October 26, 2020

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Home Improvement

Punch up your decor for fall and winter

“People are just looking to personalize their space a little bit more, and have it not be so stale and generic,” said Kailee Klevan, of Beyond Kitchens. “We’re not doing all-white cabinets anymore — it might be a contrasting color on the base cabinets, then white on the upper cabinets, and then a fun tile backsplash to spice it up.”

Wallpaper is “coming back pretty big” as a way to add a little extra personality to a room, she said.

Beyond Kitchens design with a mix of painted cabinetry and a stained wood island to warm up the space and tie in with the wood floors (Marit Williams Photography)

Beyond Kitchens design with a mix of painted cabinetry and a stained wood island to warm up the space and tie in with the wood floors (Marit Williams Photography)

Warm colors and natural woods make for a homier, comfy feel, with lots of light, she added. But the bigger trend is about color — a punchy accent wall spices up a room of neutrals; custom cabinets add life to plain tile.

“Livable and comforting” shades like smokey blues, alabaster, linen, blush, and succulent greens are on the rise, according to Karen Vangsness Allen, of Design Studio B.

Bathroom design by Beyond Kitchens wusing different tile patterns and a merlot accent wall. This bathroom design won 1st place in the small bathroom category in the National Kitchen and Bath Association(NKBA) MN State Chapter Design Competition. (Marit Williams Photography)

Soft touches

Kristin Proell and her husband, Chris, of Val-U-Blinds, are seeing a greater focus on plush fabrics and clean lines for furniture and accents.

“Everything’s just nice, clean lines, nothing too oversized,” Kristin Proell said. “You can bring a pop of color in an accent chair or pillows — velvet is popular.”

Kristin Proell of Val-U-Blinds. (Ken Klotzbach / kklotzbach@postbulletin.com)

Kristin Proell of Val-U-Blinds. (Ken Klotzbach / [email protected])

Look for metal legs, tufted details, and those warm tones in art, new accent pieces, and small pieces of furniture, the Proells said.

Adding extra seating in the form of upholstered stools can be an extra source of color or texture — as well as a place to prop weary feet, Vangsness Allen said.

Softer, neutral colors and sheerer materials in window coverings let in plenty of natural light, Kristin Proell said. Roll-up window shades afford plenty of texture and color options with a “nice, clean look,” that’s “fun to use.” Chris Proell said metallic bronzes (like Sherwin Williams’ “urban bronze”) adds a warm feeling to handles, appliances and brushed-metal accents.

Beyond Kitchens bathroom design with a custom color vanity. (Marit Williams Photography)

Beyond Kitchens bathroom design with a custom color vanity. (Marit Williams Photography)

As far as home accessories go, Kristin Proell said unique, wrought-iron pieces, marble, and mixed textures are on trend — clean, statement pieces that add sophistication when used sparingly.

“Ultimately, you’ve got to make it uniquely your own home,” Chris Proell said.

Setting up the home office

There’s some variance in how homeowners approach home office spaces, Klevan said. While some prefer a blank wall and neutral tones behind them to avoid distractions on Zoom calls, others have an opposite reaction — “I can’t look at a blank wall another day, I need something that creates joy and motivates me.”

“If you work at an updated, fun work environment, you’re going to be more efficient working in the exciting space than in the boring space,” she said. “It’s the balance between the two — making it interesting, but not so overwhelming that you can’t concentrate and that it’s distracting.”

Whatever the walls look like, Chris Proell said it’s worth considering blackout curtains or a window covering that blocks the sun in a home office, so that glare from the sun is minimized.

Easy upgrades

Vangsness Allen had a few easy ideas to help spruce up a space quickly:

  • If an accent wall seems like too much, homeowners can add an accent color or decorative wallpaper to the backs of built-in shelves or bookcases.

  • Less-read books on shelves can also be re-covered with colored fabric or paper.

  • Replacing area rugs, pillows and throws can change the feeling of a room.

  • Light “layering” by adding a lamp to overhead-lit space adds a soft feeling.

  • Replace area rugs to really change the feel of the space.

Have an interesting home and lifestyle idea for Anne? Send your remodeling projects, gardening tips, and gripes about the housing market (yes, we want to hear those, too) to [email protected]

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