Over 37 years as a designer I have typically used a backdrop of neutrals and added color and pattern in smaller portions. I think the neutrals allow you to change color accents without a huge expense. You also can choose to change colors with the seasons if you have a neutral setting. Adding pillows or artwork with color is a much easier transition to a fresh new look if you want to update in a few years. I also feel that a lighter backdrop is a calm serene feeling. There are lots of designers that have become known for their patterns and bright colors on main pieces but over 37 years that is not who I am. The neutral backdrops have deemed timeless over the years of my design business and is my trademark. I have been in dark dreary homes and strongly feel that they have an effect on the clients and the well being of their mental state. The light and cheery homes definitely create a happier environment and much easier to live in. We recently remodeled a home that had dark brown stained concrete flooring and dark gold walls. We painted the walls white and redid the floors to a light wood color. The family walked back in after vacation and the twins immediately said “We can see in our house and it is so bright and cheery” Color can definitely have an effect on the entire family. No matter what budget you have, painting the walls lighter can truly bring a home to life.
I have never been influenced by trends. My success over the 37 years has been greatly attributed to timeless design. I am more influenced by art, fashion, and architecture. I love adding interesting elements that attract the eye. I like an eclectic mix of elements and certain pieces truly make you appreciate the room design and make it special. Whether it is a little architecturally interesting end table to a beautifully custom designed piece. The goal should be to have pieces in each room that make you feel good and that are special. When your clients let you know years later that they are still in love with their home that is the best compliment you can get as an interior designer.