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Q: We want to paint our 1930s home but aren’t sure what colour to use on the trim as it is really tiny and looks cheap. Any suggestions?
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Re: DesignPeter Fallico, host of the HGTV show Home to Flip and one of Canada’s most knowledgeable designers, gives 2 readers the goods on this year’s decor trends , plus cheap and easy ways to make your living space feel more stylish and substantial.


Photograph of Peter Fallico.

2: What are the top trends this year?
Fallico: It’s really about taking advantage of all rooms. I’d say opening up spaces in their entirety—not just for the space, but for the use of the space. For example, open-concept kitchens and family areas that have more than one use. There is a major shift from formal dining rooms to rooms that have more than one function. Also, sofas with no arms and ones that are long and skinny are in right now. Avoid skirts on sofas and instead show bare legs so that it doesn’t seem heavy and planted. Dark wood is an old trend; lighter wood is now in.

2: How can couples keep their homes stylish without costly updates during the recession?
Fallico: Avoid trends that require permanent or expensive overhauls. Don’t purchase lavish drapery, coats and coats of dark paint, or floor finishes that cost a lot. Do purchase artwork that you love, replace a lamp, etc. Go for accessories as opposed to permanent fixtures. Vintage adds character as well. Go for what you will love for years to come.

2: How do you make a room feel larger than it really is?
Fallico: Paint colour. Very light colours on walls and trim can be used to really open up a space.