There's a similar sense of excitement when it comes to home decorating this fall. With the kids back in school or settled into college, parents have renewed energy and newfound time to make home improvements.
Here are the trends leading interior designers and industry experts across the country have predicted will be hot this season, to help consumers realize their personal bests when it comes to maximizing their homes' potential.
1. The gold medal standard: Wall murals remain reigning champions, according to Todd Imholte, president of www.MuralsYourWay.com--a leader in the production of decorative products for more than 40 years.
2. Team USA: Baby boomers are asking for a new American design that is less traditional yet sensible, and reflects who they are as people, says Jan Hubbard, ASID with JH Design Group. They may incorporate mom's furniture into at least one of their rooms, while seeking an updated look in the rest of the house. McKinley Adams, ASID with McKinley's Design, sees textures evoking a similar sense of nostalgia, as they tactilely take people back to earlier, pleasurable times in their lives.
3. Lighting the torch: This fall, conventional lighting will be used in unconventional ways, according to Jeff Dross, senior product manager at Kichler Lighting. Chandeliers in the bedroom, pendants in dining rooms and multi-tier sconces in powder rooms and in the foyer will make definitive visual changes in the home. Lighting manufacturers will also continue to offer creative solutions using less electricity to promote energy efficiency.
4. The furniture favorites to win: Shapely and comfortable chairs in bold colors will make an exclamation point in any room, and should be accented by a nice contrast and blend of straight-lined and round size tables, suggests celebrity design expert, author, and national TV host/spokeswoman Kathy Peterson. Furniture blends in eclectic styles with an eye-appealing mix of bold patterns such as broad stripes, abstract animal prints, circles or mixed graphics will add even more life to living rooms.
5. Synchronized colors: Susan Pantaleo, ASID with Concepts in Design Inc., notes that yellow is emerging as a very versatile color. From sunlight to Dijon mustard, the yellow palette is attention-getting, works with most design schemes, and adds life and vibrancy to a room. On the other side of the rainbow, Peterson sees cool grays, silvers, black and stone colors along with an unexpected hint of gold-tone accents this fall. She recommends metallics or pearlized paints on accent walls, ceilings, backdrop covers for shelves, and accent shelves.
6. The preliminaries on staging a bedroom: According to Davis Remignanti, FurnitureFind.com's lead design consultant, consumers are interested in creating a bedroom retreat that calms, centers and energizes. He suggests looking for opportunities to showcase souvenirs and family photos, and utilizing walls effectively by adding a fresh coat of paint and an interesting piece of artwork. Another way Peterson recommends to enhance a bedroom is to incorporate an oversized, opulent and tufted upholstered headboard, using tone-on-tone colors that touch the ceiling.
7. Silver medalists: This fall, we should expect to see a bit more chrome and variations such as brushed nickel, polished silver and polished nickel, adds Dross. This trend has taken a long time to travel from Europe to the United States, but this is the year it should finally take seed.
8. Competing for wall space: According to Candice Matthews, ASID with CMR Interiors Inc., green goods and wall finishes will dominate this season. Finishes with burlap, limed walls and straw bale walls will be popular, as will burlap-covered walls, Belgium linens, interesting high-end finishes on millwork like driftwood, grey stains, rift wood ceruses, and lacquered millwork.
9. All-around family entertainment: Due to the rising popularity of the Nintendo Wii, Xbox, PlayStation and other gaming consoles, homeowners will continue to seek ways to incorporate technology into their living areas in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Home theater cabinets from BDI, the leading manufacturer of home entertainment furnishings featuring storage for three or more components and wire management to hide all necessary connections are available in a variety of gloss and natural stained wood finishes.
Hubbard also recommends consumers place flat-screened televisions within attractive furniture pieces designed specifically for them. Whole-house technology systems that are future proof will also be in demand as technology advances at world-record pace.
10. Celebrate the Olympic culture: Follow the ages-old Chinese practice of Feng Shui to honor the environment indoors. Remingnanti recommends introducing water, wind chimes, color and crystals into your bedroom design to enhance the positive energy and romantic appeal while creating a shared sanctuary.
Like the Olympic athletes, all of these are winners in the home decorating arena. The key is to balance diving into popular home decor trends with fine-tuning fundamental styles and techniques that will go the distance.