Neutral Design Trends

Neutral Design Trends


We have seen a lighter and softer design trend in the past year. Customers want to update their spaces by using lighter colors and textures instead of rich deep colors. Grey is still popular, but it has a much softer and warmer cast.

While designing this room, the client knew she would paint the walls a light, warm grey. Her stone fireplace had light grey and warmer shades. The floor was also more grey than red or yellow, and it became our color palette for the spaces. If the floor had been an orange or red tone, I would have pulled those colors into the scheme.

“Everything is my favorite. The light color palette that we chose is so timeless and feels really cozy against the darker flooring and stone in the fireplace. It feels and looks so comfortable and inviting. Also, the unique features on the actual pieces we picked – such as the tufted ottoman, spools on the chairs, and even the lines of the couch give it interest and character.” —Home Owner

Softer shades are echoed in the rugs -textured rugs, tone-on-tone rugs, natural rugs -all working together to tie in the colors and add interest to the lighter color scheme. This year, we have seen fewer traditional oriental rugs and more rugs with a softer look, whether it’s a beige or grey-ish shade or a combination of both. Current popular rugs have a traditional design but in very soft muted colors.

Furniture also tends to be lighter and features different textures and smaller designs. Textured or patterned pillows and art add interest and color to these soft-toned rooms.

I love these new trends in design and how my client’s home turned out. The space is soft and comfortable, and I feel it will be current and stylish for a long time.


Wendy Flynn - Dream House

Design House room

‘Putting the cart before the horse’ is a commonly used idiom referring to doing things in the incorrect order or getting ahead of yourself before you have thoroughly thought something through. Well, at Dream House, we like the phrase, ‘don’t put the drywall up before the Designer’. Never heard of that term? We coined it. The heart of this message is our tried and true advice – you should bring in an Interior Designer on a new-build project before you have the drywall installed because it’s much harder to make changes once the project is that far along.

What are the top ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ comments our clients make when they tell us about a project they did without design help?


Fixture Placement – not just lighting, but outlets, light switches, etc. There’s nothing worse than having a gorgeous new home and thinking, “Well how am I going to access that light switch if I want drapes? Why didn’t I think about lighting for my built-in? Why isn’t there an outlet where I need it to be?”


Small But Important Details – like the fireplace, accent walls, or other architectural details. With so many decisions to make, it is important to think each of them through. Bringing in a Design professional (who’s only focus is to make your interior perfect for you) will ensure that trained eyes comb through the details so you don’t have costly and time consuming change orders.

Design House room

Finishes – with so many different choices, it’s hard to make sure all your selections point to the overall design direction. It’s easy to get lost along the way. Our Designers don’t get bogged down with personal styles, we simply focus on your look and how to best achieve it. From cabinets and countertops to light fixtures and doorknobs – leave no detail undesigned.

Design House Chair

Furniture – last but not least! We are seeing more and more clients on new projects, planning and ordering their furniture in the early phases of design and build, so everything is move-in ready when the home is complete.

We specialize in thoughtful, long-lasting design that takes both style and function into account. From turnkey design to one room, we offer furniture, accessories, lighting, window coverings, rugs, and more. Email or call us to schedule a Design Consultation.

Samsung Customized Fridge

Samsung Customized Fridge

Colorful, Coordinated Kitchen Appliances

Samsung has designed a new line of innovative, functional, and infinitely customizable kitchen appliances called Bespoke. Imagine a kitchen with color coordinating microwaves, dishwashers, and refrigerators. Partnering with Benjamin Moore, their design will eventually bring over 4,000 color options to homeowners. To start, Samsung only offers its customizable refrigerator in the US. We will have to wait a bit longer for all of the appliance options.

2021 Wallpaper Trends

Wallpaper is Booming

The popularity of wallpaper has been growing steadily, and it’s about to boom. Nothing can convey style and texture better than wallpaper. Bring color, pattern, and presence into your home through this incredibly versatile medium. Its benefits include durability and longevity. And it’s cost-effective in the long run.

2021 Warm Color Trends

Warmer Colors are Coming for Grey

Grey is still the most popular neutral, but earthy hues like rich, warm yellows, oranges, and browns are making their way into homes. Not only are these colors a great alternative, but they play off a neutral pallet beautifully. Our upholstery partners have beautifully incorporated these fantastic warm-toned textiles into their lines this season.

2021 Home Office Trends

Hello, Home Office

Home offices are a reality so why not make them a focal point? The temporary transfer to home has become a more permanent position for many so embrace the creative. While an office space has certain non-negotiable criteria, leave traditional office decor in the building, and design a space that meets or even rivals the rest of your home.


Dream House Design Philosophy

Design trends tend to come and go (some more quickly than others). We are experts at understanding your look and professionally work to steer you toward a direction you will enjoy for years and years to come. Be it trendy or classic, eclectic, or monotone. Our goal as designers is to create spaces that reflect the narrative you want to tell while allowing flexibility to incorporate new trends or a growing household. Our philosophy is to create spaces that are loved by our clients and enhance their lives. It’s as simple as that.

