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IN Decor
A look back at design trends for 2012
May. 24, 2019

Renewal. Relaxation. Comfort. Hope. The decorating trends for 2012 echo the familiar and homey designs of our past with a nod to a future of hope and optimism. The juxtaposition of vintage treasures, modern furnishings and earth-inspired colors create personalized one-of-a-kind retreats. The bedroom of your dreams is closer than you think!




  1. Colors
  2. Themes
  3. Materials
  4. Beds
  5. Flooring
  6. Light Fixtures
  7. Accessories
  8. Global Fusion


The color trends for 2012 are all about earth, wind and water. The new color palettes for fashion and home furnishings evoke the natural environment, pastoral grasslands, serene seascapes, captivating sunsets and forested sanctuaries. The annual color reports for the interior design and fashion industry usually reflect societal trends and so does the 2012 forecast. The colors reflect a renewed focus on a sustainable environment, home and family, as recession-weary folks embrace the promise of a new beginning. But there are plenty of bold vibrant color schemes as well. And the modern nature-inspired neutrals form a calming backdrop for rejuvenating doses of color.


Organic Neutrals and Vibrant Hues

Fresh modern neutrals take inspiration from parched deserts, organic rocks and minerals, sandy beaches and natural metals. Vibrant earth-inspired hues, including terra cotta red, indigo blue, passionate purple, honeysuckle pink, tangerine orange, moss green and sunflower yellow provide a welcome dash of excitement and joie de vivre to your bedroom décor. Try mixing various hues of indigo blue and tangerine balanced with calming neutrals of gray and camel for a bold fresh look.


The 2012 Benjamin Moore ColorPulse Color Trends report is based on the theme of preservation, with natural palettes representing our heritage, process, protection and enlightenment. Rich jewel tones, cool neutrals, especially khaki, taupe and camel; aquatic blues, deep pinks and oxidized metallics predominate.



Pantone, the global authority on color, offers a stunning variety of natural ethereal palettes juxtaposed with vibrant colors for spring 2012. Tangerine tango, an enticing juicy orange, bellflower, a distinct ornamental purple, sodalite blue, a maritime hue, cockatoo, a tactile blue-green, margarita, a piquant yellow-green, cabaret, a sensual and intense rosy-red, solar power and sweet lilac are paired with the neutral colors, driftwood and starfish. "Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "They have learned how color can help them alter a mood and provide the vitality and enthusiasm that enables them to experiment with new looks and color combinations."


Soothing Backdrop

When considering a dominant color for your bedroom, designers suggest soothing tones of blue, green, lavender or muted yellow, blended with standard neutrals for the ultimate restful getaway. Blue tones lower your blood pressure and heart rate, providing a restful serene ambience for bedrooms. Warm shades of lavender also promote relaxation. And greens soothe your tired eyes. Luckily, various shades of stormy blues and foliage green tones dominate the Pantone color trends for fall/winter 2012-2013.

Design Themes

An environmentally conscious design theme surfaced last year and the trend is hotter than ever for 2012. A focus on sustainability and eco-friendly materials, textiles, bedding, furniture and accessories permeates interior design trends for the upcoming year. Going green has never been more popular in home design. Easy, uncomplicated green living, based on natural elements can enhance any bedroom décor, whether you prefer traditional or modern styling. Sumptuous fabrics and furnishings are fused with natural elements for unique designs. The new design trends bring out our adventurous spirits.



Repurpose, restore and recycle. In keeping with the earth-friendly theme, recycled and repurposed items are a growing trend in interior design. Take something old and dear and make it new again. An intricate birdcage can be transformed into a unique light fixture or a fun piece of objet d'art. Vintage suitcases can be made over into stylish night tables. And old blown glass vases can be turned into stunning table lamps.



It’s time to take granny’s needlepoint pillows, embroidered linens, handcrafted quilts and homespun rugs out of storage. With an emphasis on the security and simplicity of days gone by, there’s a renewed focus on vintage homespun items. Primitive slightly worn rugs, flea market-look furnishings and handmade lace panels add a comfortable cozy ambience to your bedroom décor. Try using vintage items in a new and different way, by hanging a colorful geometric quilt on

your bedroom wall for added texture and visual interest, or by creating one-of-a-kind lace lampshades.

Art Deco Style

The glamorous Art Deco style from the 1930’s is another emerging theme for bedroom design. The mix of streamlined furniture, architectural elements, soft fabrics and modern industrial design compliments the bedroom decorating trends for 2012. Sleek exotic woods, furs, peacock feathers, deer motifs and ornate mirrors are all hot trends for bedroom décor. Botanical rugs, geometric artwork and sparkling beads also encapsulate the Art Deco style and shows up in the 2012 trends.

The Future is Here

The past, present and future. Modern influences and futuristic themes are seamlessly juxtaposed with the eco-friendly and vintage trends for 2012. An exciting blending of old and new creates a fresh look for 21st century bedrooms. Form and function are turned upside down. Modern metallics, digital art, bold graphics, mirrored images and industrial pieces are harmoniously paired with primitive furnishings, antiques and vintage treasures. The decorating trends for 2012 are all about the freedom to experiment with contrasting styles and textures to create an inviting bedroom that’s distinctively your own.



