Every year there are a multitude of predictions and prognostications about trends and styles. From fashion runway shows, to furniture manufacturers, to the rock star designers that grace the pages of glossy magazines, everyone has an opinion on what’s hot and what’s not. We’ve taken it all in and while there are as many opinions in one direction as another, we’re ready to give you some very simple advice about designing and decorating this year and every year moving forward – do it your way and own it!
Sometimes simple can seem really complicated. Bombarded with television and magazine homes that make your eyes drool, it can be hard to decide what your style is or if you even have a style. But when some choices and suggestions are put in front of you, you know what you do and don’t like. In these cases, hearing some ideas can be helpful.
The direction of style changes over time, but typically these changes are not that dramatic. Manufacturers want you to see something new every year, but timeless style should be your goal. Here are ideas we have seen and experienced in the home furnishing industry recently that we think are worth mentioning, because great style has staying power and we believe these “trends” are here to stay for a while.
Let’s start with one of our enduring basic design tenants: rooms and furnishings need to have purpose. Open floor plans are evolving, and defined spaces for specific purposes within open plans are something we are seeing more of. Separate rooms can be a welcome space of quiet, but they will continue to need to accommodate multiple purposes.
Our desire to create a home retreat is here to stay. Comfortable, natural design elements contribute to calm interiors and support wellbeing. We’re seeing curvy lines in furnishings that suggest natural form over more traditional straight lines. There is a movement towards artisanal pieces that give a quality of authenticity to a space, such as an antique piece of furniture rater than a piece painted to look like an antique. And in every aspect of design, we are seeing a more refined, leaner look over the rustic aesthetic that has been popular for a decade or more.
Natural materials aren’t new in design but are stronger than ever. Stone surfaces, wood pieces in lighter shades, and rattan and caning are “in.” Textiles have texture and color. Neutral shades for walls will be fabulous until the end of time, but accent walls are coming back. A moody paint color on one wall can be a showstopper. Wallpaper is back for any and all the walls in the house. If you still have nightmares from peeling wallpaper off your wall ten or fifteen years ago, start small with an accent wall in the powder room! Gray as a whole-house color from the floor to the ceiling is fading, but continues to be a nice neutral in warmer shades for upholstery. Don’t repaint the whole house, just update your gray palette with pops of color in a room.
Monochromatic rooms are on the “out” list. Warm, earthy tones are always great choices for everything. There are incredible blues that work anywhere and greens in all shades are the rage right now. We like basic beige, cream, black, dark blue, and dark green for upholstered pieces. Rooms can always use black accents or a touch of red!
Luxurious is a word we see and hear a lot. We believe everyone deserves luxurious interiors, but what that means is different for everyone. One thing we all can agree on is that luxurious spaces invite you in, making you want to relax and stay a while. Achieved with beautiful fabrics, statement lighting, and attention to detail, luxury is all yours to define within your budget.
Colorful fabrics and lighting fixtures give you a lot of options to express your personality. Lighting fixtures have been getting bigger and bigger in recent years, and while some give you big pow, some are on a scale that dwarf everything else in the room. Be careful there. Accent lighting sets the tone for a space and is very important in our book. Two-toned cabinets and mixed metals in the kitchen are seen as lavish options, but all white kitchens are “out” and the popular eclectic look can most definitely extend into that space. The kitchen remains the hub of the home and worthy of luxurious elements.
Coastal style is a category all its own. Cottage style is often associated with creating a coastal home. It’s another term that means something different to different folks, but in general, cottage style is reflected in a smaller space with a collected look that seems classic and timeless. Neutral walls, bright colors, antiques mixed in with contemporary pieces of furniture, and vintage rugs. Coastal cottages are light and airy with a feminine touch. Furniture with heavier weight slipcovers are still “in” but so are classic textiles such as linen, cotton, and velvet. Natural materials like wicker, rattan, and painted wood are still on trend, but pastel chalk paint is being replaced with bolder, shinier finishes. This genre, too, is moving away from a rustic vibe and towards a more refined, leaner look.
So this year, natural materials, neutral earthy tones, and a feeling of luxury are “in” Timeless, classic furniture is “in.” And making your home a reflection of your personality will always be “in.” Lasting trends become style, and there you have it. Make choices that make you happy. Pull it all together, step back, and look at what you have created. That’s your style, you found it!
Holly Harrison has been a licensed interior designer for over 35 years. Shannon Stage has spent nearly 20 years in the giftware industry. Together they own Sassy Bird Interiors in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.