Clean, elegant, traditional, modern, rich, textured. These are all adjectives that describe a new decorating style that’s emerging. I call it New World because it looks like Old World designs but has several contemporary twists in color and elements. We’ll be seeing more of this kind of style in the future as the world comes to terms with both our decorating past and future and translates that reconciliation into a home design that is decidedly today.
Design continues to be influenced by Europe and will continue as the European Union becomes more unified and the Euro gains in strength as it has been doing in the past few years. We’ll see more designs leaning heavily toward Old World trends of heavy fabrics, carvings, reliefs, and the use of stone. These are all traditional and European-inspired. They’ll be blended with an increased use of metals and, in particular, metal-blends. Metal blends will mix types and colors of metals to give gold, silver and copper a new look. A mix of gold and copper will create the look of “gopper” and silver and iron will create “siron.” Old styles will take on more significance and meaning and not be seen just as old, but as everlasting and classical when juxtaposed against the glimmer of contemporary accents.
The look of the future has often been translated into looks that shine and glimmer. Clear glass fits that bill perfectly and glass accessories will proliferate. Color will change, too. An increase in light colors paired with darker ones and all balanced with glass and glimmer will create a new look that’s comfortably classic, yet fresh and updated. Light colors that combine with metals will also become more prominent. Silver and gold-infused colors, such as silvery sage and golden reds will help keep the traditional updated with modern flair. Glass elements will become more prominent in decorating and will lighten up the heaviness of the Old World elements that are visually weighty.
Create the New World look
When you’re ready to create a New World look, start with color. Look for a pairing of metals and metal-influences. The metals should have an aged quality about them. Fabrics should be rich and employ traditional patterns used in a fresh way, such as enlarged prints from classical patterns like damask. The New World look will also feature a greater use of texture. Whereas Old World design might employ heavy fabrics like velvet, a New World look would use a smooth, shiny fabric paired with a velvet trim or pattern. Throw pillows are some of the first decorator accessories that have this look. Many now have a traditional damask pattern that’s been enlarged and raised in velvet against a shiny, metallic-style fabric and then trimmed with crystals. The blending of these old and new elements has flair and creates a certain drama that isn’t over-dramatic. The shine comes from glass in New World style and glimmer comes from metals. Metals shouldn’t be highly polished, but instead have a soft glow and weathered patina. Glass should be perfectly clear for this look though.
The New World look will grow more popular and become a new design standard like the Mediterranean, Provencal or other design styles. The world is moving forward and design is going with it. The New World is a style that uses both Old World design influences and mixes with it contemporary influences to create its own unique style that says both the past and the future are equally important. This new design style will also help us to create rooms and décor that give equal footing to both past and future and will reflect how decorative living looks now.