Interior Design Trends

Interior design trends can be exciting and very attractive. Some tend to stick around, while others fade very quickly. Deciding on how to add a design trend to your home can be a difficult decision, especially if you’re doing a little more than adding some throw cushions to your sofa. Here is our decorators’ advice on what trends will last and how to apply each to your home.

Grey Colour Palettes

Grey has been a dominating neutral colour palette for a number of years now, and will continue to be popular in the coming years. The colour is being used in anything from flooring, to cabinetry, paint colour, and furniture. Greys in the same shade (think blue based greys versus yellow based) work well together, and support many different accent colours. The trick to using grey is to not use too much of it. In colour psychology, grey can be a soothing colour as it stays in the background, but can become draining over time as it doesn’t have much “personality”. Industrial spaces are typically grey as they are utilitarian spaces. The best way to use grey is to keep it as a background for other colour in the room. The picture below shows a warm wood floor contrasting against the neutral grey cabinetry.

Add a touch of natural wood warmth to contrast the neutral grey palette

Add a touch of natural wood warmth to contrast the neutral grey palette —

Blue and yellow pop against the neutral grey backgrounds

Blue and yellow pop against the neutral grey backgrounds —

The living room above is a great example of allowing the blue and yellow colours to really stand out against the neutral grey background.

Because of its neutrality and ease of use with other colours, grey will be a colour we will see in interiors for years to come.

Natural Materials

In this day of super fast technology and continuing disconnectedness, people are looking for ways to slow down and get back to the basics. When added to interiors, natural materials like wood, marble, stone, and linens help soothe and calm, and bring you back to our natural world.

Reclaimed wood can be used for a touch of texture and presonality

Reclaimed wood can be used for a touch of texture and personality —

Woods like the picture above look beautiful contrasted against very modern pieces. The juxtaposition of old and new highlight the pieces individually, while maintaining a cohesive look.

Marble has been used more and more for counter tops, backsplashes, flooring and furniture. The classic look can go modern or traditional, making it a very flexible natural material to add to your interior.

Marble used in a modern kitchen

Marble used in a modern kitchen —

A traditional style bathroom using marble

A traditional style bathroom using marble —

Adding natural material to your interior can be as easy as bringing in a plush wool area rug or natural cotton toss cushions. There are many DIY projects out there from installing reclaimed wood on an accent wall to making your own light fixtures from found materials.

Whatever your style, Alford’s can help guide you from top to bottom. Our designers are here to help with everything from flooring, to paint colour, to furnishing.

You’re an Alford’s Customer.

brown leather modern sofa

What You Should Know About Leather

When buying furniture, you’ll often be asked “would you prefer leather, or fabric”? If you’ve never had leather furniture before, you’ll probably want to know more about the product. If you’ve always owned leather, then it’s time to freshen up your knowledge!

What is leather?

Leather is made from the hides of animals. Exotic leathers can be used for furniture, like ostrich or crocodile, but most leather you’ll see on show room floors is from cows. Leather is known for its durability, flexibility, and long lasting nature. The hides arrive at factories, they are tanned, dyed, and sent out to furniture manufacturers to use as upholstery.

Types of Leather

There are different types of leather that are used: Full-grain, top-grain, corrected-grain, split, and bonded leather.


Full-grain leather refers to hides that have not been corrected, sanded, or buffed to remove imperfections in the leather, like bug bites, wrinkles, scars, or even branding. This type of leather will develop a patina over time, and is very breathable. It is not known for its stain resistance, so young families should beware!




Bug Bites


One of the most common types of leather used in high-end products is top-grain leather. The split part of the leather is cut away, resulting in a thinner and more pliable leather than full-grain. The surface has a protective coat added to it, making it more resistant to stains, and won’t patina over time.


Corrected-grain leather is much like it sounds: the grain has been corrected through sanding, and a grain pattern is embossed onto the surface. Stains or dyes are added to the leather. This type of leather is also much more resistant to stains and also won’t patina over time.


The next type of leather is called split. Remember top-grain leather is split into two? Well that back portion is used in this category. Since there is no grain left on this leather, it is also corrected and embossed with a grain pattern.


Leather Swatches

Bonded Leather

While bonded leather contains leather, it is mainly man made. Manufacturers shred up leather, bond it to a backing, and apply a polyurethane coating which is embossed to look like leather. It is more environmentally friendly and consistent than natural leather, however it is nearly impossible to repair and doesn’t breathe.

Leather Grading

Each furniture company adopts a grading system for their leathers. The price of your furniture piece will depend on what grade the leather is. Lower grade leathers are generally less expensive, with more correction, and higher grade leathers are more expensive with less correction. They will come in a variety of colors, even very bright greens and reds.


Leather Colours

Environmental Impact

Leather does have an environmental impact. Chemicals are used in the tanning process, and air pollution is a result of dehairing and the liming process. However, leather does biodegrade over time, while artificial products like vinyl will take hundreds of years to decompose.

What do buy

If you decide to purchase leather, take some time to think about the use of the piece and how long you’ll have it. Active, young families may want to stay away from full-grain and light colored leathers. If you love to change up your accessories often, a trendy colored leather may not be right for you. Think a neutral colour like beige, chocolate, or the newly popular grey. However, if you love red and know you want to live with it, just go for it!

Whether you’re looking to purchase a chair or a large sectional, the staff at Alford’s will be happy to help you find the perfect piece for your home.

You’re an Alford’s Customer.


Light fabric sofa

What Happens at High Point (… stays at High Point)

Last week we were at High Point, North Carolina for the largest furnishings trade show in the world. Boasting an incredible 11.5 million square feet of show space, if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, it doesn’t exist. The market is put on twice a year and brings in about 75,000 attendees to the more than 2000 exhibitions.

We send a small group every spring and fall market to go through what’s up and coming, and choose some new pieces to bring to our show room floor. The group heads to all our suppliers to see what they have come up with this season, and we even take a look at some suppliers we don’t carry — just in case they sell something we must have!

Every supplier has a show space, filled with furnishings and decorated to the nines. High Point is definitely the place to find inspiration from the world’s most creative people.

Keep your eye out for our new additions from High Point, which will be arriving soon!

You’re an Alford’s Customer