Comfort Tops Fall Home Trends

Your decorated-on-a-budget apartment is trés chic, according to the home decor trends surfacing from the High Point Market, the world's largest home furnishings market, which wrapped up today in High Point, N.C.

Comfort, simplicity and neutrals were the top trends. So don't worry that your apartment is - ahem - minimal. And no need to feel bad about your slouchy armchair, it's back in style, too.

"Gone is the glitter, and anything that shouts 'Look at me! Look at me!' Instead, think subtle, soothing... substance," says Gale Steves of design consultancy Open House Productions.

Washington, D.C. designer Barry Dixon agrees that neutrals, like stone, oatmeals, taupes and grays are hot right now.

"When money is more expendable you can do a purple sofa, but it's hard to do that when you're trying to make sure that you're making wise investments,"Dixon says. Instead opt for pops of color in the accessories, as Atlanta interior designer Suzanne Kasler did for this room pictured (above), one of many neutral-based rooms in her new book "Inspired Interiors."

In terms of color, gray is one of the biggest overarching trends of 2009-2010. It continues to be hot in fashion, and because of its calming, unobtrusive nature, it's getting a starring role in many recession interiors. In fact, the Pantone Color Institute, which forcasts color trends each season for both home and fashion, declared a gray called "iron" the color for fall. Pantone also introduced an additional palette of neutrals to reflect "the elephant in the room" emphasis on these cathartic colors, according to the institute's director Leatrice Eiseman.

"People want comfort in times of stress," says color and trend researcher Stephen Bernasconi of Color and Trend. "When the economy is tough, people tend to long for the good ol' days - the recognizable and comfortable - and we're clearly in a period now where people want their comfort food."

The good news is that everyone across the board is looking for value, even those at the highest end of the market. Designer Barclay Butera says he's even starting to hear the word "budget" uttered from the mouths of his high-end clients.

So pass over that glitzy chandelier or impractical, mirrored console - conservative-comfort is in.

For more trend news read High Point's 2009 Fall Fashion Report.
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