MOSES LAKE – So the living room has been painted, or maybe it’s time to paint the living room. Or staying home during the pandemic prompted thinking about refreshing the place. Or it’s just time for something different; after all, that vase and those photos have been around since – wow, since the kids were in elementary school.

And now it’s time to think about what will be “different”, and, OK, what now? On second thought, maybe this vase doesn’t look so bad.

In fact, there are rules for all of this.

Barb Skaug, kitchen designer for Skaug Brothers Carpet One Floor & Home in Moses Lake, said minimalism is one of the top trends for 2021, worn by millennials who don’t like clutter.

The minimalist design doesn’t necessarily mean nothing about the kitchen counters or the living room coffee table, it just means there is less of it. It’s a design aesthetic that emphasizes neutral colors for walls and furniture, clean lines and flat surfaces, and restraint when it comes to accessories.

In the minimalist design, attention is paid to eye-catching elements, such as bright cushions or colorful paint.

But not everyone wants white walls, a beige sofa, and a button vase with a flower on the beige coffee table. There are other options and rules that help people get the look they want, no matter what.

A careful reading of the closet is a good place to start. The colors and patterns that people wear are colors and patterns that will likely work for accessorization.

For Carlos Hernandez, owner of La Imperial Furniture in Moses Lake, color is the first building block.

“Play with color,” he says. “You have to play with the colors of your house.”

Hernandez used the living room he accessorized as an example. He used different shades of yellow in the cushions, carpet, and paint on the wall against the gray tones of the furniture.

He recommended not trying to match the colors of the furniture and floors, using a brown sofa and a brown rug or hardwood as an example.

People should look around for what they already have, maybe collect some of what they like on a table or shelf and leave it there for a few days. Then they should take a look at it and decide what they really like and why.

And there is design inspiration everywhere. People can create their own clip files of ideas that they find on the Internet, and offline there are books, museums and art galleries, hotels, home furniture stores.

Many interior design companies cater for different tastes and budgets. One company will be good for vases that go with a bohemian living room, while another will have the right lamps for that mid-century modern space.

Of course, what looks good in theory may not work in practice, so decorators shouldn’t hesitate to change their mind. If those vases on that high shelf are irresistible to cats, then maybe the vases need to go, or at least get moving.

Style can change over time. That purple rug, or that painting that was once so fascinating, may have lost its charm, so there’s no need to keep them.

Cheryl Schweizer can be contacted by email at [email protected]