Judith A. Sutton, ABR CRS ASP IDS IAHSP PMN WCR SRES CNRS CNIS CNMS NAR's GREEN
Judy@JudithSutton.com 908 803-0472
“Great design taps into the emotions that make a house a home,” This showcases current design trends and top homes nationally and regionally.
While they serve as indicators of what’s hot and what’s not, trends can be tricky, especially when applied to higher priced properties. If anything, affluent homeowners shy away from the notion of trends, but still want their homes to be current, elegant, comfortable and, most importantly, exclusively theirs. “A color or trend becomes viral instantly, and suddenly you see it everywhere,” “ Clients don’t want this. They want their home to feel uniquely their own. They may use currently popular colors and fabrics, but in the end, they want their home to feel special.”
Even more influential than the color of the day or the newest smart gizmo are changing attitudes among the affluent toward house and home. “I think now there is an increased emphasis on the home. People are into design and their home,” “Some people want more of a trophy home, but the majority want to feel good. They want their home to feel pretty and function well and be sort of an extension of them.”
“People want comfort and convenience, but do not want to sacrifice chic.”
Few are also willing to compromise on comfort. Home has become a place to decompress, a refuge for family and friends ideally adaptable to a range of activities and quite often ages. “Families especially do not want a home that is too precious. We have many clients who entertain frequently — both small and large events for charities and such — but then they may also be hosting 30 six-year-olds. Their homes must be able to function and survive with all these options."
Finding the Balance
For designers, the challenge becomes creating interiors that are of the moment, but with an overall style that lasts well beyond the moment. “There is a lot of focus on creating very personalized interiors that also have lasting qualities. So, while we might incorporate something that is a trend right now, we’re also thinking about... we don’t want this to look dated in two, three years, right? So, it’s a balancing act really,” “Right now, we’re starting to see a lot of things from the ’80s return." Brass is coming back, but not the polished, shiny yellow brass of the 1980s. This is more refined, a little more subtle, darker antique brass.”
Hints of brass and gold could be spied at design shows as recently as a couple of years ago; this year, brushed and satin bronze and gold along with oil rubbed bronze and even black dominated exhibits. Although featured usage was faucets and hardware, shiny warm accents are turning up in furniture and lighting. It’s all part of a design evolution toward warmer finishes, which expects to be more than a transitory influence on interiors.
The New Modern
As the ongoing shift toward contemporary architecture continues, a new modern aesthetic is taking shape. Instead of a composition of hard-edged, white linear forms, modern elevations today appear as an overlay of shapes and forms defined by disparate materials and textures such as stone and brick or even a single stone applied in varied directions. Defining spaces using mixed materials is a growing practice. Outside In, a modernist home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, from Bedbrock Developers, took top BALA honors this year. Architect Drewett Works and Ownby Design employed textural components, such as Negra Canta stone, to define spaces and also echo the surrounding landscape. An indoor/ outdoor synergy continues to be an essential, organizing factor. Not only are visual connections strong, but entire living areas, which can be seen in Outside In, open to outdoor spaces with little or no transition between the two. Disappearing doors, few thresholds and using the same flooring inside and out brings spaces together. Even on the smallest of lots, developers and architects are finding ways to incorporate outdoor living, often making best use of side yards.
Contemporary has become the most popular architectural style, but mid-century modern and modern farmhouse are still “incredibly popular across the country,” according to judges, in new homes, but also renovations that bring out a home’s original character. Black window frames are another highlighted trend. Available in almost all price points, equally adaptable and transformative for interiors and exteriors, they easily could be viewed as design’s latest Swiss army knife. They inject an industrial sensibility to some spaces, particularly kitchens, while seemingly elevating the overall design of others. No matter the style, contemporary to traditional, they appear apropos. “Black metal windows have been hot for a few years, and I don’t see that going away in the near future. The black metal looks great in a more traditional house,” says Phil Kean, whose eponymous Winter Park, Florida, architecture-design-build firm was named “the best custom home builder in the U.S.” last year by Home Builder Digest. Kean has also designed and constructed more than one New American Home for NAHB. Using the example of a traditional Georgian-style home, he says, “Put big black windows in it and do white brick and it has a fresh feeling, and it almost seems contemporary.”
Brass and gold accents are only one indication of the ways in which interiors are being revamped. Bouclé, a nubby wool fabric, prevalent in the 1980s, was very much in evidence at this year’s Maison et Objet in Paris. “It was basically on all the furniture.” Says Gendelman. “Things are getting slowly warmed and layered."
Vintage and Color
Instead of the sterile, monochromatic look recently in vogue, shapes are organic with more curves. Texture continues to be important, but color is back in a big way. Expect to see neutrals continue to edge into warm tans, beiges and creams.
