Freshen up for sprıng

Fashion is not limited to clothing. It influences every aspect of our lives from the colours and styles of the cars we drive to the way we decorate our homes. Once in a while then, it’s advisable to freshen up and modernise our homes as well as our wardrobes. Anna Rose Washburn, Managing Director of Marksons Furniture and Windows, shares some tips on new trends in interiors this year.

Colours of the year

Pantone, the godfather of colours, has decreed that the 2012 colour of the year is Tangerine Tango.

As the name suggests, Tangerine Tango is a shade of orange – one that carries with it the spirit and verve of that most passionate of dances. Sophisticated and dramatic, sultry and seductive, tangerine tango is reminiscent of a fiery sunset.

A very strong colour combination for 2012, says Ms Washburn, is also grey, beige and yellow.

When introduced to netural home interiors, these colours add a burst of energy and vibrancy to any room.

As spring approaches, Ms Washburn says, one might want to freshen up interiors with a few touches of colour and nothing freshens like citrus colours.

“Used in small amounts, these colours will draw the eye and energise a room,” she says. Adding a few well chosen accessories in vibrant oranges and zingy yellows is a simple and inexpensive way to revitalise a room.

Something as simple as an orange decorative bowl on a coffee table, a couple of tangerine throw pillows on the couch or an area rug with these colours in the pattern can transform the look of a room. A vividly coloured throw over the back of a piece of furniture is an easy and cost effective way to add a splash of colour, as is changing out white or neutral lampshades for brightly coloured ones.

“A clear vase filled with cut flowers in these colours or even on orange vase can also be used. Potted blooming plants such as gerber daisies are very in tune with the whole springtime and Easter theme,” she adds.

Juvenile furniture and decor

Tangerine Tango is not only suited to living areas. Because it’s a gender neutral colour, it’s a popular choice for children’s rooms where it adds fun and playful bursts of colour. The Nickleodeon Rooms by Lea, which Marksons carry, are inspired by some of the most familiar characters from the children’s TV station, and this year feature plenty of Tangerine Tango – in the bed linens, on drawer pulls, rugs and more.

The trick to refreshing is not to replace large pieces of furniture but rather to reposition them and make use of accessories, which can easily be moved around or removed entirely as trends and looks change.

Double duty furniture

“Dual function furniture is almost a must these days,” says Ms Washburn. She is seeing an increasing trend toward versatile pieces of furniture that can perform multiple functions. She keeps a number of wood and metal queen sofa sleepers, futons and day beds in stock for example. The futons can be left as couches by day and unfolded to create an extra bed at night. The day beds, the size of a twin bed, that can be used for lounging and relaxing by day, now often have an additional pop up unit tucked away under the day bed that can be pulled up and out to the level of the day bed to create a king size bed.

Other multi-purpose furniture includes coffee tables the surfaces of which can be raised to eat or work from, or ottomans that tuck away under tables. Much of today’s furniture incorporates outlets so that one can plug in and keep working wherever one may be.

Also new for 2012

Having attended the January winter trade shows in Atlanta, a selection of items offered at special show prices have now arrived in the store. There is a variety of artwork, area rugs, furniture throws, throw pillows and accent pieces in bright tropical and spring colours to choose from, all at excellent prices.

As far as fabrics, Ms Washburn says, oversize floral prints are all the rage this season. Marksons carry a huge choice of fabrics but the bold, abstract prints in strong colours are the ones that stand out most this season.