Mixing It Up

This year’s home décor trends offer a bright mix of decorated modernism, fresh takes on classical designs, achieving a quiet country vibe, mixing old with new and modern with traditional, and using cladding in creative new ways. Add in Benjamin Moore’s Raspberry Blush and exotic orchids as the color and flower of the year and you have amazing opportunities to spice up your home. We asked six local professionals to offer tips to help you get started.

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore & Co.

Jennifer Largo
Full Circle Interior Design

The concept of decorated modernism grants total creative liberty, allowing one to marry elements not typically seen together. In 2023, the theme is authenticity and self-expression.

I have been embracing this design style as it allows more personal freedom to express the true self, tossing the traditional design rules out the window.  

Our design team traveled to High Point Market last fall, where the latest trends and furnishings were on display. What we noticed most was the effort to highlight earthy, organic materials and playfully mixing them with sharp, modern lines to create a natural balance.  

Courtesy of Full Circle Interior Design

Many of our clients come to us with a modern appetite, but they have heirlooms from relatives or furnishings they have invested in. Our approach is to select a couple of elements to be dominant, such as a graphic pattern or a single, bold color as your foundation and we add in layers of additional textures (such as crushed oysters or quarter-sawn wood), mix in clean lines and basic silhouettes and finish it off with unexpected, minimal accent pieces.

Perhaps you have a colorful Persian rug? Pair it with a sleek, leather sofa and clean-lined, wood accents and finish with live exotic orchids. This allows the cherished rug to “speak” in the room while the other items compliment and create softness. Balance, proportion and scale are key to keeping spaces from becoming messy when using this technique. 

This “no rules” approach to design feels consistent with the global shift to non-conformity, saying good-bye to the classic guardrails set on self-expression. The feeling is that of freedom and playfulness—concepts not typically seen in the structured world of traditional interior design. 

Yohanna Alvarez-Giboyeaux
Joy In Décor

Whether your home decorating style is modern, transitional, bohemian or farmhouse, there are many ways you can mix your favorite antiques or vintage pieces into your existing design. I think handmade pieces passed down from generation to generation, one-of-a-kind art, fabulous finds at thrift stores or family heirlooms are worthy to be displayed and enjoyed. 

One of the best ways to achieve a well-designed look, regardless of the design style, is by making sure the elements look to be in harmony. Uniting styles with a limited color palette or repetition of textures creates this harmony. By choosing a simple color scheme throughout the house, it will feel unified, no matter the variation in decoration. 

Ballard Designs living room design

When it comes to furnishings, it’s always a good idea to start slow. Our design rule of thumb is 80/20: 80% your primary style and 20% your vintage pieces. This allows us to work strategically without creating a chaotic look. Start by adding one or two pieces at a time. An easy way to do this is using the vintage piece as a focal point. Regardless your overall style, adding a vintage coffee table, a large ornate mirror or a stunning chandelier creates enough contrast and an interesting tension without losing the harmony. 

If you are decorating a dining room, a vintage table with modern chairs usually works. If you are creating a foyer, adding a vintage console table or credenza with modern artwork is a designer favorite. Vintage rugs are a nice touch to almost any foyer. 

Paint can be your best friend to incorporate your thrifted cool pieces into any décor. For example, painting an old chair and upholstering it with a modern fabric can help you use your beloved old chair in any room. 

At the end of the day, go with what makes you happy. Decorating and design rules are never etched in stone. Feel free to bend or even break the rules when creating your own room. After all, it’s your home and it should be a reflection of you.

Jennie Holland
J Holland Interiors

Continuing to trend in interior design for 2023 is the “quiet country” feeling, which softens the uber popular modern farmhouse vibe we’ve seen for the past decade or more. 

While having a sense of bareness and restrained decor with minimal patterns and less structure, the incorporation of intentionally placed artisanal pieces helps to make a room feel more interesting, comforting and inviting, even without the extra stuff. By creating and curating this type of mood throughout a home, a sense of timeless nostalgia emerges, which people seem to crave these days. 

