Grace Kaynor

As an interior designer and co-owner of Sotre, a Magazine Street store specializing in sustainable home décor, Grace Kaynor of Grace Kaynor Designs keeps her fingers on the pulse of the design world. These days, she finds the latest trends by visiting virtual markets, which have temporarily replaced in-person markets due to COVID-19.

With people spending more time at home, Kaynor says cool, calm colors, cheerful colors and soft, energetic colors, which induce a sense of comfort and well-being, are all trending. 

“Yellow is having a moment and Aegean Teal [an ocean blue] is the Benjamin Moore color of the year,” she noted.

Outdoor furniture, rattan, jute, blinds made of natural materials, comfortable seating, quality mattresses and bedding, Indian block prints, macramé, indoor plants and living walls, easy-care woven placemats and coasters, and outdoor fabrics and rugs are all on her radar as well.

“Natural, organic and sustainable continues to be huge,” she said. “That is the direction we must go to save the planet.”

Kaynor advises against creating a “trendy” look. She believes in designing your home so that “it’s a reflection of you and your spirit and how you live in your space,” advises using restraint when choosing of-the-moment items and says working with a designer can help.

“You don’t want a whole room of rattan,” she cautioned. “But you might want rattan chairs with a white dining table and a crystal chandelier.”

For those who want to bring a trend home with minimal fuss, she suggests refreshing pieces you already have with on-trend accessories. A piece of “brown furniture,” might be updated with a colorful, ceramic lamp. (If you really dislike a piece of furniture you have, give it a DIY makeover by painting it or wrapping it in grass cloth for example and then, add the new piece). The addition of a single piece – a mirror, headboard or daybed — can transform a whole room.

To give a trend staying power, she recommends investing in the best quality you can afford, but says good design doesn’t have to be expensive. A few of her favorite ways to satisfy a craving for the new and trend-worthy at an affordable price: Updating bedlinens, adding fresh candles or changing pillows with the seasons. On the other hand, no trend is worth even a minimal investment if it doesn’t speak to you. 

“Don’t incorporate something because it’s current,” Kaynor said. “Surround yourself with things you love.”

  1. Don’t be afraid of color. Go bold with a wall color or dip your toe in the water by using colorful pillows, chair upholstery, or accessories.
  2. Go for sustainability whenever possible.
  3. Good quality lasts but doesn’t always have to be expensive. 



Grace Kaynor has degrees in design from Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, was a finalist for the National Association of Home Builders’ “National Home of the Year” in 2020, and was winner of the “Healthy Home of the Year” category that is part of the National Association of Home Builders’ “Best in American Living Awards” in 2020.

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