Recession Renovations

Recession Renovations

On average an interior design trend has a lifespan of about 10 years before people get bored and are ready for change. There are the early adapters, those that act on it mid-wave, and then those who catch the tail end. Trends also tend to begin on the coasts and then filter inland, which means that there may be a few year delay on a trend catching on or ending nationally.

With that being said... who doesn't love gray? It's everywhere right now and has been for the past 6+ years.  It's so easy to match, is modern, and can be used with warm or cool toned interiors.  Anyone who has done a recent kitchen or bath renovation has most likely installed gray and white toned vanity, counters, backsplash, etc. And gray matched with white subway tiles is a classic look that can go either industrial chic or Scandinavian minimal.  Gray used in a living space is modern and can create a soothing monochromatic color palette. Below are three examples I pulled from the front page of Pinterest today.




But I've often wondered what all this grayness will look like in a few years and I've dubbed it  "recession renovations". Yes, the fact that we've been slowly digging ourselves out of the worst economy some of us have ever seen had taken it's toll and left home buyers to either put projects on hold, or make super "safe" decorating decisions. I don't think it's any coincidence that people find using gray a safe, yet trendy choice. 

As the economy is improving though, people are feeling more optimistic and are willing to embrace change and even a little more risk. Optimism is often expressed through color and it seems designers and homeowners alike are getting ready to embrace color again this year! No more drab outlook, no more drab interiors.

"Oh great" you say?  You just installed a gray "whatever"....  Hey, it's no problem at all! Gray is a great neutral base and will help transition your home into the next phase with color. You can start adding layers of color to bring the room to life with accessories that are always easy to change out. If you're about to embark on a renovation or new purchase and have always loved color - now is your free pass to indulge!


Like this kitchen above - POP! Look at how cheery that orange is against a gray & white background.


This gray couch provides a great base for jewel toned accessories like rug, pillow, & lighting.

Color & Accessories: Mono-Color Rooms

In the recent issue of Elle Decor there were a few rooms done in jewel toned monochromatic colors. Then I saw a magazine ad for Nate Berkus' new product line staged in a monochromatic photo and was inspired to research more "mono-colored" rooms. You might think that using one color (monotone) or several similar shades close to each other (monochromatic) would create a dull lifeless room. But these pictures show you can create a gorgeous room with lots of character by smartly layering colors. 

In all these photos below, the rooms read as one main color. But if you look closer you can see the different elements that were combined to create each cohesive look.


Purple Dining Room

Solid colors with minimal pattern in chair upholstery that ties together the red/purple curtains and blue/purple walls | White ceiling, trim & chair frames brighten the room | Black and gold accents finish the room. 

Glamorous Monochromatic Dining Room by Alex Papachristidis via Elle Decor