Embracing stylish trends in your home decor can make your rooms stand out and seem livelier. Some are simple and inexpensive, so pick one and see if it makes you love your home even more.
• 1. Add a splash of color — The annual fashion color report from industry leader Pantone, which developed the Pantone Match System (PMS) for color matching, sets the tone for home decor and fashion. The palette of dusk blue, lemon zest, African violet, grayed jade, linen and "tender shoots" is emboldened by Monaco blue, poppy red, emerald and nectarine. Marc Thee, founder of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, the top residential interior design firm in the country, also sees a move toward pure color palettes such as cream and sea grass, khaki and white, or neutral with a pop of yellow.
2. Paper the wall — Repositionable wallpaper will be a decorating mainstay this season, says Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, one of the world's top online destinations for wall murals. The company produces 10 collections of peel-and-stick wallpaper available in patterns and styles such as vintage, dots, flower prints and modern. The wallpaper can be removed and reused hundreds of times without losing its adhesive qualities. The mural company offers color-matching, so it is easy for customers to pair the wallpaper with an existing paint color or updated decor.
3. Smarten your kitchen — New contemporary kitchens will include European frameless laminate cabinetry, multi-tasking appliances, hands-free faucets and increased smartphone and tablet functionality, according to Jamie Gold, a kitchen and bath designer in San Diego, Calif. Value-oriented remodels will remain popular, she predicts, with homeowners incorporating existing flooring, fixtures, cabinets and/or appliances into their design plans to save money and retain favorite design elements.
4. Light up — Jeff Dross, senior product manager at Kichler Lighting, says energy-efficient LED products will dominate lighting trends and will be prevalent under and above cabinets, in coves, tray ceilings and toekicks. Chrome and polished nickel appeal both to younger homebuyers and baby boomers who are modernizing their retirement homes. Tall, slender outdoor lanterns in contemporary, cottage and transitional styles will work well in smaller urban spaces.
5. Follow your metal urges — Susan Goldstick, whose Susan Goldstick Inc. manufactures the decorative hardware and hand-painted furniture she designs, predicts home furnishings will shine in 2013. New metal colors such as rose gold and gun metal will be mixed and pierced. Hammered and oxidized textural metals will be especially popular. Vendors will add metal to their wood pieces, and faux animal print metallic will provide texture and reflective light in the textiles arena.
6. Trendy + old equals good style — In the past few years, a foundering economy has influenced people to invest more in their homes and spend more time there. Even as the economy shows signs of improving, however, homeowners still find comfort in "cocooning" in the warmth and safety of their homes, says Graeme Smith, conceptual designer at Second Nature kitchens. Adding an on-trend color, such as cranberry or velvety chocolate, to a soothing palette of muted tones and adding delicate detailing creates timeless interiors. Incorporating vintage pieces into the design fosters feelings of nostalgia, heritage and safety.
7. Wood is good — This year's trendy furniture boasts reclaimed wood or a synthetic wood that looks reclaimed, according to Lenny Kharitonov, president of Unlimited Furniture Group. Wood and metal combinations are popular, such as a desk with a wood top and an iron base. Thee also senses designers feel a new freedom to mix metals, linen or stone into wood, with the juxtaposition of materials and finishes creating a beautiful combination.
8. Tile may be better — One of the biggest style trends of the year for high-traffic areas is porcelain tile that emulates the look of hardwood flooring, says Lori Kirk-Rolley, senior marketing director at Daltile, a national manufacturer of tile products. The tiles meld the natural beauty of wood with the long-lasting durability and easy maintenance of tile. Rectangular tiles — particularly those in long, linear planks — will remain popular in floor and wall applications.
9. Be natural — Consumers' environmentally conscious focus on using organic, sustainable materials continues, and Orange, Calif.-based Budget Blinds recommends woven wood shades made from bamboo, grasses, jute, reeds, rattan and other renewable resources. To bring an aura of the outdoors into your home, Smith suggests using timber and wicker furniture, ribbed and woven finishes on accessories and layered wool throws in the living area of the kitchen.
10. Make solid choices — Exterior design and land-scaping can say just as much about a home as its interior architecture and decor. Artist/designer Pablo Solomon, who has been recognized for his environmental designs, says stone, concrete and brick are good choices for the outside of the house because they blend into the environment, require little upkeep and are superior materials to wood decks that are susceptible to weather, metals that are prone to rust and plastics that dull over time. He also sees an increased use of native plants, which he says can save water and reduce the need for pesticides.
11. Follow the pattern — HGTV designer and television personality Taniya Nayak recommends using a bold pattern — on the wall or on furniture — to give your home design added punch. "No one wants a house that lacks personality," she says. "The easiest way to infuse your style, while staying on-trend, is with an impactful pattern." Popular this year are chevrons, a bold V-shaped pattern; geometrics, graphic, colorful shapes that deliver a vintage-modern feel; ombre, a subtle color gradation of similar shades; ikat, trial swirls and diamonds reminiscent of tie-dye; and Moroccan and other culturally inspired exotic motifs. "These powerful patterns can be easily achieved with a fresh coat of paint and a premium painter's tape," Nayak says. (She recommends FrogTape, which has PaintBlock technology so people can create intricate patterns.) When using bold patterns and bright colors, it may be best to incorporate the pattern onto one accent wall or window treatments.
12. Mix well — The key to updating your home with the latest trends is finding a balance, Nayak says. "It's all about making it personal and adding elements that fit your lifestyle and design personality, without breaking the bank." One great way to make a big impact on a small budget is to mix materials like modern and industrial details. "The rustic look will be extremely popular in homes in 2013, as it's elegant and comfortable," she says. One way to achieve it is by using reclaimed wood in furniture or picture frames. You also can mix different finishes throughout the room. By resisting the urge to match every piece, you'll have a space that looks current and works nicely.
13. Use your imagination — Just because a product is made for a specific purpose, doesn't mean you can't reimagine how it could be used. For example, hanging materials on the wall that are typically used as flooring can be breathtaking. Wood planks or concrete panels add richness and texture.