Top 10 Design Trends for 2011

Today’s home, now more than ever, has become an epicenter for personal retreat. It’s a place to escape and seek revitalization and renewal – a safe haven and sanctuary to unwind and be at peace with the outer environment.

Mary Lawlor, manager of color marketing at Kelly-Moore Paints Company, Inc., a leader and innovator of waterborne-coating technology and the first major paint company to offer recycled paints, has identified 2011’s Top 10 Home Design Trends to help homeowners reflect this sentiment.

“The economy these last few years, combined with natural and man-made disasters, knocked off our rose-colored glasses,” says Lawlor. “Yet, consumers have reached a point of ‘frugal fatigue’ – they’re ready to spend and take risks again in their homes, with a desire to revitalize, renew and restore their spirits. This shift is demonstrated in today’s home design trends as we move towards a cleansing future.”

Kelly-Moore’s Top 10 Home Design Trends for 2011 identified by Lawlor reflect a swing from chaos and uncertainty to calmness and optimism, as expressed in a variety of home design elements.

  1. Trend: Reflection

Due to recent economic struggles, consumers view the future with reticence – one eye is on the past, while the other looks forward with cautious optimism. People are reevaluating their position in the world and, by doing so, deciphering what is truly important.


Home Design Element: Handcrafted goods

Consumers are beginning to find comfort in environments, products and color patterns that foster a sense of authenticity. As this continues, handcrafted goods are experiencing a resurgence.

  1. Trend: Minimalism

As consumers determine what is integral to their lives – and realize non-essentials are superfluous – minimalism continues to grow as a need for luxury items diminishes. Expunging clutter and “cleansing our design palette,” i.e., clearing our taste for previous colors as we prepare for new ones – the trend is toward geometric patterns and minimalistic designs.

Home Design Element: Furniture

In 2011, furniture will be simpler and minimalistic. Instead of designer couches or tables, homeowners will repurpose garage sale finds and family heirlooms.

  1. Trend: Authenticity

The trend is toward seeking refuge in environments without glitz as our outer world becomes more uncertain. What were once considered nature’s imperfections are now embraced because of their authenticity. Homeowners are gravitating towards nurturing colors, natural materials and products that evoke a sense of authenticity.

Home Design Element: Imperfect natural materials

Nature’s imperfections that were once discarded – silk with nubs in it, wood flooring with knots, color imperfections in leather, etc. are now valued.

  1. Trend: Restoration: Home as our epicenter

The world might be in flux, but consumers still want to flourish. Home has become a personal retreat – a place to reconnect with family, friends and ourselves. At-home family activities and home-cooked meals are on the rise as the trend is to stay in rather than go out, i.e. entertaining and hosting dinner parties versus going out on the town.

Home Design Element: Furniture “Botox” – or “Fotox”

Since families will be staying in more to entertain, they’ll make small upgrades around the home repurposing what they have, especially with furniture. Lawlor calls this “furniture Botox” – or “Fotox.” Instead of buying a new piece of furniture, homeowners can upgrade existing ones – a new slipcover for the sofa, a centerpiece for the dining room table or Granny’s bureau painted high gloss black with decorative glittery knobs. This gives existing design elements a “Fotox” boost.

  1. Trend: Homegrown

World events and economic uncertainty have encouraged more introspection and a deep-seated desire to connect with the earth and all things homegrown – a “new ruralism,” as consumers seek a sense of identity. They can find this through farmer’s markets, which are expanding in most communities. More than ever, there’s a need to understand how and where our food and home’s products are produced.

Home Design Element: Vegetable gardens and outdoor living spaces

Many homeowners are tearing out their lawns and replacing them with a vegetable garden (the White House included) and outdoor living spaces. There’s a newfound interest in outdoor entertainment; many homes now have a second kitchen or living room outdoors. Local flea markets and designers are popular as consumers push for bohemian and handmade items.

  1. Trend: Global Fusion

Returning to basics, there’s a desire to embrace indigenous, handcrafted designs and décor elements, and blend those with items from other cultures, creating edgier products and interiors. Traditional color theory has been tossed. Youths are influencing this trend with a refreshing, naive approach to design, integrating the best from the past with modern elements.

Home Design Element: A “unique” color theory

Today’s color combinations have an international flare, combining borrowed elements and creating untraditional pairings. The outcome is a multitude of collaborative creations and colors.

  1. Trend: Digital Disconnect

Social networking sites, smart phones, email and blogs were designed to maximize communication, simplify life and allow more free time. While digital devices are helpful, they’ve also increased stress and distance us from our primal roots. In a trend toward connection, consumers are disconnecting (even for a couple days) to go offline and find their Zen.

Home Design Element: Meditation spaces or rooms

In an effort to “find their Zen,” homeowners are looking to create spaces or rooms that foster a sense of calmness. This effect is achieved by creating areas in the home dedicated to meditation and relaxation, using soothing colors.

  1. Trend: Smaller color palettes

Internationally, color palettes are becoming smaller for a majority of products, making color choice and coordination more important than ever.

Home Design Element: Core color themes

Today’s home features color “families” – colors that work in combination with a more dominant “focal” color. The family colors, found in décor items, can enliven the focal color and renew the environment.

  1. Trend: Functional versatility

With color palettes shrinking, colors must be versatile and serve a broader function and multiple purposes.


Home Design Element: Color-infused neutrals

Cleaner and fresher color-infused neutrals serve as the canvas throughout the home, allowing coordination of new accent colors across rooms. These versatile neutrals dominate today’s homes, ushering in brighter, punchier colors that enliven rooms using décor items.

  1. Trend: Less muted colors

Muted tones yield to brighter, cleaner colors. A self-imposed optimism is the driving force behind these new cheerful colors designed to uplift spirits.

Home Design Element: Colorful paint colors and home décor items

Gone are the days of traditional neutrals dominating home décor. A self-imposed optimism has led to brighter, more fashionable home décor items. Similarly, traditional neutral paint colors have given way to ones with colorful undertones that enliven the home. Décor items work in harmony with paint colors to create perfect balance and livability.

For questions related to color, paint selection or application, VOCs, or any other paint related query, Kelly-Moore’s painters (pros or DIY consumers) can call 1-888-MR-PAINT, email [email protected] or [email protected], visit, the company’s Facebook page or any of Kelly-Moore’s nearest stores, where each Kelly-Moore employee-owner is committed to offering exceptional customer service.

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