For current homeowners who aren’t ready to jump into a major renovation, there are some simple solutions to transition away from a farmhouse feel. We suggest a shift from stark white to more creamy, natural tones, which can easily be done by switching out accent pieces such as vases and photo frames or painting walls. Even if your kitchen is all white, the tone-on-tone walls will work wonders to create a softer blend. 

I’m always amazed at how switching out light fixtures can instantly transform a space. For example, matte black metal lantern and orb styles are often used in modern farmhouse homes. Instead, try a plaster fixture as shown here. Note how the neutral creamy white finish elevates the natural wood tones on the ceiling without distracting the eye. While the individual pieces are beautiful on their own, they each allow continuity from one to another, which invokes a more joyful, nostalgic feel that seems to define the direction for which interior design continues to trend. 

If building a house or undergoing a renovation, adding architectural details during the design phase will help create a quiet country feel that is often hard to accomplish in a new home. For example, in this dining room we used a lot of restraint with our furnishings and color selections so the wood ceiling, the architectural details of the columns and the natural textures take center stage. In the nearby kitchen, we let the beautiful black cypress wall planks speak for themselves by hanging only a few meaningful pieces of art (one was gifted by local wood fabricator Goodwin Company and is a print of the land on which the wood was found) and adding a small-scaled stool in the same tones. It’s an understated style that absolutely makes a statement.




Kay Rains
Koontz Design Studio

What a splash and blast from the past! If you look around, you will notice a subtle yet fast growing resurgence of the days of old. In fashion, these are the vintage mom jeans that have come back with a vengeance, along with shoulder pads and oversized plaid jackets. These are all valid updates and can be highly fashionable—if you take the dare.

Many have embraced this fresh preservation of classic style in the interior design world. In the studio, I have observed the old become new in exciting ways. I mentioned plaid, which originated from the Scottish term tartan. It has been the latest trend I have seen burst onto the scene. Tartan has stayed true to itself; however, if you are thinking about your grandfather’s study, think again. Imagine beautiful feather greys, powdery pinks and grass greens presented in perpendicular perfection. 

If tartans aren’t for you, explore a fresh chintz in a sun or dining room as a great way to pull the outside in. Overstuffed sofas and chairs are here and lush in fabrics that embrace, like boucles and velvets. If you don’t like the overstuffed look or style, try it for comfort. It performs well in a theater, family or hearth room. 

Dust off or reimagine your blue and whites. They are popping up in sundry design styles. Imagine blue and white ceramic plates hung on a Raspberry Blush wall—which is Benjamin Moore’s 2023 Color of the Year—the infusion would be a visual delight. 

Take what you love and fearlessly run with it. Whether its caning, grasscloth wallpaper or one of the elements mentioned above—make it uniquely you. Plus, it’s fun to incorporate a vintage “wink” in a room.

By Bruce Ackerman, shot at KOONTZ Furniture Company

Suzanne Rice
Suzanne Rice Design Consultants

WoodPlank exterior wood cladding

Exterior cladding to achieve energy efficiency and sound diminishing does take on many faces. As a designer, my goal is to consider appropriate finishes for efficiency, balanced with aesthetics for the building and its orientation to the sun. 

In the commercial field, there are lots of opportunities to mix the finishes to create dramatic effects. With the trend to more contemporary facades, the use of aluminum composite materials (ACM) panels can do a wonderful job since there are insulated panels, wood-looking panels, large and small formats and overlay moldings and trims. There are plenty of design options to be very creative with the materials. 

Although we use ACM quite often on commercial buildings, I can’t say it has gained enough popularity in the residential field here in Ocala, given the attributes and uses available. I expect to see more and more use of it in 2023. The patterns of aluminum composite panel (ACP) are considered a perfect alternative to natural wood in humid areas like Ocala. 

Panbeton interior cladding by Concrete LCDA

Interior claddings for soundproofing have a new and valuable use now that home offices seem here to stay. I would suggest materials with lots of texture and/or undulations. There needs to be absorption on the inner office walls and deflection on the outer office walls. That way, the family can be active in the home and the office can be productive.

