Design Trends: Nest Refresh

Give your home a trendy update with these tips from local designers

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This dining area incorporates natural design through texture, tone, and live foliage. Photo by Claudia Bell
This dining area incorporates natural design through texture, tone, and live foliage. Photo by Claudia Bell

Every year, the interior design industry rolls out its annual haul of home décor trends—some fleeting and some that persevere for decades, even centuries. With cooler weather upon us and the holidays fast approaching, it’s a good time to preen your home, or even just one room, in the most au courant fixations. Here, local designers Jennifer Ribek of Jennifer Ribek Interior Design in Jupiter and Baylee Knipe of Baylee Deyon Design in Palm City weigh in on some of their favorite trends and share some advice for incorporating them into your home.

Earth and water tones paired with the natural material of the rattan ottomans set the tone for biophilic design in this living room, while bringing in plants and flowers heightens the look. Photo by Sargent Photography
Earth and water tones paired with the natural material of the rattan ottomans set the tone for biophilic design in this living room, while bringing in plants and flowers heightens the look. Photo by Sargent Photography

Biophilic/Natural Design

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends a whopping 93 percent of life indoors. The backbone of biophilic design is using natural and wholesome materials, plants, lighting, and other sensorial design elements to create an organic oasis that energizes, refreshes, and connects us with nature. “Bringing the outdoors in is all about blurring the line between us and the outside,” says Palm City–based designer Baylee Knipe. “You can achieve this look by incorporating nature-inspired wall coverings  such as a natural grass cloth or palm frond–patterned wallpaper.” She also recommends punctuating your pad with plants and other lush greens, whether with ceiling planters, a potted fiddle leaf tree, or a living wall. Jupiter-based designer Jennifer Ribek suggests weaving in furniture composed of natural materials like rattan or wicker (“They were so trendy in the 2000s and have made a major comeback”), jute or hemp-mixed rugs, and wall paints in warm colors and earthy tones. You can also lend texture, Ribek adds, with wooden elements like picture frames and decorative bowls or fill a clay vase with flower buds and leaves for an organic touch.

African décor mixed with modern art gives this living room personality.
African décor mixed with modern art gives this living room personality.

International Influences

Take a subliminal vacation with help from furnishings and textiles from all over the globe. “By incorporating ornamental details, textiles, and furnishings from different parts of the world, you can create a feeling you are somewhere else,” Ribek says. “This is so important, since traveling today is not as easy as it once was.” Pick a destination you love, then look at online photographs to get a better sense of the country’s colors, textures, and tones. Says Ribek: “Even a photo from your travels can be the anchor for your design choices.” You might incorporate Asian influences, Aztec tribal tributes, beachy vibes, or a dash of Southwestern élan. Ribek notes that Balinese and Moroccan flair are popular themes. “When I think of Bali, I imagine white sofas, hand-carved wooden coffee tables, and sheer drapes. If you want a piece of Morocco, combine lots of pillows in beautiful jewel tones and hand-painted tiles with hanging lamps.”

A mix of vintage furniture, antique keepsakes, and a “touch of today” combine for a cozy room. Photo by Brantley Photography
A mix of vintage furniture, antique keepsakes, and a “touch of today” combine for a cozy room. Photo by Brantley Photography

Grandmillennial Style

“There are a lot of amazing details that go into the ‘granny chic’ style, which I define as vintage with a touch of today,” says Ribek. “The mix of vintage goods with today’s style is something that is so fun to do because you are bringing life out of history.” Begin with a fabulous wallpaper or fabric with colors that can be highlighted around the room in furnishings and accessories, including art, pillows, or even lighting. Next, layer lace adornments and needlepoint pillows with your heirlooms and curios like the
antique clock you found traveling overseas. “These things have value and add such greatness to your home,” says Ribek. If you have an outdated piece with good bones, like your grandmother’s favorite settee in that what-was-she-thinking, pea soup–colored velvet, have it reupholstered in chintz or chinoiserie and trimmed with fringe for a transformational effect. Notes Ribek: “It may be enhanced, but the memories will still be within it.”

