New looks for a new year

Home Front

January 04, 1998|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

Most people redecorate their homes and expect the result to last for years and years. But sometimes adding just one piece of furniture or an accessory can make a whole room look fresh and very up to date. It's a delicate balance: You want furnishings that are very much of the moment but won't look out of style in a year or so.

If the new year has you thinking of redecorating but you don't know where to start, we have some suggestions. Here are our picks for pieces that pack plenty of punch but also have proven staying power.

One dramatic piece. Interior designers suggest adding "instant architecture" to a room with one complex piece of furniture -- a fabulous bookcase, an oversized bed, a large armoire, an anchor piece with intricate detailing. Be bold.

A feminine sofa. Upholstered furniture has been oversized and overstuffed for several years. But now we're seeing sofas on a smaller scale with more grace, more curves and neater tailoring. These are classic styles with lots of pizazz.

The chair and a half. So your sofa is smaller. Don't let that stop you from buying a bigger chair. The roomy chair and a half has been called the family chair, perfect for parent and child to share.

An oversized ottoman. No flash in a pan this. The hugely trendy upholstered ottoman will last because it's so versatile: Put your feet on it and get comfortable, use it as occasional seating or turn it into a coffee table or TV tray. Some even have storage.

An Asian or Indian accent. Furnishings from the Orient or from India are a hot new look that has been around forever and goes with the most traditional decor. Fabrics and wall coverings with Asian motifs can brighten any room. One beautiful Oriental accessory becomes a focal point.

Wild-animal prints. A year ago they were almost too trendy. Now we're beginning to realize they are here to stay. They can add glamour or sophistication to a room; speak to our ethnic heritage; bring a touch of whimsy, fun or fantasy.

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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