Dream House

Check out our design tips for dressing up your home for the holidays!

From Frederick Lifestyle: Dressing up your home for the holidays is a bit like dressing yourself for a holiday get together. Adding a sparkling necklace or shiny earrings can really brighten up your look. Similarly, bringing in a mirrored tray or mercury glass candle holders will enhance the festive mood. Mary Beutler of Dream House Furniture and Design in Frederick says, “Additionally when decorating your home for the holidays, keep in mind these key design principles.”  READ MORE»

outdoor furniture

We can all admit that this year has not panned out to be what we hoped and dreamed the new year and decade would bring. Amid the curveballs thrown, we are adjusting – perhaps resituating to balance our mostly at home life, to make it enjoyable and meaningful. The more time spent at home, the more of an oasis and haven it becomes. So what are some Designer recommended pieces that should be a staple in your home as we continue to settle into this new phase?

home office

1. Home Office

For many, working from home is no longer temporary, but has evolved into a more permanent situation. Your home office can and should feel like a place you look forward to going to every morning. A place where you are organized, energized, and even revitalized. We have several gorgeous desks, comfy chairs, and lots of wallpaper, lamps, and accessories to take your office to the next level.

sleeper sofa

2. Sleeper Sofa

As we look to travel without previous restraints, we are seeing people host family and friends for more extended periods of time. Give your family and friends the feeling of their own bed without having to give away a whole bedroom. Our Comfort Sleepers come in chairs, sofas, and sectionals so your “guestroom” can be anywhere.

outdoor furniture

3. Outdoor Furniture

Spending time outside has become essential now that we find our indoor activities limited. The second-best sofa to invest in, is the one outside. If you are looking for a dining set, sofas, chairs, poufs, or outdoor rugs, we’ve got it… It is so worth it to have nice seating outdoors. We love adding string lights, lanterns, and planters to create a welcoming paradise.

reading chair

4. Reading Chair

Reading, napping, working, really this chair should allow you to do everything in it. We have so many great options – our top picks being the Comfort Air Chair by American Leather (imagine floating on a cloud) or the Comfort Recliner also by American Leather. Because sitting is such a personal experience, we show our favorite styles on the floor for you to test for yourself, don’t just take our word for it!


5. Plants

Green thumb or no, greenery of any kind is a definite mood booster. Find yourself a succulent, vine, or fig tree and pair it with the perfect pot or basket. Make a gorgeous arrangement to hang on your front porch or a wreath. We’ve got something for everyone, and if all else fails, go faux! Take your plants indoors or outside with our versatile collections.

Kid Friendly Furniture

Pet Friendly Furniture
One comment we hear every day in the store is, “I can’t get a sofa, I have kids and pets.” We are happy to inform you that the world of upholstery has expanded and improved, and it’s really exciting!

Years ago, when we first started working in the furniture industry, the fabrics for durability were Olefin and Herculon. They were ugly, uncomfortable, and rough. If you wanted something that would wear, they were your only options. Yuk.

Pet & Kid Friendly Furniture

Happily, over the past few years, we have seen a big change in the fabrics offered. There is no reason to wait to buy upholstery when there are now so many options available. American Leather and CR Laine, the two upholstery companies we carry, offer a variety of family and pet-friendly fabrics. Names like Sunbrella (originally made for outdoor cushions), Crypton, Sustain, and Revolution have been added to the fabric selections for both companies. These fabrics are not only extremely durable and easy to clean, but they also feel soft and are comfortable! Even a pale color sofa could be an option.

Kid Friendly Furniture

The next time you’re ready to replace an old sofa, but feel you have to wait because of children and pets, come to Dream House and explore the new fabrics. By purchasing a quality sofa frame and a quality durable fabric, your sofa should last for a long time!


Wendy Flynn - Dream House

Styled Shelves

Style Guide Shelves

Bookshelves, new or old, pose the same design dilemma: how do you find a balance between practical, sentimental, and decorative items to make the perfect eye-appealing display? It is a daunting task, but we have a few tips to get your shelves in beautiful order.

The first step is to assess what you need on the shelves. They often have to hold many books, some decorative pieces, and a few functional items that don’t look great displayed (like coasters, remotes, etc.). Once you decide what has to be on the shelves (this is a great opportunity to declutter), your journey begins.

Some of our shelf staples:

Faux Plants

Faux Plant by Kalalou found at Dream House



Bookends by Cyan found at Dream House

Coordinating picture frames

Picture Frame by Dekorayson found at Dream House

A decorative object

Urchins by Global Views found at Dream House

A box or basket

Styled Shelves

Styled by Mary

Begin by assembling your shelves with the necessities. Mix in our “staples” with what you already have. Books can be stacked upright, sideways, piled, or even placed backward. One tip for a book-heavy shelf is to break them up! By grouping books and changing their orientation, it helps a shelf look staged and adds decor value. Make sure to space out any plants or pictures. You don’t want a whole shelf to feel like it is devoted to a certain item. Skipping shelves and zig-zagging placement from one to the next helps them look organic.

