Designers say Calgarians prefer to add trends in small doses that are interchangeable

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Trends in home décor change every year, but Calgarians like to stick to what they know – and they know what they like.

Interior design inspirations sprout from trends seen on the runways. They come through high fashion, popular culture and colour trends that are determined partly by the Color Marketing Group which “forecasts colour design directions.”

Sarah Richardson is a designer and host of Sarah’s House on Home and Garden Television. She spoke about 2012 trends at the Calgary Homexpo on Jan. 15 held at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park.

Her talk focused on colour becoming trendy and explained different ways to add colour to your home in small doses. Richardson says this is best done through accessories and accents.

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Sarah Richardson speaking at the Calgary Homexpo.
Photo by: Shannon Galley

The Pantone colour of the year is Tangerine Tango, Richardson says. This is basically an orange colour that can be added to a scheme in small ways.

Richardson talked about the changing trends, “beige in the last 10 years, swing from steels to brass, contemporary to more traditional, and more tones about grey.”

“There is no limit to the number of neutrals that can be layered,” Richardson says. “Take many, many different colours and layer them all together with neutrals.”

Bright colours are good in small doses in Calgary

Calgary interior designers say that trends only last so long and it is more important to focus on what you like, and what will look good for a long time.

Nyla Free is an interior designer with her own design company, Nyla Free Designs in Calgary. She says some trends she is seeing in 2012 are more colour and prints and adding colour through fabrics and patterns.

“Colour and pattern, the two can go hand-in-hand; Calgarians would be more inclined to use those in small doses against a neutral pallet,” Free says.

Tracy Wharton of Wharton Interiors notes similar things in an email when it comes to trends.

“Canadians will often opt for a neutral backdrop in their homes and incorporate hits of colour through accessories such as toss cushions, rugs, lamps, artwork or even accent walls,” Wharton says. “If one does wish to try and follow seasonal trends, this is a much easier and more realistic way to do so as many of those elements can be switched out fairly easily.”

Wharton says in her practice she doesn’t like to follow trends too much and chooses to focus more on “sustainable design.”

color swatch

A collection of paint swatches showcasing the color trends of 2012 in both bold and neutral tones.
Photo by: Shannon Galley

“Longer-term colour trends are much more worthwhile paying attention to in my opinion. These trends tend to last 10-20 years. They are what keep rooms from feeling dated, whereas shorter-term colour trends may make a room feel more dated if not done carefully and with restraint,” Wharton says.

Free says that Calgarians are very sophisticated with their interior style and in her experience they might like to know what the trending style is, but won’t necessarily want to use that in their home.

“When people are spending a lot of money on something such as a sofa they may not be inclined to do the ‘Tangerine Tango,’” Free says.

By adding bright colours such as “Tangerine Tango” in accents such as pillows, vases, lamps and other accessories there isn’t as much commitment to the colour or trend, and letting people can experiment against a neutral background.

It is important to know what you like

Janice Zingel, a native Calgarian, takes pride in the design and appearance of her home. Zingel, who is currently updating her kitchen, says she is interested in trends, but knows which trends will work for her and which ones won’t.

“You have to give yourself permission to go with what you love, I look at trends and then decide if they are right for me.”

Zingel says she tries to focus on a more timeless look by incorporating classic pieces into her home décor.

“I like to be in control of the trends rather than letting the trends being in control of me,” Zingel says. “The bright colours are more for tropical places, and don’t necessarily work in Canada.”

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