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5 Interior Design Trends to Watch in 2020

Let’s admit this: 2019 was a bit chaotic. Every time I turned on the news, it seemed like society was on the brink of disaster. Meanwhile in the interior design world, it was a year for bold colors and eclectic mixes of style.

So far, 2020 has has been hectic too, but interior design can be a reactionary art. Almost in response to the state of turmoil in which society finds itself, interior designers and decorators are making a shift toward more natural, warm, and welcoming homes.

If there’s one movement that is affecting almost every aspect of design, it’s the desire to make everything as environmentally conscious and sustainable as possible. Since this isn’t so much a trend as a shift in values, we thought it best if we mentioned it right up top.

Whether it’s by installing a more energy-efficient water heater, bamboo furniture, or just a basin for rainwater, eco-friendly home design is an option for everyone. Calling it a “trend” feels wrong because it’s really more of a demand, an expectation for everyone to consider going forward into 2020.

That being said, several of this year’s predicted trends stem from this desire to be closer to nature. From colors to patterns to plants, here are five design trends to watch in 2020.

NEUTRAL REINTERPRETATIONS

Where neutral hues are often used for accents and contrast, we expect them to dominate interiors in the coming years. Following several years headed up by lush and striking colors, it’s refreshing to see a shift toward more subdued and traditional styles.

Though they won’t jump in your face and bedazzle you with vibrancy and intensity, these neutral spaces create a feeling of warmth and comfort that goes along with our theme of natural, minimalist beauty.

It’s important to remember when we say neutral we don’t necessarily mean off-white, beige, or gray. We love finding hues that are not as common but still produce the neutral effect.

MULTI-FUNCTIONAL SPACES

In a time of tiny homes and “van life,” people are finding ways to make the most out of any amount of space. This concept feels both minimalist and utilitarian, as you are trying to squeeze the most use out of every cubic inch.

One of the most common ways to create a multi-functional space is by removing any separation between the kitchen and dining area, allowing you to simultaneously cook and entertain guests.

Another great space to consider turning multi-functional is the home office. Depending on your needs, a home office can fit just about anywhere: underneath some cabinets near your kitchen, tucked in an unused corner of the bedroom, or anywhere else you can fit a writing desk.

For those seriously pressed for space, convertible bedrooms are always an option. If you’re looking to add or convert a space into a bedroom or guest room, consider the classic Murphy bed or a loft.

CLASSICISM

Yes we understand the irony in saying one of the newest trends to watch for is actually a return to classical tastes. Yet while classicism has always been a topic of debate for designers, many are beginning to see the inherent value of re-purposing antique pieces.

From accents like wall art and mirrors to centerpieces like couches and bed sets, this tendency to incorporate classical elements represents a further shift away from the more brutalist aspects of modern design. Instead, we are seeing an increase in appreciation for the European and Asian classical styles and their creative representation of natural forms.

Geometric Patterns

Perhaps the most modern and experimental trend on this list, we’ve been seeing geometric patterns trending upward for the past several years. It is a broad term for a wide range of looks, but geometric patterns in general favor circles, rectangles, and stripes in recurring arrangements.

When overdone, geometric patterns can be visually overwhelming, especially when you combine two or more. That being said, you want to reserve a space where a geometric pattern will make a simple yet bold statement. Such patterns on floor and subway tiles can have a dramatic effect, while those same patterns on chairs and throws can cause a space to feel busy.

Garden rooms

Nothing is more emblematic of our theme of eco-friendly home design than the use of garden rooms and house plants. Studies have shown that having house plants can eliminate harmful toxins from the air, increase productivity, and contribute to a better mood.

It’s no question that everyone should have a house plant or two, but it’s important to know what conditions your plants will thrive in. Most plants should be kept away from cold drafts and direct midday sun. Some plants such as ferns, palms, and succulents prefer hotter temperatures and do well in spaces like sun rooms.

If you’re not sure where to start, check our this article on succulents. They’re an inexpensive and low-maintenance way to add a little bit of green to your interior and set you on the path to your very own indoor jungle.

We attempted to cover a wide range of topics in this blog post, and honestly, each one could have its own separate entry. Stay tuned and subscribe for more industry updates and insights, and let us know of any trends we might have missed!

