Tribal Touches for Your Home

Accessories and accent pieces are the easiest way to inject life and personality into your space.  Just what that personality is is up to you.  Today’s topic of interest is Tribal accents and accessories that can liven up a space.  This works especially well in neutral spaces, because color is not one of the hallmarks of tribal design.  Tribal designs are more about material, texture, and patterns.

Natural motif pillows

These pillows have a natural motif, almost like a leaf, flower, or acorn, that has been enlarged and simplified, creating a graphic quality.  The colors are neutral and high contrast.  Tribal designs will have simple, neutral color palettes in warm, earthy colors.  The designs focus more on the patterns rather than a busy color story.

Woven lamp

This lamp also has a simple palette, but the shade is woven with two different grass-like materials, giving it a subtle texture.  Also, the base is simple but highly distressed with a carved and rasped quality.  The finish is dull and the color is deep wood, also indicative of a tribal design.

Adding accents and accessories with a consistent design flair will add interest to your home while keeping your look cohesive.  Look for similar characteristics of design instead of trying to match everything exactly.  This will add more interest and make you the envy of all your design-conscious friends and visitors!

Integrate the High Point Trends

As our regular readers will already know, Fridays are a day to talk about integrating design trends into real world, real life spaces for our clients in Minnesota and beyond.  Today, we will explore the overall trends shown at High Point market in April 2011 and how they can be integrated into current spaces.

1. Softer, Warmer Contemporary

People have often viewed contemporary furnishings and design as cold, distant, uncomfortable, and unwelcoming.  The Midwest in particular has been slow to adopt some of the more popular contemporary trends on the coasts.  But this year’s contemporary focuses on softening the harsh lines.  Designs are still clean and monochromatic (hallmarks of contemporary design).  The lines of the furniture emphasis a form that follows function instead of being purely decorative.  But contemporary has gotten a little squidgy around the edges.  Padded headboards in clean linen looks, a warmer gray and cream color scheme, and soft driftwood tones with mild distressing take the edge off contemporary and make these pieces easier to incorporate into a more transitional home decor.  Consider adding a contemporary piece done in a warm wood tone to update a country or lodge look. 

2. Coastal Cottage

Driftwood and linen translate well from a warmer contemporary to an east coast cottage look that is breezy and casual while maintaining more traditional design details.  Turned or cabriole legs, cotton fabrics, toile, lighter wood tones, and woven grasses and reeds complement more formal traditional looks.  A large design challenge for those who appreciate more formal furniture design has been the advent of the great room in homes.  Formal living rooms are becoming things of the past, and traditional details on a more casual piece can accomplish a traditional look without feeling too formal for a family living space.

3. Classic Greek

Just like in fashion design, interior design trends work cyclically.  It has been quite awhile since we have seen a Greek Revival in interior design.  Fluted carved wood, columns, and classic greek chair lines were big at High Point this year.  This trend works well with traditional and contemporary designs.  Consider using a more formal fabric on a classic Greek chair for a traditional space or a funky color or design for a more contemporary space.  Unexpected combinations will add interest to your space.

4. Gray

Gray continues to be a large trend in furniture.  Taking the place of a chocolate brown as the ‘new neutral,’ gray is a warmer shade than in the past.  More mushroom grays with brown undertones are popular, instead of the cool blue grays of the early 1980’s.  Gray works as a neutral on many levels and can conteract a chocolate brown in a space lightening up a largely neutral palette.

As we progress through the next few months, we will talk about more specific trends, but these general directions were hallmarks of the High Point Furniture Market this season.  Look for pieces coming to stores in the next few months to follow these general design trends.

HiJinks at High Point

Hello Boys and Girls!  Welcome to Schneiderman’s story hour!  Today we will be reading a tale of harrowing adventure as our furniture and accessory buyers embark on a quest for the best North Carolina has to offer!

The Tale of the Three Buyers and Their Mighty Foe

The morning sun in Furniture Forest calmly rises as our adventurers, Susan and Natalie, discuss the day’s possibilities.  “I recognize this table,” says Susan.  “I believe it may have been stolen from our home castle.”

“I don’t think so,” Natalie replies.  “The builder must have made more than one.  See, there’s more than one of the same chair.”

“Yes, that is true.  Mighty clever of the chairsmith to make a matching pair.  I must try to get them home to the castle to see if they will be liked by the villagers.  Perhaps if people are envious of the fabulous tufted backs and low track arms, they will want them for their own homes,” Susan remarked.

And so our adventurers, having found what may be a wonderful addition to the home castle, soldiered on.

“But, alas!” cried Jason, adventurer number 3, “I believe this chair to be a better choice for the castle.  There may only be one, but the pattern is interesting and the arms higher. ”

A sudden tone of hushed incredulity overcame Susan and Natalie.  This Jason person knows much more about the wood carvers than the chair smithers.  From whence comes this sudden opinion?  But, ever the agreeable adventurers, Susan and Natalie decide that Jason should be humored.  Besides, the pattern is nice and there are many rooms in the castle.  Perhaps another of the villagers would like this chair better.  More choices mean more happy people!

Our three adventurers continue to agree as they wander the Furniture Forest on High Point mountain when suddenly, the Evil Prince Chad pops out from behind the famous Deen Tree! [Insert ominous music here.]

“I know what the villagers want to see at your castle better than anyone else ever could,” Evil Prince Chad exclaimed!  Little do our adventurers know, Evil Prince Chad’s favorite Evil Thing to do is to send adventurers on the wrong path and watch as they disagree!  “See here, the villagers will love this amazing art and fabulous flame-stitch pillow fabric!”

“I agree,” Jason remarks.

“I agree,” Natalie says.

“Well I don’t,” says Susan, “That flame-stitch was teleported here from the land of 1976 and has no place at our lovely castle.”

Enmity and discord abound as our three adventurers begin to fight each other with the soft and fluffy artifacts found in the Furniture Forest. 

The Evil Prince Chad watches gleefully from afar as our three adventurers continue to fight over just what the villagers will want to see inside the home castle.  Eventually, though, our adventurers figure out what the Evil Prince Chad really wants and decide to thwart his Evil Plan.

“I don’t think all the arguing is productive.  And I have poly fill in my hair from those fluffy artifacts,” said Natalie with true concern for Susan’s feelings. “I am sorry I did not listen.  We have many rooms and hallways in the castle to fill and so we can find room for all our favorites!”

“And I am sorry I was so negative about your pillow fabric.  It is not my favorite, but I am only one adventurer.  We come to the Furniture Forest together so many opinions can be heard,” Susan replied.

And so, the Evil Prince Chad’s dastardly plans ruined, our adventurers continued to find great pieces from Furniture Forest on High Point Mountain to bring home to their castles and show off to the villagers.  Good Luck to our adventurers and have a safe trip home!

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