Search Articles: Home About Us Our Community Contact Us Article Submission   Advertising Info  
 
Auto Savvy

Business and Finance

Creative Cooks

Family and Parenting

Health and Nutrition

Legal Information

Beauty and Fashion

Sports and Fitness

Women Of The Month

Home and Garden

Relationships

Motivation and Inspiration

Travel and Adventure

Technology Today

Society

Home Design Trends

An interview with Rima Suqi, co-author of Simple Style:The Elegant, Uncluttered Home

Q. What are the trends in US home design today? Which elements will stand the test of time?

A. Today###s homes are more pared down, less fussy. Gone are the swags, gone is the overabundance of gold leaf. Overabundance, in general, is out. Very ###80s, and that is not a good thing. I wouldn###t say it###s all about minimalism, but it is certainly about a pared-down, more serene aesthetic, free of clutter. The glamour is still there, it###s just more understated, less glitzy.

Will it last? It###s hard to say, as everything tends to go in cycles. For example, furniture from the ###50s and ###60s is HOT HOT HOT right now. You just can###t touch the prices, especially for vintage pieces. However, a few years ago, these items were much less expensive. Overall the pieces are truly classic, within a certain aesthetic. Art deco pieces could also be considered classic, as could Shaker, it just depends which version of classic you like. So all I can say is, stay-tuned.

Q. What do you think is the most common mistake people make in approaching home design and decoration, and why?

A. I think that a common mistake in designing or decorating any room is buying into one singular "look" or "style." Going completely art deco, or completely floral or completely anything (especially when curtains, upholstery and bedding all match!) just doesn###t work. Rooms done this way often end up looking like a showroom or an advertisement instead of a place inhabited by actual people.

I find this often happens when people do not have enough confidence in their own tastes to mix and match and balance out different elements of looks they like. I###m not sure how to gain confidence in this arena. You could keep re-arranging and re-styling, locking yourself in your home for a month, until you###re more confident with what you###ve created. More realistically, look at magazines and books for ideas. Rip out pictures of rooms you like, then try to copy that look in your own home. If you###ve got cash to burn, hire a designer to take you through the process.

Q. What are your personal favorite design styles and why?

A. I really love the pared down, more minimalist look that###s popular now. Rooms with very well edited furniture in simple but relatively timeless shapes. I find these rooms, when done properly, to be very serene, but also very cozy.

Q. What###s the biggest design error you ever made personally, and how did you deal with it?

I live in a studio apartment in New York City. I also work out of this apartment, both as a writer and a stylist. The main room is 10###x 12###. Living and working in an apartment this small creates huge design problems. At times my apartment looks like one huge error. I have not yet figured out a financially feasible way to fix this problem, except to move to a larger space. Which in the current real estate market is fiscally impossible.

Q. What decoration have you done in your own home that you are happiest with, and why?

A. I painted my walls a color. This is the absolute best thing I did, even though my lease says I can###t paint the walls (hey, they can easily go back to white later!). I admit that I was color-phobic, but a friend first coerced me into trying an off-white, which I think was Benjamin Moore linen white. It made a huge huge huge difference. But it was still subtle. Now, five years later, I have graduated to a serious butter yellow, and when the light is right (which is at about 3 p.m.these days), this room positively glows. My hallway is a sage green, my kitchen a celadon/mint green. My bathroom was a grey-blue, but that seemed too dark, especially since there###s no natural light. I just repainted it a very pale pink and it has really opened the space up, although I must admit that I had to be talked into it by an interior designer friend. He was right!

Rima A. Suqi coauthored Simple Style(Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 25 West 26th St., New York 10010, http://www.metrobooks.com/) with Lisa Skolnik. Suqi is a contributing editor with Metropolitan Home Magazine and House & Home Magazine. She has also written For Your Home: Kitchens, and contributed to Fodor###s Guide to New York City. Suqi has published articles in The New York Times, Elle Décor, Harpers Bazaar, In Style, Travel & Leisure, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

Simple Style(Friedman/Fairfax Publishers, 25 West 26th St., New York 10010, http://www.metrobooks.com/) with Lisa Skolnik. Suqi is a contributing editor with Metropolitan Home Magazine and House & Home Magazine. She has also written For Your Home: Kitchens, and contributed to Fodor###s Guide to New York City. Suqi has published articles in The New York Times, Elle Décor, Harpers Bazaar, In Style, Travel & Leisure, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.