As far as home décor goes, trends for 2011 suggest a happy blend of nature and the vintage. If inspiration from nature, with colours such as shades of green, yellow and earthy tones dominates the palette then vintage furniture and accessories are in. If you are planning to redo your living room, here are some tips.

“Less is more” best describes the order of the day, with minimalist design setting the pace this year. This is a simple and open style of setting which diffuses clutter and gives a sense of space and relaxation.

In terms of architecture it means open floor plans with little or no dividing walls. Walls with probably light or neutral colours but its the choice of furnishings that will set the mood.

If you prefer the subtle look, you could go for lighter shades but if you like a bit of drama, vibrant fabrics (colours or textures) would do the trick. Keeping the eco-friendly theme in mind, the prints and motifs are mostly inspired by nature or you can choose others keeping the colours in mind. “With more people choosing to ‘go green', natural materials like wood, bamboo, cane and rattan are preferred for furniture,” says interior designer, Tanya Stephen.

Vintage furniture is also back with a bang, so if you have antique pieces stored away , bring ‘em out, dust ‘em and flaunt your heirloom. If you would rather buy one but feel that the real thing is rather heavy on the pocket, antique replicas are easily available in the market.

“For furnishings, apart from leather, fabrics like jute, cotton or silk are the trendsetters this year. Bright and funky cushions help to liven up the spirit,” says Divya Pai, store manager at Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd, Commercial Street, Bangalore.

The use of natural lighting is an important aspect of minimalist design. This not just brightens the room but brings in warmth and freshness. During the day, sheer curtains, blinds or a combination of both helps to control the flow of light. Bamboo blinds are very popular and are available in a wide variety of colours to suit your décor. For the evenings, the use of warm floor lamps or pendant lights works well to set the perfect mood.

Accessories hold the look together. Dhurries or rugs made from natural fibre or jute would complement any decor. Since space is an important criterion, accessories need to be chosen with care. Pick items that are functional and yet have an aesthetic appeal. “A family heirloom, a portrait or a few photo frames adds to the personal touch. If you like a bit of nature in your space, an aquarium, potted plants or fresh flowers are a great choice”, says Tanya. Another ‘must have' are mirrors.

They can do wonders for your décor; they reflect light, brighten the room and can make it look larger.