5 Interior Design Trends for 2012

Horizontal Stripes AND snow leopard print -- designed by Robert PassalOld is the new “new” in 2012! Everywhere we look, designers are putting modern twists on traditional elements to create smashing new trends. Here New York interior designer Angela Leland, writer of the blog The Decadence Project and owner of Angela Leland Interior Design gives us her top interior tips for 2012 and how to achieve them.

1. Gold accents

Going For Gold Mikel IrastorzaOlympians aren’t the only ones going for gold in 2012! The luxurious metal makes many a designer’s eye sparkle, too, and it’s popping up everywhere from frames to mirrors to furniture accents.

Why we love it: Adding a touch of gold brings a richness and sophistication to a room.

How to do it:  Fearlessly! Sprinkle it here and there and don’t be afraid to mix finishes.

What to avoid: It’s hard to do gold wrong, but if your frames cost $5 for package of 20, chances are the “gold finish” will look cheap. Buy thrifty but buy smart!

2. Antique portraits

Antique Portraits and Cheetah Rug -- designed by Jamie Laubhan-OliverRaid the attics and flea markets! Those antique portraits, once considered old-fashioned, are now terribly chic. They are also relatively easy to find and, depending on where you’re shopping, affordable on most budgets.

Why we love it: Antique portraits add a whimsical sense of “past” to a space and give it a familial warmth.

How to do it:  Gently clean your portrait and take to a restorer if needed. Add a new, fresh frame to give the art a modern twist or hang the unframed canvas for an “unfinished” look.

What to avoid: Don’t take it too seriously! Unless you live in Versailles, you need not pay homage to the Poor Joe in the painting. No place of honor is necessary (such as, above a fireplace). Mix and match with other art for a more modern feel.

3. Jungle cat prints

Leopard Pillows -- by Alberto Pinto for Architectural DigestOh, how I love zebra, but it’s time to expand our safari into new territories. Jungle cat prints, like leopard and cheetah, whisper of Old Hollywood glamour, speakeasies, and sensuality.

Why we love it:  Jungle cat prints add an exotic flair and a dash of sexy

How to do it:  Pillows and rugs are the most popular (and versatile) use, but if you dare, upholster your chair!

What to avoid:  Overdoing it – like zebra, these are accent prints. When overused, they lose their sizzle and wind up looking gaudy. Gasp! Not gaudy!!

4. Showing love to your ceiling

Poor, neglected ceilings are finally getting their day in the spotlight! Paint them, stencil them, lacquer them…just don’t ignore them. If treating the entire ceiling is still a bit frightening, consider dramatic medallions for light fixtures.

Why we love it: Plain, matte white is soooo boring! It’s about time our ceilings got as much love as our walls. Plus, interesting ceilings add a whole new dimension to your space.

How to do it:  For the timid, consider your current color but in a semi- or high-gloss paint to add a little flare. For the braver, choose a complimentary paint color in 2 shades lighter or darker than your wall color. For instance, if your walls are light taupe, choose a darker or lighter shade of taupe for the ceilings. This adds interest without being too dramatic. Are you a design daredevil? Then go bold! Black ceilings are utterly gorgeous, as are deep chocolate browns.

What to avoid:  Colors, textures, or concepts that don’t work with the rest of the room. The ceiling should be noticed, but not in the arched-eyebrow “guy wearing a tutu on the Tube” sort of way.

5. Horizontal stripes

Taking a cue from the runways, stripes have gone horizontal! It’s funny how an unexpected shift in direction can add so much interest to a space.

Why we love it: It takes tradition and turns it on its head…literally!

How to do it: Any way, anywhere you wish. Chunky stripes on the wall, pencil-thin on a pillow, or even horizontally-striped drapes. Keep in mind, some items are designed to be used horizontally and some are not. If you fall in love with a vertically-striped fabric or wallpaper, it may require more yardage and more careful measurements to achieve the horizontal effect.

What to avoid: hmmm…nothing! This is an easy trend to play with, so go for it, my lovelies!

Angela Leland

Angela is the owner of Angela Leland Interiors, a sassy boutique interior design firm based in New York City. She is also writer/editor for the blog The Decadence Project, dedicated to exploring sexy spaces and exotic places with an emphasis on design and travel. When she’s not plotting her path to greatness, Angela can be spotted around Manhattan sipping gin cocktails and singing bad karaoke.

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