Decor Trends and the Upcycling Business

It’s a fact of life-the moment that something becomes popular in the DIY world or in regular stores, it is already considered passé in the fashion world. Home decor experts are always predicting new trends and telling us what is now out or overdone. Fortunately, for those of us who paint furniture, the average consumer is about 2 years behind the trend and lots of colour is still hot for 2015. When all-wood furniture and neutral colours become popular again, I know I will be out of business.
This recent article from the Wall St Journal,” Top 5 Interior Design Trends ..” states that the following are overused and therefore, out: Chevron Prints, Text as Decor, Mirrored Furniture, The Ombre look and Beni Ourain Rugs.  It’s too bad because there are a lot of people who are just warming up to those looks.  I don’t own any mirrored furniture but I could love a piece in a bedroom and the dipped-look on chair legs or tables is actually a revelation to some people.  I have no idea what a Beni Ourain rug is so I guess I missed that one.  You do see chevron and French script everywhere, most particularly in fabrics.  A quick search on the internet will show you that in the painting world, these 2 design elements have been popular for about 5 years.  So, if you really want to be cutting edge you have to stay ahead of the curve and not copy it.  When we renovated our kitchen awhile back, we chose a glass and stone back splash because we loved the colour and look.  Since then, I’ve seen it everywhere which means that it will look dated sooner because it is so popular.

What’s in:  Mixed metals, moody indigo, painterly rugs, smoky glass and graphic tiles.  From the furniture painter’s viewpoint, the moody indigo may signal a trend towards navy blue which is a colour that I have not seen much.  I’d be quite happy to switch from white, greys and black for awhile.  Graphic tiles reflect the continuing interest in all graphic designs so that trend may continue on in furniture such as on drawer fronts.  It does seem to suit Mid-Century designs the most.  I can’t see the painterly rugs having much effect but as an aside, for once I am ahead of the trend as we just purchased a new dining room rug which looks like art.  I am hoping it won’t be too much of a trend because I like the uniqueness of the look.  You can see a bit of it in this photo:DSC_0003(31)

This Mid-Century night stand is now painted in a colour that I would call peony-pink.  It is a cross between Pantone’s Radiant Orchid from 2014 and Pantone’s 2015 colour which is Marsala.  Actually it is painted in Annie Sloan’s Burgundy mixed with a bit of Pure White.  You’ll notice that it has brass feet which give it a dipped look.


I’ve actually painted this table before but repainted it because it never sold.  In its previous incarnation, it was painted in Old Ochre with a lightened Provence interior.  I chose those colours because they really remind of the pale colours that were popular in bedroom furniture from the 50’s.  Maybe this deeper hue will have more appeal.


Where I live in Canada, many of the design trends that are seen in the DIY world have not caught on at all.  Some people like the shabby chic look, if it is white; very few go for the chippy, old appearance.  People who buy painted furniture seem to prefer that it looks newer or more solidly painted.  The combination of wood and paint is still popular as is red or grey for babies’ rooms.

And since I have been discussing decor trends: I think that mason jars, burlap and antlers have seen their day and people will be looking for the next new idea.


Beautiful “Coco””

I get to paint and refinish a lot of desks.  This latest one was a real bargain because it wasn’t expensive and it is very well made.  I bought it from a woman who was downsizing from a large old house here in Ottawa and it had belonged to her father-in-law. She threw in the matching chair for free because the cane seat is starting to sag.   She actually asked me not to tell her husband that I was going to paint it, if that was my intention, because he would be upset.  It is made with walnut veneer that had been bookmatched on the the top to create a mirror-image grain.  It also has bun feet-something I have not seen on a desk.  Even the back is finished on the desk.


I refinished the top with an English Chestnut stain that looks very much like the original colour.  It has a few top coats of Circa 1850 Antique Paste Varnish which is my favourite poly since it gives a hand-rubbed look.  Then I painted the body in Annie Sloan Coco covered with a white wash. The handles are brass but I painted them with white paint and then added copper gilding which I rubbed off.   Coco is a warm taupe that is a classic neutral and is suitable for both contemporary and antique looks.  It is actually my first time using it and I am in love with the richness of the tone.  It’s a very sophisticated  colour and it would compliment many rooms.  I love bright colours but this may be my new favourite.


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