Trendspotting

Bold prints and moveable fireplaces are all the rage in interior design.



Troy Beasley and Stephanie Henley, the husband and wife team behind Beasley & Henley Interior Design in Winter Park, have been creating stunning interiors together since 1993. Their distinctive designs have earned plenty of awards and recognition over the years.

The couple’s design work is distinguished by its clean, understated modernity expressed in rich layers of high-end materials and finishes. Their spaces feature unexpected design elements, including antique granite, Venetian plaster, industrial lighting and stained concrete floors, combined with classically designed furniture pieces, sumptuous fabrics and fine details such as nailhead trim and deeply tufted upholstery.

They tore themselves away from their fabric swatches and paint chips long enough to share their expert opinions on today’s top interior design trends, as shown in the accompanying photos of their work.

‘Floating’ Fireplaces

Because they use alcohol-based gels or bio-fuels that don’t produce smoke, the latest fireplaces don’t require a wall or a chimney; instead, they “float” in the center of the room. “These creative new fireplace designs can be placed anywhere in a space for a multitude of purposes,” says Henley. “In the condo shown here, we used it as a room divider.”

Dimensional Wall Treatments

3-D applications, including deeply textured wallpaper, multisurface tiles, wave walls and wall panels “give a space visual complexity and depth,” says Beasley. “I like installing a dimensional accent wall in a room with an abundance of smooth surfaces to add contrast and interest.”

Oversized Artwork

A single large piece of art or photography that dominates a wall delivers more impact than a busy grouping of smaller pieces.  “It’s a cleaner, stronger look,” says Beasley.

Shag Rugs

Area rugs with long looped or cut pile (some resemble sheepskin, chenille or bouclé, a heavy looped pile) add warmth and comfort to a space. Beasley and Henley like to use thick shag area rugs to provide a soft, inviting contrast to rooms with multiple hard or shiny surfaces.

Orange Accents

Pops of citrusy shades in artwork, as well as on walls and decorative accessories, instantly bring warmth and energy to a room. “It’s a great color to use in entertaining spaces,” says Henley, who advises balancing this hot shade with soothing neutrals.

Big Prints

Room accents such as pillows with bold, oversized prints are big news for 2011. “We love bringing in large, bold prints to a space that features understated furniture pieces and neutral tones,” says Henley. “Big prints are lively and eye-catching; they make a space come alive.” Big prints should always be used sparingly, as they can quickly overwhelm a space.


An Appetite for Cool Blue

Those who subscribe to color theory attest that red is an appetite stimulant (it’s no coincidence that every major fast-food chain logo features liberal splashes of red), while blue has the opposite effect.

Juan Rios is no student of interior design. When Rios and his father opened Agave Azul in a shopping center on Kirkman Road in southwest Orlando, he unwittingly broke the rules for restaurant color schemes.

His restaurant’s interior plays on the name, which means blue agave, the plant from which tequila is made. “I wanted to keep it a little different than a traditional Mexican restaurant, more modern,” Rios says. He eschewed the predictable piñatas and sombreros in hot colors taken from the Mexican flag in favor of cool blues and shimmering silver (above), relaxing hues you don’t normally see in restaurants because they’re suspected hunger-killers. Wall niches with iridescent blue glass tiles and booths upholstered with blue fabric are further cooled by mirrored wall accents and the silver-painted wall between the dining room and bar. The water wall (above) from BluWorld in Orlando amplifies the restaurant’s color scheme and reflective theme.

Somehow, judging from the filled tables and the number of fajitas I managed to put away myself on a recent visit, no one suffers from a suppressed appetite while dining at Agave Azul. How refreshing that someone unschooled in design managed to create an unconventional dining space that’s both aesthetically pleasing and appetizing.
—DBE

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