old, something new, something borrowed, something
blue. The hallmarks of a memorable wedding, these
are also the cornerstones of next year's home decorating
trends. "As Americans continue to focus more
on spending quality time at home, how their houses
look and feel will become increasingly important," notes
Todd Imholte, president of Environmental Graphics
(EGI), an industry leader in the production of decorative
wall murals. This "cocooning" lifestyle
will be clearly evinced in warm color palettes, nostalgic
accessories, and classical
year's color palette is already happening," says
Gwendolyn Lewis Huddleston, academic director of
design at The Art Institute of California - San Francisco. "One
of the hottest colors, literally, is 'golden yellow,'
which nicely complements the equally popular jewel-toned
purples, blues and greens." Americana-inspired
dark reds and blues will remain popular as well. "Neutrals
are out," echoes Lou Manfredini, a home improvement/do-it-yourself
expert and Ace Hardware's new "Helpful Hardware
Man." The new-and-improved harvest golds, terracottas
and avocados create homes that are not only pleasant
to be in, but also offer tremendous flexibility in
terms of accessories, wallpaper and carpeting. The
key is to use the warm colors as a background in
which to showcase the rest of your house." Manfredini
also recommends "decorating like nature" by
using darker colors on lower parts of the house (the
trees), then going lighter as the eye moves up (the
sky). The contrast between vibrant walls and white
ceilings can be both dramatic and soothing.
But decorating your home in warm, feel-good colors is just the first step.
The next is to truly make them your own by incorporating family pieces that
evoke fond memories of the past. "Antiques, heirlooms, photos and items
we treasure are greatly influencing our home décor," explains Sharon
Hanby-Robie, interior designer, author of the "My Name Isn't Martha" book
series and spokesperson for the Wallpaper Council. "Laying Grandma's old
piano scarf across the back of our sofa, for example, helps keep loved ones
part of our everyday lives. It also gives us a much-needed sense of belonging."
Frank Ponterio, of Ponterio Interior Design in Lake Forest, Ill., also sees
a trend toward classicism and the traditional, with physical texture like crewel,
visual texture like warm plaid, and color that leans toward oxblood, chocolate
and tan. And according to Hanby-Robie, patterns will play an important role
as we decorate our homes "to stay, rather than resell." Florals,
botanicals, tropicals, paisleys, damasks and classic stripes will be particularly
visible in wall coverings, upholstery, area rugs and murals.
The fact that murals remain popular comes as no surprise to EGI's Imholte. "Like
a soothing color palette or comforting knickknacks, our wall murals give a
room that warm, personal touch while, at the same time, reflecting a very contemporary
style," says Imholte. "The murals are affordable and easy to install,
and work equally well in a living room, family room, child's room or office."
Environmental Graphics' eight-panel, 8-foot tall by 13-foot wide murals are
available in 21 nature- and sports-themed styles. Popular designs include Lighthouse
Cove, Desert in Bloom and River Portage, as well as the company's newest addition,
Dolphins Paradise, that recently won the 2001 ADEX Award for Wallcovering Design.
For a full-color brochure that includes wall mural designs and local dealer
information, call toll-free (800) 328-3869. To purchase wall murals, visit
your local Lowe's, Sherwin Williams or Home Depot store.
Internet users can visit Environmental Graphics' Web site at www.primoproducts.com
to preview all 21 murals, receive installation tips and learn more about the
Courtesy of ARA Content