interior design living room in mt laurel

Top Interior Design Trends from Ashley Byrd, Mt Laurel’s Go-To Interior Designer

When buyers purchase a new construction home in Mt Laurel, the building process leads to many design decisions. Which paint color, countertop, tile, light fixture, and flooring do you choose? It can often change the entire look and feel of your home.

Our goal is to build dream homes, outside and inside. That’s why new construction homebuyers work with our in-house Interior Designer, Ashley Byrd of Ashley Byrd Interiors. We recently sat down with Ashley to learn more about how she works with clients – both Mt Laurel homeowners and outside Mt Laurel – to create inspiring homes. Plus, she’ll tell us what’s new in interior design trends for 2017!

Tell us how you started in interior design and what you do in Mt Laurel?

I earned my Interiors degree at Auburn University. My initial plan was to study architecture, however after completing a summer internship I realized my true passion was interior design. After completing my degree I practiced with a local Birmingham firm, Petitjean & Kennedy Architects and later with a fantastic design firm in Nashville, Sorci & Swords Design.  My years with Sorci & Swords were especially constructive due to the broad scope of the projects. They specialized in high-end tenant work, music industry projects, hospitality and residential vacation properties.

I started Ashley Byrd Interiors in 2005.  We help with finish selections such as paint, tile, cabinetry, counter tops, lighting and plumbing fixtures. I also have many wonderful resources and workrooms for furniture, custom window treatments, linens, artwork, accessories, rugs and anything else one may need to complete their vision. I have been a professional member of ASID and certified by NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification).  I truly love owning my small design business.  The flexibility it affords me to be “Mom” to my two small children, which is priceless.

As Mt Laurel’s in-house interior designer, how do you help guide clients in choosing their selections?

Mt Laurel clients are the best!  I love the individuality and creativity each new homeowner brings to the table.  I try to help each client navigate the construction waters, which can be overwhelming unless you have a plan.  My process includes working closely with Town Builders to make all decisions in a timely and creative manner. I cannot say enough kind words about Town Builders.  The entire team makes building an enjoyable process. We outline every decision from cabinetry, tile selection and layout, lighting, plumbing and overall exterior and interior colors.

Several Mt Laurel clients take the design to the next level with furnishing, window treatments and artwork. I want the client to feel like their home is something truly special and one they are proud of.  I enjoy the phase of design where we can create unique features in the home that will make each new home an original. Client’s travels, family heirlooms, art and attention to unique details are what I look for to create a personal feel.  I believe your home should be your haven, where you are the most comfortable and aesthetically pleased.

Does the overall design of the Mt Laurel community influence the interior design elements inside the homes?

Absolutely!  Mt Laurel is a very special community in the sense that you are creating not just a home, but a lifestyle. Most of my Mt Laurel clients want a home where they can enjoy their friends and family and entertain comfortably. The “Arts and Crafts” architectural style of the Mt Laurel homes is carried through to the interior design of the home. I try to have the exterior elements flow into the interiors. You can see that particular style reflected in the architectural elements of the home, from the Shaker style cabinetry, the mantle design all the way to the spindles and newel posts of the stair design.

What do you think will be the top interior design trends in 2017 for the kitchen and living areas?

The design trends I am seeing for 2017 involve color.  I see the continuation of the neutral interior giving way to a blank canvas (wall paint, cabinetry and sofas). I think this allows for textures to take the center stage. Wonderful accent colors of moody blues and greens of all shades are utilized in artwork, custom window treatments, linens, pillows, wallpapers and accessories.

shiplap backsplash

Antique brass hardware shines against the shiplap backsplash and farmhouse sink. Photography by Tommy Daspit.

The Farmhouse look continues to be a very popular trend that works well with Mt Laurel homes. The beautiful white ship lap accents work well with the comfortable farmhouse look.

I love seeing the different finishes for lighting, plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware. Specialty metals such as champagne bronze, crystal and Lucite can dress-up any room.   Do not be afraid to mix your hardware finishes. The contrast in finishes will create a much more interesting and detailed room.

mt laurel kitchen

Light and airy kitchen featuring quartz counters and Kitchenaid appliances. Photographed by Tommy Daspit.

The kitchen is truly the heart of most homes. Kitchen design has changed drastically over the past few years. The kitchen probably has the highest level of design in the home. The great room, dining room and powder room were the three rooms that used to receive the most attention. Now, the kitchen is where you entertain and spend the most time.

Mt Laurel kitchens are a showplace with the highest attention to detail and planning. I believe the kitchen trends for 2017 will continue to be a detailed backsplash, this can essentially be treated as a piece of art. The design bar has been raised on quartz countertops. You can achieve an incredible look with a worry free durability.  One last kitchen trend… creative storage solutions for a clutter free kitchen.

What about the top trends for the master suite?

I would use one word to describe the trend for the master suite…sanctuary. All of my clients want their Master bedrooms to be a place of tranquility. Cozy reading nooks, great views and soothing colors have been a few of the trends I have been seeing. The master bathroom trends include soaking tubs, frameless glass showers, creative lighting and interesting tile designs. Incorporating the laundry room into a master closet is another trend.

master bathroom mt laurel

Double sink vanity and shower in a brand new master bathroom. Photographed by Tommy Daspit.

Are you seeing certain styles or trends resonating with Mt Laurel clients in particular?

I have noticed over the last few years that the clients devote time researching styles prior to beginning the building process.  Most of the clients I have worked with do their homework prior to our first consultation.  They know the current trends and they typically strike a balance between traditional and contemporary design that is transitional.  Mt Laurel clients typically have a great eye for current styles while incorporating beautiful antiques and eclectic accents.

For clients that are looking to get the most impact for their budget, what should they splurge on?

My suggestions for splurge items would be architectural accents such as wood details.  Creative wainscot, ship lap for a farmhouse look, or tongue & groove paneling could all be used as ceiling details or a focal point in a room.  I would also splurge on lighting, kitchen backsplash tile and master bathroom tile. I truly view these items as what makes a home yours.  I always tell my clients to make a wish list of the items you want to splurge on and discuss with your builder your options. Many times the builder and I can help you come up with creative solutions and a design that you are proud of.

To view more of Ashley’s beautiful design work, contact us to plan your visit to tour Mt Laurel’s model home and follow Ashley Byrd on Instagram here.

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