Fashion and interior design share some similarities – they both give people a way to express themselves freely, and stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the perfect little black dress or a sofa in just the right fabric, a statement necklace, or the perfect table, fashion and design trends help people establish their personal style.

Lori Harden and Julie Willis, both interior designers at Pierce & Parker Interiors, on St. Simons Island, said that current interior design trends are a blend of old and new. Most people in the area, Harden said, favor retaining heirloom furniture and other classic pieces, and update with a few new items from time to time.

“Our business is constantly changing, with new colors each season, the introduction of furniture pieces twice a year at the markets we attend, as well as new fabrics and wallpapers coming in all the time,” Harden said. “… It is very important for us to stay up-to-date and try as best we can to implement these things along the way, but it is equally important to stay true to the classic designs that are timeless, and have sustained my business for over 36 years.”

Willis said that there are several trends designers are currently noting.

Color is making a big comeback, including a surge in certain shades of green, like asparagus.

“From linens to paint colors and everything in between, bright wall colors and or trims are back,” she said.

Geometric patterns, canopy beds, cane, mixing metals and blending old and new pieces are also having their moments.

In furniture, the trend is toward both luxury and durability.

“We are seeing a lot of velvet and performance fabrics,” Willis said.

Performance fabrics have a number of desirable characteristics, particularly in a coastal environment. They resist both fading and stains, and can usually be cleaned with mild soap and water. The fibers are strong and can stand up to rough-and-tumble family life.

Harden said performance fabrics are big.

“People really like the idea of the durability, as well as the cleaning factor,” she said. “They are especially beneficial for our area, with the amount of rental properties we have.”

Willis added that wallpaper is making a comeback, and both color and texture are super popular.

One major shift, thanks to improved technology, is in choices for floor coverings.

“One trend that has become very popular, and affordable, is vinyl plank flooring,” Willis added. Vinyl plank flooring is manufactured to look like wood, but comes at a lower price point and is virtually maintenance free with the exception of sweeping and mopping.

Some retro items are also being incorporated into modern decor. There’s a bit of a mid-century modern flavor in the latest trends, particularly with accessories and accents. Willis said that brass, acrylic accessories, and florals, both in fabrics and wallpapers, are increasing in popularity. Those looks extend to lighting, with brass fixtures, and more modern-looking ceiling fans, including some with acrylic blades, piquing consumers’ interests.

Speaking of accessories, there are a few must-haves.

“Boxes, trays, coffee table books and scented candles,” added Willis.

Harden said most of her older clientele, who want to follow trends, take a measured approach.

“(They) want to mix in some newer pieces and fresher fabrics with their existing pieces to get that updated, fresh look,” she said. {br class=”Apple-interchange-newline” /}

Of course, as some trends gain, others have run out of steam.

“Grays are going out and creamy whites are coming back,” said Willis. “We are even seeing yellow making a comeback. Granite is definitely on its way out, and is being replaced with quartz. Wall-to-wall carpet is out, and hardwood floors with area rugs, are in.”

Outdoor spaces are also very much “in,” as they are in most coastal locales.

Willis said people are looking for comfortable outdoor seating, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.

In addition to comfortable seating on porches and patios and outdoor kitchens, Harden said, people are also adding outdoor dining areas.

“The market is strong for seating that feels and looks like what you would have in your family room, so with the rise in performance indoor-outdoor fabrics, we are now as comfortable outside as we are inside,” she said. “Because we are seeing this as a big trend here in the Golden Isles, especially with our great climate, we are busy at Pierce & Parker creating a new and bigger outdoor space to accommodate the needs in our area.”

All in all, this year’s trends reflect people’s desire to be comfortable, and surrounded not only by beautiful things, but by the people they love, in their homes.

“People are wanting more spaces in their homes to congregate with friends and family,” Willis said.