Practical Style ; Home Decor Trends Will Mix Function and Style in 2013

Article excerpt

Conservation, convenience and cost efficiency will still be priorities for homeowners in 2013. But those factors won't come at the expense of comfort and style, experts say.

Tulsa Community College associate professor of interior design Jennifer McMahon is seeing more and more people reusing what they already have in their homes.

Attribute that to a changed economy. People are scaling down and making do. Yet, they're still keeping in mind that "if it makes you smile, make it work in your house."

In looking forward at what to expect this year in the worlds of home and gardening, McMahon offered us insight, and we tapped a variety of lists including those by REALTOR Magazine, the Garden Media Group and Neil Kelly Company on what you will see in 2013.

Gardening

Container plants

A changing economic landscape and more people returning to urban areas may mean less green space for gardeners. Containers allow small-space gardeners to enjoy many of the same luxuries as their backyard peers - growing fruits and vegetables and other plants in window boxes, large and small pots, raised beds and other containers. The benefit: plants as ornaments as well as food.

Native and drought- tolerant plants

Plant varieties accustomed to a given environment need less water, maintenance and pest control than exotics. As people become more concerned about water conservation, time spent trying to revive wilting plants and the pesticides used to keep critters at bay, expect to see greater use and demand for plants already well- adapted to the climate in which they grow.

Organic and heirloom seeds

Plan to see more markets catering to gardeners concerned about pesticides - especially on fruits and vegetables. Organic seeds should meet federal requirements when it comes to chemical use. "Heirloom" seeds have not been genetically altered; instead, they are seeds from plants that have been passed down from one generation to the next - the fittest having toughed out environmental changes with little help from humans.

People and Earth- friendly plantings

With a growing concern about environmental stewardship as well as getting the most out of what you have already, expect to see more landscaping features that have multiple uses. Native plants can serve as food sources and shelter for wildlife. Fruits, vegetables and herbs can be used as decoration and give your household homegrown food options. Rain gardens use a fairly simple system of native plants and landscaped depressions to capture rainwater for use in your garden and to reduce yard runoff.

Colorful gardening implements

Your plants aren't dull, so the tools you use to maintain them shouldn't be either. The Garden Media Group forecasts bright colors as well as metallics in garden tools and accessories to be popular this year.

Outdoor living

In 2012, we saw a growing popularity in "staycations." Convenience and cost-efficiency are among the reasons more people are interested in staying closer to home come vacation time. This will continue through 2013 with builders and landscapers appealing to the consumer's desire for luxury and escape. Outdoor kitchens, waterfalls, pools, bar areas, fire pits and covered living and lounging spaces are just the beginning. Home

Calculated but big risks with color

Bright and bold color options will continue to be popular in interior home design and decor, McMahon said, but don't expect to see a full departure from neutral colors.

Already, McMahon is seeing a lot of blues, blue-greens and shades in between all the way to yellow this year.

Multi-purposed furnishings

People are scaling down in home size, as well as what they put in their homes. Expect to see furniture that has multiple uses. Think ottomans that can be used for seating, as well as storage, coffee tables that can rise for dining and desk areas that have charging features for your electronics. …