Just Add Color

Bored with those same four walls?

So are we.

But no worries: We've tapped into the awesome talents of the Maggy Award winners for Best Interior Design Company for the latest and greatest ways to beat the boredom!

From bright colors to shiny metals, they say 2015 is the year to brighten up.

Ivy Cottage Collections, Cary – ivycottagecollections.com

Lisa Allen of Ivy Cottage Collections is fearless when it comes to color. That’s especially beneficial this year, as home décor trends call for bright colors, lighter pieces and cleaner, more modern lines.

“Nothing creates emotion like color. I’m drawn to it,” Allen said. But she understands that not everyone feels the same when it comes to their décor.

If you’re nervous about using color, she recommends choosing large upholstered pieces or chests in neutrals, then injecting color via accessories. Also, neutral walls help balance brights.

“Or gray walls; you can mix almost any bright with gray and it looks fantastic,” Allen said. “Use colorful art on the walls to tie the room colors together, and to bring the eye up. That’s the biggest mistake I see, people not doing that.”

For a cohesive look, open and adjoining floor plans call for one color, carried throughout in various saturations.

A top-to-bottom overhaul isn’t necessary to update your home’s look: “Even if you have traditional décor, you can inject a modern look with pillows, lamps and artwork,” she said. “It’s a great, easy way to get eclectic, collected style.”

Ease into a new look, and soften the style juxtaposition, by swapping out just one dark wood piece for a sleek lacquered model. And don’t be afraid to mix woods and metals.

“You’re not married to the finish on your cabinetry, or the metal of your light fixtures,” Allen said. “High-sheen gold is tremendously popular, and gives a rich, chic effect that wakes up the eye.”

Invest in quality upholstered pieces, lamps and inspiring artwork. “It doesn’t have to be original, but it needs to be a good quality print,” Allen said. Then come the finishing touches.

“Accessories are what make the look; a room has to have finishing touches, or it will always fall short,” she said. “Here you can easily get an expensive, high-end look without spending lots of dollars. Just choose accessories that look expensive and are of good quality.”

Southern Studio Interior Design, Apex – southernstudio.com

Vicky Serany and Martha Brown, designers at Southern Studio, believe that a well-designed space is timeless and reflects the unique personality of its owners. Here’s their take on 2015 trends:

Favorites: “Beautiful brushed gold finishes are making a strong design statement in lighting, hardware and furnishings. They add a bit of bling and act as jewelry for the home.” – Martha  
“We’re seeing many textures layered in unique ways. By combining a variety of textures in wall covering, area rugs and fabrics, we’re able to create a timeless space that has great visual interest.” – Vicky  

Favorite colors: Rich blues, vibrant plums and soft yellows. According to Pantone, the color of the year is Marsala (a deep wine), and we like that too. – Vicky and Martha

Must-haves: “Fantastic bar carts! They are great pieces for casual or formal entertaining that offer wonderful flexibility and additional storage.” – Vicky

“Unique tables! End tables, console tables and accent tables can all make a design statement. We have so many incredible options available, so have some fun!” – Martha

Updates: “Use trends in smaller items that can be easily changed and replaced. It’s more important to surround yourself with timeless pieces that you love!” – Martha

Design Works Studio, Cary dwsinc.biz

The designers at Design Works Studio — Donna Gates Davis, Liz Allren Whitley, Cameron Smith Flythe and Carrie Twellman, and design assistant Kimmie Krohn — put their heads together to offer the latest in home décor.   

Must-have: WALLPAPER! Options include beautiful textures in neutral tones, natural grass cloth or linen, often with a touch of metallic, and classic patterns in new vibrant colors or soft grays and neutrals.

“We love what these textures and patterns do to a room! Wallpaper can transform a space and totally change the look, and it isn’t permanent so you can be more adventurous.”

Budget options: Thanks to digital printing technology, you can find affordable vinyl wall covering that looks like natural grass cloth or linen. Or use wallpaper just for accents — on one wall, behind shelves, in alcoves, backsplashes, even on ceilings.

Favorite trends: Vivid colors and unexpected color combinations in fabrics and furnishings. Deeper shades of gold-tone finishes for lighting and accessories. Beautiful plaids and florals. Vibrant new jewel tones that aren’t at all like the old ones. Fun touches — a bit of acrylic on furniture legs and tables, metallic finishes and fabrics, and leather in light neutrals or bright colors.

Updates: New lighting fixtures and lamps are sure ways to update your style, using new gold tones and simple lines. Also, changing window treatments or even throw pillows with great new fabrics will instantly give an updated look.

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