Charlotte Designer Details Changes In The World Of Interior Design – From Style & Color To Resources & Clients

Posted on | January 5, 2016 | No Comments

A new year is an exciting chance to leave the past behind in home decor and contemplate the new and the now. Today, that means getting up to speed on what has changed in the world of interior design. For this, we turned to a bona fide design veteran – Charlotte interior designer Anita Holland of Anita Holland Interiors. A person whose friendship I’ve value greatly for many years, I also have great respect for Anita’s timeless interiors, her wealth of experience and her adaptability. While she always stays true to classic design principles, she enjoys change – and she shared with North Carolina Design the most significant changes she has encountered in recent years.

Images Courtesy of Anita Holland Interiors ©

In interior design, change is a constant – a fact that Anita happily embraces. “Syles change, clients change,” she reflects. “And new advances in materials and techniques are made all the time. Beyond that, each individual project has its own momentum and its own challenges. No two are even close to being alike. And no two projects are at the same stage at the same time. So for me, everything about every day is different, which I love.”

Anita notes that her clients today differ in several ways from those she worked with a decade or two ago. “Design services used to be primarily for upper class, older people,” she explains. “Now more and more young people are using designers. I think that’s partly because they tend to already have established careers and solid incomes when they first settle into a home. Additionally, for today’s younger homeowners, creating a welcoming, homey living space isn’t a luxury or an afterthought – it’s a priority they want to invest in.”

According to Anita, homeowners are also much savvier than they used to be. “Between magazines, websites and social media, they have a lot of resources at hand,” she says. “They might look at 50 different white kitchens to see exactly what their options are. They have a better sense of what they want. They think a lot more about what they want. And, they don’t just want to copy a popular design. They really want their design to reflect them personally.”

It isn’t just homeowners who have changed; the general design aesthetic has changed as well. “Fifteen years ago transitional design didn’t come into play,” Anita recounts. “You were either very traditional, or you were contemporary. Today there is a mixture. People still like traditional elements. They don’t want to give up their antiques. But they do want a fresher, more updated look, which translates to cleaner, simpler lines.”

In today’s design, simple is better, less is more, and livability is a priority. “People are using less furniture,” notes Anita. “They are choosing a few special pieces, rather than filling up rooms with things they might not necessarily like, love, or need. Also, they don’t really want formal rooms with furniture they’re nervous to sit on. They really want to get the most out of each room, and live in their whole home.”

“Things are a bit more relaxed. People want a look that’s elegant and sophisticated, but has a more casual, updated feel. This means velvets that are less plush and less stiff, so they don’t scream formality. It means grasscloth walls, or wallpaper with pretty geometric patterns and metallics. And it means art pieces that are more graphic, unique and colorful.”

Color and pattern preferences have changed recently as well. “As a background color, gray is still very popular,” observes Anita. “I personally prefer beiges and rich creams, as I think they add more warmth. For accents, people are using more color, but fewer patterns – and the patterns they do use tend to be geometrics rather than florals. They are choosing to layer neutrals and colors throughout the room, rather than having one or two heavily patterned pieces overwhelm the space.”

Anita concedes that when it comes to design, some things don’t – and shouldn’t ever change. “The principles of good design stand the test of time no matter what’s popular, or what decade you’re in,” she asserts. “Those principles offer stability, and longevity. But the things that do change – the clients, the styles, the projects, the technology– they’re what make this business exciting and dynamic. They’re what keep me excited to get to work every day.”

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