One of the highlights of interior design in 2011 is an environmental consciousness with the latest trends reflecting our society’s current inclination to rethink, renew and recycle.
Trends for this year include form and function being perfected for improved home living, vintage favourites being recycled with a modern twist and neutrals that have been renewed but are far from dull! Blinds and shutters must, of course, complement these.
“Shutters and blinds are considered fixtures and are often the foundation on which interior design is built; much like flooring and architectural features,” says Karina Palmer, Marketing Director of AMERICAN shutters. “Shutter and blind materials, styles and finishes must not only reflect what is happening in the international interior design world, but stimulate new thinking and trends.”
In 2011, home décor creates a sense of calm, a contrast from the chaos of modern life, whilst aiming to be environmentally sustainable.
For many, the expense of selling and the slow property market has made home renovation an attractive option. The sentiment is, ‘Why move when you can improve?’ When it comes to making home improvements, the form and function of rooms are being considered more than ever before.
This year the home office has come into its own. Gone are the tucked away, stuffy libraries and dusty studies of yesteryear; today’s home office is fresh, welcoming and seamlessly integrates into the home.
City slickers in open-plan urban loft-style apartments can create a stylish separation between ‘work’ and ‘play’ with internal bi-fold or by-pass shutters.
“Internal shutters allow for easy manipulation of the dimensions of a room and in open plan homes, offer a measure of privacy and insulation without the loss of space,” explains Palmer.
The inconvenient truth of global warming has inspired designers to rethink product design and look for stylish ways to make green living feel as natural as breathing. What’s more, conscientious homeowners are making a difference at home by investing in environmentally sustainable home décor and fittings.
“Our eco-range of Decowood shutters and Privacy blinds are examples of home fittings that encompass green ideals but don’t compromise on high quality and style that adds real value,” states Palmer. “Our Decowood timber shutters are made from medium density fibreboard and manufactured using engineered wood composite sourced from certified Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) plantations. Wood composite production incurs very little waste with up to 95% of a tree being utilised as opposed to 68% being utilised to manufacture solid wood products.”
The Privacy custom-fit blinds offer exceptional light block-out with its slot-free slats and tight louvre closure. And because they are made from lightweight and durable Kiri wood, a rapid-growth tree which releases up to 6kg of pure oxygen per day, it’s the perfect eco-friendly way to dress windows.”
Once considered ‘old junk,’ vintage suitcases, clocks, ball and claw style furniture and even doilies are seeing a revival as the increasingly popular vintage décor trend grows.
Furthermore, we’re all being urged to recycle and in design this is being interpreted in soft furnishings, art and home fittings. The renewal trend also extends to colour and beige tones in particular. This long-standing colour favourite for home decor has also undergone an update with new neutrals that are simply serene in shades of grey. Softened with white and enhanced by deeper shades like charcoal and aubergine, grey is the colour of sophistication in 2011.
“We have recently introduced a new range of Larchwood shutters in three gorgeous shades of grey to complement this trend. Both our internal and external Larchwood shutters are available in a variety of custom colour finishes but are equally attractive in their raw wood state to complement the current trend for natural design finishes,” reveals Palmer.
“Whether it’s with inspiration from the past or the future, AMERICAN shutters currently has a range of customisable shutters or binds to enhance the form and function of all interior designs in the ‘greenest’ of ways,” concludes Palmer.