Red Hot Tips:
New Home Buyers: ‘More Is More’
Builders are constructing bigger and bigger homes for smaller families. The average new home is nearly 2,100 square feet, compared with 1,645 square feet 20 years ago. With all that square footage, home buyers are packing in lots of amenities. Whirlpools, game rooms, entertainment centers, and lap pools top the list.
Stretch Those Decorating Budgets
Nearly everyone is cost-conscious these days, according to Patricia Rodemann, president of Designed for Success¹. She reports that 75 percent of the consumers say budget is a key factor in evaluating projects and resources. That’s no problem, according to Michael Foster, the Manhattan-based designer, who works as a stylist for the White House and several national decorating magazines. “If your budget is limited, make a statement with wallpaper and fabrics, then build upon the room’s style with slipcovered furniture and inexpensive accessories.”
Goodbye Glitz; Hello Country
Also from Designed for Success’ Patricia Rodemann: most Americans describe their current decor as 1980s glitz. It’s a look they’re ready to leave behind. Americans thinking of redecorating mostly want the country farmhouse/American prairie look. The second most wanted look is 1990s casual contemporary, followed by an understated, but upscale, sophisticate look. Also of interest is a return to the basic, earthy look.
Who’s Remodeling? Boomers Lead the Way
Homeowners between the ages of 35 and 44 are more likely to remodel than any other age group, according to the 1996 State of the Nation’s Housing published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. The next most likely are 45 to 54 year-olds. Both age groups spend substantially more on remodeling than maintenance. Home owners spend about $70 billion a year on remodeling and home maintenance.
Mix Pattern with Pattern? Of Course!
Don’t repeat the same pattern in your wallpaper, window treatments and other home fashions items. Your room will look more current if you mix patterns. Stripes, plaids, foulards and florals can go together beautifully—provided they are tied together by harmonizing color. One general color scheme provides continuity.
Mix Furniture Too
Don’t plunk down a fortune on a matched set of furniture. Those sets look terribly dated, said Newell Turner, Style Editor of House and Garden Magazine. For a newer look, mix woods, textures and surfaces.
Sheers are the big news in domestic textiles, reported Warren Shoulberg, Editor of Home Textiles Today, Colored, tonal and burn-out sheers are being used for sheets, comforters, draperies and even upholstery.