If you’ve been following D-Happ for a while now, then you know that each quarter a group of uber-talented design students live and breathe the HGTV brand as a part of our Home Studio co-op program. While the up-and-coming designers are here, they work closely with experts like Vern Yip to create stunning and interactive design vignettes for employees and visitors right here at HGTV Headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. This summer, returning intern Justin DiPiero from Savannah College of Art and Design, worked with SCAD graduate student Alexandra Kern and University of Cincinnati student Catherine Blubaugh on a vignette covering a spectrum of design trends (seven to be exact). Plus, each one features their iconic piece: the Wishbone Chair. Take a look, and see if you think their trend picks are on target.
Kayla Kitts for Design Happens: In the past, the Home Studio displays have focused on one design trend. What inspired you to choose seven trends to showcase this time?
Justin DiPiero: Once we had decided to showcase the iconic Wishbone Chair designed by Hans Wegner, we were inspired by how versatile the chair really is. It can work in so many spaces and so many situations. That’s why we decided to create different vignettes, each with their own trend, to speak to the versatility of the chair.
Catherine Blubaugh: We felt that there were so many relevant trends that interested us that it was hard to just narrow it down into one. It also helped strengthen the idea that the Wishbone Chair is very versatile.
Alexandra Kern: As Justin and Catherine said, the Wishbone Chair truly was the inspiring factor that led us to showcase seven completely different designs trends. We decided what better way to showcase this than presenting the Wishbone Chair in seven different colors and finishes in seven different design trends. Plus, there are currently so many great design trends — how could we choose just one?
KK: Is there one trend in particular that you feel is especially hot right now or will peak as we move into fall?
CB: I would have to say that I’ve been seeing more animal-inspired spaces at the moment. The warmness and textural quality of that trend is becoming more popular as the autumn season approaches. Also, I’m seeing the patterns and colors of the future botanical display showing up more and more.
AK: As I’ve been watching TV, flipping through magazines and roaming the internet, I keep seeing our design trends pop up everywhere! It’s hard to say exactly what’s hot right now, but I think geometrics are definitely making their way to the forefront of design through pillows and accessories along with florals. And, of course, I think animal print is here to stay for awhile.
KK: Are there any trends you feel have classic, timeless appeal?
JD: I think that because of the nature of NeuTraditional, with the neutral colors and updated traditional aesthetic, it has a classic feel to it. The design elements are timeless, but have just been updated to reflect today’s design standards. There are elements of each vignette that are timeless, though. Animal skins and patterns have been popular for quite some time.
CB: I agree! I think the NeuTraditional vignette is the most timeless out of all of them. I mean, just the name itself clarifies that. Neutrals have a timeless quality about them, but I think it’s their applications that will be changing, as shown in our vignette.
AK: I have to agree with Catherine and Justin. Definitely NeuTraditional. It doesn’t get more classic or timeless than that.
KK: What top tips do you have for decorating a home with trendy furniture and/or accessories?
JD: Decorating with trendy furniture can be tricky. My rule is to generally treat larger, investment pieces as if you’re going to have them forever. If you’re deciding between a really trendy sofa or a more classic one, I would choose the more classic piece because odds are, you’ll have the sofa for a long time. You can make it fun and trendy by changing out pillows or adding side chairs or end tables to the room. That way you can bring in all of the current trends, but you won’t be investing large amounts of money into something that could be “out” in a few months.
AK: I agree with Justin. Trends come and go, so don’t invest your money into a large, trendy piece of furniture. Instead, update your space with trendy accessories like pillows, rugs, lamps and vases. These are smaller and less expensive, making it easier to change and keep up with the ever-changing design trends.
TREND: WILD FOR ANIMAL
KK: Should you steer away from mixing different animal prints or is it safe to try it?
CB: I definitely don’t think you should steer away from mixing different animal prints. It can be a risky move, but that’s what makes it fun and playful! A good thing to keep in mind, though, is that a little can go a long way. Try finding a common element between them (same color, same scale, etc.) and that will help balance them out. There is no need for floor-to-ceiling animal prints!
KK: How much faux taxidermy is too much?
CB: That really depends on the finish and scale of the faux taxidermy piece. If all of the pieces are white resin and at different scales that would make a really awesome focal point on a wall and you’d be safe to go over, say, four pieces. If the pieces are all in different finishes and around the same size I would probably stick to about four pieces, maybe less. You lose coherency if there is no connection between them. Even one faux taxidermy piece can have a big impact!
TREND: FUTURE BOTANICAL
KK: What’s the best way to use botanical prints without it looking like grandmother’s house?
JD: There are so many great florals coming out that are not your grandmother’s florals! To give florals an updated feel, stick with large-scale patterns and bold, moody colors. Small, delicate patterns in light and pastel colors can be extremely feminine and feel stuffy. So you definitely want something with a large repeat. You can create a focal point in your home with a wall of huge, dark florals, and balance it with light, modern accessories or as accents on sofa pillows.
TREND: ART DECO
KK: What’s the best way to pull off a glam, luxurious, art deco look on a budget?
AK: Glamorous and luxurious doesn’t always have to be expensive, contrary to popular belief. When shopping for art deco, flash sites are my best friend. Websites like One Kings Lane and MyHabit always have great sales on designer furniture and accessories. You can get great deals on beautiful pieces that wouldn’t normally be affordable to create a glamorous space.
TREND: BOLD GEOMETRY
KK: Can multiple geometric patterns be used within the same space? What tips do you have for doing this?
CB: Definitely! The key is to balance them through a common color scheme and to show them off in a variety of ways. The color scheme helps maintain balance. For example, use the same four blues in those different patterns and the space will really pop. Another important thing to keep in mind is that a little can go a long way!
TREND: VINTAGE MODERN
KK: What’s the best way to pull off a vintage modern look?
AK: Vintage modern is all about mixing vintage updated finds with modern design elements. In order to pull this off there definitely needs to be a balance between the two. There are so many great vintage accessories out there like candlesticks, frames and mirrors that can be used as accents in a modern room. Just update them by applying new pops of color and you’ll have a vintage but updated accessory that can be paired with modern wallcoverings and furniture.
KK: How do you prevent the space from color overload?
AK: Color is tricky and can overtake a space if not used correctly. When using color it’s best to bring it in through accessories and pair them with natural wood furnishings and warm neutrals to create a balance. And if you’re really adventurous, pick a great pop of color to use on a focal wall.
KK: What’s considered a traditional accessory in a new material?
JD: At first glance, this display seems pretty traditional, but when you look closely there are tons of unexpected elements that make it modern and updated. The side table is a traditional shape with its curves, but it has been updated with modern knobs and a brass leaf finish. Also, my favorite thing about this display is the wallpaper. It looks like a traditional toile, but when you look up close you can see that the subject matter is new and edgy. There are milk crates, running sneakers, post office boxes and hubcaps, all which make it fun and engaging. Just because something looks traditional, that doesn’t always mean that it is!
TREND: MODERN MAN CAVE
KK: What are the best ways to make a man cave masculine yet bright and stylish?
AK: Stick with warm, neutral colors but brighten the room with pops of chrome lighting and metal furnishings. These accents along with sleek modern accessories create a new modern man cave that both men and women will love.
ICONIC TREND: WISHBONE CHAIR BY HANS WEGNER
KK: What makes the Wishbone Chair different from the other iconic chairs that have been on display?
JD: The Wishbone Chair is a perfect example of Danish Modernism. It was designed in 1949 and has been consistently produced since 1950. In 2010, it celebrated its 60th anniversary and a new line of colors was introduced. The high-quality materials and design make it an icon that can literally work in any type of space.
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