Thursday, September 29, 2011


It’s October - the fall design season is well underway. If you check out our Calendar of Events, you’ll see that there are several antique and design shows scheduled in NYC and Florida. The biggest trend Robin Lechner Designs is thrilled to see is what I’ve called Crossover Decorating. What I mean by that is that previously decorated rooms that stuck conservatively to one design period, are now deftly mixing different periods and styles. Another trend that has been around for a while, but is beginning to surface in a big way is the use of Metallics mixed with woods, other materials, or used solo. And the third great trend, one of my favorite colors – RED, is pulling ahead of the pack on the color wheel.

Trend #1 – Crossover Decorating. Crossover Decorating is a bit like a musical composition. The room’s period is the melodic theme, but a composition sounds better with additional musical layers beginning let’s say, with harmony. The concept translated to furnishings find decorators previously adhering to strictly period rooms are opening up to create more eclectic looks by adding an accent piece or two from another era if it’s of excellent quality and pedigree. The resulting look adds interest, depth, impact, and a little surprise.
Vintage Chaise or Settee

For example: If you have a French period room (the musical theme), add a vintage chaise or contemporary console to provide the harmony. Add an antique mahogany sideboard or pair of upholstered fauteuils to a contemporary room. For a traditional living room, add a metallic or snakeskin low table.

Trend #2 – Metallics: A touch of bronze, brass, or copper are welcome additions to our love of stainless steel. These ‘new’ metallic adds sheen and depth and can be subtly mixed. Lighting, side tables, coffee tables, desks, and other reflective furnishings add light and interest to a room, offering an alternative to the popular mirrored furniture. Metallic furniture and trims add another dimension and a fresh feeling.

Trend #3 – Snakeskin: Popular as accessories in the 70’s, snakeskin is making a comeback in every area of fashion and interior design. This time around, however, it’s showing up in every color combination imaginable. Snakeskin adds visual texture even if it’s flat printed fabric. Monochromatic tone on tone patterns make for beautiful textured wallpaper. As upholstery, snakeskin adds interest in pattern with added texture. Genuine snakeskin coffee tables, end tables, and consoles create dramatic additions to a room. Available in every price point - colored desk accessories, vases, placemats, tablecloths, etc. I predict that snakeskin (faux or real) will be the most popular holiday gift item.

Trend #4 – Streamlining. There’s a delicate balance between a cluttered room and one that’s ‘hotel room’ stark. Recent styling covered every surface with books, vases, and collectibles. There wasn’t a place to set a drink or appetizer plate. I’m happy to report that I’m seeing restraint, with room allowing the homeowner to add personal touches.

Trend #5 – Antiques. Antiques add an additional dimension and unique touch to the personality of a room. A coromandel screen softens a corner. An antique desk in a library adds elegance and purpose. A secretary in a foyer brings life into a small space.

Trend #6 – RED! Red elicits more emotion than any other color. From melons and corals, to deep reds and burgundy, its range makes it a very adaptable color. A red room is inviting, cozy, and comfortable, and is perfect for libraries, foyers, and dining rooms. Some feel red is too dark. Red isn’t dark, a room without lighting is dark. Add candlelight and a lit fireplace, and you can’t beat the experience of a red library.

Red is great for foyers. With proper lighting, mirrors, and furnishings red is warm and welcoming. Red also works very well in dining rooms. With a crystal chandelier, gorgeous window treatments, a beautiful floral arrangement, table setting, and muted area rug, the room takes on a very elegant aura of relaxed sophistication.

Red does not work well in bedrooms or kitchens. It’s too jarring to awaken to red walls. We’re in too vulnerable in the morning to accept a color as powerful as red. Kitchens pose the same problem. I feel like I want to put on sunglasses to get my coffee before entering a red kitchen in the morning.

For answers to your personal questions, email Robin Lechner, or add your question to our comments. Don't forget to visit our website or Robin's blog. There are a lot of resources for you to explore!