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  What’s Hot in Home Decor For 2006

(ARA) - For months, industry experts have kept a close barometer on the fashion world, trade shows and other key indicators to help forecast home decor trends for the coming year. And the weather report is in. Within a prevailing climate of personalization, the outlook is both spirited and sassy, serene and stylish.

The color palette will truly be across the rainbow. Chinese red, barn red and watermelon red will make a bold statement, and orange will literally be on fire with hues ranging from butternut and apricot to blood orange-red. Pale, vivid and inky purples will start closing in on the still-popular pinks, and rich chocolate brown will retain its distinction as the “new black” - pairing especially well with robin’s egg blue.

Next year’s colors will also continue to draw their inspiration from nature. In a recent issue of “Home Accents Today,” Kara Cox describes “a soft mix of seascape hues such as sea green, sky blue and sandy beige that creates a simple palette for showcasing the treasures of the natural world.” By bringing the outdoors inside with tranquil ocean and cool grass hues, Americans will create a calm, welcomed respite from the outside world.

According to Michelle Lamb, senior editor of “The Trend Curve” newsletter, consumers also perceive color as a distinct way to personalize their environments. They look for hues they can connect with on a personal level and that support their energy level and mood, often pairing them in “new and never-before-seen” combinations.

Davis Remignanti, expert spokesperson on home decorating for, notes an emergence of “American design,” with people discovering an appreciation for new and antique styles with a “Born in the USA” pedigree. “Overly matched interiors are giving way to a melting pot of complementary pieces,” says Remignanti. “Multi-cultural influences are blended into our current identities, making, by their very diversity, a statement about ‘being American.’ Our interiors will become more personal, and feel more uniquely American, than ever before as we define and redefine ourselves.”

While Remignanti also sees less-perfect boucles, tweeds and raw silks replacing damasks, velvets and other more refined fabrics in everything from table coverings and bed linens to upholstery and window coverings, richness and formality still will have their place. Mary Dluzen, ASID, owner of I.N. DESIGN in Burr Ridge, Ill. cites luxurious silks, antique silver, real furs and ornately carved furniture as being very much in demand as consumers continue to choose a style that expresses the way they want to live.

Like Remignanti, Dluzen sees an increasing desire for a home to reflect people’s unique histories and heritages. Says Dluzen, “Incorporating family heirlooms, art and memorabilia into the interior design can be accomplished with taste and style to create a truly unique personal environment.”

The thread of personalization is woven throughout next year’s design fabric. As a society accustomed to tailoring customized messages on our favorite M&M colors, designing our own Nike footwear, and sporting monogrammed jewelry and initialed handbags, we take pride in creating a living environment that reflects our unique preferences and personalities.

One way in which this will be evident is in decorative wall murals. Although they’ve graced the walls of fashionable homes – and the sets of major movies and television shows – for decades, they’ve recently become even more hip. According to the Shaw Report by Jessica Shaw in “Entertainment Weekly,” murals are in - with mosaics and decoupage being “five minutes ago” and “out,” respectively.

A well-guarded secret in the celebrity community, actors Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, and lead singer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Keidis, have already ordered products from Hopkins, Minnesota-based Murals Your Way ( Thom Filicia, interior design specialist for the Emmy-winning Bravo series, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” is a great fan of Murals Your Way’s wall murals, and has featured them several times on his hit show.

“The décor of your home should represent your personality as well as your interests” says Filicia. “Murals Your Way is a great resource to add your personal stamp in a creative, fun and whimsical way.”

The design forecast for 2006 is similar no matter where you live. Hot colors. Cool environments. And a warming trend of personalization.

Courtesy of ARA Content