Looking to take your spring cleaning to the next level this time around? Is it finally time to redo that tiny bathroom? Whatever your home project aspirations are for the year, it’s always a good idea to start with the proper inspiration.
We’ve spoken with three Baltimore-area experts on the trends they’ve been seeing in home design and decorating, and their advice will motivate you to jump right in.
Your space is yours – treat it as such.
Tiffanni Reidy, owner of Baltimore-based creative studio Reidy Creative, notes that “Residential clients are becoming more comfortable with curating their own design style rather than conforming to a style they’ve seen executed before. This trend of originality has been growing, but we’ve noticed a big uptick in comfort level since the pandemic began because people want to be in a space that feels (and works) in a way that’s unique to them.”
“Now,” explains Rachel Hoffberger, certified interior decorator, professional organizer and owner of Plan it Perfect, “colors are getting warmer instead of cooler, and I think that’s great, because if you’re going to spend so much time in a given space, you want it to be more cozy and less stark.”
In a recent bathroom renovation, her main goal was warming up and customizing the room. “One thing I’m personally really big on: If you’re going to be using the space, it has to work for you, and so functionality [is key],” she says. Ideally, this renovation would entice the homeowner to spend more time in the space. Hoffberger adds, “Sounds kind of weird about a bathroom, but we spend a lot of time in the bathroom!”
Another sub-trend under this category? Live plants. “I don’t really like calling it a trend, because I don’t think it’s going anywhere— and this is something that has really been powered by TikTok and social media [in general] in the last couple of years…I’m [using] a lot more live plants, and putting them in places you wouldn’t expect,” remarks Hoffberger. The plants in the bathroom, she explains, not only help to warm up the space, but they also thrive in the moisture-filled air.
“I think people are starting to come to terms with durability issues with certain materials,” notes Hoffberger. “There are a lot of synthetic countertop materials that have been really popular in the past, but they don’t hold up well to heat or scratching…so I’m actually seeing a lot of people leaning more towards good old-fashioned granite for their countertops. People want to stick with what holds up over time and what keeps the value in their home.”
A licensed realtor, Hoffberger herself keeps this in mind when decorating. However, this shouldn’t stunt creativity or personal desire: “Truth be told,” she continues, “I think people should just do what they want if they’re going to continue living in the home.”
Take a risk.
Along these same lines, Hoffberger notes that she’s been seeing the rising popularity of bold patterns and dark colors. “It’s all the things that we used to be taught to avoid in small spaces…People are really pushing back against that, and it’s having some really cool results,” she says. This is likely an extension of a trend that began in 2020. “I think that people were making these more personalized, bold decisions during the pandemic because they were like, ‘Well…I’m going to be spending so much time here, and I’m going to be bored out of my mind if the whole house is gray,’” she explains.
Hoffberger’s advice on how to incorporate this into your own home? “I think that when [it] is well balanced, it works really well,” she explains. If you’re choosing to paint your ceiling black, she adds, this should be balanced out by soft neutrals—in light oak furniture, ivory bedding, etc.
Stephanie Bradshaw, founder and CEO of the full-service design studio in her name, relays similar findings. “Our industry is seeing a resurgence of bold prints and patterns on wallpaper in particular. More and more homeowners are looking to take a risk in their spaces and have fun with color,” she says.
If this sounds overwhelming to you, “Small spaces like powder rooms are a good way to get your feet wet with a print, and if you’d like to make even more of a statement, try something with movement on a ceiling in a dining room or coordinate your wallpaper and your window treatment patterns for a seamless look,” she continues. This, Bradshaw explains, will give the illusion of a larger space and highlight window views, as seen in the studio’s recent Meadow Mill Project.
Additionally, she encourages uncommon combinations: “Don’t be afraid to take a risk with a fun print or bold pattern on the windows, walls and/or upholstery. Your living space should be infused with the things you love, and mixing prints is always a way to easily change the vibe in any room!”
Shop social + local.
It’s not just the interiors themselves that are evolving—it’s where homeowners are sourcing their décor from. “Clients,” shares Reidy, “are more comfortable sourcing materials from various vendors instead of getting everything from one place. The number of companies whose products are primarily featured on social media platforms, but aren’t in showrooms, has grown exponentially.” After all, a recent Pew Research Center study found that about three quarters of Americans purchase products online via smartphone.
“Many clients are willing to spend a little more for a unique product rather than buying from traditional showrooms or big box stores, which allows us to create more interesting designs,” explains Reidy.
Local artisans and businesses benefit from this as well. “Being in Baltimore, a city filled with creatives, we’re fortunate to have access to custom furniture, cabinetry, fabrics, accessories, metal pieces and a multitude of art mediums created by our neighbors,” she says.
Reidy Creative’s recent Modern Mission Hill House project’s kitchen featured custom cabinetry created by Robbins Custom Builders (based in Baltimore) and a backsplash from Fireclay Tile (a certified B-Corp made in the U.S.A).
“We love the fact that more and more clients are asking if they can purchase things locally or have custom pieces made instead of buying from a more mainstream store,” says Reidy.