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Hot Interior Design Trends: An Interview with Susan Maynard of Susan Maynard Interior Design LLC

By Susan Maynard

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Susan Maynard Interior Design is a residential interior design company in Southport NC. I provide consultation on color, furniture and its placement, fabric, and lighting. I can help you find rugs and window treatments for a house, a room, a porch, or a rental update. No job is too small.

My goal is for you to be delighted every time you walk into your new room and know it's just the way you dreamed it would be. And know that it was achieved on time and on budget. If you are living some place else while you are building or renovating, I can easily work with you, your builder and his/her blueprints. Most things can be done through email.

I try to be a budget friendly designer. I have a home office so there is no overhead. I pass along designer discounts if I am allowed. I also look for good value and prices when selecting items for a client's approval.

What is one of your favorite design trends?

There has been an explosion of different kinds of natural stone and glass tile. Mosaics (1 inch pieces of tile placed together on a 12 " by 12" sheet) can be used for backsplashes and floors in kitchen and baths. They are available in every color you can imagine, priced reasonably and make a huge impact in your kitchen or bath. I've also seen them used as frame around a bathroom mirror, making a big statement for a little mosaic.

Can you give some examples of how people are using color in their homes?

People still like a neutral color in upholstery on sofa and chairs and use shots of color in accessories in the room- a cobalt blue rug, throw pillows in a dynamic print and bright colors in their artwork. This style is a good plan for people who don't want to be buying a new sofa every three years when the pattern or color becomes dated.

According to Benjamin Moore Paints, the big color for fall 2014 is paint color called "Breath of Fresh Air " that is a very pale blue. Blue has been going strong for a few years now. Pastel colors are officially back and paint manufacturers' web sites have put together an ensemble of paint colors that are complementary and can be used throughout your house.

With that said, any color that lifts your heart is the right color. It's your home.

Is there a classic look or style that's still popular?

There will always be a place in our hearts and in our homes for the classic look: hardwood floors, antiques, 17th and 18th Century reproduction furniture in dark or painted finishes, drapery, oil paintings, Oriental rugs, and crystal chandeliers.

You can always update these beautiful basics by switching from Oriental carpets to a wool rug with a geometric or trellised design. In home design magazines, I mostly see Oriental carpets in the dining rooms and they tend to be Oushak, a soft and pale design.

Blue and white coastal design is here to stay. Or try a muted palette of beige, grayish blue, blue, white and cream. These are the colors of the beach when the sun is not shining! They are very serene and work with both traditional and modern design.

What do you think is one of the interior design trends that's not hot any more?

Elaborately designed throw pillows with tassels or fringe have given way to larger (20" square) pillows with a geometric design finished with just a seam or a flange. (A flange is a 1-inch piece of fabric that trims the pillow.)

There has been a change in the kitchen. Gone are the heavily molded cabinets with glazes (unless you are doing a rustic design). Simple shaker cabinets in various colors are the trend now. I've seen cabinetry in dark green, red, yellow and black. This style really lends itself to either a modern or traditional look. It is so much easier to make a decision now when you are planning your kitchen.

What is a newer design trend that people are starting to use?

I see more daring in upholstery on sofas and chairs. A fabric called ikat has become popular. It is a colorful pattern with figures on it that look like big teardrops and looks really good on an armchair, ottoman or lounge chair. The chevron design is another hot fabric. It has zigzags across the fabric and can be used in the same room as the ikat on a chair, pillows or curtains. It's so easy to find things on the Internet from other countries that decorating in a global look is popular. A little of this from India, a little of that from China. No one has to know that you've never been there!

What is the best way for people to contact your company?

I can be reached at 910-457-7513 or by email:

Please check out my website:

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