Décor trends for 2012

Décor trends for this year are so extreme and refreshing that you’re going to have to incorporate the glitz and glamour of entire decades to pull off the looks. You may have thought that velvet drapes, bubblegum blue walls and brass sculptures are way past their heyday – but guess again.

The new trends are revivals of the fundamental design trends from the past. If you want your home or apartment to be über trendy this year, you’re going to have to master the art of mixing borderline-tacky pieces with vintage.

Hollywood Regency

The 1930’s is known as Hollywood’s Golden Age, where West Coast film luminaries asked interior designers to make their homes sparkle – they wanted everything from pearl-draped curtains and silk lampshades to thick, sculpted carpets. This Hollywood Regency design trend is making a huge comeback.

Barclay Butera, furniture designer and interior decorator, says Hollywood Regency is all about the details. “The wonderful fabrics, fringe on lampshades, chandeliers with crystals – Hollywood Regency style is about glamour, but so much is found in the wonderful details,” says Butera.

Design director at online auction site eBay, Shawn Henderson, says that the modern version of this Hollywood style is definitely an up and coming trend. “Hollywood Regency has spiked in sales. Recently a William ‘Billy’ Haines cabinet sold on eBay for US$7,500,” Henderson told HGTV.com.

Not everyone has the disposal income for Haines pieces – and not everyone has a good eye for flea market bargains. Karen Figilis, publicist for William Haines Designs, gives these tips: “People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they can just throw any flea market find into the mix. While the style lends itself to mixing and matching, it’s important to remember coordinating elements,” said Figilis.


Brass is back this year! Everything from brass chandeliers to brass bathroom fixtures is making a comeback. The good news is that was a huge trend during the ’70’s – 80’s, so if your grandma gave you an over-the-top brass picture frame or other ornaments, now is the time to dig them out of the box in the basement.

Many design enthusiasts won’t touch brass – it’s not the easiest metal to colour-code with and it can look cheap if it’s not matched throughout your kitchen, dining room or other home areas. Make sure this theme is consistent throughout your rooms if you want to incorporate brass in your home décor.

New colour directions

Each year, Crown Paints invites a group of colourists from various industries to join them for a discussion to define upcoming colour trends (which invariably influences the interior design landscape for the year ahead). The four trends for Spring/Summer 2012 are ‘New Direction‘, ‘Modern Nostalgia‘, ‘Summer Jewels’ and ‘Surreal Botanical’.

Featuring a bold clash of acid neons and neutral shades, New Direction captures the spirit of the post-industrial age, while a more delicate and subtle palette – shaped by the Great British seaside – is found in Modern Nostalgia. Surreal Botanical creates a visual clash of the natural and the man-made with emerald greens and other bold, bright shades of green. Inspired by Palm Springs, Summer Jewels draws together pinks, blue tones and yellows to create a fresh, upbeat palette.

Trend Bible director Joanna Feeley comments: “One of the key concepts I was keen to get across for emulsions was about thinking beyond traditional colour groupings like ‘pastels’ or ‘brights’ or ‘neons’ or ‘neutrals’. The strongest palette for me was New Directions, which cleverly blends pastel shades with bubblegum pink and acidic chlorophyl brights. Grey still underpins strong colour and we see grey as being a key backdrop to brights through 2012,” said Feeley.

Minimalistic bathrooms

While other types of interior décor are all about glitz and glamour, it seems as though minimalistic, traditional bathrooms are the way to go. Not many people “re-do” their bathrooms to keep with the trends, but if you’re moving, building or planning a revamp, some things that are trendy and will look great for years to come include a roll-top freestanding bath. These baths create an excellent focal point in a bathroom and they usually come in different lengths (you don’t need a huge bathroom to justify a freestanding bath). If you’re looking to upgrade the look of your bathroom, you could also replace your existing toilet with a high level toilet (the kind where the cistern is fixed up onto the wall so that you can install a long, chrome or brass flush pipe).

Trendy kitchens

Trendy kitchen colours for 2012 include burgundy, pistachio, anthracite and olive. Another kitchen décor trend is handleless kitchen cabinets and drawers. The neat design of these drawers means that you can open and close all your drawers and cupboards without visible surface mounted handles, which is a great way to give your kitchen a minimalist look.

If you’re keen on minimising clutter in your kitchen, invest in compact storage cabinets such as corner carousels, drawer dividers and pull-out larders. These clever storage solutions are the easiest way to organise your kitchen.

The Live Eco team


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