There are panels made of plastic, concrete, cork, wood and textiles—even live walls of moss are all great. If you are considering panels, I suggest cork dimensional panels over plastic or vinyl since it will breathe and not trap moisture in the wall. Buzzer panels are made from 100% reclaimed cork, have low volatile organic compounds, wonderful thermal and acoustic insulation, and come in a multitude of colors. If the panels are used to create a design, leave some open areas; that will help prevent moisture being trapped if you like wood or other closed cell materials.

Of all the new products coming available in 2023, I love that macrame is coming back in a new dimension. For a personal and unique piece for the office, I love artist Vanessa Barragao. Her textile art is great for sound diminishing and fabulous visual stimulation for the mind and soul.


Benjamin Moore’s Raspberry Blush

Courtesy of Benjamin Moore & Co.

The Color of the Year is consistent with 2023 design trends: bold, playful and memorable. If you’d like to adopt this tone into a modern space, pair it with neutral tones (charcoal, oatmeal and ivory) to keep this jaw-dropping color as the focus. It can be tempting to give this color a compliment, but in modern design you’ll want to keep her center-stage.
Jennifer Largo – Full Circle Interior Design

Raspberry Blush is a fun tone that will catch your eye and is certain to make a design statement. The use of darker tones like deep browns and grays on larger pieces such as furniture will help ease the eye while allowing Raspberry Blush to stand out. Pastel tones will do the same. If you prefer a softer approach, this color blends well with neutral tones and natural textures that continue to have a strong presence in interior design styles. If painting walls or upholstering a sofa in Raspberry Blush seems too risky, test the waters with patterns on pillows, colorful wall art and decorative accents, or make a focal point with wallpaper. These can easily be switched out when you’re ready to move on to next year’s color! If you’re ready to fully commit, go with the more-is-more philosophy—paint the walls, trim and ceiling, and do it with a high gloss finish for the ultimate style statement.
Jennie Holland – J Holland Interiors

Raspberry Blush, in one word, is JOYFUL! As a designer, I am bold. I like color and creativity beyond the traditional standards. Raspberry Blush is a fun way to be inspired and energized. I would use it as an accent color in a dining room, office or music room. 
Yohanna Alvarez-Giboyeaux – Joy In Décor

Raspberry Blush is very close to the wall color I used in my sitting room at my previous home. It worked well with off white furniture and a stained pine floor. When my painter finished one wall, she said, “I’ll pay you if we can pick another color.” But, over the years, that room was always a draw for guests. My theory is that home décor follows European fashion colors from the year before. If I was the one asked for a 2023 color, my pick would be Benjamin Moore Galapagos Turquoise 2057-20. But who’s asking? 
Suzanne Rice – Suzanne Rice Design Consultants

Floral Architecture’s
Mary Weaver
on 1-800-FLOWERS.com


Living in central Florida offers us so many benefits when it comes to plants. Even in the cooler months, for example, we can still enjoy orchids in planters, hanging in a beautiful tree with string lights. As they grow and bloom, we can enjoy them outdoors while trimming blooming stems and designing with them indoors. 

Orchids are some of the most luxurious flowers. They add touches of color and style, but with many of the unique shapes they become a work of art.

Sometimes I cut blooming stems from a plant and add them to other flowers for an elegant centerpiece; other times, I will lay them down the center of a table with touches of greenery and candles to create an organic design. With proper hydration, they can last for weeks. My favorite way to style a stem of orchids is to use a small glass vase with water, allowing this natural beauty to take the spotlight of an entryway table or buffet. 

Designing with orchid plants inside the home can fit almost any style. Try a blue and white toile planter for French country style or, if you love mid-century modern design, as I do, then maybe an avocado green planter is the way to go. 

No matter where you choose to decorate with orchids, you really can’t go wrong. OS

Courtesy of 1-800-Flowers

Posted in Ocala Style Features

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