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The Sun Valley Guide magazine is distributed free three times a year to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area communities.

Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper will receive the Sun Valley Guide with their subscription.

Wood stains and subtle fabrics are giving way to strong colors and bold patterns in today’s modern homes.

know habitat
Tracking trends in home furnishings
writer: Timi Saviers, photographer: David N. Seelig

When you walk into your home, do you feel re-energized and inspired or do you slide into comfort, peace and relaxation? While past themes in home décor tended toward creating safe-from-the-crazy-world personal cocoons, newer trends focus on reflecting the personality and ideals of the homeowner. According to four Wood River Valley designers, nesting décor is out, and fun, bold design is in. If you’re stalling because it may be expensive to get with the times, our experts offer these quick, inexpensive ways to make the switch.

hot colors and cork
Over the last several years design has tended toward simpler styles, gravitating toward an earthy, classical décor or home-on-the-range style. This homey feel has been emphasized through use of earth-tone wall and carpet colors, warm, subtle chenille fabrics, and a lot of restored and distressed furniture displaying natural wood stains.

Nesting décor is out, and fun, bold design is in. Re-upholstering an old sofa in a vibrant fabric instantly invigorates any design.

This year, according to Susan Seder, owner of Fox Creek Interiors in Ketchum, design is branching in two directions. One trend is toward hot colors, like reds and oranges that make a statement and those natural wood stains are giving way to painted wood and microfibers in blues, reds and greens.

Susan Seder’s personality piece
A gorgeous antique: “There is simply no better statement about your taste and your concept of yourself than the right piece of antique furniture placed to look appealing but not showy.”

Where Susan goes for inspiration
“Some of my favorites are the new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Denver Art Museum. They clearly signal where cutting-edge design is going. Also, ABC Carpet & Home in New York (an ever-changing commentary on design-chic) and the furniture collection of the new Museum of Modern Art in New York.”

The other is a trend in keeping with the general “greening” of the home industry. This environmentally friendly direction includes the use of soy-based materials, back pillows spun from recycled plastic bottles, screens of sustainable vines and the extensive use of cork in furniture and flooring. The overall look and feel of rooms is more cheerful, colorful and carefree.

If it’s time to revamp your decor, Seder suggests setting the tone with a new chair or re-upholstered sofa and more adventurous wall paint and window coverings. Changing out the wood blinds and replacing them with more sophisticated products, such as Hunter Douglas silhouettes and luminettes, can transform a home’s interior. With these few changes, the tone is established and a new atmosphere is yours to enjoy.

Don’t be afraid to mix styles. Avoid decorating according to a formula—mix things up, colors, textures and patterns, to display your personality through your design.

space and art
Terry Murphy, owner of the Ketchum home accessories and furnishings store Bellissimo, agrees there is no longer a need for themes in décor. Although she’s not so sure there is a definite trend, she believes people are moving toward a cleaner more comfortable and pared-down look. An open feel creates space for art and furniture pieces that are more than functional and viewed as treasures.
Murphy recommends decorating so that you will experience an “aah” when you walk into a room. If your room does not have the “aah,” she says, find some great art pieces from a variety of mediums; update your couches, lamps and add a wild table.

Terry Murphy’s personality piece
“Our handmade Spanish four-poster bed. It’s at its best when we are in it with our three dogs.”

Where she goes for inspiration:
“European magazines, books, design centers. Walk down a city street—there is inspiration and color everywhere. The French and Italian home magazines in Bellissimo are fabulous for ideas.”

sleek adventure
Claudia Aulum, Andrea Bradley and the design team from The Open Room, a furniture store in Ketchum, see a shift from one uniform style to an eclectic mix. The Western or traditional English country themes are giving way to a more adventurous style. In the past the cluttered look was very much in, while now a more soothing, less busy ambiance is in order. People are more fearless about blending styles to suit individual tastes, and this means design is moving toward a simple and contemporary look with a dash of humor.

The Open Room team’s personality piece
An avocado green modern couch, with a European flavor.

Where Andrea goes for inspiration:
“Domestic and international design magazines. Favorites include Marie Claire Maison, Dwell, Maisons Cote Est, and Elle Décor.”

Bradley stresses the use of effective storage (for decluttering), good lighting and comfortable, attractive seating. Accessorizing with personal items, artwork and interesting textiles, including rugs, throws and cushions, have a great impact and are easy to change as your taste evolves.

Her advice on updating is to avoid decorating according to a formula. Don’t be afraid to mix styles. Look at your living room and assess what is already there. If the wall colors and floor finishes are working for you, art and rugs are a quick way to make a big change. If the furniture is great as it is, throw pillows are an easy and affordable way to make an impact.

less is more
Terri DeMun of Lone Star in Hailey, which specializes in antiques and home furnishings, says that, until recently, warm, eclectic interiors with lots of wall color in ochres, greens and reds, alongside a strong mixing of patterns, had been very popular. Layers, colors and mixing old and new pieces epitomized the Shabby Chic trend of more is more. However, she sees interior design shifting to the less-is-more concept.

Terri DeMun’s personality piece
“A beautiful handmade chest of drawers that I purchased from an antique reproduction furniture company. The wood is beautiful and the craftsmanship is such a treat to see in this day and age.”

Where she goes for inspiration:
DeMun’s inspiration comes from many sources: design books and periodicals, museums, nature and, her favorite, “I am always inspired by the windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.”

According to DeMun, the easiest and least expensive way to update your space is to paint walls in more subtle, natural and earthy colors. She recommends finding interesting, high-quality furniture and accessorizing the room with vintage “found” objects and original artwork. Choose fabrics and rugs with texture rather than pattern, and, most importantly, think about how the proportion and scale of furniture, art and accessories work together—you want them to carry the room.