How to test a trendy look when you aren’t ready to commit.
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Here’s a look at how you can try design trends until you’re sure you’re ready to go all-in.
Colors of the Year … for a month or two
When all the paint companies released their favorite colors for 2021, we mostly saw nature-inspired shades to help us find our calm. There were some bolder options, too. No matter which colors you were drawn to, though, you might not want to commit them to all your walls. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. So rather than painting an entire room a color you’re unsure about, try one of these options instead.
Cabinets or kitchen island
This one is basically two birds with one stone. Painting cabinets not only lets you sample a color in smaller quantities, but it’s also a great way to get “new” cabinets without gutting the kitchen. For a truly modern look, consider a two-tone paint job, which is popular in kitchen design today. Domestic Imperfection shows one of our favorite looks.
Unless we’re hanging a wreath at holiday time, we often forget to decorate our doors. They’re a blank canvas just waiting for you to add some personality. Paint one or both sides of the door or even just the edge for an added surprise. You might go for a mural or a geometric design if you’re feeling playful. Don’t forget interior as well as exterior doors.
Textiles and accessories
As your writer, I love the energy of Glidden’s Aqua Fiesta. Ask me to paint my entire bedroom that shade and, personally, I’ll pass. But ask me to use it on a pillow cover or a vase, and I’m in. Throw blankets, lampshades, area rugs, artwork and even the frames for that art are great low-commitment ways to add splashes of bold color.
If you’re in the mood to upcycle some furniture, pull in your favorite 2021 colors for the new paint job. Think of how you could upgrade that tired dresser with a new coat of paint and hardware. If you have a chair with a great silhouette, either apply new paint or choose fabric with that color for a new seat cushion. Check out Divine Lifestyle to see what we mean.
Temporary walls for temporary situations
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, we learned that open floorplans aren’t quite the brilliant design plan we thought they’d be. With everyone trying to study, work and play in the same space, we started to crave additional walls and privacy. When you’re not looking for a construction project or want to eventually return to open floorplans, give these ideas a shot.
Think standalone folding panels you sometime see ladies change clothes behind in the movies. Privacy screens come in multiple sizes and designs, making them a good fit for lots of homes. And because you don’t have to secure them to a wall, they’re the ultimate no-commitment solution. Move them wherever you need them or push them to the side entirely as pure decoration when privacy is no longer needed.
Bookshelf room dividers
Dubbed by some as the shelfie, this is a great multifunctional solution. Not only does it create a division between rooms, but it also perfect for storage. Customize it to your style with knick-knacks, plants, books, whatever makes your space feel like you. Plus, if you choose open shelves, it won’t obstruct all light, keeping smaller spaces from feeling too cramped.
If you’re ready to make a bit of a bigger commitment, try a sliding door. Those on tracks attached outside the wall, like barn doors, don’t require a lot of construction know-how. And if you DIY the door, find a custom-made one to your tastes or choose two that slide to meet in the middle, you can often block off wider openings without sacrificing style or taking up a lot of space.
Hanging room divider
Fresh Crush shows how to make a hanging room divider using canvas, fabric and some common hardware. We like this option for its versatility. Choose whatever fabric and colors match the décor you already have. And when you’re done with the panels, you might be able to hang plants or other décor from those bolts as well.
Vanities you aren’t afraid to love
Many interior designers are saying upgraded bathroom vanities are going to be a highly desired feature in 2021. There’s an easy way to get the look without the commitment, and they can usually be done on a smaller budget.
New drawers and doors
You can paint the cabinetry of your bathroom vanity, just like we suggested for your kitchen. Or you can take it a step farther like Southern Hospitality. This DIYer refaced the vanity cupboards to get the Shaker cabinet look before repainting. It’s a can’t-miss transformation that also won’t leave you missing the money you saved by not overhauling the entire vanity.
Frame a mirror
Some of us have a plain mirror hung over the sink with brackets. Frame the mirror to change the overall look. It can be with simple molding or with more glamorous detail like O’verlays picked.
Maybe your vanity looks a bit sad because the room is dark. Brighten things up with some new lighting. Sconces are a good option and not all of them require rewiring or a call to an electrician. Within the Grove shared an unexpected hack: battery-powered puck lights tucked into real sconces. Talk about a light bulb of an idea.
They’re so small, so how does replacing the knobs or handles on a vanity drawer that much of a difference-maker? Sometimes you just need something that pulls all your style together. For example, if there’s black in your floor tiling, choose a black finish for your cabinet pulls. You can do the same with faucets, lighting and other accessories, like Love Grows Wild. Your overall style will look more intentional. You might also look for finishes that with a more luxurious vibe. Apartment Therapy predicts leather will be one of 2021’s most luxe materials, even for drawer pulls.
What is Scandinese, you ask? Sometimes called Japandi, it’s a mix of Scandinavian- and Japanese-inspired décor. It focuses on the simplicity and minimalist qualities with strong references to nature, typically found in both styles. If Scandi feels cold and sparse to you, try Scandinese, which is warmed up with the richer and more modern elements pulled in from Japanese design.
Key to Scandinese, just like the two styles that make it up, is the effective use of empty space. That means the furniture and accessories are chosen as much for their functionality as they are for their aesthetic. Once you clear out the clutter and focus on what’s necessary for your life and style, it’ll be easier to see the space you have.
Biophilic design – design inspired by living things – is a trend that just continues to grow in 2021. This is perfect for those creating the Scandinese look in their own home since it relies so heavily on natural elements. Try incorporating indoor bamboo, bonsai plants, orchids and money trees in your design.
Mix and match
Natural woods are a must in both Scandinavian- and Japanese-inspired styles. Scandinese marries the two, with lighter, more rustic woods with richer, stained ones. This means that if you’ve already tested the waters of one of these styles, you don’t have to go out and replace all your furniture. Simply swap out a piece here and there until you achieve your favorite look.
We’re inspired by traditional shoji screens from Japan for this tip. Clean pendant lighting is popular for Scandinese, so a paper lantern-style pendant could be the perfect fit for your new space. The roundness of many of these light fixtures also helps to soften the sharp edges more prominent in pure Scandi design. Don’t want to replace the entire light fixture? Opt for a paper or bamboo lamp shade instead.