Eco-Friendly

Sustainable-minded living is commonplace in countries like Denmark and Finland, and millions of Americans are also now embracing eco-friendly design. Ribek says we can create an environmentally awakened home with simple initiatives like switching to LED light bulbs, purchasing energy-efficient appliances, and installing an adjustable thermostat. She also recommends picking zero-VOC paints, which are healthier and have better energy efficiency than traditional ones; decorating with plants to help eliminate air toxins; and repurposing old or neglected furniture with fabrics made from natural, vegan, or cruelty-free materials like hemp, organic wool, and synthetic leather.

The key to color pop is keeping the main furniture pieces neutral-toned, says designer Baylee Knipe.
The key to color pop is keeping the main furniture pieces neutral-toned, says designer Baylee Knipe.

Color Pop

There are many reasons why neutral colors like white, beige, and gray are the deities of interior design. Not only do they make us feel relaxed, but they also serve as a focal point in minimalistic and monochromatic design, two trends that have staying power. But just because these subdued tones are in style, that doesn’t mean you can’t take that color wheel for a spin. “I like the main furniture pieces and the rug to remain neutral, and I’ll incorporate strong color through pillows, artwork, and paint,” says Knipe. “This allows you to switch items out with the seasons, or as you please, without having to replace a whole sofa if you get sick of it.” Simple things like adding a large rug or runner, indoor blooms, or a lampshade in a bright pattern or hue are easy to replace and can make a big impact.

Maximalism

Unlike Japandi, a portmanteau of Japanese and minimalism, maximalism is a
“more is more” style with the ability to balance furnishings, collections, and even tchotchkes with vibrant textures and bold hues—all under the same ceiling. “I love that there aren’t really any rules that have to be followed with this trend,” says Knipe. “It’s just decorating a space with items that make you happy and not caring if it’s over-the-top because it works.” Happiness is key to designing a maximalist room, which should be stocked with cheery hues and everything you love, even if it feels contradictory. Knipe recommends picking a starting point: “Think of it as your ground zero.” It could be a terrazzo tile floor, wallpaper with punchy stripes, or even a Marvel movie poster. Create cohesion by matching your favorite colors and patterns in furniture pieces, throw pillows, area rugs, and art, which also gives the eye something to absorb.

Multifunctional Spaces

Thanks to COVID, our homes have served us in more ways than we could have ever imagined. For many, they act as a workplace, school, restaurant, and gym all at once. “[COVID] has created a real need for multipurpose spaces,” says Knipe. “Rooms now need to do double or even triple duty, whether it’s making an open floor plan more functional or maximizing a small nook.” Determine how the room will be utilized, then designate separate areas (rugs or room dividers can be helpful here) for different activities. For instance, if you want a spot to watch movies and entertain, Knipe recommends pairing a comfortable sectional around the television with lounge chairs and a storage ottoman that can serve as a tabletop. “Dual- purpose furniture is key here,” she says. And a standing desk with an under-the-desk treadmill placed in a sunny corner is perfect for anyone who has to work, and workout, at home.

Majestic by artist Kre8. Courtesy of Ken Hooper Capozzi
Majestic by artist Kre8. Courtesy of Ken Hooper Capozzi

Off the Wall

Don’t forget to show your walls some lovin’ too. Palm City–based Ken Hooper Capozzi, a design consultant and member of the board of directors for the Arts Council of Martin County, gives the lowdown on what’s trending in the art world.

Spot Color

I’m seeing this a lot—a pop of color against a neutral background, which creates incredible contrast. I have a piece by Miami artist Kre8, who paints very surreal backgrounds with black and white animals and figures and then throws out all these colors like confetti. It’s just splash, splash, splash all over!

Metal Prints

Printing high-definition images on metal panels like aluminum has become a big movement. It’s much different than printing on canvas—metal prints are so crisp and clean, they almost look real. Plus, they’re fairly inexpensive.

Glass

Colored or sculptured, more and more people are buying glass for their shelves and bookcases. With LED lighting, you can light it very easily without running wires everywhere. A fine piece of glass will never go out of style if it’s properly displayed and lit.

Sculpture

It’s not necessarily a trend, but sculpture is a great way to add character to a room. I like metal art—it could be copper, silver, or brass, in geometric shapes, and it could hang on the wall or sit behind your couch. When it comes to metals, my motto is, the more you mix, the more it lasts forever.

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