(BPT) - Give your home an energy shot this spring with bright colors and bold patterns.
'Patterns are hot, hot, hot,' says Cathie Pliess, program coordinator of design for The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and a certified interior designer. 'Look for oversized patterns in bold colors on a white background.'
Spring design is trending to naturals - florals, ethnic patterns, textures. 'We are all so tied to the digital world that we crave spaces reminding us of the organic physical world,' says Juli Sproules, an interior designer and faculty member at The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta.
Here are some tips on this year's spring trends and how to use them to update your home easily and without spending a fortune.
This year, florals are big and bright - think tropical blooms, not delicate wildflowers. Go to your local botanical garden, or visit a florist for inspiration. 'Floral patterns can bring color and life into a room,' says Sproules.
Patterns are also becoming more inspired by global design. 'This includes motifs with influences from African, Mexican and Islamic design stylized patterns, often in oversized translation,' Pliess notes.
Mix, not match
Don't be afraid to mix patterns and textures. 'Patterns used in a room - stripes, florals, hand-painted designs or geometric prints - shouldn't be too 'matchy-matchy,'' Pliess says. 'Instead, juxtapose old and new, soft and rough, various textures and patterns, like it's been collected over time.'
Sparkle it up
Bring in this season's metallics trend with warm bronzy colors. 'You can mix metallics now too - perhaps a soft rubbed bronze with highly polished silver or nickel,' says Sproules.
Blue is the hue
The cool calmness of blue makes it the hot color for spring. From navy to turquoise, set off blue with natural brights - unexpected colors inspired by nature, like the rich purple of a cut gemstone, the orange-red of tropical fruit or watermelon pink.
To bring together disparate elements and create a holistic, curated space, select a pattern that picks up elements of colors, textures, and shapes already in the room. Then use it in easy, inexpensive accents like these:
* Use a dramatically patterned wall covering on one wall with the other walls painted in one color pulled from the wall covering.
* Add pillows in a variety of patterns and textures that complement and contrast.
* Add drapery panels in an exciting floral or ethnic print. 'Solid walls with wildly patterned draperies make a bold statement,' says Pliess.
* Paint a large canvas from an art supply store in a vibrant blue or purple or use tape to block out a pattern and paint in several colors. Alternatively, cover the canvas in a wildly patterned fabric.
* Display a small group of whatever you collect - teacups, books, brass or carved wood pieces, vases, pottery, photos, even gloves or shoes. If you don't have a collection, start one by visiting flea markets or tag sales. 'Pick three or five items and arrange on a shelf, on top of a nightstand or console table, in an unused fireplace, or in the middle of the coffee table,' recommends Sproules.
* Bring in a subtle metallic element by covering the inside of a dark lampshade with glitter or metallic spray paint. Or both - spray paint first, then add glitter.
For more information about The Art Institutes and its interior design programs, visit http://new.artinstitutes.edu/areasofstudy/Interior-Design/detail/44.