Tag: trend

Pop Quiz: Is Your Home Too Trendy?

To find out, answer the questions below, keeping a pen and paper handy.  Each response has points assigned to it.  You’ll need to add up the points from all of your responses to tally your score at the end and see if your home is–indeed–too trendy.  Don’t worry: it’s only 8 questions + a lightning round…

1.  What best describes your bar cart situation?

a.  It’s always photo-ready, loaded with gorgeous glassware, patterned straws, and every bartending tool imaginable.  Nothing is ever amiss, because I usually only drink wine at home. (3 pts)

b.  I don’t have a bar cart per se, but there’s definitely a designated cocktail station that also functions as a decorative statement. (2 pts)

c.  From a home decor standpoint, I’m observing the 18th amendment and have no need for the devil’s trolley. (1 pt)


2.  When it comes to tropical-themed wallpaper…

a.  I think it looks great in other people’s homes. (1 pt)

b.  I’ve a got an accent wall that fits that description. (2 pts)

c.  People often mistake my place for The Beverly Hills Hotel. (3 pts)


3.  What percentage of your furnishings and decor did you purchase new and in the last year?

a.  75%+ (3 pts)

b.  around 50% (2 pts)

c.  25% or less (1 pt)


4.  Your art wall is…

a.  A mix of art from different disciplines, family photos, and mementos. (2 pts)

b.  Restricted to black and white photography only. (2 pts)

c.  Mostly pop art and funny or inspirational sayings. (3 pts)

d.  Nice try.  I don’t have an art wall. (1 pt)


5.  Your primary accent color is…

a.  Pink. (3 pts)

b.  Any other color. (1 pt)

c.  Different in each room. (1 pt)

d.  Forget accents!  Color reigns supreme in my home. (1 pt)

e.  Sorry, I live in a strictly monochrome zone. (3pts)


Pop Quiz: Is Your Home Too Trendy?

6.  The metal finish that plays the most significant role in your decor is…

a.  Chrome. (1 pt)

b.  Brass and gold. (2 pts)

c.  Rose gold and copper. (3 pts)

d.  Stainless steel, blackened iron, or oil rubbed bronze–nothing too shiny. (1 pt)

e.  They all battle each other for dominance.  It’s tough to say who’s winning. (2 pts)


7.  Lights hung from exposed cords or wires are…

a.  Totally a thing now.  Ain’t nobody got time for an electrician! (3 pts)

b.  Something I try to hide or I begrudgingly tolerate. (2 pts)

c.  Nowhere to be found in my home. (1 pt)


8.  Most of your furniture can be described as…

a.  Minimalist or streamlined. (1 pt)

b.  Midcentury modern–whether vintage or reproductions. (3 pts)

c.  Scandinavian in spirit. (3 pts)

d.  Antiques. (1 pt)

e.  Bohemian. (3 pts)

f.  Too diverse for any one style to claim the majority. (2 pts)

g.  Hollywood Regency. (2 pts)

h.  Other. (1 pt)


Lightning Round!  Give yourself one point for each of the following that you have in your home:

  • A sheepskin throw over a chair (1 pt)
  • Succulents and/or cacti (1 pt)
  • A figurine of a hand making a piece sign (1 pt)
  • Reclaimed wood (1 pt)
  • A painted portrait of someone–you have no idea who (1 pt)
  • A macrame or 70s-inspired wall hanging (1 pt)
  • Random mineral specimens (1 pt)
  • Books strictly for display purposes (1 pt)


OK, time to add up your points!  If you scored…

8-13 pts

No one could accuse you of being too trendy in your home decor.  Sure, you’ll adopt a trend here or there, but ultimately, you march to the beat of your own drum.

14-26 pts

Clearly you stay on top of trends and, as such, you’re predisposed to run with more of them.  Still, your style is all your own.  You’ve mastered that balance.

27-32 pts

You’re a bonafide trend scout!  In fact, you’re probably that friend whom everyone goes to with questions like “what do you think of this coffee table?”.  It’s because you have swagger and that comes through in your digs.  But is your home too trendy?  The truth is: there’s no such thing.  Your home should be a place that makes you happy.

Share your score in the comments below!

