Editor’s note: Technology and a desire for less clutter have transformed our décor over the past 15 years. Exterior fabrics, once used for awnings and umbrellas, now look and feel good enough to use inside the home. Digital technology has turned ceramic tile into look-alikes for wood, marble and granite. Cell phones can be used to turn on ovens while you are away, and refrigerators can help control inventory. We asked three South Florida design experts to give us perspective of how tastes have changed in color, design style and in kitchen and bath.
By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
(Represented by Joseph Pubillones, Palm Beach architectural designer and columnist for Creators Syndicate)
Back in 2001, Tuscan and Italian furniture design were popular, and these styles meant using ochre yellows, cinnabar and oxblood red with some earthy tones in shades of greens and oranges.
Now, although people may still own a home with Mediterranean architecture, they want furnishings that are more contemporary and reflect easy living.
“Grays are the new beiges of yesterday. For accents, instead of red you have orange; instead of blue you have teal. Colors are more contemporary, more modern and contrast with creamy white or neutral. There has also been a shift in wood tone – from very dark espresso to more driftwood and pecan-colored finishes.”
TREND: Furniture & accessories
(Represented by Joseph Fava of Miami, recipient of the Rising Star of Design Award from the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach and the Ornare Miami Taste Maker Award)
Clients were looking for a tropical look and a much more purist traditional Italian, English and French in 2001. We went through a period of pure contemporary, but right now the pendulum is swinging back to a cleaner traditional with some modern components.
“Rooms are no longer like pure period rooms where every element is English or French. The rooms we are designing are more of an eclectic mix. We see the trend as traditional infused with a contemporary mix.”
Accessories also have changed. A cocktail table in 2001 or 2002 was loaded with books and candles and an obelisk. Now people request less on the table. They want a cleaner more tailored look.
TREND: Kitchens & baths
(Represented by Bill Feinberg, president of Allied Kitchen & Bath, Fort Lauderdale)
Remember the all-white kitchen of the early 2000s? It’s coming back, but clients also want two-tone kitchens and exotic woods such as eco-friendly bamboo. Back then there was granite mania, but when granite started showing up in $200,000 townhomes the new kitchen star became quartz, which can be engineered to look like marble and granite.
“So many great things are happening. The most exciting is technology. We have so many appliances you can turn on with your cell phone. One of our customers just got a [Samsung] refrigerator with a WiFi-enabled screen built into it. They can go to their refrigerator for recipes or a shopping list.”
Lighting is big news, especially since the advancement of LED low-voltage lights. Counters are being lighted inside drawers, inside cabinets and under countertops. Glass countertops are also becoming popular.
In the bathroom, tubs are becoming passé except in larger homes where they select free-standing tubs. Countertops are lighted. Style is contemporary. Hansgrohe makes a new shower valve that injects air as the water pushes out, making it appear as if you are getting larger volume.
Joseph Fava: Fava Design Group, 7636 NE Fourth Ct., Suite 103, Miami, 786-536-5380, favadesigngroup.com
Bill Feinberg: Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 W. Oakland Park Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1611, alliedkitchenandbath.com
Joseph Pubillones: Joseph Pubillones Interiors, 44 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach, 561-655-1717, josephpubillones.com
Z Gallerie: For South Florida stores, see Zgallerie.com