News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Jill Bronaugh, owner of Bungalow Home, says 'lamps are a great way to get that trend instead of blowing the bank' with big pieces.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Jill Bronaugh, owner of Bungalow Home, says "lamps are a great way to get that trend instead of blowing the bank" with big pieces.

Top 7 trends of
'07 Design

Update your look with natural elements, glam style

By Danielle Komis · 340-2447

A piece of driftwood sits atop a glamorous mirrored dresser next to a hot pink lamp in Jill Bronaugh's home furnishing store on Bank Street. Customers have asked how much the piece of driftwood costs, and the Decatur interior designer and owner of Bungalow Home home furnishings has to laugh.

"I couldn't sleep at night if I charged someone for that," she said. "I mean, I found it behind the store."

But Bronaugh's artful — yet perhaps unorthodox — combination of natural elements, along with the glamorous and bright, encapsulates today's interior design trend that is more thrift store eclectic than Pottery Barn matchy-patchy.

The mixed bag decor that combines eras, styles and textures can be a challenge for traditionalists to create if they are accustomed to sticking to one narrow theme, said Roslyn Pressnell, interior designer and owner of Holland House interiors in Athens.

"It's a lot of mixing, more than ever before," she said.

However, the good news is that mixing is more economical than other trends that require conformity. Items can be found at yard sales, thrift stores or flea markets and easily incorporated into a style you already have.

So for those looking to achieve today's eclectic look, check out these top seven home décor trends of 2007 from Bronaugh and Pressnell that can quickly and easily update your look.

Shrinking furniture

Couches and chairs that swallow you whole have passed their heyday. Sleeker, smaller and more stylized furniture is making its way back into the mainstream, much to the relief of those who are still holding onto Grandma's hand-me-downs. Tufting, turned legs and other fine details are popular again.

"I think people got burnt out on that because it takes a big room to have overstuffed chairs," Roslyn Pressnell said. "I'm seeing a lot of sleek lines now."

Bold prints

Wave goodbye to muted colors and small flower prints, because big, bold Asian prints with a splash of bright color are popping up everywhere. A printed pillow is a great way to incorporate this trend without going overboard, Jill Bronaugh said. Repetitive Asian-inspired symmetrical patterns with contrasting colors are also showing up everywhere from candle packaging to wall hangings.

Au Natural

Natural materials like bamboo and wood are sneaking back into homes, as well as other decorative touches that resemble the outdoors, Bronaugh said. Bronaugh's store offers a pair of white plaster lamps that look like coral, as well as natural wood benches and decorative bowls.

"Lamps are a great way to get that trend instead of blowing the bank," she said.

With the threat of global warming on people's minds, people are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment, contributing to the popularity of sustainable or "green" materials.


Chinoiserie (pronounced sheen-woz-uh-ree), or Asian-influenced motifs in furniture such as tables, cabinets or dressers is also hot this year. The highly opulent, exotic look has been popular before because of its ability to blend into any décor.

“The lines and structure of things that are chinoiserie are so basic they’ll fit in any room you have,” Bronaugh said.

Many of her clients have requested chinoiserie after visiting spas, which often adopt the look of an Asian bathhouse.

The upcoming Summer Olympics in 2008 in Beijing have turned the world’s eye to China, bringing in more ideas than ever from that part of the world.

Contrasting colors

Cool colors like purples, blues and greens are hot right now, especially when accented with a warm tone like yellow or orange.

"What you're seeing is a mix of the two," Pressnell said.

Group together a cool colored lamp with some decorative warm-toned glasses, for example, to achieve the look.

For walls, chocolate browns are still a popular staple color, especially when grouped with a Tiffany blue, which falls between an aqua and robin's egg blue on the color spectrum, Pressnell said.

The most popular color of 2007 to stand alone, however, is chili pepper red, as dictated by international color authority Pantone, Bronaugh said.

Check out Pantone's Web site at for other popular color combinations for the year.

Glam it up

The glam eras are back again with mirrors and lush fabrics that make you feel like Marilyn Monroe or Humphrey Bogart.

“Everything’s a little bit ornate,” Pressnell said.

Pair a glam piece with a natural piece to create interest and avoid overkill, Bronaugh recommended.

Gold — not just for Grandma anymore

Hit the back room of the basement and pull out some old friends, because gold is back. While the popularity of silver has trumped gold for years now, gold has snaked its way back in homes for its comeback.

"You're seeing tons of brass and gold accessories for the first time," Pressnell said. In today's laissez-faire style, silver and gold can even be mixed together and used in the same room, Bronaugh said.

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