While some interior designers like Nate Berkus famously steer clear of trends when decorating, we still love to report on trends like we would baseball scores—much to the fascination of industry insiders and homeowners alike. But why are trends so fascinating to us? Perhaps it's caused by a fear of getting left behind by choosing a dark glossy floor for our next renovations when the trends are actually shifting toward light colors and matte shades. Or maybe it's because everything that's once new ends up feeling old—and conversely, everything that's old feels new again. So we turn to the designers and makers at the cutting edge of innovation to inspire us and make our tired décor choices feel new again.
In fact, decorating with trends most often doesn't involve a full-blown makeover, but more likely just a few small changes that will refresh our space for the New Year. To get a full picture of which trends are on their way out for 2017, and which ones are about to blow up, we tapped industry insiders—interior designers, creative directors, founders, and style directors—to tell us what they see in their décor crystal ball for 2017. Refresh your space with these hot new trends this year—no major redecorating required.
Courtesy of West Elm
The term "modern" is most often used in reference to midcentury designs or stark contemporary décor, but a few designers are predicting a new wave of modern designs—one that is a little warmer and more organic. "We are entering a new era in design," says West Elm's creative director Johanna Uurasjarvi. "There is an exciting movement toward new, original forms, architectural and clean shapes with refined and thoughtful details."
Interior designer Mara Silber agrees: "I am always a fan of using modern pieces, and it's because, contrary to popular belief, modern doesn't have to be cold and stark with harsh edges. One trend that I see on the rise is modern furniture with rounded edges and curves."
According to Orlando Soria, Homepolish's West Coast creative director, curvy shapes don't stop at furniture: "A few years ago, it was impossible to find a round mirror at a decent price. Now they're everywhere, from big box stores to high-end vendors."
Courtesy of NewWall
After Pantone announced its color of the year for 217, it was no surprise that the nature-inspired tone started popping up everywhere. "Green is the official color of 2017," says Maria Raco, founder of NewWall. "It ties with the modern philosophy of minimalism and sustainability of the natural environment."
For interior designer Annsley McAleer, this translates not into the color green, but also in incorporating more greenery at home: "Bring on the green plants," she says. "Everybody loves beautiful flowers but they do not last as long as the friendly fern. Green plants give a room a major boost, and they do not require a lot of attention."
"As people move back to urban environments, smaller-scale living in style will inspire us to focus on furnishings that look amazing and offer great multifunction," Uurasjarvi says. "People are seeking creative options for storage and multipurpose tables that double as dining or a work surface."
For Eddie Ross, the style director at ATGStores, home organization will take a more lived-in form in 2017—no need to throw everything out à la Marie Kondo: "This year we're all going to get a little less OCD at home with spaces that are organized but not sterile. It's high time for us to create rooms that feel lived-in and authentic."
Attention to Art
Art is taking center stage at home this year—a trend possibly influenced by the democratization of buying art online. "Art collecting is continuously on the rise, but I'm finding that clients are now basing entire rooms around their collections," Silber says. "With so many brands focusing on high-quality, affordable art, it's no longer an afterthought to the design process."
Uurasjarvi believes that this movement also exists beyond traditional art: "I'm seeing more inspiring interiors that are anchored not only by art but artful design pieces. For instance, lighting that doubles as wall art or a boldly colored sculptural chair in an otherwise neutral space."
Expect to see materials beyond the popular brass and marble this year, as innovative and mixed media are on the forefront. "New, innovative materials and material mixes will bring texture and interest to design," Uurasjarvi says. "For example, mixing marble, brass, and wood in one design or combining organic lava rock with modern resin."
Silber is turning to new materials in her designs this year: "Metal accents will never go out of style for me, but I do think details in less expected materials will be more prominent this year," she says. "I love a cork table or an upholstered chair with natural iron legs, instead of plated metal."
On the product side, Tariq Dixon, co-founder of TRNK is seeing a similar shift: "We've noticed a lot of furniture recently made from rail-thin, black steel. The effect is really interesting because it's bold and super-graphic, but it still has a delicate quality."
