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Check out our 7 home style trend predictions for the coming year. For examples of these trends,  click to read our May 2010 RoomPlanners magazine.

1. Hand-hewn materials
For 2010 and beyond, expect to see more raw and natural furniture    finishes and materials.

From weathered, hand-waxed or reclaimed woods to matt, nubby linens to hammered metals… we’re moving toward high-touch, irregular, aged and imperfect surfaces. The trend reflects our ongoing fascination with one-of-a-kind flea market finds, a more casual lifestyle and an appreciation for     products that look planet-friendly or recycled.

2. Bring in the reinforcements
After nearly 300 hundred years spent taking structure away from furniture to make it more elegant and lightweight, it seems we’re adding some of it back, with inspiration from furniture designed prior to the 18th century.

Carved, turned or heavy low stretchers in rich wood finishes are being attached to legs or central braces. The look is heavy, weighty, masculine and reassuring… perfect with hefty leathers, jacquards and nail studs, or updated with faux suede for a more contemporary look.                                      

3. Steely Resolutions
It’s hard to beat industrial furniture for its efficient, straightforward design. The clean lines of shelving, drafting stools and work tables  recall old city factories, art studios and lofts.

Industrial motifs are inspiring furniture for any room, but the look is retro and warmed up with aged metals, chunky wood in whiskey barrel, bucket or waxed finishes and hefty cross braces. The look is retro, reliable, masculine and versatile.

4. A Day at the Spa
In a world that feels chaotic, loud or way too busy, a hotel or resort-inspired style seems the perfect way to make our home feel like an oasis of calm.

Hotel and spa-styled furniture is drawing on contemporary lines, natural materials and Japanese influences. Clean, low and horizontal, it simulates the calming effects of the horizon line. Natural textures and light woods in dry, matte finishes seem to bring the outdoors in… and a lack of ornament creates the look and feel of quiet.

5. Unmatched living rooms
Mixing and matching fabrics and styles in our home isn’t a new idea. But that doesn’t make it any easier to pull off!

Professionally-designed coordinates have always been popular, but they’re getting more interesting… especially in living rooms, where matching sets are being re-thought. The loveseat is being inspired by the settee; a non-matching, wood-framed seat that doesn’t match the sofa. It’s also giving way to chairs with patterns and styles that complement rather than coordinate with the sofa and each other.

6. One-of-a-kind accents
Our desire to recycle, shop at flea markets, be unique or live with less decorating rules is increasing interest in one-of-a-kind items.

This collector trend is less about owning a precious 18th century antique as it is about owning unique, single accent pieces imbued with history, character or an interesting story behind its acquisition. An aged finish or unique feature alone can make them conversation-worthy. Contrasting plain and fancy materials and textures makes it easier to mix unique items successfully.

7. French-inspired glamour
Not to be outdone by the trend to more masculine, pre-18th century looks, the trend to unbridled glamour shows no sign of letting up.

The look is undeniably French-inspired, reflecting updated 18th century rococo and baroque influences mixed with 20th century art deco. Button tufting and gilded, silver or mirrored finishes add dressy opulence, but may be mixed with weathered woods, antiquing effects, or chic, neutral colors for a more relaxed look.

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Modern white walls contrast rich mahogany-colored furniture.

This kitchen is a great example of a popular interior design trend.. one in which traditional style gets cleaned up… and modern style get warmed up. It’s a new style trend driven by color as much as by style.

With just a hint of molding, the dark mahogany-colored kitchen cabinets look nearly contemporary. But it’s the mix of this classic furniture finish with modern white paint on the walls, black furniture, black-and-white pictures and stainless steel appliances and fixtures that create this interesting  new look.

It’s an unexpected, high-impact mix of classic and contemporary colors and finishes, modified with a warm fawn-colored flooring and countertop that helps bridge the extremes.

What’s not working so well is the kitchen table and chairs.  Black was a good choice… it works in classic or contemporary rooms. The glass table also works to lighten the look. But the thin, promotional metal on the dinette is disappointing, espeically when seen against the rich mahogany kitchen cabinets. A more substantial dinette (or at least dining chairs)… maybe in wood rather than metal, would have maintained such a chic look.

For more home decorating ideas, or to download our free magazine, visit www.roomplanners.com.

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