what I know now, I would have acquired heirloom investment pieces at a fraction of the price that I annually threw away at big box stores. If I could undo what I did do – this is how I would have approached decorating.

First: Determine your preferred aesthetic. For example, although I have flirted with many styles such as Empire, Regency, Hollywood Regency, Art Nouveau and Bohemian, I have had an enduring love affair with French Art Deco.

If you have not defined your personal style, then invest the time looking at decorative styles (e.g., Houzz, Pinterest, Google Images) to help narrow your preferences. Your tastes may be narrowly defined (e.g., traditional 18th century French country) or sentimental-personal (e.g., style does not matter but each piece has a memory).

Second: Acquire solid beautiful pieces that you think you can live with for the next 50 years (like partners and good friends). Make sure the piece is well made – enough to last 50 years. Price is not a guarantee of quality. Only acquire the best.

While high end stores often have great pieces, you can generally obtain similar pieces at a fraction of the price by going to flea/antique markets, garage sales, on-line auctions or even have it custom built (bespoke furniture).

Never let ugly fabric, deteriorating varnish or scratches in wood get in the way of seeing the lines and potential of a piece. Any piece can be given a facelift. Conversely, never be fooled by a poorly constructed piece that has been dolled-up to capture the magpie crowd.

Third: When arranging furniture follow classic design principles (contrast, proportion, color and balance). Once again, invest the time to look at lots of examples to help define what works and does not for you in your space.

Fourth: In accessorizing, a few tricks to reduce costs and always be a trendsetter is to invest in floor art (e.g., tribal rug) and wall art (original or copies) containing as many colors as possible. This way, no matter what the seasons’ colors Pantone predicts, your décor will always be trendy.

Fifth: Home décor trends are generally synchronous with
clothing trends regarding color and textile patterns.

Fall 2014-winter 2015 trends:

  • color: pink (blush, dusty rose), dark red (brandy wine, cranberry, crimson), blood orange, greens (pistachio, emerald, mantis, jungle), blues (teal, cool mint, cobalt, turquoise, klein blue), purple (wisteria, purple haze, african violet) browns (dark chocolate, toffee) orchid, honey mustard, blood orange, pastels;
  • pattern: big floral designs, big large prints, chinoiserie, tribal art, Greek key motif
  • metal: yellow metals (e.g., brass, copper), mixed metals;
  • stone with pattern (e.g., marble, malachite, travertine);
  • sheers;
  • fur;
  • honey toned woods;
  • 50s retro;
  • gallery walls; and,
  • one of a kinds.

Inspirational trend eye candy:


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