Stools Too Cool for School

Inspired by the mismatched stool trend?  Here are 10 unique stools to consider mixing an matching in your home…

10 Stools Too Cool for School

The Canaan accent table from Jonathan Adler combines marble and brass in a shapely silhouette.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Found on gilt.com, this teak stool from Uma features a crackled resin inlay.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

This 3-legged stool from Zgallerie is molded to resemble animal legs and hooves.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Pier1’s Arabella garden stool is ceramic with an exotic, pierced motif and metallic gold glaze.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Slightly taller than your average stool, this copper beauty has rustic appeal with a colorful patina and hammered texture.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Faux bois meets neon pink in the form of papier mache to create this stump.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Two-toned and masculine, CB2’s Silo side tables come in two shapes.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

You can’t get much more luxe or cool than Kelly Wearslter’s Bejeweled Stool.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

This wood stool is weathered and architectural in nature.

10 Stools Too Cool for School

Cork is an unexpected but fantastic choice for this chunky geometric side table from West Elm.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend: mismatched stools.  Grouped together in pairs or clusters, a variety of different stools can be quite striking.  As an added bonus, they are incredibly versatile.  Stools can be used as drinks tables or even extra seating.  In other words, they’re perfect for entertaining.  Here are 5 rooms with mismatched stools that shine.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

The cocktail tables in Lauren Santo Domingo’s living room are surrounded by an eclectic selection of stools–including one irresistibly quirky, hot pink, faux bois number.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

This super chic office offers a trio of stools–each different in style and material–for visiting collaborators to pop a squat on.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

Tucked beneath an hallway’s console table are two disparate stools, piled with accessories.  This stylish scene is the work of Joslyn Taylor.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

A pair of nesting tables mingle with metal and wood stools on a plush carpet in Domino’s Instagram, making for a richly textured vignette.

Trending: Mismatched Stools

The line between seat and table is blurred when the two assume the height in Pamela Makin’s living room.

If you are as into this trend as I am, check out these stools to start curating your own collection.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 1: Wallpaper

Even in the most beautiful homes, kitchens have (historically had) a tendency to feel sterile.  Expensive countertops and elaborate backsplashes can only go so far in imparting personality to a space.  Happily, this is changing.  More and more, I’m seeing kitchens with character.  After all, more and more entertaining is taking place the kitchen.  Thus, art, accessories, unconventional furniture, and textiles are creeping in.  Notably, wallpaper seems to be an emerging trend in kitchens.  Here are 6 reasons why…

Kitchens with Character | Wallpaper | Motley Decor

This kitchen in Sydney looks both tropical and inviting thanks to vibrant, palm-printed wallpaper hung on one wall.  With the white bar and cabinetry, the punch of color and pattern is a welcome addition.  Mai Tais, anyone?

Kitchens with Character | Wallpaper | Motley Decor

William Morris wallpaper gracefully envelopes this Scandinavian style kitchen, offsetting warm wood finishes, mixed metallics, and white subway tile.  Both fresh-feeling and traditional-leaning, this kitchen feels like the kind of space outputs raw kale salads and grandma’s famous cookies in equal quantities.  Yes, I got all of that from one wall display.

Kitchens with Character, vol. 1: Wallpaper on Motley Decor

Who can resist a little Fornasetti?  Not I.  Doesn’t it make the perfect backdrop for open shelving in this neutral-yet-uber-cool kitchen?

Kitchens with Character | Making a Statement with Wallpaper | Motley Decor

This is the kitchen of two artists living in Paris.  Not surprising–is it?  The gorgeous and elaborate wallpaper was hand printed by the couple and conveys a sense of soul.

Wallpaper in Kitchens with Character on Motley Decor

A beacon of malachite is visible through a cutout that reveals the kitchen of Juan Carretero’s apartment.  The green wallpaper calls to one in a way that makes one understand where Jay Gatsby was coming from when he gazed across the bay at the Buchanan’s dock each night.

Kitchens with Statement Wallpaper on Motley Decor

Channeling a Moroccan vibe, this wallpaper is easier to install than tile.  It also makes ordinary kitchen utensils look like an artistic still life.

