What We Like Changes
With How We Feel

PREFACE: Originally, our trends-in-interior-design article* was written from the perspective of new home sales and marketing. However, these same interior-trends can be readily applied to every home-improvement project you undertake.

Trends-in-interior-design discusses all of the important styles-in-furniture, colors-of-paint, and the texture-interior that are the latest interior-trends.

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By Cindi MacPherson
Despite what is happening in our economy, I believe there is a new sense of optimism that is being reflected in our surroundings. In the last few years people were looking to be calmed and comforted by their interiors, but I think the new optimism is translating to more risk taking in design, especially with color.

THE NEW TRENDS-IN-INTERIOR-DESIGN ARE EXCITING. They shout “sophistication,” regardless of the specific style. We are no longer doing “matchy-matchy.” The current interior- trends are a blending of style types and materials. The combination of classic and contemporary elements looks fresh and interesting.

We are recycling past looks by mixing older pieces with new fresh ones, creating a more interesting, eclectic feel. Old is new again by adding a key antique or vintage piece, which can add soul and interest to a space.

This year is a time for new and innovative designs and techniques. We are not restricted to following style categories strictly, but rather, we are bringing our own perspective and personality to living spaces. Below are some of the trends I am seeing now.

Coordinated Pillows & Artwork In The Sommerly Model


Styles-in-furniture have moved to a more contemporary version of traditional. They have cleaner lines and are being constructed of more exotic and sustainable woods. Crafted and custom made furniture is growing in demand and stature. There is a definite movement toward the appreciation of craftsmanship.

Updated version of traditional bedroom furniture

Green is hailed as one of the hottest new trends; however, I consider it to be more of a standard. It touches every aspect of our lives and how we live, including our interior spaces. Going green can even mean holding on to our furniture by not replacing it as frequently.


The trend to add texture in a room for interest is here to stay. Texture-interior creates a sense of depth and makes the space inviting to touch. By mixing different types of materials, you add texture for a more sophisticated look.

I like to add tactile finishes such as wood, bamboo, straw, and even stone. Layering rugs and colors can add to the illusion of depth. Another way to add texture and depth is the movement toward a hint of shimmer such as irridescent glass tiles or metallics.

This is a big trend—metallics are being used in accessories, wall coverings, paint, and fabrics. I am seeing them in soft and muted bronze, copper, warm gold, silver, and platinum.


In an uncertain economy, people want to simplify. In design we see a good example of this in window treatments. It is popular to install simple panels on a decorative rod without the swag and jabots commonly used in the past. Drapery hardware is available in a variety of materials and can add the perfect accent or whimsy.

Window Treatments That Simplify A Room

Window treatments today have cleaner lines than before. They are more sophisticated, simplistic, and it is the fabric and hardware that makes the biggest statement.


In another effort to simplify, we are more concerned with being “organized.” Our lives feel too cluttered. Using storage bins made of a variety of materials is a popular way to add a visual element and even texture. I also see furniture being used more frequently in multifunctional ways. There is a continued interest in closet systems to organize our garages.


The most significant change in lighting is the broad variety and selection available now. Going green allows us the option to use low-energy, long-life bulbs. Lamps are making a more distinct statement; recessed lighting is being used more often and is an excellent source for ambient lighting.

Dining Room Lighting Trends

There is a trend toward "task lighting"--having a variety of types of lighting in a room to serve specific functions. The sculptural, more artistic pendant light has replaced the traditional crystal chandelier. We are starting to see lighting being used as much as an art form as for functionality.


Color is always important when discussing trends. Colors that occur in interior design are actually one year behind the fashion world! A new coat of paint can totally revitalize and transform a room. The influence of the “green trend” is very obvious in color.

I am seeing rich and uexpected color combinations. Earth’s elements and resources are reflected in colors coming from minerals, plants, dirt, sea, and sky. This includes colors such as sunny yellow, plum purple, sky blue, and leaf green. Various shades of purple are going to remain strong this year.

Grey is back in style as the "new neutral," replacing beige. Pairing grey with warm colors such as magenta, orangey reds, teal, or tangerine can have an exciting effect on any space. Orange is making a comeback as well; I see it often in accessories, pillows, and accents.

Living Room With Earthy Colors

According to Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color, turquoise is the color of the year for 2010. Turquoise combines the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green. It is a flattering color that can be mixed with any other and creates a sense of well-being.

At the recent High Point Market, touted as the largest furnishings-industry trade show in the world, I thought it was exciting to see the many fresh, new colors and whimsical accessories in fun, bright palettes.

Wall Treatments

Wallpaper was once common and popular with everyone, but has gradually lost its appeal. I can better customize a space with paint, allowing the use of any color or design that one can magine. Faux finishes and hand painting make it easier to be creative and to personalize a room.

Paint can be a greener choice, since there are low-VOC paints available that offer maximum coverage with one coat. I find that paint, more than paper, allows for options and flexibility. I believe that there is a trend in interior design moving toward a new attitude.

We are going to continue to see more glamour and risk taking, yet clean and streamlined interiors.

Dining Room With Faux Finishes

I see people decorating their homes and workplaces to make them more personal and unique. I am feeling a sense of a new optimism, and I am seeing it reflected in living environments, as well as in people.

Author Cindi MacPherson, A.S.I.D,

is a founding partner with The Interior Partners, an interior design firm in Atlanta that specializes in model home merchandising, clubhouses and sales centers. She has over 20 years experience in the home building industry.

Cindi is an active member of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA), a member of the 50+ Housing Council and a board member for the Sales and Marketing Council. Cindi is also a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and has the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications Certification (NCIDQ).

She is a recognized speaker on design trends and model home merchandising and is a respected professional in the interior design industry.

*Reprinted with permission from "What's Hot and What's Not: Trends in Interior Designs" by Cindi MacPherson, 2010, <i>Sales + Marketing Ideas,</i> pages 26-31, Copyright 2010 by National Sales and Marketing Council of The National Association of Home Builders.

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