“We have always used neutrals as a foundation for the home to create flow. We still use quite a bit of gray, but both in the office and homes we are starting to see warm grays and taupe and brown as the neutral foundation,” says Jeffers, whose recent book “Be Bold” tackles color and other aspects of bespoke interiors. “Color seems to be back with a big bang! Emerald greens, fuchsias, periwinkles, aubergines. Strong, demanding color is everywhere.”
We see growing enthusiasm for vintage pieces, which he says, are fetching super-high numbers at auctions. “They add a lot to the warmth and start to make a place feel more relatable, more comfortable. It’s a level of warmth and nostalgia that is hard to achieve when everything is fresh out of the box.”
Antique pieces are even finding a place in the kitchen, where they inject authenticity and personalization. “The kitchen continues to be the social hub, the center of the home with multiple activity centers and open plans with delineated spaces,” said designer and educator Mary Jo Peterson, speaking to designers and architects at the national kitchen and bath show.
Also, the demand for vintage and color is an indication that “people are open to this idea.
Technology took center stage in Las Vegas during Design and Construction Week. The biggest change for tech is the way things are being integrated and further “knitted together.”
Increasingly, smart responses in the home are enhanced with predictive behavior so when you arrive home or give voice commands, a series of events such as turning down or off lights, setting temperatures, turning on/off security systems ensues. These smart scenarios have been predicted for years, but the “knitting together” is making the process consumer friendly and intuitive. No longer considered an amenity for upscale properties, technology is expected, especially to control shades, temperature, music, security and many other functions.
Regarding technology, we do sound a note of caution to clients. “Maintaining a threshold of technology is important. It’s easy to have smart everything these days. Clients don’t want a refrigerator that tells them to order milk, but they do want to be able to easily adjust lighting and music throughout the home. It is easy to go crazy, but the technology changes so fast you’ll be obsolete in a year. My advice: other than speakers and keypads, keep everything else out of the walls! An iPad® in your wall instantly dates your home.”
What’s New and Next
New this year? Wellness tech, in a whole house system that integrates with a home’s overall smart system, (demonstrated in a concept house in Henderson, Nevada, designed by KB Home). Darwin, a smart system developed by wellness pioneer Delos, continuously monitors air and water quality via sensors built into walls. Rather than simply observing, Darwin responds to changes, adjusting air quality even in a single room. Owners are alerted to water leaks and can respond remotely via tablet or smart phone. Several other manufacturers, including Moen, introduced products that address water leaks.
Double islands, multiple pantries, and secondary kitchens are enhancing functionality of kitchens and expanding the role of this space as a social hub. It’s not uncommon to find flush doors on cabinets open to a place for countertop appliances and an additional workspace. “Using tall bi-fold doors to hide a work station is a huge trend,” Also, the nice thing about this strategy is it helps eliminate wall cabinets. You can take the concept a step farther with cabinets that open to hidden pantries and even hidden rooms.
What’s on the horizon for home? Wet bars, wine bars, even smoothie bars are in demand almost everywhere, say designers. Also, look for “Amazon® rooms” as architects strategize ways to secure deliveries without compromising overall home security especially in city apartments and high rises. Storage and more storage in all the right places will continue to enhance function, making a home truly in sync with an individual’s lifestyle, which is always in demand- wherever you live or work.
Haute Design: Tommy Hilfiger’s Stunning Gourmet Kitchen
They are some of the most coveted kitchen features today, the popularity of which reaches its peak in October during National Kitchen & Bath Month. October is the most popular time of the year for homeowners to remodel their kitchen, thanks to being sandwiched between kids returning to school and “families not yet overwhelmed by the flurry of activity around the holidays,” according to the National Kitchen+Bath Association.
If you’re in a renovation head space, that likely means you have been poring over design magazines and websites, visiting kitchen showrooms and touring model homes, and tagging, clipping, pinning, and snapping pictures of all the appliances, fixtures, and finishes in your kitchen redo fantasy.
It also may mean you’re more conflicted than ever about how to create the perfect space that offers all the function you insist on with the feel you crave. And, how to make sure your kitchen is on trend without being trendy. And, beyond all the features and fixtures and finishes, how to still allow your individuality to shine through. Thankfully, what can sound like an overwhelming mix of must-haves can yield an amazing kitchen that balances all your needs, and your wants. Fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger shows us how.
Hilfiger’s Miami mansion in the exclusive Golden Beach enclave, listed for for $27.5 million in South Florida and Miami Beach, is a pop art and post-pop art confection that Hilfiger has described as “part gallery, part beach house, part disco.” Featured on the cover of Architectural Digest in 2014, the 14,075-square-foot oceanfront home with interiors by renowned interior designer Martyn Lawerence Bullard is a head-to-toe, floor-to-ceiling example of how to imbue luxurious personal style into your abode.
