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This year is all about creating an earthy, eclectic but refined room. Bold, vibrant colors and plaids are coming into play. Tartan is taking hold in fashion and home furnishings. The luxe lumberjack look favors an earth appeal.

Mary Jo Bowling, editor of Houzz, the leading online platform for home remodeling and design ideas, based in Palo Alto, Calif., sees a softer edge emerging in patterns – a shift from graphic, geometric prints to more floral motifs in wallpaper and textiles.

Overall, rooms tend to be more eclectic rather than “matchy-matchy.”

“You can incorporate a lot of things you love in one house,” Bowling said. “That’s a design aesthetic that a lot of people can get behind and celebrate right now.”

Many people seem to be looking for something with character, something that holds meaning or significance. Found objects – your “borrowed” items – continue to be sought after and serve as conversational pieces in the home.

“People in 2013 really embraced reclaimed wood,” Bowling said. “I think that will continue to be popular. I think people are moving toward wood that has a lot of personality and texture but might not necessarily be reclaimed.”

An example: knotty pine. It’s an expressive, textural wood that can be bought in bulk.

Along those same lines, the modern farmhouse style is a throwback to supposedly simpler times, a tranquil setting.

“A lot of us look at that as a memory, a really great memory – a way we would like life to be,” Bowling said. “A farmhouse or barn has a lot of industrial elements.”

Here, too, homeowners are tapping into the use of wood and rustic elements – galvanized steel, vintage lighting, chalkboards and mason jars.

Other pieces of nature are appearing indoors. Petrified and whitewashed wood is being used to make tabletops and frame in sofas and chairs. Anything that resembles refined driftwood is desirable.

Cute-factor aside, the owl craze may be coming to a close while gold gets a revival.

“In late 2013, we saw more and more brass and gold-tone hardware,” Bowling said. “It’s very, very popular. I think that’s going to be a continued point of popularity in 2014. After all these years with stainless steel, chrome and silver tone things, it’s looking really fresh.”

It’s not the polished brass of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It has come back with a touch of patina.

Bowling added that black and gold work well together. They can add drama and glamour to a room.

The burnished brass also pairs well with wood elements.


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