By RITA KUEBER
Much like fashion, interior design is what you make of it. Trends come, trends go, and timeless classics remain no matter what. Still, if we didn’t keep an eye on what’s fresh, we’d all still be living with shag carpeting and popcorn ceilings. (Insert shudder here.) Currents had the chance to talk with several design experts – the owner of a designer showroom, an interior designer with a large studio, and a design/build company, to take a look at up-and-coming styles for 2024.
Ann Monroe is the owner of AE Monroe & Company, a professional interior design showroom specializing in residential, located in the Ohio Design Centre in Beachwood. She has over 30 years of experience, and she works with professional designers who have clients of their own, but also sells directly to the public. After attending High Point Market last October, for 2024, she is seeing a lot of clean lines and the continuation of textured white fabric on furniture. But the fabrics en vogue are performance fabrics. These are material that’s easily cleaned, stain resistant and durable, kid and pet friendly, and
meant to withstand the activities of daily living. Whites and off whites continue to be popular in drapes and curtains.
“The colors are still muted,” Monroe says, “I didn’t see a lot of bright colors, although it was the fall season. But there were more blues and whites, related to the popularity of the coastal look.” She mentions that here in NE Ohio, the coastal look looks a little bit out of place unless the house is actually on Lake Erie. The exception may be kitchens, which seem to be lighter. And in a kitchen, gray can still be very important – no matter what the shade. “It does get a little gloomy here, but we’re used to it,” she adds.
When asked about the most popular named colors for 2024, Marissa Matiyasic Owner/Principal of Reflections Interior Design says “the one thing we don’t do is follow the trends. We are aware of them, but we design for longevity,” she states. There are several trends the Reflections team is seeing; one is what Marissa calls the ‘romance’ of colors. “We see the soft colors – the soft white plaster, peach fuzz and the introduction of more blue that’s coming right out of California and headed this way,” she says. “Sherwin-Williams has a beautiful fresh blue that goes with both white and other blue tones, plus berry. This mix of tones is a romance filled with softness, richness and depth. We love English design, and mixing in the florals with all of our work is like creating a beautiful bouquet.”
Speaking of color, Matiyasic mentions how mixed metals were big last year, juxtaposing black and gold, for example. “We going to continue to see that mix, especially in lighting,” she says. “There’s also an interesting introduction of color in lighting, achieved with powder coat finishes in lighting and accent colors. We’re starting to see color in plumbing as well, like color faucets mixed with metal for kitchens and baths.”
In the other parts of the house, “We’re seeing a lot of natural and gray finishes in the wood, and wood stains are coming back in the medium browns like walnut,” Monroe says. “Even the most classic houses need mid-tones in the wood, and not dark wood finishes. Those wood tones are now a bit of a mix, she explains. “It’s not matchy-matchy anymore. Some designers are going out of their way to have different finishes for different pieces.”
For someone with a modest budget, Monroe recommends painting for freshness, adding pillows for color, greenery for texture (even faux greenery), and the addition of light, as in adding lamps. “We don’t need to make things darker here,” she emphasizes. “Lighting has changed so much with the variety and style of bulbs, and brighter always makes us feel better.”
When it comes to wallcovering, Matiyasic swears by a classic mainstay of the industry, grasscloth. “Some may see this material as newer, but it’s something that’s in now, and it’s always been in. Grasscloth comes in just about any color now, and we’re starting to see some prints and even a metallic finish. My office has a pattern of white branches on blue grass cloth. It lends dimension, and texture. It’s a very versatile wall treatment.”
She brings up another point about wallpaper, too. “I think people are at a point where they don’t want their house to look like their neighbor’s, and they’re making choices that are a little bit bolder – statement wallpaper comes to mind. We’ve seen it powder rooms, but now we’re seeing this style in kitchens and bedrooms as well.”
“What’s most important,” Matiyasic adds, “is to stay true to what will work in your house. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it. When you go shopping be sure to have a map or a guide. Measure your space and get a floor plan established. There are plenty of apps to make a digital map of your space, so you don’t buy an 84-inch sofa when you only have room for a 72-inch piece. Proportions in a showroom or furniture store are not the proportions of your house. Make a plan and stick to it.