Dropping House Knowledge
Look hot, not old: Top Houston designer reveals what to avoid and embrace this year
In this new periodic series, the city's hottest interior designers offer fresh ideas to revive spaces throughout your home, from the kitchen to the bedroom. Let's get started!
Whether Laura Umansky of Laura U Interior Design is putting the final touches on a Houston home, working with clients at Studio U as they approach "a la carte" or small-scale projects or taking care of customers' wishes at her new Aspen boutique, she and her team always have ears to the ground and eyes wide open for the latest in trends.
"Working as a seasoned designer, I’m used to the inevitable cycle of coming-and-going trends," she says in a recent post on her blog. "It’s bittersweet when a pattern, color or finish you couldn’t get enough of dwindles from the selections of your favorite vendors. But, I am never disappointed with what the New Year brings."
Umansky shares with CultureMap what's new and hot . . . and what's old and not. Every year brings with it a new set of design trends.
In: Green Tones
"We have always appreciated the beauty of green, but we predict this hue will make more of a splash in 2015," she says. "We particularly love earthy shades of green like olive, and it can be featured on a bold accent wall or as fabric on a fabulous dining chair."
"We were seeing this pattern on everything from walls to bedding to rugs beginning in 2012 and throughout 2014," Umansky says. "Chevron hit the scene big time, but we don’t think you’ll be seeing much of it these playful zigzags this time around."
In: Natural Aesthetics
Watch for chiseled edges, natural wood and unlacquered steel, she says, adding, "Materials in their natural state lend a warm and authentic look. Mix metals such as steel, copper, pewter and brass for a collected feel."
Out: Big Brass
The use of brass in large-scale projects is fading from the spotlight and will probably be "outdated," for the time being, before the close of the year. "We love this tone for sure, but see a resurgence of warm platinum tones coming to the forefront," Umansky says.
In: Photo Filters
"Photographic images from social media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest will be used as decor even more in 2015," the designer notes. "One client’s stair hall is filled Instagram photos from their family trips and adventures."
Out: Completely Neutral Rooms
"While we love a completely neutral room — what is more serene than tone-on-tone cream — we think that the all-white space will be replaced with a more contrasted look this year," Umansky says. "Lots of black lacquer and ebonized woods paired with neutral upholstery will be en vogue.
"While we love trends, we do rely on them to create our 'Classically Current' spaces. Mixing in the latest trend in a small dose is a fun and easy way to keep your interiors fresh and makes them easy to update when something new hits the scene."
Take a look through the images above for examples of Umansky's tips as shown through some of her own finished projects.
In addition to holding a master's degree in architecture from the University of Texas, Umansky is an allied member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and an associate member of ASID. Laura U was recently awarded Best of Houzz and a space on the prestigious National Gold List by Luxe Magazine.
The firm holds more than 19 ASID awards for outstanding interiors including Best of Show 2012. Laura has been recognized as both a Leader in Design by the Houston Design Center and Star on the Rise by the Decorative Center Houston.