Another material at the forefront this year is rattan: "It's an eternal favorite for designers," Soria says, "but this year, a lot of mainstream retailers are finally getting on board. The quirk and warmth of rattan can be difficult to work into a design plan, but when done well, it adds unexpected sophistication to a home."
Courtesy of West Elm
"Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I think 2017 will be the year of love when it comes to design," Silber says. "I'm predicting romantic blushes and sophisticated jewel tones will be popular this year."
For McAleer, yellow is the color that has caught her eye this year: "Ochre yellow is going to be big this year. Beloved fabric lines, like Christopher Farr Cloth, have several patterns that incorporate this lesser-known color with great skill."
The two designers are not the only ones predicting romantic pastel tones for 2017: "Given our very masculine-leaning aesthetic, I never thought that we could take such a liking to pastels," Dixon says. "But designers and artists have started interpreting them in really interesting, unexpected ways. One of our favorite examples are the artworks by Vanessa Woods, who often pairs muted, pastel shades with solid black or warm grays."
Light, Airy Spaces
Tariq Dixon for TRNK NYC
"In 2017, I think we will be drawn to interiors that are inspiring and uplifting," Uurasjarvi says. "Open and airy rooms with lighter color palettes, well-edited furnishings, and spaces where modern design meets one's personality, interiors that are easy, friendly, and inviting."
It seems that this trends lends itself particularly well to floors, which are seeing a white-out treatment this year: "For years, the predominate type of flooring people have been putting in their homes has been dark and shiny," Soria says. "Finally, it's starting to trend back toward lighter hues in matte finishes." Dixon agrees: "We love that people are becoming less fearful of white floors. A stark white floor can do so much to brighten up a space and offer a truly blank canvas to work with."
While minimalism is at the forefront of trends everywhere, a counter movement is also taking shape: "We've started to see a renewed appreciation for maximalist elements—like jewel tones, clashing patterns, classical art," Dixon says. "But in 2017, expect to see these concepts applied with restraint: the same rich colors and textures, but far fewer items in a space."
This applies not only to furnishings, but it applies to surfaces as well: "Subway tile has been predominant for ages," Soria says, "but many people seeking a more distinct pattern for their tile are opting for a parquet pattern, which is also popping up in textiles." Ross agrees: "Bring on the pattern! This year we're all going to get even more adventurous by mixing and layering patterns in lampshades, rugs, and pillows."
He's not the only one seeing a shift in lampshade trends: "The plain white lampshade is becoming a thing of the past," McAleer says. "Lampshades have so many possibilities. They can be dressed up with trim, fabric, pleated, or even high-lacquer paint."
On the other side of the spectrum, minimalism is still going strong: "I think we've seen enough of the boho layered prints," Silber says. "The trends for 2017 involve more monochromatic layering—or tastefully layering all different types of textures in a similar color scheme. Think pleating and draping with large-scale wovens textiles and plush mohairs—not to mention classical, elegant bouclés and tweeds, which are making a big comeback! There is no shortage of ways to layer, as long as it feels natural and easy." Raco agrees: "Natural textures give depth to any aesthetic." So retire your brights, and try layering neutrals instead.
Courtesy of Studio Ashby
Not everyone believes that brights tones are a thing of the past. "Bright colors and bold patterns will come together to create layered spaces with a worldly, well-traveled feel," Ross says.
Soria agrees: "The blown-out eclectic room with white walls is classic and has been all the rage for the past ten years," he explains. However, a return to bold wall colors and graphic statement art will make a comeback this year. People are ready for some drama and saturated color."
His color prediction for 2017: navy. "For whatever reason, navy has never been a popular choice of color for furniture, but we expect that to change in 2017," he says. "There's a definite timelessness and elegance to navy, and we're happy to see that finally being applied to furniture."
Want to find out more about 2017's biggest trends? Find out which ones are definitely out this year.