When you’re Tommy Hilfiger, that means bold bursts of color and great graphic prints throughout, like the red, purple, black, and white swirled hair-on-hide carpet in the show-stopping living room. The faux suede fabrics by Robert Allen and Kravet in Hilfiger brand colors covering the walls of the icon’s home office. Diagonally-striped fire engine red-and-white walls in one of the kid’s bedrooms and yellow and white polka dots from ceiling to walls to floor in another. And, don’t forget about the banana-motif scratch-and-sniff wallpaper in one of the home’s eight bathrooms.
By contrast, the exquisite gourmet kitchen in Hilfiger’s home is stark and subdued, but no less spectacular. Black-and-white, diagonally-striped tile floors set the dramatic tone, with an expanse of stainless Miele appliances including double ovens and a built-in coffeemaker the only interruption among walls of floor-to-ceiling, custom, white Aran Cucine cabinetry. The Gaggenau cooktop and Aran Cucine hood are integrated into the back wall of the kitchen, with a mirrored backsplash that adds another reflective surface to the lustrous, luscious space. Gaze up toward the ceiling, where the contemporary Robert Sonneman chandelier brings some ‘70s-era swag.
The massive island features a waterfall edge and a black stripe that bisects the white Caeserstone countertops. Pull up a stool, or in Hilfiger’s case, four amazing Willy Rizzo–inspired acrylic stools dressed in Mongolian lamb’s wool cushions, and convene at the eating bar; it affords a stellar view of the entire space, as well as the adjacent breakfast nook and the lush, tropical grounds.
The nook is flooded with light through tall windows on two sides; on one, Elizabeth Taylor (from Pictures of Diamonds) from Vik Muniz, one of Hilfiger’s noted artworks (also featured throughout the home are works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring). On another, palm trees and ocean blue hold court. A side door also offers access to the property’s expansive oceanfront patios, infinity pool, ample lounge areas, and the beach beyond, with 100 feet of water frontage.
In all, it creates a one-of-a-kind space that is at once personal, professional, and pristine, just as the perfect kitchen should be. Please contact me for more decorating ideas in your kitchen.
Judith Sutton ABR CRS IDS PMN ASP IAHSP SRES GREEN
Judy@JudithSutton.com 908 803-0472
Millennial Pink is the New Color of Luxe for the Home
Just what is “Millennial Pink”? It’s a muted shade that lies somewhere between beige and blush. Called it “ironic pink” or “pink without the sugary prettiness.” It also has been described it as “androgynous.”
Now Millennial Pink has weaved its way through the runways at Gucci to jewelry stores like Tiffany and Cartier to the furniture showrooms of Milan. Interior designers are embracing the trend too, unapologetic-ally dressing their walls, drapes and chairs in various shades of Millennial Pink. In short, it’s turning up everywhere — on our iPhones, our clothing, our jewelry, our furniture, our art, our restaurants and — even our plumbing hardware. And, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon. If you happened to stop by Mansion in May this year- I refer you to the gorgeous "pink" bedroom on the second floor of the mansion in Madison!
So, when and how did pink become so in vogue, and so refreshingly luxe?
When Everything Started Coming Up Roses
The trend can be traced back to 2016, when Rose Quartz became one of Pantone’s two colors of the year.
Declaring Rose Quartz “a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure, the color company later went on to cast Pale Dogwood — a closer match to Millennial Pink — among its top 10 colors to watch on its Fashion Color Report Spring 2017 report.
Pale Dogwood is “quiet and peaceful” and “engenders an aura of innocence and purity,” according to Pantone.
“Every female client of mine over the past one to two years has come to me seeking a full pink or blush look for their home,” says the fellow millennial decorator. “I just completed an entire home in solely dusty pink velvet, white and rose gold. Pink tones are becoming the new neutral in design. I can’t name a recent project that I haven’t used a pop of pink for!” (again, I mention the pink bedroom in the Mansion in May!)
Pink can enhance an interior,” which can reflect the soft, rosy glow throughout the home.
Millennial Pink is the New Neutral
Usually color trends come and go — so why has Millennial Pink remained in such desire and demand?
“It’s a nuanced neutral,” offers Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It has that staying power.”
The new pinks have become a wonderful backdrop to any style interior.”
Designer and “king of color,” Carlton Varney, offers another explanation for pink’s staying power. He says pink is “more flattering than beige, grey, or white.” (Varney knows a thing or two about pink. He is the author of “In the Pink: Dorothy Draper–America’s Most Fabulous Decorator,” and he’s also the president of the company that still bears Draper’s name.) Because the hue is so “flattering to the face” and adds instant warmth to interior spaces, Varney says that “all successful ballrooms in hotels and resorts are painted pink.” Thomas explains further: “When natural or artificial light is reflected off a pink surface, such as a ceiling for example, it casts a warmth that can be very familiar to a client as well as flattering to their complexion. Pink has a warmth and a glow that immediately brings pleasure to the person experiencing an interior.”
