Design Recipes: Try using these on-trend materials

By Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Materials in many interior environments serve as the icing on the cake. Materials can add interest, color and texture. Whether an intriguing material is used as an overall element or as an accent, they can help take your interior environment to a new level.

Two tables with concrete bases add an industrial element to this living space.

Looking for materials ideas? Here are some hot trends.

1. Concrete. This material is a staple for those looking for an edgy, industrial vibe. From countertops to flooring and even furniture, concrete is a modern material.

2. Wood. Wood adds instant warmth and texture. Looking for something unique? Consider using a large slab piece of wood with an organic edge or a wood accent piece.

Faux fur stools with acrylic legs add a touch of glamour to this bedroom.

3. Faux fur. Faux fur is a go-to for many interior designers. From toss pillows to furniture, faux fur adds instant texture.

4. Lacquer. While it may be a little bit more difficult to clean than matte finishes, lacquer adds a sense of shine and sheen.

5. Faux bone. From mirrors to accent pieces and even furniture, faux bone can add a global element.

6. Rice paper and woven rope. Texture adds a lot of interest to a space, and woven textures tend to be near the top of the list.

7. Sheepskin. Soft and sumptuous, sheepskin can be a great alternative to traditional rugs.

8. Velvet. When looking for upholstery options, consider velvet. Velvet is not only long-lasting and durable, it also adds a sense of elegance.

9. Brass. Brass materials and finishes are here to stay. Whether an accent or the primary finish, you can’t go wrong with brass if you are looking for an elegant touch.

10. Faux skin, such as shagreen. Faux or “stamped” materials help add a sense of texture and depth.

A lacquered dresser adds an instant sense of elegance.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at