Friday, January 23, 2009

ASID offers the top 10 trends for 2009!

It's a new year and the design industry is buzzing about what home owners and buyers desire in 2009. According to a panelist of designers at a session on “Design Trends Marketplace” at the International Builder Show, home owners are looking for more contemporary looks. Happily, I have found this trend to be true in our most recent projects and I think we will continue to see a move to less cluttered and intentionally spare spaces.

"Today’s minimalist design may mix straighter furniture elements, two different colors repeated throughout (e.g. white and green) and a mix of fun, bold accessories (such as a red chair) or a traditional element (such as an antique mirror).

Indeed, contemporary architecture is even spreading to suburbia (see examples from Agave’s energy efficient contemporary homes in Austin, Texas).

Here are some of the common design trends growing in demand.

1. Lighting options used as pieces of art in funky shapes. A variety of lighting options can be used that are decorative yet functional.

2. Outdoor living that serves as an extension of the inside of the home with outdoors that boast comfortable seating, audio, TVs, a fireplace, and artwork to punch up the space.

3. Design accessories reflecting nature speak to buyers who are more aware of preserving the environment. For example, tree designs are popular, such as via an art sculpture, painting, or even reflected in a table.

4. Green design elements, such as water-efficient appliances and LED lighting under the kitchen cabinets, continue to gain traction and offer cost savings.

5. His and her amenities are increasing, such as even separate garages and vanities with his countertop higher than her’s for a more custom look.

6. Car lifts offer compact storage of vehicles and are expected to grow in popularity as lot sizes grow smaller. A basement built under a garage can allow for the car to descend into the basement until you need it. Or a garage with a higher ceiling can stow the car above.

7. Windows can serve as focal points of a room as well as boost energy efficiency. Floor-to-ceiling windows can add drama to a room.

8. Wood in dark or light stains and in various materials are being used throughout homes. For example, wood details on the ceiling can enhance the architecture and Palmwood, which comes from coconut palms, can be used to add a featured wall in the room.

9. Mirrors add glamour to a room and help buyers see themselves in the space–literally. Mirrors add a focal point, enlarge rooms, and can be an important detail to include in homes.

10. More electronics are being sprinkled everywhere, such as iPod docking stations throughout the home and TVs in practically every room (e.g. kitchen, study, and bathrooms)."

Thoughts for 2009 trends???

Friday, January 16, 2009

Laura U welcomes 2009!

Once again the holidays have flown by and we find ourselves solidly in the middle of January. How this happens year after year I just don't know. But, we at Laura U have so many exciting things in the works for the New Year ... and they just keep coming!

I swept through the Dallas Market this week, shopping for clients and the Collection. Don't tell us we are in a recession because the Market was packed and all shoppers are excited for what 2009 promises.

I found some fantastic new pieces from the designer lines we currently offer and two new lines that I am counting the days to receive! Check out TRINA TURK for a peek at some of the fab pillows we are expecting. I also snapped up the cutest aprons you have ever seen from Peking Handicraft. These can't get here soon enough!

Another thing I absolutely adore about hanging out at Laura U everyday is that I get to spend tons of time with the best local art work in Houston. Allison Hunter's beautiful images are currently on display (you may have seen her work on the cover of 002 Mag last month). But they are not up for much longer! I am sad to see them go but we are sending them off in style with a Champagne Toast on January 22nd (6pm-8pm). Please plan to join us!

Check back for other big announcements like... Our SECOND anniversary and the launch of our NEW streamlined website!