Warming Trend

It may be chilly outside, but fabrics, paint, and lighting can turn interiors into hot spots



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Textiles: Robert Allen Home Luxe Glen (plaid swatch) in Tuscan Red; Robert Allen Home Blithe (solid swatch) in Kona; from Robert Allen Beacon Hill showroom, Michigan Design Center, Troy; 248-643-0707.

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“An interior needs to have a variety of textures for a feeling of warmth. Too many slick surfaces can make a home feel cold and stark.” — Charles Dunlap, Dunlap Design Group, Birmingham

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“Most people don’t think that contemporary design is warm, and it typically isn’t. A lot of contemporary designs include industrial elements, but contemporary doesn’t have to be cold. Some industrial designs include wood. For example, a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work is very warm. His use of red brick and wood stains are examples of ways to create warmth in a contemporary home.” — Frank Arvan, FX Architecture, Royal Oak

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"As a designer, I would add artwork into spaces. The most important thing is to incorporate personal pieces into the room — things that will elicit emotional responses and make you feel warmer. Trying to pick one item that means something is better than a bunch of pieces, which can look cluttered. Less is more. The bottom line is that when clients add personal elements, it changes the dynamic in the room and adds warmth.” — Lynda Charfoos, Charfoos Designs, Bloomfield Hills

Wood samples: from Ghiordes Knot, Michigan Design Center, Troy; 248-643-0333.

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“One thing I’ve been doing a lot lately is custom wood shutters. They’re elegant and functional and they keep an element of privacy. They’re more like wood doors than blind shutters, which offers a lot of options, like being able to open the top and keep the bottom closed. And because it’s wood, it creates a really warm ambience.” — Corey Damen Jenkins, Design with Vision, Bloomfield Hills

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“Dim or turn off the recessed lighting and add lamplight. Lower the bulb wattage and have dimmers installed everywhere. Compact fluorescent bulbs are gaining in popularity, but nothing beats the warm glow of an incandescent bulb.”  — Charles Dunlap, Dunlap Design Group, Birmingham

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“Mix traditional and contemporary furnishings. One style of furniture in an interior will look like a furniture showroom and without personality. For a warm feel, mix the old with the new, and contemporary with traditional.” — Charles Dunlap, Dunlap Design Group, Birmingham

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“One of the biggest things is accessories and rugs. For rugs, it’s all based on color — earthy, natural tones. Using seasonal flowers and accessories, like natural fruits and vegetables, also add warmth.” — Linda Powers, Linda Powers Interiors, Bloomfield Hills

Paint: Richmond Bisque, Montgomery White, Sail Cloth; Stuart Gold, Marblehead Gold, Concord Ivory (from the Historic Collection); Sikkens Wood Finishes (transparent stain and siding finish) in Navajo Red 052, at area Benjamin Moore dealers; benjaminmoore.com.

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“I select warm neutrals [for paint color], often from Benjamin Moore’s Historical collection, to make a room feel cozy.” — Charles Dunlap, Dunlap Design Group, Birmingham

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“There’s nothing like drapery panels to complete a room. Without them, a space feels like temporary housing. Hang fixed panels on each side of a window, and a room instantly feels warm and cozy.” — Charles Dunlap, Dunlap Design Group, Birmingham

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“Marble has a durability and hard texture, which can come off as very cold. But some stones do have a warmth to them. I use a Kashmir white granite; it’s sort of a warm gray.” — Frank Arvan, FX Architecture, Royal Oak

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“In a contemporary space, it’s definitely harder to create warmth. For example, if you live in a loft with 20-foot ceilings and metal columns, you would start with color and wall treatments. You can paint your cabinets … red, orange, or other fiery colors  that look great with metals and steel.” — Jennifer Taylor, Jennifer Taylor Studio Inc., Royal Oak


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