Sarah Richardson's top six design trends for 2010

When forecasting the upcoming trends, Sarah Richardson - Canada's beloved design expert, TV host and Clorox Green Works spokesperson - was often looking back. With an easy-breezy approach to design, Richardson's expertise is often in high demand, but she took time out to share some tips you can take home

design at home

1. To market, to market
“Buy less new items and more reclaimed, vintage or antique pieces,” says Richardson. This is a great eco-option and will help you make a smaller footprint while furnishing your home. “Value is always in style, so visit thrift stores, antique markets and consignment shops and invest in a few quality pieces.”

2. Shop like a rock star
Upcycling is the new recycling and all the kids are doing it. Recently, Richardson sold a pair of beautifully designed (but very old) Victorian doors to a second hand shop. She soon returned to the shop to buy back one of the doors. She stripped and painted it, making it as good as new,“ in fact, better than new. Guess who bought the other door? Canadian songstress, Feist. Sarah is proud to say that she now shares her duet of doors with a rock star.

3. Exotic luxury
If you’re going to buy new, then invest in handmade pieces that are textured, colourful and unique with a global nomadic feel. Have fun and inject lightness and vitality into your space and don’t go beige. “Invest in artwork that’s exciting, and even vintage artwork can fit this the bill,” says Richardson.

4. Organic
Surround yourself and your space in pieces and fabrics that are natural like cotton, silk rayon and solid wood. “Consider the source, support local talent and try to buy handmade,” she says. Think tactical, not tacky.

5. Paint & wallpaper
Dressing up your walls is a low cost, high impact solution. Feature walls are still in, but if you’re going to do this, you have to make a statement. Sarah says embrace colour – she loves everything from green to yellow. Or add texture to your walls with grass cloth wallpaper or sheet metal. Don’t know where to start? Begin with a hallway for high impact.

6. Move to tradition
With the downturn in the economy, there’s a return to comfort and softness in both fabrics and furniture and a departure from the hard, cold aesthetic. Sarah believes that what’s old will be new again: with a move back to tradition and old world techniques, mixing genres and making our home a haven again.