Home decorating trends come and go, but one theme is constant throughout the North Shore: creating warm and relaxing rooms for entertaining family and friends.
We asked four North Shore home décor storeowners to discuss what’s trending nationally that they’re selling locally this holiday season.
Material Possessions, Winnetka
“Comfort is the trend today,” said Peggy Swartchild, owner of Material Possessions in Winnetka. “People want to be cozy and have relief from their daily lives.”
Throws and pillows are a perfect for people taking refuge in the home. “Today, throws are made out of bamboo, which is a great fiber that’s soft and lovely,” she said.
Luxurious faux fur is a popular material for throws and pillows, and Material Possessions carries these in several shapes and sizes. Trays also are selling well this season – and have the multipurpose of holding food and drinks as well providing a focal point for accessories.
Swartchild and her business partner, Carol Levy, and longtime employee Gayle Cohen broke out the serving trays to celebrate Material Possessions’ 40th anniversary on November 7 with about 150 guests comprising family, friends and customers.
The shopkeepers have seen many changes in home design trends over these past four decades.
“In the olden days, everything was brown – either maple, wood or mahogany,” said Swartchild.
Today Material Possessions sells all manner of home furnishings — from chandeliers to small end tables to dining room ensembles, and the store has a roster of custom furniture makers who can create almost anything using a multitude of materials such as glass, acrylic, concrete and metal — as well as wood.
The two buffets currently on the floor are made of concrete and steel, which can be finished in a warm tone or in a cooler color. Some of the small tables are made of shagreen, a textured surface commonly made from the skin of Southeast Asian stingrays.
Swartchild said 40 years ago the most expensive thing in Material Possessions was about $75.
“I tell my customers what I tell my family — that your home should reflect you,” said Swartchild. “If it’s good design, there’s no reason not to use it. I don’t consider us a trendy store. We buy for lasting permanence.”
“In terms of trends, everything was silver and now it’s going back to gold and brass,” said Courtney Chessen, co-owner with Lori Waller of Mandarine, a Glenview home furnishings store. “We’re convincing people to mix metals.”
Currently the store is featuring mirrors made of gold and Lucite and silver and Lucite to create a less traditional look. It also carries Lucite tables and chairs.
Chessen said the idea is to combine different materials and styles. “The look is warm and cozy yet updated and really livable,” she said.
Mandarine has a selection of vases and bowls that people can fill with boxwood or moss. The end result is to blend everything to make it contemporary, but still traditional.
Mark David Designs, Lake Forest
Like Mandarine’s owners, Mark David of Mark David Designs also believes in mixing metals. He asks his customers, “Don’t you mix your jewelry? You don’t have to wear all gold or all silver.”
In terms of trends, David said: “I always gravitate toward blue, and softer palettes are easy to work with and go with anything.”
Additionally, there’s an emphasis on fabrics with texture, such as heavy embroideries. Mark David Designs carries pillows and throws with the emphasis on “cozy and rich.”
The store will be decorated for Black Friday with handmade gingerbread houses and Santa decorations. David said Mark David Designs is the only other store that’s carrying these gingerbread houses besides Bergdorf Goodman. The custom Santas are made in “rich fabrics that fly out the door” every year.
The store also carries handmade Santas made out of papier-mâché and decorated with European glitter from Germany. Each is uniquely hand painted. David said he wants to focus on handmade items from smaller companies.
“It’s fun to help people find the perfect gift or the perfect item for their home,” he said. “The immediate gratification is great.”
Style Shack, Highland Park
Style Shack is mad for mauve.
“One outstanding global design trend features stunning shades of purple,” said Sherry Levin, who co-owns Style Shack with Dawn Pye. “The soft yet rich hues add sophistication to any home interior. It complements neutrals well.”
Levin said another trend is what Style Shack refers to as “Global Entry”. Today, anything can work together to create a “magnificent interior.”
Some examples include Naturals from Africa, Parisian Chic, Coastal Charm, Modern Glamour and European Rustic, just to name a few. “Incorporating the world’s unusual patterns, textures and shapes add refinement, warmth and unexpected delight to any personal space,” she added.
Style Shacks’ two most popular gift items for the holidays are gold-filled bracelets and fur hand warmers.
Levin explained that Karen Lazar is a celebrity jewelry designer from Los Angeles whose trendy yet classic bracelets can be worn solo, stacked or teamed with other jewelry.
Levin described the Signature NYC style fur hand warmers as “chic, fingerless gloves in a cashmere wool blend with fur pom-poms that add an element of whimsy.”
- Material Possessions: 954 Green Bay Road, Winnetka. 847-446-8840
- Mandarine: 1820 Glenview Road, Glenview. 224-432-5906
- Mark David Designs: 266 E. Deerpath Road, Lake Forest. 847-714-9970
- Style Shack: 1839 Second Street, Highland Park. 847-579-4525