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Trends and Design Tips from the Top

I’m often asked by friends and former clients for tips and trend ideas as they continually improve their home or plan for a new home. Here are some of my latest thoughts.

  • While not every client agrees in the end, I do not favor raised hearth fireplaces or corner fireplaces in my homes. Sure, they are cozy to curl up on while a fire blazes from behind. But overall, raised hearths are permanent monoliths in your great room or family room that limit flexibility when it comes to arranging furniture.
  • Plasma televisions are taking their place in today’s homes. Now more affordable than before, they can set back into a 6” wall recess or pop up out of custom, mechanical cabinetry. Homeowners no longer require a 24” deep armoire or built-in entertainment center to house the talking heads on CNN.
  • Use one creamy neutral paint color throughout the interior to open up spaces and lend a more modern, sophisticated feel to your home. While some prefer dramatic red dining rooms, I always recommend continuity in paint color that allows art and architectural elements to add color and interest. Some of my favorite colors are Flour Sack White by Ralph Lauren and Ceylon Ivory by Pratt and Lambert.
  • Maybe it’s the popularity of Emeril and the Naked Chef, but for whatever reason, men are taking their rightful place in the kitchen. I once designed this area of the home to the wife’s specifications; today men have as much input on appliance selection, cabinetry and countertop finishes and overall kitchen layout as women do.

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Jack Arnold, AIA