Lyn Peterson has seen many home design trends come and go. Remember when the popularity of “Mad Men” drove everyone to crave midcentury modern furniture, or when pastel and Easter egg colors were popular?
Can you remember when DIY was all the rage? (And do you still have your glue gun?)
What’s hot now, says Peterson, is turn-key design and maintenance-free living.
Peterson is a seasoned design pro and the author of “Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Kitchens” (Potter Style) and “Lyn Peterson’s Real Life Renovating,” (Clarkson Potter). She and her husband, Karl Friberg, own and operate Motif Designs. Motif launched the Ralph Lauren Home Fabric & Wallpaper Collection, created Marimekko wallpaper, and currently designs and distributes to-the-trade furniture, lighting and rugs.
A longtime Westchester resident, Peterson now spends time between homes in Connecticut and Red Hook.
She offered some insights into design trends as we head into the new decade:
Less is becoming more
A new generation of homebuyer is eschewing the McMansions of a prior generation. “One hundred percent,” Peterson says. “They don’t want the big property. They’re raising their kids, they want close to town; it’s a whole different mindset.”
What that means in terms of home design is clean, crisp and contemporary. “These buyers do not want the extra room and the big maintenance. They want to live their lives and not maintain a huge property.”
Peterson says many of her clients are taking what she calls a “more judicious approach to overhead and maintenance, opting for a low-stress home.” Which means she’s seeing asks for all-white and light wood everywhere, including floors and furniture.
“Every kitchen island in the last two years has been blue, but they’re turning green.” As in the color green. In terms of materials, green is big, too, with bamboo and wicker turning up everywhere.
Where bigger IS better
Light fixtures. “Light fixtures are ginormous; I’ve put in sconces with 15-inch diameters, huge lanterns and chandeliers that hang really low over coffee tables and even over beds,” Peterson says.
Got a pet? Skip the sisal and jute rugs
Why? Because they smell a whole lot like grass, especially if it’s a damp day, and no one wants Fido marking his territory in the family room. Also, it’s not at all cleanable. What you should opt for is a wool rug, says Peterson, as wool wicks away moisture. Wool is a top choice because it is durable, doesn’t stain and some wool, like mohair, is flame resistant. Another option is the new polypropylene rugs.
“In the past, all things synthetic were gross and shiny and people thought the fibers trapped stains. The new generation is amazing.”
One word: pantry
Having a dedicated pantry is higher on homeowners’ must-have lists than new cabinets, Peterson says, noting that a pantry is possible even in small spaces. “It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles; it can be simple.”
But why forego more cabinets? She explains that kitchen cabinets were originally designed to hold boxes of Jello and cake mix. “Now everything is supersized; we shop in bulk and most upper cabinets don’t accommodate a good-sized dinner plate; they’re great for cups and condiments.”
A pantry with open shelving means you can see everything. “I see a lot of homeowners eschewing upper shelves when they do the kitchen, and going for more windows and opting for pantries.”
Stick to it
Wallpaper is totally back in style, but for Peterson, it never went outof style. “My friends are all doing it,” she says, “but I was credited with putting it back in fashion with Ralph Lauren Home.” Wallpaper is versatile as an accent wall, inside a closet or on an entire room. A new generation of peel-and-stick wallpapers has made it even easier to change the look of any space easily.
Originally featured on Lohud