Hilary Farr, international home designer and co-host of HGTV’s Love It or List It, doesn’t like talking about design trends. Instead, she encourages her clients to find something they love and create a design from there.
“I’m not a big trend follower,” she says. “Trends come and go. I encourage clients to put their money into what works for them.”
With that in mind, we asked Farr what she likes in various rooms in the home. In the second of three part interview, Farr shares her ideas for updating your home. We went from room to room and she shared her best advice for making improvements so that you will love your home again.
Kitchen cabinets: “Shaker doors that are simple that work with any décor and a brushed metal handle,” she says.
One of the fastest and easiest updates you can make to a kitchen is to change the cabinet hardware. “Find some spectacular hardware,” says Farr. “There are so many interesting combinations of pulls and knobs. Take out the old ones and put in new. Make a statement by using oil rubbed bronze on light cabinet or brushed nickel on a dark cabinet.”
Kitchen countertops: “Granite is perennial favorite. It is a natural material and will never, ever go out of favor,” says Farr. If you want to change up your kitchen design a bit, she suggests changing out the edge of the counter to a chunkier cut. Caesarstone® is her next option. “The difference is every slab will be the same as the next. So the countertop will not be unique unto you.”
Baths: “Bathtubs have become more of a statement piece in a bathroom,” states Farr. “They are often floating in a bathroom. They are huge and yet, they are anticipatory flash because almost no one has time to use a bath, but it still looks beautiful. More and more I see them, freestanding. When space is an issue, I see the bath being replaced with a walk-in shower.”
Dining room: If you didn’t know it already, Farr confirms it. “Formal dining rooms are going away. Open concept is what everyone is looking for. As a result you have a dining space that is integrated into another space. A dining room that is used for special occasions is a luxury that just doesn’t get used.”
Master bedroom: “I find there is a consistency with clients. People are spending a fortune on mattresses these days to get much needed sleep. Today, a king size bed is understood with every couple. As a result, headboards are taking major territory in terms of making a design statement from tufted to nail heads to extraordinary shapes. Use the headboard to make a statement and keep everything else neutral,” advises Farr. “The headboard gives the room oomph when you walk in.”
Wood floors: “We have so many different options and materials,” says Farr, listing the availability of reclaimed wood, wide boards, narrow boards, woods that look exotic but aren’t and so many more. “Wood floors are staying put.”
She says if you choose a bleached wood floor, you design from there. If you opt for a darker wood, you can go modern or traditional and make a statement from there. She also likes large slab porcelain or natural stone tiles, especially when you incorporate radiant heat. “You make a great design statement by having monochromic floors in a simple design and they are also warm on the feet.”
Wall color: For 2014, Farr says, “Neutral will work. It is what people crave. Color tends to come in with accessories or feature walls, but feature walls have had their day in my opinion.”
For those who want more color, she suggests shades of gray. “Grey with maybe a lavender undertone. That’s as much color as I see going for.”
Small rooms: For those with small rooms, Farr recommends dark paint colors. “If you have a small powder room, you can never make it look larger. But you can give it huge impact and personality by giving it a dark color.”