With so much attention on the Royal Family these days, it’s easy to see where our interest in Old World opulence comes from. While you and I may not be setting up digs in Kensington Palace anytime soon, that doesn’t mean we can’t give our homes the royal treatment.
The Royal Treatment
Dramatic, architectural detailing, like carved stone and intricate plaster mouldings, are making a comeback this year. For something on a smaller scale, look for furniture made with old European techniques, such as marquetry or hand carvings, and luxurious materials like marble, velvet or traditional jacquard.
Add another layer of texture to your room by enveloping it in wallpaper or upholstered panels in a tone-on-tone floral or damask pattern. Don’t forget the gold accents!
The Midas Touch
Nothing says luxury more than gold. Whether you are into Old World European or sleek contemporary design, gold is everywhere. Gone are the days of sparkle and bling from earlier in the decade. This luxury is sophisticated, warm, and refined, and the best part is you don’t have to be rolling in it to afford it. Usually made from brass or other metals designed to have the look without the 24- karat price, furniture and accessories abound at just about every price point.
Pair gold with black and white for a cool up-to-the-minute look, or try it with a more subdued palette for a softer, feminine feel. My personal favourite version of this year’s gold is a finish called “antiqued brass”—it’s soft and understated, exuding all the warmth and luxury without the flash.
An Old Favourite
As for colour supremacy, surveys done in Europe and the U.S. put blue at the top by close to 50 percent. And why not? It’s the colour of the sea and sky, jeans and gems. It can be soft and serene, or rich and bold.
Blue works with just about every colour scheme and every style from earth-friendly to opulent. In 2014 it will be showing up in some of its most vibrant forms like ultramarine, sapphire and navy. Making appearances everywhere from pillows, wallpaper, and even to kitchen cabinets, blue is one of this year’s biggest colours.
New Neutral Territory
Another place we’ll be seeing blue, along with rose, violet, and other soft hues, is in the background. While grey still reigns supreme and warm earth tones, like taupe and beige, are creeping back in, the new neutrals for 2014 are pastels. Not the Easter egg kind, but muted, toned-down versions that work as the perfect backdrop, adding a hint of colour and life to our walls.
Notice an influx of wildlife lately? Animals of every kind are parading their way into our homes on textiles, wallpaper, art and accessories. From elephants, rhinos, and giraffes, to dogs, foxes, and squirrels, animals are a popular theme for 2014. Look for bronze or brass sculptures and lamp bases, or fun wallpaper prints for a powder room or den.
While the “Global Village” keeps getting smaller, our access to design from around the world keeps growing. With the explosion of the cottage craft industry and easy access to global markets, textiles, furniture, and tableware from skilled artisans around the world are finding their way into our homes.
Many of these pieces are handmade using Old World techniques, sustainable materials and fair trade business practices. The result is an interesting, colourful, and eclectic look with a worldly feel and a story lingering behind each piece.
Even if you never leave the country, your home can look like you’ve travelled the world. Keep this look from feeling cluttered with a simple white backdrop and frequently curate your collection.
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