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  • Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine

Napa Designers Dish on Today’s Popular Trends



By Kathleen Reynolds


From zebra wallpaper in the 1940s to shag carpeting and wood paneling in the 1970s, design trends have run the gamut. Not to take away anything from design firm Scalamandré’s prancing zebras – Napa’s 2023 interiors strive for a more relaxed, fresh and comfortable.


We asked three Napa design experts what they are seeing now, and how we can incorporate them into our own homes.

Laurynn Dilley is an interior designer with design company Brick & Mantel, a woman and locally owned business in Bel Aire Plaza. Brick & Mantel specializes in full-scale design services, window treatments, customizable furniture, lighting, area rugs, and small decor items.


“Trends we’re noticing this year include warmer wood tones, earthy colors, texture, and fun window treatments,” says Laurynn. “The colors that are most requested are warmer neutral colors and fun accents colors, mostly greens and blues.

Cathy Reat of Design Showcase says they are a full-service retail design center that offers kitchen and bath design as well as products such as tile, countertops, hardware, window coverings, cabinetry, and plumbing, shares a similar thought about wood tones.


“White kitchens are a classic but adding light color wood softens the overall design,” Cathy says. “A very popular wood is called rift cut white oak. The grain is straight, but the wood gives a very natural feel to the space. You could have the island in wood and the perimeter in a soft white shade.”

“As far as color goes, we don’t tell people what they should select, but we can tell from talking to many people every day that customers are moving to a warmer palette. If we lay out three colors of grey tile for a floor people are selecting the warmer grey version.”


Janice Clifton, owner of Abbey Carpets Unlimited, says they specialize in hardwood, laminate, carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tile and tile floors.

Janice says, “We also carry in stock a very large inventory of all types of setting materials, especially for tile. We have expert non-commissioned sales staff in all areas of our store that can help our customers make the right choice for their homes.”


She shares her unique perspective of décor.


“I’m excited this year to see carpets come back with some strong showings in design and color. Hard surface products have taken over many homes and carpet companies are now coming up with beautiful styles and colors to provide area rugs for these hard surfaces.”


The experts agree on what trends are being replaced.

“The stark white and grey kitchens are out,” says Laurynn of Brick & Mantel. “So are cold colors and minimalist style.”

“Cool Greys are phasing out in paint surfaces and the color is moving to a warmer tone,” says Cathy of Design Showcase.

“Grey is still a good neutral, but it should move away from being cold.”


The most popular rooms to redecorate are living and family rooms.

“Public spaces are usually the first on people’s list to touch up,” says Laurynn.

“Find things that inspire you, ”she advises people who are unsure of what they want.

“Whether it’s a magazine clipping, a fun patterned fabric, a piece of art or even a grouping of colors you like.”

“Clients should come prepared with the dimensions of the space—although we will come measure—the deadline for their project and budget.”Remodeling is usually reserved for kitchens and bathrooms.

Cathy offers a suggestion, “We can help them by asking questions about their goals and preferences to design a custom concept to include all parts of the space. What do they want to accomplish? Do they want to freshen up their space with knobs or pulls and a new top? Perhaps they need a new space to improve storage or to rework the footprint for better efficiency. Of course, they should have a rough budget on what they want to spend.”


Janice offers her unique perspective from the ground up.


“Clients should feel free to ask all kinds of questions about the flooring they are choosing. Wear factor, maintenance needs, expectations for the life of the floor. These questions change with the type of use, but they should feel free to have those types of discussions with their salesperson.”

We asked the designers what was special about their companies and what they want customers to know.

“We strive to find US made products that are of great quality,” says Laurynn. “Brick & Mantel offers both commercial and residential design. We have had some fun tasting room projects and are excited about our outdoor collection, as well as new drapery fabrics & hardware for window treatments.”


“Because Design Showcase has a full array of products, we believe there is no need to shop at many different places to find the best choices or prices for our clients,” says Cathy. “Tile offerings are very exciting because the shapes and textures coming from Europe offer great new fresh concepts. Also because of digital technology, porcelain can look so much like stone that it makes it an easy care option.


Cathy adds, “We can give them a custom space and help with finding a contractor if needed because we have 30 years of experience working with contractors in Napa Valley.


Our products are price competitive even though we are designers as well. We are a retail showroom, so if you need tile or plumbing, we are here to help you.”


“Making a quality choice for your home leaves you with so many options and we try to make sure our customers make the best choice,” says Janice. “We also make sure their job is completed successfully with quality installation. I am truly blessed to have my employees. You will always get treated kindly and professionally no matter how large or small your job happens to be.”


Janice summarizes the sentiment of all the designers. “We always hope we have helped our clients have a little more beauty in their homes, something that makes them smile when they walk in their door.”

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