Erin Loechner is a writer, stylist and designer. She is a quirky girl with lots of style and a great swagger about her. Everything she publishes on her site, Design For Mankind, pushes the envelope just enough to keep you interested and excited about trends and styles. She has graced the pages of many magazines all the while keeping up with trends and colors on her HGTV.com segment.
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First up, why don't you tell the community a bit about who you are, what you do, how long you have been doing it, and your background.
I'm Erin Loechner, a 28-year-old freelance design writer and blogger (DesignForMankind.com). I dabble into styling, consulting and rearranging the furniture of any willing party! I'm also an online personality for HGTV.com.
I don't know if it's the wintery months or the beginning of a new trend, but I've been noticing a resurgence of muted tones as an alternative to the bright, cheery hues of seasons past. Candy-colored hues in muted tones are all over my radar this year!
What patterns and trends do you think will be big in 2012?
I'm seeing a huge trend in art-inspired patterns (and am so excited!) in the past few months, so I'm predicting everything from landscape art clothing (like this collection! below) to watercolor housewares (like this rug! below).
Which colors, patterns & trends are you personally most excited about?
Oh, definitely art-inspired patterns. If I could watercolor everything in my home, I would!
My favorite app is Instagram; I'm a total sucker for documenting my day visually, but will never find the time to hone my photography skills. Instant problem solver!
When decorating your home, what are the top three colors you turn to for the space? What is your favorite paint color?
Oh, I'm very much of a believer of a neutral home (exhibit A = my dining room! below). I've found in the past that my job can be so stimulating, it's important for me to come home to a clean, natural color palette. Every wall in my house is Architectural White (Olympic Paint), and I often layer each room with blacks, grays and natural wood tones. I'm very monochromatic these days!
What's the best home design-related advice you've ever received?
If you love a piece, there's room for it. Alternatively, if you're not 100% in love with a piece, ditch it.
I'm rarely at a loss for inspiration, but I've found that when I am, it's usually due to too much research, rather than not enough. This usually means I've been spending too much time behind the computer screen, so I'll get out of the house, grab a coffee, take a walk or head out for a bite with my husband. I'm usually back to square one in no time!
For someone that is just beginning down the road to create a better home, what resources or advice would you give to them?
Find a general direction you'd like to go in, and make the rest up in your head. Start collecting images from online or your favorite magazines, and really study what each image makes you feel, rather than what you see. This will give you a great starting point for the sort of space you want to create, whether it's cozy, modern, chic, glamorous, or all of the above. Most importantly, enjoy yourself and continually surround yourself with things you love. It makes a world of difference!