Millennial Pink is not only flattering and warm — it is also “ambivalent.” While traditional pinks may have evoked feelings of femininity and girlishness, Millennial Pink is different...with its hints of peach, grey, lilac and cream, it has become a more “sophisticated” and “subtle” hue.
“Previously, pink was mostly thought of as a color relating to youth and immaturity,” but I feel that as women are redefining their power and role in the world it is only fitting that the color pink does the same. Women are powerful and sophisticated while still maintaining their femininity... so why can’t the color pink do the same?”
Millennial Pink, in all its complexity and hard-to-define qualities, has become the modern answer to chic, defining a new generation of luxury in interiors.
“Millennial Pink is the new fab, because young people look for a touch of glamour.”
Bringing it Home
Millennial Pink is moving its way into our residential spaces in various ways. Pink is finding its way into all kinds of interior spaces — except for male spaces; “go-to rooms” bring in pink tones to bedrooms, living rooms and offices.
“By adding blush, peach and dusty pinks into an interior space, it adds a softness and hint of femininity that’s not too overbearing.” “Whether it’s pale pink tones in paint, pillows, drapes, accents, rugs or lighting, there are ways to bring in pink that are soothing and beautiful that even men love and appreciate too. When designing with pink, I often mix it with white and rose gold and brass metals to compliment it, and use charcoal and grey tones to contrast it.”
Thomas says his goal with his pink-obsessed client was to use the color sparingly in such a way that it wouldn’t dominate his client’s interior color palettes, but enhance it. I would also agree with the notion that less is more when it comes to Millennial Pink. The male client dared to bring a dusty hue into his bedroom — hardly a sanctuary of sweetness. He balanced any suggestion of the saccharine with contrasting cooler tones and dark hardware from his collection. The effect is fabulous, as you can see below.
“The key to styling Millennial Pink in the home is choosing contrasting cooler tones such as pewter, concrete grays or green toned blue grays".
Varney is known for using pink on the walls and ceilings of resorts as well as in commercial properties. “Combine pink with chocolate brown, navy blue, rich forest green, black lavender, and a room scheme is born,” he says. “When I plan my collection of products for my HSN television appearances, I always include sheets and bed throws in ombré pink tones. The pinks always are five-star sellers.”
Some interior designers are also using Millennial Pink to breathe new life into classic furniture pieces. For example, interior designer Robyn Branch recently took a furniture piece by Dorothy Draper/Kindel Furniture that has been around for decades: the Monte Carlo Chest. Working with Kindel’s decorative paint experts, it gave the chest a modern twist with a custom pink lacquer to appeal to a younger affluent audience.
Kindel has other Millennial Pink offerings, including another Draper classic — the España Bunching Chest in a peach-salmon hybrid color (which Varney customized) that is a popular choice among discerning younger buyers.
Countless manufacturers in the luxury home decor space have also capitalized on the Millennial Pink craze. At Milan Design Week this April, Spanish brand Sancal and Note, a Swedish design studio, chose to launch the “Isla” sofa in a soft pink.
Even manufacturers who have had pink versions of their home decor products and accessories for years are seeing an uptick in interest for them. Stone Forest, a high-end manufacturer of natural stone products, was way ahead of the curve when it debuted a gorgeous collection of pink onyx vessels in 2004. The rare stone has been so sought-after that the company is currently sold out of it, but “searching hard to locate some blocks.”
The always fashionable French bathroom manufacturer, THG, launched a chic rose gold finish for several of its faucet collections, including the contemporary, Collection O by Studio Putman (Starting at $2,000). First debuting in 2015, the rose gold finish has proved to be especially popular among the younger generations and those who have a modern aesthetic.
“We always track what’s happening in the design world — whether it’s jewelry, fashion or auto, and we started to see rose gold transition into the interior design space about 2-3 years ago." “Rose gold is a play on gold, which can feel old and tired to a lot of younger people. It’s a way to maintain the luxury feel that you might get with gold, but it’s more playful, youthful and warmer.”
The finish has become an element of differentiation in the home. It has become a way for homeowners to balance good taste with sophistication and a sense of uniqueness.”
Uniqueness has been a defining quality in luxury. But as the Millennial Pink trend plays out, there is also a danger that its ubiquitousness will eventually be seen by homeowners as commonplace.
The real trend is the gravitation towards bespoke in the luxury home space: “People are going for customization, and a variety of colors and unique finishes.” Perhaps that’s the real undercurrent behind the modern Millennial Pink movement: the homeowner’s authentic desire for that one thing that no one else has.