Looking for ways to brighten up your home as summer quickly approaches? Jan Finlayson, owner of designers Luxe Interiors in Coralville, offers some ways to help.
Finlayson has been in the interior design business for almost 30 years, discovering her passion for interior design when she was in college.
“A friend of my mother’s introduced me to interior design in Des Moines. I worked there for a time and ended up switching my major,” she said.
She described her personal style as “eclectic sophistication, dark moody colors: dark blues and blacks. But not set to one style.”
Her showroom at Luxe reflects that. The store is laid out with many different setups, including the minimalist trend that is popular with the millennial generation.
“We definitely stock a lot of things that belong to the clean, minimal trend. People don’t want to see so much clutter. We are keeping accessories to a minimum. We used to have stacks of accessories but not so much now,” Finlayson said.
No matter where you shop, whether it be an independent interior designer, or a major franchise like Target, minimalism always seems to reappear. Furnishings have been given less emphasis in recent years. Instead, the focus seems to have shifted to architecture, Finlayson said.
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“We’ve done some very modern projects with the minimal style with a focus on the architecture and lighting with a minimum on the furnishings,” she said. “Differences in Illinois, especially river towns, where we are seeing a lot more color. A lot of window treatments, things that really enhance the room, making it a lot more warm and cozy.”
A fireplace feature, for example, adds a level of warmth whether lit or not.
Love for nature
Embracing nature is popular now, letting nature inside whether it is a nature-centered painting hanging from the wall or animal novelty items such as pug-shaped pillows or owl figurines. Floral coasters and postcards bring the garden inside. As for color? Bright and earthy colors are definitely hot this year.
“We are seeing that gray tones are becoming more brown. That’s something that has been happening for a while,” Finlayson said.
But patterns and color are making a comeback.
“People here are embracing patterns, also something that has been coming in strong ... People are doing more color. Especially blue, navy blue. Even green,” Finlayson said.
Just like everyone else, travel and Instagram are great inspirations for Finlayson, as they allow her to see what other designers are doing. Going to markets and seeing the products available also is an inspiration.
Want to redecorate, but don’t know where to start?
“What we like to do is go in and assess what people already have. Sometimes using paint or furniture they already have,” Finlayson said.
This can be helpful for those who may be trying to redecorate on a smaller budget and are looking for the biggest bang for their buck.
That’s good news for apartment dwellers and college students on a budget who never know what might be hiding in their storage space. It could lead to something unique.
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When it comes to decorating small spaces, Finlayson said to think small and look for pieces with dual roles.
“(We look) for that things that have a smaller scale to them. Using glass and acrylic. Looking for pieces that can have a double duty.”
Need more help or looking for some inspiration?
On the last Friday of every month, Luxe Interiors hosts a two-hour wine club where people can come in, enjoy a glass of wine and socialize. It’s a great opportunity to look at new trends and ask questions.
“Wine Club is a fun social time for our clients as well as anyone looking to get out and about and see what’s new at the Iowa River Landing and taste wine. It’s a fun social time,” Finlayson said.