Styled Bookshelves

Shelf by Studio A

We wish you well on your shelf-designing projects! If you have any questions or want some help, please stop by, email, message, or call us! We’d love to see your pictures, and we love to help accessorize, so come by and see what’s new!

2020 Trends

New year, new trends and we are loving some of what’s forecasted! We’ve already jumped on board with these favorites:

2020 Trends

Here are more trends we know will be great:
Rooms Painted From Head to Toe
Rattan and Wicker Furniture
Bold Wallpapers for Powder Rooms

Looking for more “In” and “Out” predictions?
Read the list of 50 predictions for 2020 here»

Holiday Entertaining

Holiday Entertaining
Find festive and pretty tableware at Dream House to show off all your favorite holiday treats this season. Not sure what to make? We share some of our favorite recipes below…


—Miriam Rosenthal

This family recipe is always on our holiday table. Simple. Classic. Delicious.—Cassie



(3) 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
(4) eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
A squeeze of lemon juice or 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained, added at end of mixing.

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers or vanilla wafers

1-pint sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Combine all filling ingredients and beat in an electric mixer for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Use butter to grease cheesecake pan and melt the rest to combine with ground graham crackers or vanilla wafers.
  3. Pour mixture into a cheesecake form and pack firmly with a small bowl to make a firm crust. Add filling.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
    (Cheesecake is ready when the center does not jiggle, but take it out before it cracks.)
  5. Cool for 10 minutes. Combine sour cream with with 1 tsp. vanilla and spoon on top.
  6. Bake 6 minutes at 475 degrees. Refrigerate. (Preferably made the day before serving.)

Ginger Short Bread

l make these delicious treats for friends and family every year and they are a huge hit! —Wendy

1 cup butter softened
2/3 cups sugar
2 tsp ground crystallized ginger
2 cups Flour

  1. Mix butter, ginger, and sugar until creamy
  2. Add flour (The dough will be crumbly.)
  3. Press into a 9 x 12 glass pan  1/2” thick
  4. Take a knife and score into equal bite-size pieces.
  5. Bake at 325 for 32-35 minutes until edges are golden brown
  6. Cut along score marks as soon as it comes out of the oven wiping knife as you go.
  7. Cool. (Can be stored in a plastic container up to 2 weeks.)

Bread Arugula Salad

This dish has become a big winner for my family around the holidays, and it easily transforms into a vegetarian-friendly option. —Mary


8 ounces slightly stale open-crumbed, chewy, peasant-style bread (not sourdough)
6 tablespoons to 8 tablespoons mild-tasting olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 pinch salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons pine nuts
2 to 3 garlic cloves, slivered
1/4 cup slivered scallions (about 4 scallions)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
2 tablespoons lightly salted chicken stock or lightly salted water
3 handfuls of arugula, frisée, or red mustard greens, carefully washed and dried


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Tear bread into irregular 2- to 3-inch chunks—you should get about 4 cups.
  3. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, lightly coating them, and broil very briefly, just to lightly color the edges. If you’d like to toast the pine nuts (recommended) you can put them on your broiler tray as well, but watch them very carefully because they cook quickly!
  4. Combine about 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss about 1/4 cup of this tart vinaigrette with the torn toasted bread in a wide salad bowl; the bread will be unevenly dressed.
  6. Taste one of the more saturated pieces. If it is bland, add a little salt and pepper and toss again.
  7. Heat a spoonful of the olive oil in a small skillet, add the garlic and scallions, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until softened. Don’t let them color.
  8. Scrape into the bread and fold to combine.
  9. Add the dried cranberries along with the pine nuts, if they were not already mixed with the bread scraps from the broiling step. Dribble the chicken stock or lightly salted water over the salad and fold again.
  10. Taste a few pieces of bread—a fairly saturated one and a dryish one. If it is bland, add salt, pepper, and/or a few drops of vinegar, then toss well.
  11. Add the greens, a drizzle of vinaigrette, and fold well. Taste again.




These days I find myself daydreaming about snuggling into a cozy, made bed and sleeping for days (as, I am sure, most new moms do). Peeling back soft plush layers, curling beneath crisp sheets, and weighed down by quilts and duvets is a universally enjoyable experience. Some of my current obsessions are inspired by one of our bedding lines…

The boho ombré mixed with the structured geometric is unexpectedly pleasing.

Monotone is always a favorite go-to for bedrooms.

Here’s the trending neutral with a pop of color look.

A pattern that nods to animal print is fun and luxurious at the same time.

Pillows are also one of my favorite things. Interior designer Alisa Bovino’s Pillow Size Combinations is a good reference for anyone looking to mix up their bedroom decor.

Are you in need of new bedding, pillows, or paint colors for your bedroom? We’ve got several wonderful lines and full-service design resources to make your bedroom goals a reality. Call us 301-360-0680 or come see us and enjoy the cozy season!

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