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The Great Indoors : Design Trends for Home Staging

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 50 seconds

With thousands of options currently listed on Montreal’s real estate market, it’s more important than ever to add charm and character to the interior design of your unit. A beautifully staged home is sure to rent or sell quicker- it’ll look great in photos, attracting more viewers to your open houses, and it’ll make potential tenants fall in love at first sight once they’re through the door. Of course, for those who want to play it safe, remember that neutral tones and minimal aesthetics always work best on the mass real estate market. But for those who have a bit more time and budget at hand, and who feel confident enough with their staging skills to pull out those design chops, here are 10 fabulous interior trends that are sure to make your home stand out.

1. Mixed Metals

A lot of people shy away from using metal decor in their homes- when overdone it can look horribly tacky and over-staged. But mixing warm metals (copper, rose gold, bronze) with cool ones (silver, iron) has a surprisingly pleasant effect. Strategically layering shiny metal pieces with duller ones, such as placing a brass iron vase on a dark bronze shelf is a stylish way of creating contrast in your decor.

Extra tip: place small potted plants near your metallic objects, to offset the hard texture.
Extra tip: place small potted plants near your metallic objects, to offset the hard texture.

2. Graphic Tiles

When your home is otherwise very neutral and minimal, using graphic (patterned tiles) is a great way of adding a pop of colour to a room. A style that, in the past, was popular in the sectors of indoor-outdoor and countryside living, is now making its way into urban home spaces. Graphic tiling can also be widely customized to one’s personal tastes- some choose prints with an ethnic influence, others lean towards bright bauhaus colours. Our personal favourite use of this style is in the sink/shower area. It can turn an otherwise boring bathroom into a cheerful, dreamy space.

Extra tip: For a funky kitchen or bathroom effect, use tiles of different styles and colours rather than matching them up.
Extra tip: For a funky kitchen or bathroom effect, use tiles of different styles and colours rather than matching them up.

3. Moody Indigo Hues

In interior design, developing a case of the blues isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Dark navy, charcoal, hunter green, and aubergine are widely popular colours in luxury decor this year. But don’t forget to offset them with lighter tones such as white marble, pink, cream, light great, coral, sage and mother of pearl. Deep hues are emotionally calming and look great in reading rooms, bedrooms, or even bathrooms…they’re easy to match with metallic fixtures, and look great with darker shades of wooden furniture. Understandably, painting an entire room in charcoal is a daunting thing to do if you’re not absolutely sure of the final effect. Consider using an apple app such as Paint Tester Pro or Sherwin William’s free Colour Visualizer software to test a couple of shades out before you go all in. Alternatively, consider painting a single wall, allowing it to contrast with the rest of the decor.


4. Painterly Rugs

A huge trend this year is rugs that imitate the brushstrokes of classical painting. Painterly rugs can variate from Monet-vibes to Picassos to Duchamps or Miros, their commonality being in the irregular, fluid patterns that break away from the traditional rug geometries. Their abstract shapes can alter the boxiness of a rectangular shaped room, especially when the furniture is also grid based. Marc Phillips has an entire collection of painterly rugs, which are true art pieces, especially those lined with silk that shimmer and continuously change colours with the moving daylight. A painterly rug is an awesome and creative way of bringing art into your home without actually nailing into the walls- something that a lot of tenants and lessors alike will avoid doing.

5. Contrasts.

Key to creating a unique living space is tastefully balancing different styles and textures. Mixing furniture from different eras, for example, by matching a Victorian chandelier to an Industrial style bookshelf is an easy way of doing this. Mixing old and new is another way of creating contrast. Try picking up vintage pieces at antique stores and integrating them into a newly constructed, modern condo. The temporal layers add a sense of warmth and depth to your interiors, and the antique pieces are great conversation starters/ eye grabbers when successfully placed within a room. Another contrast that can be created is between textures- hard, metallic objects and soft, curvy forms. Try achieving this by draping sheepskin-style rugs or blankets near metallic furniture, or by softening a cast iron shelving unit with a leafy potted plant. Lastly, contrasts can be effortlessly struck using dashes of colour. A bright red or yellow decorative object brings life to a neutral toned room, introducing a focal zone to the design.

An interesting use of contrast between an antique desk and a futuristic chair.

6. Versatile design

With condo sizes getting smaller and smaller in the urban core, modern interior design trends celebrate versatility and functionality. Traditionally, versatility was a term used to describe furniture that worked both indoors and outdoors. For example, couches that could be pulled out into a sun room and would look as nice as they did in the living room. These days, the term has extended to design ideas, patterns, fabrics, prints, and colours that adopt an organic tone inspired by nature. Pastel tones are considered versatile elements, as are organic fibres, wood, wicker, and stone objects. It can also come to mean decor items that are spatially flexible- fold out furniture, collapsable furniture, pull-out bedding, and things that can easily be moved around, altering the functionality or the visual appeal of the room it’s placed in.

Poufs are a good example of versatile furniture- they can be moved around and stored at convenience.
Poufs are a good example of versatile furniture- they can be moved around and stored at convenience.

7. Multicultural Vibes.

In our cosmopolitan and global society, it’s inevitable that designs and prints from cultures around the world would rise to the forefront of interior design. A popular look in 2015 takes inspiration from the rich, warm palettes of Morocco, Turkey and India. The intricate geometric patterns and the bold colour tones fit in perfectly with the other trends on this list, such as the graphic tiles, the mixed metals and the deep blue wall paint. Home stagers, note that if your decor is focused on rentals, it’s probably not the best idea to go overboard with the ethnic decor, as doing so will automatically close the doors on potential clients with a more neutral, minimalist taste. A small piece or decorative object here and there is sufficient, contrasted with modern furniture.

8.Industrial Minimalism

The Industrial chic look has been popular for several years in Montreal, with all the reconverted docking-housing and industrial warehouses that line the Lachine Canal in the Southwest. This year, Industrial Minimalism has reached the forefront of inter national interior design, becoming one of the top trends of 2015. To nail this look, you need to strike a careful balance between metals, stone (exposed walls, for example) and natural tones. Note that it works best in spacious rooms with high ceilings and natural light… smaller condos will have a hard time pulling off the Industrial aesthetic without simply looking unfinished or derelict.

Extra Tip: If you
Extra Tip: If you’re not entirely sure how to go about the Industrial Minimalist look, always keep in mind to opt for lighter shades- light greys, off whites and sandy browns, when picking your colour palette and furniture.

9. Plants

Personally, we don’t believe a home can ever have too many plants. With the Atwater Market nearby and friendly sales-people who will gladly point you to the low maintenance options, you shouldn’t have an issue finding the right plants to truly embrace the jungalow trend and give your home a relaxed, lived-in feeling. Extra in-vogue this year is the Split-Leaf Philodendron, pictured below.

10. Statement Lights

In a province that gets barely any sunlight for nine months a year, it’s especially important to make sure your home is peppered with light fixtures…and that they look fantastic! Grid-like metallic fixtures are popular at the moment, in line with the industrial aesthetic. The great thing about choosing an alluring light fixture is that they are multifunctional decor items- they serve their purpose as lamps when the switch is flicked on, and they double as beautiful sculptures when the switch is off. The geometric patterns also tend to cast lovely shadows around the room, creating ambiance in a unique way.

With a bit of creativity, light fixtures are an easy thing to DIY. That
With a bit of creativity, light fixtures are an easy thing to DIY. That’ll be another blog post…coming soon!

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