Remodel Spotlight: LREA Awards 1st Place

The 6th Annual Louisiana Remodeling Excellence Awards announced its winners last month and we were honored to have been a part of these first-place projects.

We partnered with our friends at Big River Construction to complete both of these beautiful spaces: “Bocage Bath Beauty,” which was awarded first place bathroom remodel over $20,000, and “A Bright, Open Space,” which won first place kitchen remodel over $50,000.

Since these awards accept submissions from all over Louisiana, we were pretty excited when we got the news. While our Remodel Spotlight series usually focuses on one project at a time, we thought we’d welcome the spirit of 2020 and celebrate these awards with a two-in-one article focusing on both spaces.

Before remodeling, this client’s home had walls separating the kitchen from the adjacent living and dining rooms. These made the space feel dark and closed off despite all the natural light. Our goal was to open the space up and make it more functional for the clients.

We widened the doorway between the kitchen and the dining room and removed the upper cabinets on the side facing the living room. We were able to keep the separation of the spaces through the use of wooden beams and casings which brought much-needed warmth and set the stage as you moved from one space to another.

Space Planning by Richard Ourso and Logan Wheeler Ramirez (Ourso Designs)

Product Selections: Logan Wheeler Ramirez (Ourso Designs)

Beams/Casings: The Olde Mill

Builder/Remodeler: Big River Construction

Photos: Collin Richie Photography

Located in a beautiful home in Bocage, this exquisite master bathroom was in need of rejuvenation. Before the renovation, this space was divided and disconnected. The bathroom, coming off a common vestibule area, was separated. His and her vanities, the bathtub, and the shower were located in two different rooms.

We joined the two rooms into one luxurious bathroom for both clients to enjoy. The shower provides not only an ordinary showerhead, but a handheld sprayer, a rain head, and body sprayers lined with sleek white marble as well as the bathtub which provided both a faucet and handheld option. What more could you ask for?

The decor was elegant and simple with matte gold accents from the light fixtures, chandelier, and vanity chair. The marble floors and countertops also added to the sleek and polished look of this space. The simplicity and modernity of this room provided the clients with a lavish space to relax and enjoy.

Space Planning: Richard Ourso and Logan Wheeler Ramirez (Ourso Designs)

Product Selection: Logan Wheeler Ramirez

Builder/Remodeler: Big River Construction

Photographer: Collin Richie

We can’t wait to collaborate further with these companies. Thanks again to everyone who made these projects possible. Stay tuned for more industry updates and insights.

Recipe of the Month: Chef Kevin Belton's Eggnog Bread Pudding

In case you missed it, we kicked off our “Recipe of the Month” series in November with this recipe for stuffed acorn squash. Our wish was to celebrate Thanksgiving as well as pay homage to Baton Rouge’s beloved food writer Holly Clegg.

This month we are in full Christmas swing. In keeping with the holiday theme, we want to recognize another local celebrity chef and highlight one of their dishes that just might come in handy if you’re looking for something scrumptious to cook Santa or yourself.

Practically raised in a New Orleans kitchen, Chef Kevin Belton spent his early years mastering the art of Louisiana cuisine. Since then he has spent over 30 years further honing his skills and teaching the subtleties of southern cooking to audiences worldwide. He’s currently working on a new TV show, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, as well as a companion recipe book.

Compared to last month’s recipe — a nice, healthy side dish for the fall — December’s dessert might seem like it belongs on the “naughty” list. However we think it’s the perfect combination of Louisiana cooking and the spirit of Christmas joy, so this month we’re making Eggnog Bread Pudding.


As a kid, it was always raisin bread pudding. At school, at home or a relatives or friends, it didn’t matter. When I became a chef, I couldn’t wait to see how many different and delicious types of bread pudding I could come up with. This has become one of my family’s and friend’s favorites. I hope it becomes one of your go to desserts.

Chef Kevin Belton


Eggnog Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 (10-ounce) loaf French bread
  • 3 cups eggnog
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 cup golden raisins

Break up French bread in a large bowl. Add eggnog and let sit for 2 minutes.

