Lisa Bartolomei Talks Trends and Finding Your Client’s Vision

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What patterns, colors and home design features are trending in 2014?

I have noticed a shift in the use of color in interior design and in the popular colors themselves. The colors seem edgier and stronger in 2014, and patterns are bolder and more geometric. On a current project, I am working with deep raisin colors coupled with chartreuse and fuschia accents. The raisin fabrics are a twist on brown as a neutral.  It is very rich and sexy. We are using bold-patterned pillows as accents and have been recommending winter and summer pillows for a change in look to go with the change in seasons. The Rug Company has come out with some fabulous bold-colored rugs by artists. We are using them like art on the floor and building neutral rooms around them while using accent pillows of colors from the carpet so that the color pops. We tend to custom-mix all of our paint colors to complement the fabrics we are using.

What is the best way to get a sense of your client’s vision for their interior?

Before we get to colors, I usually ask my clients to tear out magazine images of rooms or items that they like. They often also download things they like and create Pinterest boards of things they are drawn to. Often, they show me things more for a feeling they get from a picture than any one item in it. Looking at the images together gives us an opportunity to discover what appeals to them and to discuss what they are really looking for. Once I have a good idea of how they want to use their rooms, we will develop floor plans for them. After we have decided on the plans, I suggest a trip to the local Design Center or to New York to give them the opportunity to see what is available and to express their likes and dislikes as we go along. I find that these trips really jump start the project and shorten the “get to know you” period of any new design relationship.

Going to the showrooms gives the client an opportunity to figure out what is truly comfortable to them. Sometimes they are drawn to a specific brand because of the beauty of the finishes or the overall design. This can set the tone for work we do.

Once we have a good idea of the style direction we turn our creative thoughts towards color.  There are many ways to approach a rooms coloration. Very often we start with the rug and build our way up.  If the client has art that they want to take center stage we pull from or complement the colors in those pieces.  Many of our clients have strong color preferences and we happily work on selecting fabrics that are in their preferred palette.  Most of our clients enjoy the process as much as the final product and developing the fabric selections becomes a joint effort.  We usually find that the journey from the original ideas to the final reality is a surprising one.

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