Your home is your biggest investment. If you are planning on updating your home this year of even preparing it to sell in the near future, knowing what the most current trends are is imperative. Usually I don’t suggest following current trends; however, there are several evolving today that I feel should be around for some time to come. It is sound investing to being able to determine what trends are safe to use that are not only appealing, but timeless.

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Determining your style is the first step in updating your décor. If you are unsure of your style, glance through home magazines or look at pictures online to help determine what you are drawn to. Are you contemporary, traditional, eclectic, or a combination? Take note of your current furnishings. Items such as the lighting, fabrics, types of wood, and metal finishes should give you a sense of the style you are visually drawn to.

Most of you have probably sat through a design show or two on television. Many of these shows are based on helping homeowners stage their homes. That being said, I am sure you have heard the word “neutral” a time or two.

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Photo from CentsationalGirl

Most of us think of beige, taupe, or tan as a neutral pallet; however, today light grays are also considered neutrals. As we see more brushed nickel, stainless steel, and pewter metal finishes, softer gray tones harmonize well with them especially when accompanied with fresh white trims and black accents. As society becomes more design savvy, we can expand our neutral pallets.

Furniture trends are best determined by lifestyle and function. As the population becomes more active and our lifestyles become more chaotic, furnishings become more simplistic, clean lined, and comfortable. Busy floral printed fabric, oversized pastel cushions, and the loitering oak trim are finally a thing of the past.

With a much more décor-educated society, furniture is all about comfort, clean lines, and durability. Rich tones in fabric such as chocolate, cinnamon, and mocha are the front runners, and seem to be here to stay.

Furniture wood tones are much like wood tones of your kitchen cabinets; cherry, Maple, and Mahogany are the most desired in cabinetry and furniture. An investment in these wood tones is going to be a wise one. A good rule of thumb is if you would not have kitchen cabinets made of it, then it is probably not a good idea to have furniture made of it.

images-1I already mentioned stainless steel, pewter, and brushed nickel as some of the top trends in finishes. These finishes are storming the market in appliances, lighting fixtures, faucets, and hardware. Still, Oil Rubbed Bronze and other dark metal finishes have made a strong comeback. Both of these totally different finishes harmonize well with granites, marbles, and other natural stones. This is a sure bet that replacing your brass hardware and fixtures with one of these finishes is a winner for years ahead. The variety of styles and designs of these metal finishes are so versatile and desirable they won’t be going anywhere soon.

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.