Natural materials, sustainable woods, organic stone, marble and accent furniture with rustic finishes are combined with luxurious silks, wools and leather for dramatic bedrooms in 2012. Feather accents and sumptuous velvet are mixed with burnished metals, mirrored glass and crystals for a unique transitional look. Some of the hottest trends in materials and finishes to look for in 2012:


  • Elegant accent walls featuring gold leaf designs.


  • Patterned wallpaper embossed with earth-inspired designs, such as branches and flowers.


  • Wooden Ceilings in dark rich finishes.


  • Patterned paint finishes, including subtle lacy designs and classic houndstooth.


  • Animal prints for bedding and upholstered items, such as ottomans and chaises.


  • Modern wood paneling in natural finishes.



Large comfortable beds form the focal point of your bedroom décor, so make sure they stand out with colorful sumptuous comforters, soft natural linens, bright pillows and comfy throws. The decorating trends for 2012 emphasize natural elements and eco-friendly materials contrasted with luxurious textiles. The anything-goes personalized decorating trend compliments every bed style, from traditional iron beds with old world scrolls and ornate castings, iron-wood beds featuring airy scroll work, and sleek platform beds, to handsome leather and plush upholstered headboards. Rich thickly textured bedding with sparkly accents can work just as well on a contemporary platform bed as it does on an ornate Victorian style headboard and footboard.


Embrace the trends of contrast, blending and juxtaposition for a uniquely personal bedroom décor. Be bold! Do you currently spend your nights in a drab uninspired bedroom? A fresh coat of paint in a modern neutral color, luxurious new bedding in layers of rich textures and bright accent pieces in Pantone’s exciting new color palettes, can transform your bedroom from drab to fab in no time flat.


The flooring trends for 2012 run the gamut from hypo-allergenic wool carpets, sisal, natural wood flooring and handcrafted throw rugs, to ornately designed area rugs featuring large flowers, leaves and scenes from nature. Bright bold colors and botanicals predominate the carpet choices for 2012. Add an unexpected burst of color on your bedroom floor to waken up a modern streamlined décor. The eco-friendly design trend carries over to wood flooring using renewable resources, such as cork, bamboo and reclaimed wood floors. Durable hand scraped wood flooring provides bedrooms with a vintage look that compliments the colorful botanical area rugs that are soon to be front and center in design showrooms.


Light Fixtures

Bedroom lighting fixtures for 2012 are treated as audacious showpieces that make a dramatic statement. Oversized Swarovski crystal chandeliers and unique drum pendants add a dash of personal charm to your bedroom décor. The sky is the limit! Bright colors and exotic materials, including peacock feathers, beads, natural stones and oxidized metal are the hot new trends for the New Year. The fusion of the past and the future continues with the gorgeous light fixtures for 2012.

Turn Up the Volume

Vintage elements are paired with industrial chic that perfectly embodies the newly modern design aesthetic. The recycling and repurposing trends are also evident in the new lighting designs. The Cake Vintage shop takes recycling to new heights with its whimsical line of pendant lights and chandeliers made from silver spoons, door plates and porcelain teacups. If recycled chandeliers are not your cup of tea, futuristic architectural lighting featuring space age designs can turn up the volume.



Bedroom accessories for 2012 are opulent, colorful and layered with a mix of rich textiles and textures. The trend of textural variation is seen throughout the glittery and jewel-like accessories designed for the bedrooms of the not too distant future. Small bedroom accessories, such as table lamps, pottery, vases and decorative frames are made from hammered oxidized metals and mirrored glass that adds light. And decorative accent pillows are fashioned from luxurious velvets, silks and even fur, featuring a mix of unexpected textures. Throw caution to the wind and experiment with unusual combinations of color for a big wow factor.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

When it comes to wall décor, mirrors in all shapes and sizes are a hot trend for 2012. An oversized mirror in your bedroom brings more light into your room and makes the space feel much bigger. The trend in artwork is big and bigger. Large framed photographs, colorful graphics, digital and 3D art are all trending for 2012. Colorful botanical prints and earth-inspired wall appliqués are redefined for modern bedroom design. Whatever your fancy, don’t be shy with your bedroom accessorizing. A few well-placed accessories can make a world of difference.


Final Thoughts

Our bedrooms are a place to escape from the cares and stresses of the world. We all could use a little pampering and relaxation. A little luxury and judicious pops of color in our bedding and accessories radiates comfort and serenity. If you’re uncertain about your color choices, switch out your accent pillows and decorative throws for an inexpensive makeover before making major changes. And don’t feel the need to embrace the latest decorating trends in one fell swoop. Choose one or two design trends in color and furnishings and incorporate them into your current decorating scheme for an adventurous new look. Consider reupholstering a bedroom chair in a bold modern shade of moss green, deep purple or periwinkle blue. Or replace your bedroom carpet with an intricately designed botanical area rug for a captivating transformation. Small changes in décor can brighten your mood and revive your spirit. And decorating changes don’t have to break the bank. Adopt the hot decorating trends of environmental awareness, recycling, repurposing and self-sufficiency, to create a unique do-it-yourself item. Lamps, artwork and pillows can easily be fashioned from vintage materials found in your attic.