Press Club

Ask Eli: Home design trends from an expert

This regularly scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist. Enjoy!

The 2022 Colors of the Year were recently released and this year we have Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog, a subdued green, and Pantone Very Peri, a bold purple.

Sherwin Williams Evergreen Fog & Pantone Very Peri

… And announcing colors of the year is about as far as I should take my commentary on interior design, so I’d like to re-introduce Caroline Goree ([email protected], (703) 994 5921), a fantastic Designer with a boutique Residential Interior Design Firm, Madigan Schuler, located in Alexandria, to provide insight into what trends she’s seeing in local home design.

In 2018, Caroline introduced us to one of my favorite design quotes from Matthew Frederick’s book, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, “Being nonspecific in an effort to appeal to everyone usually results in reaching no one.”

Take it away Caroline…

As I began to brainstorm the trends of 2022, it made me reflect on the 2020 design trends column I wrote for you just a month before the pandemic started. While many of the décor aspects are still quite relevant, so much of the residential design world has not only been impacted (thank you supply chain issues) but also influenced by the pandemic.

Although I would love to design with the sole purpose of creating a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing room, the functionality of spaces, furniture and fabrics has become more important than ever.

Built to Last

Between remote working, virtual learning and cancelled day care, our homes are being used hard, or as I say, being “loved” more than years prior. With this additional love comes lots of spills, crumbs and crushed cushions in the coveted corners of furniture for prime movie watching.

The additional wear on soft goods has created a spike in the “performance” product world (think indoor/outdoor rugs, fabric, etc). Instead of a beautiful natural fiber rug, we replaced these selections with polypropylene carpets that mimic the look and patterns of the sisal and seagrass products but are much more durable and easier to clean.

When reflecting on my business last year, 100% of my clients chose an indoor/outdoor material (Sunbrella), performance fabric (Crypton), or had their goods treated with a spill repellant technology (Fiber-Seal) for any furniture in the main spaces of their home. Furthermore, people quickly saw the downside of “disposable” furniture and were more open to investing in pieces built to last against the hours of lounging.

Pro Tip: When purchasing a new sofa, do your research. Ask if it is built with an “8-way hand tied coil” where craftsman tie springs eight ways from side to side, front to back and diagonally. This helps build furniture that is soft, flexible, comfortable and long lasting.

Textures, Wovens and Rattans… Oh My!

A trend we are seeing across the board is the use of texture within design. This could be a fabulous set of caned antique dining chairs to go around a fresh new table or a fun rattan accent chair to sit in the corner of an inviting family room. Even a piece as simple as woven framed mirror or foot stool can add that pop in a space that felt dull and tired.

Fabric like as Boucle’s (think fuzzy/curly multi-dimensional material) is not only used in the custom furnishings world but now a standard offering in many retail stores on their soft goods. I recently used a plush emerald green cable knit fabric for pillows on a simple white sofa to add depth and a punch of color (also a 2022 trend!)

Pro Tip: A little rattan goes a long way. Although it is one of my favorite trends, just a sprinkle throughout a room does the trick. No need to make your family room feel like a Palm Beach sun porch!

Wallpaper is Officially Back!

For decades, designers have loved using wallpaper to add pattern and color to a space. While there was a period wallpaper felt fussy, dated and stale, it has made a strong comeback.

A bold, colorful wallpaper is the perfect addition to a small space such as a powder room or laundry room (let’s be real, nobody enjoys laundry so you might as well give yourself something fun to look at). In more formal spaces like the dining room or living room, a sophisticated grasscloth is a great way to make an impact and elevate the overall design. As a wallpaper lover myself, I am so glad this trend is back, and I think it is here to stay.

Pro Tip: When selecting a paper, I believe you should go big or go home. A safe choice will fall flat and not have the same effect on a room.

If you’d like to discuss buying, selling, investing, or renting, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to discuss buying, selling, renting, or investing, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at EliResidential.com. Call me directly at 703-539-2529.

Video summaries of some articles can be found on YouTube on the Ask Eli, Live With Jean playlist.

Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with RLAH Real Estate, 4040 N Fairfax Dr #10C Arlington VA 22203. 703-390-9460.

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