Start mixing and add eggs. Stir until well mixed. Stir in sugar and all spice. The mixture at this point should be moist and milk can be added to attain the texture of oatmeal.

Melt butter on a low fire and add raisins to the butter once it has melted. Leave the butter and the raisins on the heat for 2 minutes until the raisins are plump and add the butter and raisins to the bowl.

Bake in a greased baking pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until golden brown and has a firm texture.

BREAD pudding sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 pound powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks

Melt butter and remove from heat. Spread sugar on top of the butter and place yolks on top of the sugar. Whisk together until smooth.


Tried it? Share your pictures with us! Stay tuned for more awesome recipes and let us know what you think of our new blog series.

Our Top 20 Posts Of All Time

As the year draws to a close and we prepare for a new decade of design, it’s time for our annual tradition of looking back on our best. Usually we take this opportunity to share our top posts from the year, but we wanted to do something special to welcome in 2020.

First and foremost we want to thank our readers for your continued support. We love sharing insights and updates with you, and we can’t wait to see what exciting things the new decade will bring. Now without further ado, here are our top 20 posts of all time (in no particular order).

There you have them, our top 20 blog posts of all time! What’s your favorite blog post we’ve made? Be sure to let us know what you think of our list and what kind of content you’d like to see in the future.

Recipe of the Month: Holly Clegg’s Stuffed Acorn Squash

Last month we lost Holly Clegg, a beloved food writer and Baton Rouge native. With an innate yearning to feed her family healthy meals, she rose to national recognition with her cookbooks, blogs, and appearances on shows such as The Today Show and Fox and Friends.

With cookbooks like Trim and Terrific Diabetic Cooking, Eating Well Through Cancer, and Eating Well to Fight Arthritis, there is no doubt Clegg’s recipes are geared toward healthy eating. Clegg herself struggled fighting cancer. If you attended our Self-Defense and Healthy Eating presentation in April, you know a wholesome diet is something we also value and want to share.

From Trim & Teriffic: Home Entertaining the Easy Way

To honor Holly Clegg’s memory, we are starting a new series called “Recipe of the Month” with one of her holiday recipes: Stuffed Acorn Squash. In her own words,

“If you have never experienced acorn squash, don’t pass on this recipe–it’s outstanding. This fabulous dish requires some time to make, so prepare it the day before and refrigerate. Before serving, bake it in the oven at 350°F until heated through.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6-ounce) package long grain and wild rice mix
  • 3 (10- to 12-ounce) acorn squashes, cut into halves and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Makes 6 Servings

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the rice according to the package directions, and set aside. 

Arrange the squash halves cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Scoop out the squash pulp, carefully leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Place the pulp in a small bowl.

In a skillet, heat the margarine over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, squash pulp, lemon juice, and sage, mixing well and breaking up the squash pulp into smaller pieces.  Stir in the cranberries, walnuts, and brown sugar. Divide the stuffing to fill the acorn squash shells. Place the shells on the baking sheet. (You may have to trim a bit off the bottom of some of the shells to help them stand upright.) Bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information per Serving:

Calories 271, Protein (g) 5, Carbohydrate (g) 49, Fat (g) 8, Calories from Fat (%) 24, Saturated Fat (g) 1, Dietary Fiber (g) 4, Cholesterol (mg) 0, Sodium (mg) 471

Tried it? Share your pictures with us! Stay tuned for more awesome recipes and let us know what you think of our new blog series.

For more on healthy eating, check out our blog post on hydration.

Remodel Spotlight: Bocage Bath Beauty

Located in a beautiful home in Bocage, this exquisite master bathroom was in need of rejuvenation. Before the renovation, this space was divided and disconnected. The bathroom, coming off a common vestibule area, was separated. His and her vanities, the bathtub, and the shower were located in two different rooms.

We joined the two rooms into one luxurious bathroom for both clients to enjoy. The shower provides not only an ordinary showerhead, but a handheld sprayer, a rain head, and body sprayers lined with sleek white marble as well as the bathtub which provided both a faucet and handheld option. What more could you ask for?

The decor was elegant and simple with matte gold accents from the light fixtures, chandelier, and vanity chair. The marble floors and countertops also added to the sleek and polished look of this space. The simplicity and modernity of this room provided the clients with a lavish space to relax and enjoy.

