Just like fashion, interior design undergoes major changes year in and year out with trends coming and going and fads taking the scene by storm. The inside of Bakersfield homes are as unique as the homeowners themselves, acting like an extension of their personalities, making the possibilities endless. To make things a little easier, interior designer Nancy Alvarado provides insight what to look out for to create that perfect space.

What’s Hot

2018 seems to be the year to go toward a bolder look. Deep colors and rich fabrics are just the beginning. Woven accent pieces are back and dark metals have replaced the cooler stainless look and big wall art is more prevalent and easier to find.

Cooling Off

Design forecasts seem to say that rustic and industrial looks are overdone and on the way out. Opting for smaller, more flexible versions of those styles provide more versatility. White on white is also out, yet I still love it and I have many designer friends who do, too. I believe trend following is also on the way out – it’s really more about creating a flexible design that reflects the way you feel and the things you love.

Living Rooms

Since a living room is probably an area of your home where you spend a lot of time, it should be comfortable for you. Pay attention to the way you actually live in the space. Can you easily view the television while you lounge on the sofa or in a chair? Is there enough room to walk around a coffee table so you aren’t bruising your shins? Try not to line everything up against the walls. If you stay neutral with furniture, don’t be afraid to have fun with pillows and accessories. Wall art is always a good idea. If you find something you love, don’t be afraid to use it as the inspiration for the entire room

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Remodeling or updating kitchens and bathrooms don’t need to cost an arm and a leg. There are simple and cost-effective updates that can make a kitchen or bathroom function better and look renewed. Paint is obviously at the top of that list, whether it be on the cabinets, on the walls or both. We all know that everyone gathers in a kitchen, so it’s worth your time, money and effort to make it somewhere people want to be in.

With the option to buy an entire new bathroom vanity at a reasonable price, updating a bathroom has become a weekend DIY project for many. If the budget doesn’t allow for big bathroom changes, try a new vanity light, some fluffy new towels and a new shower curtain.


A bedroom is your escape from the stresses of the day. There is nothing like walking into your bedroom, falling on your bed and feeling like it’s all about you. It’s all about the bedding. I tell people to learn to love lots of pillows, because even if they are supposed to be strictly decorative, nothing beats an afternoon nap in all those pillows with the warm sun shining in through the window. If you stick with a neutral comforter or bedspread, pillows can be the best way to add color, texture, or pattern to your bedroom. The furniture in your bedroom doesn’t have to match – it simply has to work together. An upholstered headboard can add softness and luxury. Curved wood is big for 2018 and a nightstand or side table is a great way to embrace a trend like that. Try not to go too bright with wall color because you actually want to be able to sleep and some colors just aren’t conducive to sleep. Don’t be afraid to paint or wallpaper.

Before Taking on a Design Project …

I can’t state this strongly enough: You need to BE PATIENT. Everything takes time and there are so many things that can’t be anticipated. Television shows that show complete house renovations and redesigns are fun to watch and a great source of inspiration, but they do a disservice to people expecting that everything can be finished in one hour, one day or one weekend. Unrealistic time expectations are one of the biggest hurdles for people to overcome. So be just patient and remember that you are going to love your house when it’s finished. If you can say that you “feel good” about your home, I’d say, “Congratulations; you did it!”

Now sit back, relax and enjoy it.

Nancy Alvarado provides design and consulting services to private clients and companies.

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