Clearly wallpaper is one way to lavish style on your kitchen.  This blog post is titled “vol. 1”, because it’s not the only way.  I have a few more to share with you over the coming weeks.  So please stay tuned.




Trending: Architectural Photography

It keeps rearing it’s head in über stylish interiors: architectural photography. From cylindrical subway tunnels to elaborate Gothic churches, architectural photography is quickly becoming “a thing”. Here are 7 gorgeous examples to prove it.

Trending: Architectural Photography

Exhibit A: the Christian Liaigre London store with chic black furnishings and an oversize photograph of a gilded enfilade.  Photo by Paul Robida.

Trending: Architectural Photography

And check out this enviable living room of Ron Marvin’s (via Domino).  Above a sea of inviting textures and masculine neutrals, is a stunning photograph of a (considerably more formal) interior.

Trending: Architectural Photography

With a creamy palette and brass light fixtures, this living room (featured on Nuevo Estilo) feels feminine and serene.  However, the art choice–a stormy photograph of a building’s facade–adds a little drama and contrast.

Trending: Architectural Photography

This bedroom styled by Megan Morton (who also makes the bed pictured above) is an inky black cocoon of R&R, in which, an architectural photograph of hanging chandeliers sheds a little light.

Trending: Architectural Photography

The exquisite Alessandra Branca designed this dining room (photographed by Veranda) and quite possibly drew her jewel-toned palette from the photograph that hangs above the sofa.

Trending: Architectural PhotographyTrending: Architectural Photography

Both of these last two examples are courtesy of Raji RM + Associates and–as far as I can tell–Raji Rahhakrishnan doesn’t put anything in a room that isn’t to-die-for chic.  In the first example, an architectural photograph towers above a mantel, kept company by a quirky little red side table.  In the second, a floor-to-ceiling piece dominates the corner of a living room surrounded by wooded views.  However, in both examples–or rather all of these examples–architectural photography acts as a design counterpoint that elevates each room.  No wonder we keep seeing them.

2016 Home Decor Trends Forecast

A week into January and forecasts of 2016 home decor trends are running wild in cyberspace.  My inbox is brimming with them.  Some are very specific (jazzy, patterned bedding) while other are more vague (the use of organic materials).  Many of them I hope are realized and others I could do without.  Regardless, it’s an exciting time in interior design.  After carefully considering the various forecasts, I composed my own list of 2016 home decor trends I think we’ll see this year.  Here goes nothin’…

Unorthodox Materials

You’ve seen them too: feathery wall coverings, side tables fashioned from massive mineral specimens, brass kitchen cabinetry, and all sorts of unexpected substances being used in home decor.  I’d love to see ceiling medallions constructed from feathers,  ceilings veneered in mother of pearl, and unconventional textiles used in upholstery.  However, I have no doubt that interior designers will fathom new applications for a motley of luxurious and edgy materials in 2016 that will surprise us all.

2016 Home Decor Trends Forecast | Unorthodox Materials | 1 of 5 | Motley Decor

Clockwise: patent leather wainscoting, a geode sink, feathered wall treatment, a tapestry used as a table skirt

Statement Lighting with a Modern Twist

While opulent, glittering chandeliers will always have a place in my heart, I think we’re going to see fewer of them in 2016.  Bold, modernist light fixtures with abstract forms and articulated arms seem to be eclipsing their old world counterparts.  While these contemporary incarnations may have simplified designs, they are no less stunning.

2016 Home Decor Trends | Modern Statement Lighting | 2 of 5 | Motley Decor

Subdued Palettes

With Benjamin Moore embracing Simply White in 2016 and Pantone hailing Rose Quartz and Serenity as its two colors of the year, less vibrant colors appear to be on the horizon.  While we may not see pure white and pastels, I believe dusty hues and more subtle combinations of them are likely to dominate.  Apartment Therapy made a similar prediction, citing “less saturated” colors as an impending trend.

2016 Home Decor Trends | Subdued Palettes | 3 of 5 | Motley Decor

The Disappearnce of Utilitarian Spaces

Kitchens are leading the charge–more ornately decorated with framed art, piles of accessories and (perhaps most exciting) “statement” kitchen islands.  Bathrooms too are becoming more and more lavish–first with showstopping wallpaper and then with indulgent seating.  In fact, Houzz is projecting that “bathrooms that feel more like living spaces” will become a thing in 2016.  Laundry rooms, mud rooms, and garages are not far behind.  Soon, there won’t be a room left in the house that won’t merit a meticulous decorating.