Contractor: Frank McArdle- Big River Construction

Photographer: Collin Richie

Space Planning: Richard Ourso and Logan Wheeler Ramirez (Ourso Designs)

Product Selection: Logan Wheeler Ramirez

The Homeowner’s Holiday Guide to Great Hosting

When we ask homeowners what they hope to get out of a kitchen or living room remodel, one answer we’re hearing more often is, “I want a space to entertain.” Being able to host guests in your home and impress them is important for those who want to share the spaces they work so hard to perfect.

It’s November and that means it’s time to gear up for a season of quality time with family and friends. Whether you have relatives visiting from out of town or you’re just throwing a quick and casual dinner party for your coworkers, there are a few things you can do to make sure your guests are comfortable and entertained. 

Open House

Inviting people into your home can be stressful, especially if this is the first time you’re meeting your guest. Provide clear lines of communication, instructions on how to get to your home, and let them know what to do when they arrive. 

Now is when the old saying, “Mi casa es su casa,” is a good phrase to keep in mind. You don’t want your guests to feel restricted to certain areas or activities. Remind your guests that they are welcome to sit down or move from the kitchen to the living room. Here is where having an open floor plan helps — you won’t have to keep track of who’s in which room to snack and chat.

If there are areas of your house where you don’t want guests to wander, be sure to clearly establish those boundaries beforehand. Accidentally overstepping their bounds can make a guest feel guilty and uncomfortable immediately. 

Stock up on supplies

Running out of food or drink is a quick way to kill the mood or get your guests to leave. Chances are that’s not what you’re going for, so be sure to keep a full pantry. You can’t go wrong with a little wine, cheese, and charcuterie, but you’ll want a few options to keep your guests satisfied.  

Remember to be conscious of diet preferences and allergies. Vegetarian and vegan options are always recommended. Be sure to ask about food allergies before offering anything that might cause an allergic reaction. 

Sound and smell

Scent is one of the first things people notice when entering a space. If you really want to set the mood, light some incense, set out candles, or use an aroma diffuser. Candles complement fall and winter moods perfectly and the right scent can give sometimes give your guests feelings of comfort and nostalgia.

Another way to achieve an enhanced ambiance is through a great soundtrack. You don’t want to drown out conversations but rather provide something atmospheric to fill the space and prevent the dreaded awkward silence. 

Make a statement

Hosting guests is a great way to show your individual style and taste. By sharing your living space, you can help your guests get to know you and feel more comfortable in your home. Keep your favorite decorations front and center. Anything that has a story behind it is great to keep out for a conversation-starter. 

From a practical standpoint, you’ll want to make sure you have enough seating for your guests. Have a few comfortable stools or even folding chairs handy for when everything else fills up. A bar cart is tremendously convenient and gives you another chance to show off your style and personal taste. 

Save a space

We’ve all had the occasional surprise sleepover. It’s always good to have a bed prepared if one of your guests asks for a place to stay or just crashes. A dedicated guest bedroom is ideal, but a pull-out bed is second best for those short on space. Keep some clean sheets and towels and be respectful of their privacy. This is not to say you shouldn’t go about your normal business, just do so with your guest in mind. 

Don’t forget to have fun (DFTHF)

With all the stress that comes with hosting guests for the holidays, it’s easy to get lost in your attention to others. Once your guests seem situated, it’s important to step back and enjoy yourself a little bit. Relax and have a slice of that pie you spent all day preparing. The dishes can wait until tomorrow. 

Trend Alert: Egg Tubs

Soaking in a bathtub is the best way to decompress from a long day as it relaxes your mind. body, and soul…. So why not do it in style? 

One of the most breathtaking fixtures that can be incorporated in a bathroom design is a freestanding tub. They are effortlessly the focal point of any bathroom…. Especially if they are in the shape of an egg. 

Egg tubs are the perfect option for someone who is looking to add a contemporary flair to their bathroom without being too modern. The soft, not so angular lines of an egg tub make it a great addition to any bathroom, even in a more traditional style bathroom.  

