Decor Dilemma?

Design Tips, Tricks, And Helpful Hints

by Rhonda Benvie Plummer // January - February - March 2024

Wintertime in central North Carolina often leaves us guessing – will it be a season of mild temperatures with a few flurries, or will ol’ Man Winter unleash the icy conditions we’re known for in this area? Maybe Mother Nature will show off and surprise us with a foot of snow, a rarity in these parts, yet one I have witnessed a few times in my lifetime. Similarly, design trends for 2024 mirror the unpredictability and uncertainty of the weather. With readers eagerly seeking insights for the new year, questions about the prevailing styles are on the rise. Here are a few our readers are asking …

Q: I’ve been perusing design magazines and popular design apps, and it seems like there’s no definitive style dominating over another. What exactly are the trends for 2024?

A: Trends in 2024 are remarkably diverse, allowing individuals to define their own styles. From my experiences at markets and while shopping for clients, I’ve observed that the styles are all over the map. However, transitional style appears to be a crowd favorite. Picture transitional design as the harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary aesthetics – a style that isn’t as heavy and stuffy as traditional décor nor as cold and stark as contemporary designs. Think clean, simple lines paired with the warmth of light wood and luxurious fabrics, showcasing a mix of textures like chenille, velvet, cotton, suede, leather, and wool. Typically, the base colors for furniture, paint, and the overall home aesthetic are neutral, embracing warm grays, tans, or warm whites. Colors are introduced through accessories, rugs, pillows, and art. Despite its slightly eclectic nature, transitional design exudes a calming and comfortable ambiance. This style gained prominence post-2020 when everyone was staying home more and the focus shifted to creating homes that were light, clean, simple, and free from clutter. The key to transitional design is simplicity, and I always advise my clients to design their homes based on what they love. While trends come and go, classic furniture pieces act like timeless wardrobe staples – get the basics right, and accessories can easily adapt to changing trends.

Q: Is gray here to stay? It seems to have been popular for quite some time, but it’s not my favorite.

A: Gray is still a contender, but the trend is leaning towards warm grays with green and brown undertones. Tans and warm whites are making a comeback. Lighter hues are preferred for paint colors, often just a shade darker than the trim for a subtle contrast. Wallpaper is experiencing a resurgence, and creativity knows no bounds in its application. Ceilings are becoming popular canvases for dramatic focal points using wallpaper. Accent walls remain an immensely popular staple, providing a wonderful enhancement for many rooms. Murals, particularly landscapes, are swiftly making their mark, adding depth, serenity, and tranquility to any space.

Q: I want to update my home on a minimal budget. Where can I get the most bang for my buck while keeping resale in mind?

A: Updating lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, cabinet knobs/ pulls, and doorknobs is by far the most cost-effective way to breathe new life into your home. If you’re still stuck in the shiny brass era, it’s time for an update. The color choice for these updates depends on your home’s existing features, such as cabinet color, flooring finish, and paint colors. Gold is making a comeback, but today’s version is a warmer gold with a matte finish, steering clear of the brassy tones of the ’80s. Pairing gold with black can create a sophisticated look when done thoughtfully. Swapping out older pillows and accessories for more contemporary ones is another budget-friendly update that makes a significant impact. An interior designer can assist with these changes in a short period of time, giving your home a refreshed and modern appearance.

Wintertime in central North Carolina, much like the fickle weather it brings, sparks curiosity and uncertainty. The design trends for 2024 reflect this unpredictability, offering a diverse range of styles where individuality takes center stage. The design landscape of 2024 encourages homeowners to embrace their unique tastes, making each living space a canvas for creativity and personal expression.

Rhonda Benvie Plummer

The owner of Help Me Rhonda Interiors and Open Door Furniture & Accents, a furniture and accessories store, in Raleigh. Visit or, or call 919-263-9054.