Want to freshen up your living room or den in the coming months? Think big. As in a 60-by-40-inch painting. An eye-catching mirror. Or even a "Hey, look at me" lamp or oversized clock.
This is just one of the trends in home fashions local decorating pros are talking about.
"A large piece can make a big statement -- even in a small space. It adds punch. It has more of an impact than lots of little things," said Pamela Witte, owner of White Orchard Home Furnishings, at 4203 N. Buffalo St. in Orchard Park.
At Homeward Bound, a lifestyle furniture and home accessories store at 927 Elmwood Ave., a statement piece comes in the form of a 7-foot-long farm table made in Georgia. Solid. Heavy. Crafted to look like it's been around for 100 years.
Mismatched chairs -- and lots of friends and family -- are invited to gather around.
"We're moving away from clutter and toward larger, more conversational pieces," said Homeward Bound owner Maria Jacobi.
For the new year, vintage continues to be a key trend. "Everything is old-looking, recycled. We're still coming back to more of a comfortable look. It's not as formal," Jacobi added.
Animal prints remain strong. Also still part of the conversation: words and phrases on plaques, pillows and other items.
"Some of the sayings are very beautiful. They make you think about what is important and what is not," Jacobi said.
As for furniture, people want to chill out.
"They go for comfort. They want a well-made, but sink-in, put-your-feet-up type of sofa. After working hard all day, they want to come home and relax," Witte said.
Witte sells furniture from across the United States, including Massachusetts, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina.
"My wood furniture and upholstery is 90 percent American. The plus side of American furniture is that it is quality, solid-wood furniture that will last a lifetime," she said.
"People in Buffalo and throughout Western New York are educated consumers. They want quality and something that will last -- at a comfortable price," she added.
Environmental responsibility also is on customers' minds.
"People are definitely attuned to that," Witte said. They ask about eco-friendlier products such as seat cushions with soy-based foams, for example.
As for color trends in home decor, Jacobi continues to see a lot of grays, creams and silvers.
But, especially come spring, you may also want to mix in something fresh -- and fruity.
Your fruit colors -- tangerine, pear -- are going to be a trend this year, along with plums and purples, Witte said.
In fact, Pantone, the global color authority, has named Tangerine Tango, a reddish orange, its Color of the Year.
Locally, it's already catching on.
"We've seen it in patio furniture the last few years, and now it is transferring indoors -- not so much as solids but in patterns," said Wendy Bailey, manager of Arthur's Home Furnishings, at 4288 S. Buffalo St. in Orchard Park.
Unlike using it outdoors, "a lot of tangerine or mango all at once indoors can be a lot to handle," she added. But it works well in patterns and as pops of color.
Also look for Tangerine Tango around town in vases, kitchen appliances such as blenders, dinnerware and serveware (Fiesta offers tangerine in its collection) and other home accessories.
Expect other bright colors as well. Just as they have been a hot trend in fashion, they're moving into the home.
"In general, we saw so much in the neutrals for the last year, but we've been bringing in sofas in more vibrant colors to perk up the showroom floor and make people happy," Bailey said.
People like it. They're ready for more color, she said.
Other things to look for:
A new fabric collection by Charlotte Moss, the noted interior designer, author and product designer. Her collection of 92 decorative fabrics and 75 color-coordinated trims is available at retail at calicocorners.com, or at Calico Corners--Calico Home stores, including the local one at 5501 Main St., Williamsville.
Imitation crocodile textures in home accessories. For spring, Pier 1 offers "faux croc" serving trays in aqua and lime green -- expected in stores in February.
Increasing popularity of outdoor fabrics, which are available in an ever-expanding array of colors and patterns.
"We're seeing people using outdoor fabrics indoors because of the durability and the nonfading," Bailey said.