This style of tub is a great option for any size space as they can come in more narrow sizes or wider sizes. They also come in different colors and finishes. If you are looking for a more sleek, contemporary look you could go for a matte black acrylic or stone, and if you are looking for a more traditional look you can go for the classic white porcelain. 

If egg tubs don’t seem to be your style there are many other uniquely shaped free standing tubs that can still make a statement in your bathroom. Some other styles include: pedestal, claw-foot, round top, and slipper.

Pedestal tubs are designed with a solid pedestal style base which raises the tub off the ground. The claw-foot tub is a style that dates back to the 19th century which gives a bathroom antique flare with its “feet” located on the base of the tub. Roll top is a design that has edges appearing to be “rolled over” which presents a comfortable position to rest your arms. Lastly, slipper tubs are for those who enjoy lounging in the bathtub as either side is risen to provide additional space for reclining.

Egg tubs are one of many styles of freestanding tubs, but their shape makes them unique. For more on freestanding tubs, check out this post from 2015. If you want to look at some of our designers’ favorite tubs, we also have this trend alert from 2017.

Images Source:

https://www.pinterest.com/oursodesigns/egg-tubs/

Going for the Gold

Gold has been used as a decorating material for about 6,000 years, so in terms of time, this is about the least trendy thing we could write about. However we’ve been seeing it so much recently that we couldn’t resist. As decorators and designers, we have a responsibility to look for new ways to incorporate familiar materials. We’ve been seeing this metal used in breathtaking designs, and we want to share them with you. This month, we’re going for the gold.

Along with silver, copper, and brass, gold finishes are mainstays when it comes to cabinet hardware and light fixtures, but we’re seeing gold in furniture more. We love the use of a gold finish on chair legs. Matching table legs can make for a nice composition, and pairing gold legs with a black chair creates a feeling that is at once dramatic, eloquent, and comfortable.

Of course, gold’s beauty is in its rarity. Incorporated as a detail, in small amounts, gold finish can add a bit of light to darker rooms and warmth to white or off-white ones. Used on a slightly more massive scale, gold creates a feeling of grandiose magnificence. For example, these gold cabinets are so luxurious it’s kind of absurd, but we love it.

We’re also seeing some creative tiling that incorporates gold. We love how some of these designs mimic gold’s naturally random appearance in nature. Gold, when used in patterns like these, is simply awe-inspiring.

Whether it’s as a new twist on an old accent or a complete re-imagination, we love seeing familiar materials like gold popping up in new places and uses. Follow our blog to stay updated!

Image Source

History Lesson: Billy Baldwin

Posthumously nicknamed the “dean of interior decorators,” Billy Baldwin was a leading designer in post-World War II America. Known for his immaculate sense of order and arrangement, Baldwin’s style was a unique blend of modernist and classicist.

Baldwin was born into an old Baltimore family in 1903, where he grew up in a home designed by a leader of the American Renaissance Movement. It was there in his childhood home that his passion for interior decorating started. 

After leaving Princeton to travel and visit galleries and museums, he worked at his father’s insurance company for a time. He continued to design on the side and eventually got a huge break in 1930, when Ruby Ross Wood, one of New York’s grand dame decorators, came across his work. 

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She immediately  wrote him explaining her love of his work and invited him to join her in New York to assist with her business. He began working for her in 1935, and when she passed in 1950, he took over her business for 2 years. He explained that those 17 years working for her was “the importance of the personal, of the comfortable, and of the new.” After taking over Wood’s business for 2 years he decided to create his own.

Baldwin’s work was known to be neat, slick, and ordered. He liked a mixture of furniture that was both old and new and of different nationalities, but he insisted on some connection between the furniture. Unlike many other designers, he thought it was important to use some of the furniture that the client already had as he felt that the space would not be right without some personal history present.

He was known to be both a modernist and classicist, being the first man to break into the interior design world. Before WWII, interior design was ruled by a small circle of women, but Baldwin changed this forever.

He believed strongly in not following trends and instead told many of his clients to: “Be faithful your own style, because nothing that you really like is ever out of style.” 

Baldwin retired in 1973 and died of a heart ailment in 1983, but his studio continues to champion his designs, legacy, and style.

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