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Pump it up
10 Ways to Freshen Your Home’s Interior



Fresh fruit colors, white furniture and earth-friendly designs are among the hottest trends in home decorating.

Photo courtesy of Rubin’s Contemporary Furniture, Milwaukee

Spring is here, but how fresh is your home feeling on the inside? To reinvent your home interior no matter what your style, three home interior and design experts share their tricks and trends of the trade: Koren Gierach, design consultant at Rubin’s Contemporary Furniture in Milwaukee’s Third Ward; Barb Brinkmann of Barb’s Interior Design, Cedarburg; and Mary Jo Reed, of M.J. Reed Interior Design Studio, Oconomowoc.

Color is key

All of our designers agree nothing packs a punch like new paint. Brinkmann advises clients to make color your friend: brown with aqua mint, green-toned yellow and gray and gold are emerging as favorites. Gierach has her eye on fresh fruit colors — a delicious combination of kiwi, sunshine yellow and mango orange. Reed says she is working with red, white and navy and also notes: "The ’70s are back. Orange, yellow, green and pink are making a comeback."

Go eco chic

"People are willing to spend more to save the planet," Brinkmann says. "‘Sustainable’ is the catch word. Build with a conscience. Save the earth. Recycle." She also notes: "Glass is a pure, clean and simple choice."

Wrap it in texture

"Various textures, like grass cloth on walls, cork and bamboo floors, and sea grass and rattan rugs, add richness to your home," Reed says.

Accentuate your accents

"Use brightly colored, vibrant throw pillows, vases, rugs and window treatments on a neutral backdrop," Gierach says. "Pull out your favorite color from an area rug and go from there."

Fun with floor lamps

Gierach likes the cool cardboard floor lamps from Roland Simmons. "Use them in odd-number arrangements to soften up a corner or behind a sofa," Gierach says.

Go white

"Use white furniture as a backdrop to add an instant spark," Gierach says. If a client desires a less-dramatic approach, Gierach recommends using white accessories to make all your other colors pop.

Recognize the pattern

Wallpaper is growing in popularity, Brinkmann says. "Believe it or not, flocking will become popular again," she says. " Try flocking on silk for a rich look."

Old is new again

"A growing trend for baby boomers is to enjoy the treasures of the past by using it for a new purpose," Reed says. She has seen a vintage 1940s radio console be reinvented as a new media center to hold CDs, and as a charging station for iPods and cell phones.

Crazy for cottage

Many of Reed’s clients crave "the comfortable feel of a grand and elegant cottage." It’s timeless, classic and relaxing. "The elegant cottage features grand fireplaces, rich wall colors, wide moldings and timeless, classic furniture," she says.

Keep it simple

Brinkmann says you’ll never regret buying that special item you really want for your home, but beware of too many impulse purchases. "An uncluttered, simple look is still the freshest look around."