Spring home decor ushers in emerald, matte gold tones

March 15, 2013

The official vernal equinox is Wednesday, but walk by your favorite home decor store’s window and flip through shelter publications and you’ll no doubt see that spring is already in full swing.

Trends are meant to reflect the general mood of things, and this year’s spring home-decor collection seems to highlight a newfound hope derived from what appears to be a solidly recovering housing market.

Balance seems to be a key word everyone is striving for these days. Certainly, balancing our national budget is on everyone’s mind, but if that’s not attainable, balance within your home’s spring decor scheme may be. Balancing the very tasteful, very adaptable and very sellable warm gray that has dominated paint, furniture and just about everything else in home decor for the past several years are bright, cheery and saturated colors.

Examples include bright yellow and Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year, Emerald (Pantone 17-5641 for those of you who want to get it exactly right). Both seem to add long-absent glimpses of uplifting hope and humor while indicating an acceptable return to luxury.

In that vein, gold has returned as the metallic finish of choice. This time around, it’s burnished and soft rather than ostentatious and loud, making it much easier to layer with other metal finishes already in your home. I’m not really a gold fan, but this new finish is really easy to work with and won’t make your home seem like an ode to Versailles.

Finally, geometric shapes and patterns have dominated many fashion runways and are now squarely showcased on all kinds of home-decor items. Circles and ovals are certainly invited to this party, but it’s really squares, rectangles and triangles that are the stars this spring.

The nation seems to have rounded the corner and is comfortably embracing a new and slightly easier mood. We’re certainly not where we were before the economic crisis, but it seems that balancing the practical and the necessary with the whimsical and luxurious is back in style. And if you aren’t quite there yet — and want to be — perhaps freshening up your spring decor can help usher you on your way:

The power of geometry: Pure geometric shapes seem fresh again. We last saw this trend in the late 1980s, but this go around, it’s being offered in a much more timeless manner. A dramatic and bold way of incorporating this hot spring trend (and my personal favorite) is through Maya Romanoff’s Ajiro Sunburst wall covering.

Made of real wood veneer and available in six natural hues, this wall covering manages to incorporate both squares and triangles while adding depth, texture and richness. Apply it to an accent wall in your dining room or ensconce your entire living room to instantly create a powerful visual.

If you want to make a smaller, less-permanent splash, check out CB2’s quartz plate. I love the faceted patterning done in a neutral palette that allows it to more easily work in with existing dishes. To purchase Maya Romanoff Ajiro Sunburst wall covering, go to www.mayaromanoff.com or call 773.465.6909. The CB2 quartz plate is available through CB2 stores nationwide and at www.cb2.com.

Luxurious color — emerald: Pantone’s 2013 Color of the Year is a bold and luxurious way of announcing spring’s arrival. Surprisingly, it works well in many environments and looks great paired with almost every neutral and many bold colors. Used in large amounts, it can quickly be overwhelming, so I like it best in small, eye-catching doses.

For that reason, I love the Kaleido tray in green through Design Within Reach. This practical tray looks great on a coffee table, entry table (great way to catch mail and keys) or on a bedside table. The Kaleido tray in green (and in other colors and sizes) is available through Design Within Reach stores and nationwide through www.dwr.com.

Luxurious metal — gold: Metallic finishes have a way of brightening up almost any space, which makes them ideal for transitioning home decor from winter to spring. I’m more of a silver and nickel sort, but I’m warming to this new trend. If you wait long enough, everything eventually comes back in style, and gold has been having a moment for a few years now.

This spring, however, a softer and easier-to-incorporate matte gold seems to be populating your favorite home-decor outlets. To help spruce up mealtime, incorporate the Almoco flatware at Design Within Reach in matte gold into your routine. Crafted of stainless steel, this flatware can go in the dishwasher, making elegance easy to accommodate. Almoco flatware in matte gold is available through Design Within Reach stores nationwide and at www.dwr.com.

The perfect pair — gray and yellow: Like peanut butter and jelly or a hamburger with french fries, gray and yellow pair effortlessly together. The hues of gray and yellow popular this spring are classic opposites that create an exciting, fresh balance when adjacent to one another.

Gray can be laid back and easy, while yellow can be demanding and aggressive. Separately, they’re perfectly good colors, but together they feel very current. If you’re looking to freshen up your seating this spring (especially if space is an issue), consider West Elm’s Everett armchair in the buttercup retro ikat print. The gray and yellow pattern has a global feel, while the chair’s profile suggests clean-lined mid-century style. The Everett chair is available through West Elm stores nationwide and at www.westelm.com.

If you’re looking for a little less commitment, give the Gray and Yellow Beaded Pillow at Crate & Barrel a try. At 12-inch square, this pillow is perfect as an accent almost anywhere. It’s available through Crate & Barrel stores nationwide and at www.crateandbarrel.com.

Vern Yip is an interior designer and star of HGTV’s “Design Star” and “Bang for Your Buck.” Originally from McLean, Yip is based in Atlanta and New York. Follow him on Facebook (VernYipDesigns) and Twitter (@VernYipDesigns). His column appears regularly in The Washington Post.

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