Guest Blogger: Odi et Amo

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Melissa Rufty

Hi! I’m Averill from Odi et Amo and I’m so pleased to be guest blogging here at From the Right Bank… today. Ally asked me to pull together a list of my favorite design trends. If there is one overarching trend in modern decorating it would have to be eclecticism. The best designs are all about that perfect mix of periods, styles and price points — like the colorful living room shown above, which was designed by New Orleans-based designer Melissa Rufty. Rooms that are overly decorated, overly referential to a single style or period will inevitably read as dated and staid. Beyond that though, I’d say just about anything goes. Buy only what you love, don’t focus too much on what’s “in” or what’s “out”, and — above all –don’t pigeon-hole yourself into a single, definable style.

With that in mind, there are a number of smaller trends (let’s call them micro-trends) that I’ve been particularly drawn to recently and that I’ve either incorporated into my own home (or have plans to).
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Pantone’s color of the year has long been one of my favorite colors. Turquoise, despite being a cooler tone, has a warmth and sunniness to it that makes it almost universally appealing. It’s a real mood-changer; just try and be sad in a turquoise room! A few months ago I painted a small, windowless guest bath a bold turquoise. Heavy doses of white give it a bright, beachy vibe that makes me smile every time I walk in it. If you’re reluctant to use it as the dominant color though, turquoise works equally well as an accent color and brings a bold, fresh pop to any neutral color palette.

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I’ll be honest, a few years ago nothing turned me off more than than brass — indeed, the very word conjured up images of dated kitchens and baths. The “new” brass, however, feels softer, less…well, brassy. The key is to avoid lacquered brass, and go for a softer finish that will tarnish naturally over time. I particularly like brass when paired with cooler blues and grays. The brass warms up these tones and brings more interest than pairing these tones with coordinating silver or nickel.
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This is another trend from the ’80s and early ’90s that I initially thought better left in the past. Wallpaper today though comes in way more prints and patterns than chintz or quaint country patterns. Grasscloths, metallics, geometrics, florals…just about everything but borders is allowed. The key is to spend the extra time to really find one you love. Wallpapers are like tattoos for your wall — relatively expensive and (mostly) permanent. Despite modern upgrades that have made removal easier, it’s more commitment than paint so it’s best to be certain before you start papering. After months of agonizing I recently wallpapered my powder room and I still find myself squealing with delight a little every time I open the door. Now I can’t wait to use wallpaper elsewhere in my home — it’s totally addictive!

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There’s something so romantic and cozy about canopy beds. The look is especially successful in cavernous master bedrooms that have become so popular in new builds as it creates a room within a room and is a great way to visually divide a large room into distinct sitting and sleeping areas. I also love the recent trend of eschewing heavy draperies in favor of leaving the frame bare, which brings a wonderfully modern, architectural element to a bedroom. For a breezy, coastal look, I’d throw a gauzy white sheer over the bed for the summer months.

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Purple is a color that had fallen out of favor in decorating, but it’s starting to come back and I couldn’t be more excited. When I painted my office last summer a rich plum I couldn’t find any pillows, fabrics or accessories that worked in the room — there really weren’t any good options. Less than a year later, I’m starting to see way more purple accessories and fabrics. When done right, purple is sophisticated and rich but also warm and inviting (it’s also, like reds and pinks, very flattering lighting).

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I’m a bit reluctant to call chinoiserie a micro-trend, since it’s been a hallmark of traditional interiors for several hundred years. That said though, it is enjoying something of a renaissance in recent years as it’s found favor in more contemporary and even modern interiors thanks in large part to the dearly-departed domino magazine. That torch has now been picked up by a number of great blogs that focus on chinoiserie.Chinoiserie Chic and Aesthetic Oiseau are two of my favorites. The greatest thing about chinoiserie’s renewed popularity is that you can now found chinoiserie accents and furniture in a wider variety of price points, particularly if you’re looking for a more streamlined, modernized chinoiserie. I’ve got a smattering of chinoiserie throughout my home, but my blue and white family room, with its touches of Chiang Mai and imperial trellis fabrics, together some porcelain I inherited from my mother, is definitely the epicenter of both my home and my love of chinoiserie.

Thanks Ally for letting me guest post today!

26 Comments

  1. Janell Beals

    Fabulous post Averill! Eclectic interiors are the ones that interest me most and love the trends you highlighted…I'm with you on the brass, loving it but that certainly wasn't the case a few years ago. Of course a few years ago that meant shiny brass hardware left over from the 80's and now the range of finishes are gorgeous.

    Janell
    .-= Janell Beals´s last post ..Projects To Create A Girl's Dream Bedroom =-.

  2. alison@ semi-fab lan

    i am all about eclectic and not focusing on one type of style, it'll drive you crazy if you try to define what style you are. i love all of the micro-trends you have listed-it's weird how i probably wouldn't have been into them too much 5 years ago…like you said about the brass and color purple. nice post;)
    .-= alison@ semi-fab lane´s last post ..i wonder… =-.

  3. christy

    Fabulous guest post! I've been a huge fan of Averill's ever since I started blogging. She was the one who introduced me to brass accents – like her, I was hesitant, but now I totally accept them. I love her inspiration photos – especially the turquoise ones…so pretty!
    .-= christy´s last post ..Jaime to the rescue! =-.

  4. Sally@DivineDistract

    Great post, Avril. I totally agree with all the micro-trends you brought up. I'm doing a little of all of them in my design practice, especially the color purple. My clients are kicking and screaming about the gold/brass accents especially since many of them have only recently embraced some of the other finishes. But that's what makes design fun…always changing! thanks for a great post
    .-= Sally@DivineDistractions´s last post ..It's a Stone's Throw…… =-.

  5. A Perfect Gray

    really enjoyed this piece. I am a huge chinoiserie fan and have pieces throughout my house…so great to see it highlighted here! thanks for a very well put-together piece, Avril! Donna
    .-= A Perfect Gray´s last post ..freshness… =-.

  6. christina, Esq

    lovely photos! I just moved recently and had the thrill of starting from scratch with all new furniture and accessories. I bought a raw brass latter/shelf and its fabulous, great suggestions you have!

  7. Privet and Holly

    Wonderful! My favorite of these is these chinoiserie, which I'm really hoping to work into my design scheme, somewhere. Loved seeing all of the latest trends, through YOUR lens! Thanks, Ally!

    xx Suzanne
    .-= Privet and Holly´s last post ..Time to Be =-.

  8. heidi

    I agree with you on the wallpaper trend. I didn't think I'd welcome it back either and it's certainly more hassle than simply painting a room but it does seem to bring it alive and helps with that warm eclectic feeling.
    .-= heidi´s last post ..Newspapers from the 1950s =-.

  9. Charlotta

    Hi Averill and thank you for this great post.

    Isn't it lovely how warmth, texture, colour, pattern and truly personal twists are emerging stronger and stronger. I agree with all your micro trends and particularly love the use of metals such as brass, copper and zink. Wallpaper in all it's executions (including chinoiserie) is also wonderful and can make such a difference to a room if used well and in the right amount.

    Thanks again.

    x Charlotta
    .-= Charlotta´s last post ..Frantic and fantasic.. =-.

  10. Pingback: Friday Finds « green april
  11. Lisa

    An amazing post; very informative. There is something about turquoise is my weak-at-the-knees color and I love eclecticism

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