Interior Design Ideas Featured
Winter is a great time to spruce up your home’s interior before the demands of yard work consume your attention in the spring and summer.
There are a number of exciting trends in a few areas of interior design that local retailers offer today. McHenry County Living spoke with some of them about the direction and demands of the industry and how they’re sharing them with local homeowners.
Window to Your World
Whether they’re functional or decorative — or both — window treatments add a whole new level of design to a home.
Today’s trends dictate a clean, classic and contemporary look, according to Pam Mueller, who, with her husband George, owns and operates Mueller Interiors Inc. (438 W. Virginia St. in Crystal Lake, 815-477-0400, www.muellerinteriors.com).
“This [look] offers timeless design with functionality and energy efficiency,” Pam Mueller said. “Colors and textures mimic nature: Light hays, warm grays, soft blues, dreamy pales, updated variations of mauve.
“There will be a surge in things comfortable and familiar, as well as worldly blends of colors and texture: animal, plants and stone.
“Another design trend,” she added, “is getting in touch with things natural and environmentally friendly.”
Every room is a candidate for window treatments, but according to Mueller, the rooms where most time is spent should be the highest priority.
“All rooms do need some type of window treatments,” she added. “They give the room a more finished look, and help with energy efficiency and comfort.
“Exposure to the new styles and fabrics can really help to make one’s home more unique. “Most people like to have something different in their house,” she added. “To see truly designer fabrics, trunk shows are available for viewing at Mueller Interiors with scheduled appointments.
“Beauty, style and colors are much different from the ordinary exposure one gets from the big box stores.”
The most popular blinds and shades, according to Mueller, are Hunter Douglas products, particularly the Duette Architella honeycomb shades with a cell-within-a-cell design for some of the highest energy efficiency ratings on the market today.
“Energy efficiency is a hot topic today and the Duette Architella is the most energy-efficiency shade on the market,” she said. “They are also the first and only window shades to qualify for Federal Energy Tax Credits without add-on insulation systems. Not to mention, a great look for any window. Also, all of its chords are child-safe.”
In addition to window treatments, Mueller Interiors offers draperies, bedding, new furniture, reupholstery, slipcovers and more.
Tile Ideas for the Home
Due to its hard-wearing material, tile is a great addition to the home’s floor or walls. The trends in tile today include large-format tiles, rectangles, natural stone, glass, metal and fabric finishes made to look like linen, suede, leather or brocade, according to Hawley Haleblian, senior designer at Exceed Flooring and Surfaces (5186 Northwest Hwy. in Crystal Lake, 815-459-3113, www.exceedflooring.com).
“For homeowners interested in adding tile, it’s important to consider the look you’re trying to achieve,” she said. “Do you wan to be more traditional or contemporary? Do you want to use natural material like limestone and travertine or manufactured products such as porcelain?”
Kitchens and bathrooms are generally the first rooms people think of when they consider tile, but Exceed also creates “feature walls,” — walls in a home’s foyer opposite the front door that add a great deal of interest the moment you enter.
Exceed also installs tile for fireplaces, laundry rooms and garages.
The trends in tile today include natural materials such as limestone, travertine and marble, as well as glass and green products. “Manufacturers are paying attention to the green aspect of home interiors today more than ever,” Haleblian said.
A design trend in tiling is “blankets” on the floor of a bathroom or a backsplash in the kitchen behind the stove. “It’s a framed out centerpiece of tile that stands out from the rest of the tiling pattern,” she said. “Kind of like a blanket.”
When searching out a tiling expert, Haleblian said to look for a full-service firm with design expertise. “Everyone on Exceed’s floor has graduated from a design college,” Haleblian said. “We’re completely full-service.
“Clients receive computer drawings of their projects before we install,” she continued. “We also have the most complete selection in this region outside of the Merchandise Mart.”
Even with the gaining popularity of hardwood flooring, carpet remains a big seller, particularly in bedrooms, family rooms and basements. “In this day and age, homeowners have gotten away from the basic beige carpets and into dark, bold colors, and patterns and textures,” according to Keith Murphy, sales manager at Mayfair Carpet & Furniture (661 S. Main St. in Crystal Lake, 815-455-4070, www.mayfairfurnitureandcarpet.com).
The standard in carpet today is a product that wears well in high-traffic areas and is stain resistant.
“Homeowners today are focusing on style and comfort,” Murphy said.
Two well-recognized, high-quality carpet manufactures are Shaw Floors and Mohawk Industries. “Mohawk’s Karastan line and Shaw’s Tuff Tex are fantastic lines with great quality, fantastic coloring and style,” he said. “They sell really well.”
For homeowners wishing to install carpet, visiting a showroom is the first step, Murphy said. “There are too many samples to see — shopping at home limits you greatly,” he said. “Bring couch cushions, bedspreads and other accent articles from your house to the showroom to help select color.
“Then, take some samples home to see them in the room’s light,” he continued. “After a client brings in a rough measurement, we can get a ballpark price. Carpet is installed roughly two week after the order is placed.”
A retailer with its own in-house installers is key. “I think it’s one of the most important things in the carpet business,” Murphy said.
Sidebar: Think Spring! by Kelly L. Williams
Winter is the perfect time to start new indoor decorating projects — we’re already spending time in our homes because of the cold weather and we seem to have more spare time, unlike in the summer when we enjoy being outdoors.
Letting spring come into our homes is a wonderful way to make us all feel better when we have the winter blues. Look around your home and start removing your dark patterned pillows and throws from your sofas. Cover them with a fresh floral print or plaids for warmer weather.
Switch out your pine and holiday arrangements for a more spring look by adding colorful silk florals. Instead of dark pottery pieces and dark candlestick holders, lighten up your look with glass vases and candlestick holders.
A simple change of your dark candles for a brighter spring look makes a big difference, too.
The trends that I have been seeing is light greens and aquas in accessories and a beautiful botanical look all around. An inexpensive way to bring in a spring look is to put out garden magazines or floral books on the coffee table in your living room.
Some tips for starting any interior décor projects: Don’t be afraid to use colors and patterns. I like to start with a neutral base on the walls and flooring, accessorize with colors and patterns allows us to change with each season and makes our living space fresh year round.
Kelly L. Williams is the owner of Cedar & Sage, located at 205 E. South St. in Woodstock. The boutique features European-flavored antiques
and reproductions, one-of-a-kind art work, unique accessories, and Quoizel lighting. For more, call 815-337-0145 or visit www.cedarandsageshop.com.