Chicago is home to a plethora of talent where the interior design scene is no stranger. We spoke with three of the city’s brightest, boldest minds to gain some insight about all things furniture and style. If you’re interested in easy ways to transform a space, what’s hot for 2015, and some general tips and tricks for having the coolest space in the greater metropolitan area, we highly encourage you to keep reading.
Meet the Designers:
We’ll refer to Amanda as A, Tina as T, and Hannah as H as we are sharing their expertise.
How long have you been an interior designer for?
A: I’ve been working on my own for 5 years, and before that about another 5 years.
T: I started in early 2007, but practiced in the field with smaller projects before then.
H: Over 4 years.
What have been the biggest design trends of 2014?
A: Tone on tone color schemes, like black and white, and deep purples.
T: There was an overall trend moving towards cleaner, more contemporary looks. In the Midwest, people don’t like too many details. Whites and elements with organic elements like petrified wood and fossilized stones were popular because people are conscious of reusing things and don’t want to be wasteful. That’s where repurposing comes in.
H: As far as color, neutral furniture pieces with colorful accents, as well as the color navy were seen very often. Also, mixing and matching materials and textures, and incorporating “vintage” pieces into designs. In an effort to save space, Murphy beds were a great option in dens, offices, and spare bedrooms.
What trends/pieces/colors do you predict will be popular in the next year?
A: A continuation of color neutral color schemes, and an incorporation of hard-working surfaces that also have a luxurious feeling, like replacing marble with a lighter material like quartz. It really depends on the client and their taste.
T: I’m not anticipating any sudden changes in design. People are tending to want more handmade pieces that are individualistic instead of cookie cutter. It’s my philosophy to not have a space look too over-coordinated. Also, the appearance of natural materials – metals, stones, amethyst and quartz in accessories.
H: Plums, 2015 Pantone Color of the Year: Marsala 18-1438, mixed with rich greens, and other bright colors in general. Overall more functional hardware systems and room layouts, with pullout shelving and drawers, and ways to hide-away appliances from plain view.
Are there any pieces of furniture that are particularly popular amongst your clients? Which kinds/styles/colors?
H: My clients prefer pieces with greater functionality. Sectionals, for example, because of the added seating, and tables with additional storage. They also prefer neutral colors, and Mid Century Modern, and Contemporary styles.
What’s the biggest design faux pas?
A: Not scaling things correctly.
T: Scaling incorrectly.
H: Not using rugs! It is great way to define your space, add warmth, texture, and potentially a pop of color to your space. Window treatments that are awkward lengths. And generally, being too trendy. Stick with the classics and add a few trendy accents here and there.
What’s the most interesting piece you’ve seen in the past couple weeks? (If you have any photos, I’d love to see them!)
A: My favorite project as of late was a home which mixed a bunch of cultures — Romanian , European Modern, and Southwestern influence.
T: I’m working on bamboo kitchen cabinetry – it’s going in a basement which is drab, and we want to warm it up because of limited ability to look out a window. Bamboo is a way to create warmth from organic materials.
H: For wealthier individuals, I’ve seen lots of cantilevered swimming pools lately. I also really love temporary wallpaper – a fairly inexpensive way to personalize a rental!
What are easy ways to liven up a drab space?
A: It’s important to talk to customers first, then dissect the space to talk about what should remain or be reused.
T: The easiest way is to repaint the wall. People are afraid of color! But if you know what you’re doing you can change the mood of the room enormously. Also, adding accessories, especially light sources, or throw pillows that are eye catching
H: A fresh coat of paint and switching out the old for new accessories and artwork! Fun, colorful throw pillows are always a must.
What’s your favorite store?
T: I prefer trade sources because of better pricing. For accessories and smaller things, I go to a consignment stores in Highwood called Anna’s.