2016 Home Decor Trends | The Disappearance of Utilitarian Spaces | 4 of 5 | Motley Decor

clockwise: exuberant wallpaper in a laundry room, a custom mother of pearl kitchen island, grotto chairs and commode in an enviable bathroom

Pre-1950s Throwbacks

Mid century modern furniture (again) will always occupy a part of my heart.  Still, as its popularity has grown in recent years, we may have witnessed an overdose of this era.  Seeking relief, I predict that interior designers and home decorators will turn to an earlier chapter in history and that we’ll see a shift from vintage items to storied antiques.  In Elle Decor’s 2015 September issue, What’s Modern Now?, Jean-Louis Deniot made this prediction, “Art Nouveau is about to have a second life”.  I hope he’s right!  That period, in particular, holds exciting possibilities, but I wouldn’t rule out a surge in the popularity of Gustavian furniture either.

2016 Home Decor Trends | Antiques | 5 of 5 | Motley Decor

What 2016 home decor trends do you foresee?

Trending: Patterned Lampshades

More and more, I’m noticing patterned lampshades popping up in to-die-for interiors.  This is a tactic maximalists like Alex Papachristidis have exercised for years.  And now it seems as though more designers are hopping on the bandwagon, wrapping lampshades in beautiful textiles.  Patterned lampshades may very well have achieved “trend” status when this Jean-Louis Deniot project hit the Elle Decor servers a couple of months ago…

Jean-Louis Deniot designed Paris apartment with patterned lampshades

Here, Deniot placed a pair of mustard-colored, patterned lampshades in an aqua-hued room.  The contrast in colors focuses more attention on this bold lighting choice.

Trending: patterned lampshades | malachite patterned lampshades | designer Sasha Bikoff

Designer Sasha Bikoff also opted for twin lamps in this vignette, employing malachite lampshades that coordinate with the emerald drapes.

Trend: Patterned Lampshades

In this example, Raji Radhakrishnan‘s home office features a lampshade that resembles an abstract painting.  Is anyone else thinking that this might be a fun DIY project?

Trending: Patterned Lampshades | Leopard lampshades in a Laurel Canyon Home

Leopard-covered lampshades add a little edge to the feminine, all-white living room of late costume designer Theadora Van Runkle’s Laurel Canyon Home.

Trending: Patterned Lampshades | Alex Papachristidis

And, of course, Alex Papachristidis is no stranger to patterned lampshades, which are found in nearly every room of his home.  His magnificent cranberry and aubergine living room is no exception, where a matched pair of table lamps and a swing arm floor lamp all feature shades with prints.  In a room filled with bold textiles, why not cover your lampshades in pattern?

Trend Alert: Abstract Metal Wall Sculptures

Abstract metal wall sculptures are definitely trending.  I can hardly turn a page in Elle Decor or review my Pinterest feed without seeing one of the shiny beauties.  However, unlike some of the other recent trends in home decorating, I am totally on board with this one!  Here are some of my favorite examples of the emerging trend…

Trending: Abstract Metal Wall Sculptures

Artist Anish Kapoor seems to be reaping the benefits this trend.  Her polished, concave wall sculptures come in a variety of colors and finishes and are popping up in some of the chicest, new homes.   The above example is from Architectural Digest and depicts the Manhattan home of decorator Laura Santos.

Trend Alert: Metal Wall Sculptures

In his former Manhattan duplex (featured–again–by AD), famed designer Nate Berkus installed this show-stopping, stainless steel wall sculpture by Octavio Abúndez.

Trending: metallic wall sculptures

Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada’s eclectic home (pictured above by House & Garden) boasts a plethora of unique furnishings and decor.  But even with all of its treasures, the burgundy, metallic, seemingly “crumpled” wall sculpture in the upper right of this picture is what draws my eye.  I couldn’t find the name of the artist, but I’ve seen similar pieces (in different colors and finishes) floating around home decor magazines lately.

