Top 10 Home Design Trends & Movements for 2011

We considered our own insights, researched and talked with North American Interior Designers & industry professionals to bring you the Top 10 Home Design Trends & Movements for 2011. This week we talked about the benefits of using natural elements in home design with Canadian Designer, Alison Habermehl of HD STYLE STUDIO. She shared with us her experience using soapstone in her own kitchen at home.

#4 Movement – Natural Elements

What comes to mind when you think of the words: bamboo, wheatboard, or cork? Well, we think of … panda bears, fresh bread and, of course, wine!

Although these associations aren’t too far off, they aren’t exactly what we’re going for. Each of these elements can be used in environmentally friendly design. They also have their own interesting textures and patterns that make them beautiful additions to any building project. Kelly-Moore Paints states in their Top 10 trend list that the authenticity of natural materials is very appealing. The imperfections that used to be thrown away are now embraced, such as; silk with nubs in it, wood flooring with knots and color imperfections in leather. Sustainable woods are being used for flooring, which also brings a more sensual look to the minimalist design. Even the use of rocks instead of tile for a bathroom or shower floor is expanding. According to’s Design Trends for 2011, this year was all about natural elements (and we don’t see this even as a trend, but rather a movement that will take us into 2012 and beyond).

Soapstone and volcanic rock are also two materials gradually gaining in popularity. In speaking with Alison, she was all about soapstone! Having installed this into her own kitchen some six years ago (pictured above & left – kitchen designed by HD Style Studio), she has gained much personal experience with it. What are her thoughts?

“A soapstone counter top and integrated soapstone sink work great for a busy kitchen. The natural stone is impervious to chemicals, heat, bleaching & stains and requires little maintenance. Any scratches or chips can be buffed out. It’s versatile and suitable for any style of home, depending on how you work with it.”

The properties of soapstone may not be what you think. When first cut, soapstone appears much lighter than the final product because it needs to be coated with mineral oil. This brings out the deep color of the stone as well as the different veins. Soapstone is non-porous, unlike granite and because of this can withstand a lot of the everyday abuse and still last a lifetime.

Lavastone is a natural element countertop with high heat and stain resistance available in a wide array of about 32 colors (ranging from black to white and everything in between). The lavastone, once cut and shaped, is then enameled with the customer’s color choice. Lavastone countertops are most popular in France right now, but making their way into the North American market more and more.

And we would be remiss if we didn’t make this suggestion: Surround your Capital range with a beautiful mixture of natural elements. Sorry, we couldn’t help it. ; )

Follow the contributors of this blog post: @hdstylestudio @capitalranges @flying_camel