Big Decorating Ideas

Discover the new products and trends the pros are eager to work into their designs this year

Ready to give your home a fresh new look for the new year? Six design insiders share the decorating ideas you need to get started.

The Big Idea #1: Natural accents that are more glamorous than “granola”

Cassandra LaValle, style blogger

Her take on the idea: “Natural elements are being used in fresh new ways, through pieces that feel earthy without being too ‘granola,’ like a wood-slab coffee table edged in gold. Rocks and gemstones have been appearing in home décor in lots of different ways in the past year. The texture of geodes—that watery, marbleized pattern—has especially caught on.”

START WITH Agate Lamp (above, middle) from the Laura Kirar Collection by Arteriors, $750, PAIR IT WITH (clockwise, from top left) Hollywood Coaster Set by Jonathan Adler, $68, Lacquer Storage Boxes Set by Plantation, $130, Turned Pedestal Bistro Table by West Elm, $399, Hofdi Square Wool Blanket by Leif, $98,


The Big Idea #2: Unusual neutrals—like warm, nuanced gray—replace bright white walls

Nestor Santa-Cruz, principal designer
Nestor Santa-Cruz Decoration,

His take on the idea: “I think we’re seeing a reaction to all-white rooms and ivory walls in the trend toward pearly grays with purple, blue or pink tones. Designers have gone for it and you can see it in fashion, too—think Christian Dior gray. When we think of gray, we often imagine cool tones, but this color brings a certain warmth and calmness to a space, which could be quite appropriate in a mountain environment.”

START WITH Elephant’s Breath by Farrow & Ball (above, left), starting at $85/gallon, PAIR IT WITH (right column, from top) Nature Précieuse wallcovering (RM 555 80) by Élitis, $116/square foot, Licensed Edition Ceiling Lamp by Serge Mouille, $6,350, Applause Velvet #69 in Blue Venetian Waters by Gretchen Bellinger, $129.50/yard,


The Big Idea #3: Multi-dimensional and organic “found objects” take the place of antiques

Debra Shull, principal designer
Haven Interior Design,

Her take on the idea: “When I design a space, I often make my selections for furnishings and fabrics—the essentials that make a room function—and then leave placeholders for what I call ‘found items,’ those sculptural pieces that we happen upon and gasp when we see them. Lately, in more contemporary mountain homes, these sculptural objects tend to be organic materials. It’s a new way of thinking about antiques, those one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable pieces that stand on their own.”

START WITH Quartz on base (above, left) by Sloan Miyasato, $15,400, PAIR IT WITH (above right, from top) Edo Candlesticks by Gregorius Pineo, to the trade, Burl Bowl in cherry by Spencer Peterman, $88-$770,


The Big Idea #4: Fresh fabrics and wallcoverings that defy traditional color schemes

Andrea Schumacher, principal designer
O Interior Design,

Her take on the idea: “Fabrics that mix colors in unexpected ways and create new twists on old design
sensibilities are in vogue right now. The addition of bold color to the shapes in a print—and, in this case, the way the florals overlap one another—gives the fabric a more modern flavor. I always look for one fabric with a lot of different colors in it to inspire my color palette for a room.”

START WITH Shanghai Peacock fabric (above, left) by Schumacher, to the trade, price upon request, PAIR IT WITH (above right, from top) Imperial Trellis Wallpaper in Citrine by Schumacher, to the trade, price upon request, Benjamin Carved-Back Chair, $1,059,


The Big Idea #5: Rustic materials and a modern sensibility are a match made in heaven

Stephanie Sandston, principal designer
Shack Up Studio,

Her take on the idea: “Pairing rustic materials with elegant, minimalist shapes creates a look that’s masculine but refined. The custom desk that anchors this workspace does just that, pairing a warm fir top with a steel frame that has a modern Art Deco shape. I have a real appreciation for ‘honest’ materials like wood, steel and leather.”

START WITH Wood-and-Steel Desk (above, left) by Shack Up Design, $4,500, PAIR IT WITH (right column, from top) Brass Ball Series One Way Table Lamp by Lika Moore for Blackman Cruz Workshop, $2,400, Saddle Leather Boxes by Shack Up Studio, $145-$250,


The Big Idea #6: Contemporary furnishings can be stylish, practical and comfortable

Erin Martin, principal designer
Erin Martin Design,

Her take on the idea: “I’ve been seeing a trend toward comfort and easy living. Everyone is working so hard to make ends meet, so our homes should be respites, not environments that feel stiff. Our firm has always invested in creating peaceful places—and it’s finally catching on. I find that more and more people want to invest in quality furnishings that are unique and comfortable. They really want to express themselves through their homes.”

START WITH Curved Section (above, middle) by Ochre, starting at $31,313, PAIR IT WITH (products at top, from left) Throw Pillows by Commune Design, $400, Navire Floor Lamp by Atelier de Troupe, $1,250,

Categories: Furnishings & Accessories