Trending: metal wall sculptures

This is the picture that pushed my love of this new trend over the edge.  A devoted Jean-Louis Deniot fan, I ate up Elle Decor’s coverage of his latest project: a stunning Paris apartment renovated and decorated for a real-life princess.  The gold “nuggets” pictured here are by artist Romain Sarrot and intended to be displayed on the floor.  However, Deniot–master that he is–opted to hang the gilded resin pieces on the upholstered walls in the master bedroom.  He described them as “24-karat-gold popcorn”.  Exquisite!

Well, I’ve gotta go hunt for my own metallic wall scupture(s) now.  With any luck, I’ll share Cher them in a future post.

Ideas for Your Gallery Wall

Need to fill a space on your gallery wall? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing…
Use this 3D acrylic cube for holding small sculptures or other treasures.

from CB2

from CB2

A sunburst mirror is a classic choice. This one has an art deco feel to it.

Wall brackets are great for holding figurines or can be used as a ledge to lean smaller paintings against the wall.

This is the same wall bracket I used on my gallery wall. Available at Wayfair

This is the same wall bracket I used on my gallery wall.  Available at Wayfair

Gold and silver leaf frames elevate any artwork or can even make a statement when they are empty.

found on etsy

found on etsy

Technicially, this is a tray, but is meant to be hung as a (surreal) portrait.

from envilu

from envilu

Give your space an exotic feel with faux taxidermy.

available at Dot&Bo

available at Dot&Bo

If nothing else, this Rorschach-inspired inkblot will make you think…

How to Take Your Gallery Wall to the Next Level

While some are dismissing the gallery wall (aka salon wall or art wall)  as a passing trend, is likely to have staying power.  At it’s core, it is a curated collection of highly personal works of art, mementos, and decorative objects in an artful arrangement.  What better way for a passionate home decorator to express herself?  So let’s assume the gallery wall is here to stay.  How do you take your salon wall to the next level?

1.  Lay the Foundation

Both patterned wallpaper and beautiful color make excellent backdrops for your most treasured artworks.  If you decide go this route, make sure to leave enough space between pieces to let that stunning print or vibrant color shine through.

Gallery Wall with teal ikat wallpaper

A gallery wall in Jim Thompson’s showroom features colorful paintings against a teal ikat wallpaper background. Architectural Digest


2. Take It Personally

Hang something–or perhaps all things–that matter to you: a clock you inherited, a photo you snapped on vacation, a painting by a dear friend.

Gallery wall with personality

The gallery wall in my hallway features a black and white watercolor by my mother and the unframed eye miniature is by my sister.


3. Diversify Your Holdings

Sure, art walls with uniform frames and grid-like arrangements are a thing. Thematic gallery walls are also a popular choice. On the other hand, you could play with scale, shape, color, and subject matter to create a more eclectic and personal mix. Vary the size of your hung treasures. Choose frames (or forgo them in some cases) that compliment the art instead of each other. Break up all of those right angles with an oval frame or sunburst mirror. Hang art that speaks to you–color scheme and subject matter to be damned! Don’t be afraid to hang pop art next to a traditional still life. Or, don’t limit yourself to just art…

Interesting gallery wall with varied works.

This gallery wall features art from different disciplines and a playful sense of scale.


4.  See It in 3D

If you have the space, consider letting three dimensional objects protrude from your gallery wall: a mask, tree branch, candle sconce, faux taxidermy, or even an architectural fragment.  Even leaning a painting against your wall can add depth and interest.

Gallery wall with 3D pieces.

A wall-mounted plexi-glass box encases a small skull sculpture and gives this salon wall depth.


5.  Let It Grow

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a well-curated salon wall.  Some blank space isn’t necessarily a bad thing–nor is an empty frame.  If you must, embrace placeholders.  There is no shortage of inexpensive items you can hang while you hunt for art: dried flowers, vintage textiles, your favorite poem, a homemade Rorschach-inspired inkblot.  You may even learn to love the placeholder and never end up replacing it.

Art walls can feature empty frames and still look chic.

On this art wall, gilded empty frames are prominently hung. Charles Spada

Ready to get started or need to fill a space?  Check out these ideas and shopping suggestions to augment your art wall.

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