Decorating a home is a work in progress. Even if you hire an interior expert to finesse each room with their signature flair and design eye, the space inevitably transforms over time as you add sentimental pieces, family heirlooms, and collectibles from recent travels. Each new item is a reflection of your life and personality at any given time. They're also what makes a house feel like home.
Despite our best efforts to keep it classic, however, we've yet to meet anyone who can resist the charm of the latest interior design trends. Just as clothing trends and colors move from the runways to our wardrobes, these shiny new decorative pieces, paints, and furniture styles also make their way into our homes, but there's a fine line between timeless and trendy.
So to keep our homes from looking dated, we asked all the top interior experts, from Nate Berkus to Emily Henderson, to share the 2018 design trends they're tired of and what they're excited about.
OUT: Brass Overkill
If you're looking around at all the brass in your home right now, don't stress. We were just as excited for the shiny metal this year. And while Olivia Korenberg and Jenn Pablo, co-founders of TwoFold Interiors, still love the look, they do think we've gone a little overboard. "Don't get us wrong, we love brass, especially one that has some wear and patina to it, however, we feel too much brass can feel a bit contrived and even cheap without the proper context," they explained. "We've found that mixing metals provides a more eclectic and sophisticated palette.
It makes a home feel unique."
So what should we replace it with? "In general for high-traffic spaces, such as kitchens, we prefer to opt for oil-rubbed bronze or chrome fittings and hardware, which feel a bit more timeless to us," they said. "If you are committed to introducing brass accents, consider adding touches with your lighting or accessories, or simply opt to mix and match your finishes, which can help to create a design that is more organic. A brass faucet can look chic when paired with oil-rubbed bronze knobs and pulls or vice versa.
Make sure the metallics have a similar finish to keep a consistent thread."
Tali Roth, the interior designer at Homepolish, agrees—you should see her modern loft in NY. "I have always loved brass; it's timeless and stunning, but it doesn't need to be the exclusive metal used in every interior," she said. "If you are doing a feature light piece in brass, then perhaps you want to bring in other finishes like woods, mirrored surfaces, or black steel to soften it, rather than use the brass as the material throughout the whole space." If you do love the brass look, Roth recommends avoiding the fast-fashion brass pieces, as they tend to look super yellow.
OUT: The Serge Mouille Lamp
Even though it's an absolute classic (and will be around and appreciated forever), Ginny MacDonald, interior designer and former design director at Emily Henderson, is ready to bid farewell to Serge Mouille lamps. "Or at least all the knockoffs everyone is doing nowadays," she said. "Their oversize arms bring a real statement to any room, but they're so oversaturated and have been made more common with their replicas, which is a shame. It's like the Eames molded chair. I'm a fan of local, well-crafted pieces, so I tend to look toward smaller companies like Allied Maker."
IN: Dark Green Paint
The all-white look has dominated design trends this year, but MacDonald says it's time to move to the dark side. "I hate to say it, but I think my beloved dark blue is going to make way for dark green's grand entrance," she said. "Over the last few months, I've seen tons of dark green pop up in kitchens, living rooms, and furniture. I'm excited to see where this trend takes us in 2018. I'm working on a couple of projects where green is heavily featured, so watch this space."
OUT: The Moroccan Pouf
It's the one rug we see everywhere and can't live without, but according to MacDonald, the Moroccan pouf is officially out. "I feel these went out in 2015, but I'm still seeing them used a lot," she said. "It's tricky to find poufs around that size, so there's a niche in the market."
OUT: Marble Imitation
Marble will never go out of style in our books—it's an absolute classic—but MacDonald says it's time to ditch the imitations. "While it is a timeless material, I feel like I've seen enough of everything being made from it, and so many cheap imitations," she said.
Since brass is out, we need a new metal to take its place. Say hello to bronze, the latest interior design trend in metal. "I think bronze is going to be the new It metal of 2018," said Roth. "It plays well with other finishes and colors and is a little bit more on the neutral side. Mixing metals always looks chic."
If you're feeling the brass fatigue too, then bronze is a subtler metal shade that brings a room to life without owning it.
We adore the boho-chic trend, but Korenberg and Pablo say it's time to retire macramé. "Truthfully we've never loved macramé, but now more than ever we are looking forward to this trend passing," they confessed. "There are so many other ways to add bohemian flair to your space instead of covering your walls with cumbersome wall hangings. Thoughtful plantings and art selections can make a huge impact in helping your space feel more lived in and inspired."
But if you love the look, they suggest introducing the style in a more subdued way. "We recently came across this photo where they implemented macramé by wrapping the cord around a hanging fixture," they said. "It provides the texture and bohemian artistry of macramé without forcing the room to be stuck to that aesthetic. Paired with more neutral pieces and clean lines, the design becomes more casual and elegant, which to us is always the best interpretation of the bohemian aesthetic."
OUT: Copper Overload
Copper is dead? Say it ain't so. "I'm definitely not over these materials yet, but copper is so hot right now that I feel like it's going to reach its peak soon," she said. "I'll be sad to see copper go because its blush tones are so pleasing to the eye, but when they aren't done well, it has a tendency to look cheap. I did just grab these candlesticks from World Market, so even if the trend dies down, they can still make an appearance on my Thanksgiving table."
IN: Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to design, Korenberg and Pablo believe people will start choosing quality over quantity in 2018. "Lately, we have been drawn to images where the emphasis is on the quality of the material and objects," they explained. "For 2018, our goal is to simplify and focus on getting to the root of what is necessary and essential. If a room is thoughtfully designed, there is less need to bombard the space with accessories and fluff to make the room feel complete."
When you choose well-made, artisanal pieces, the girls say you don't need anything else. "It's easy to make a mediocre sofa look better if you throw on a million pillows, but if the piece is beautiful, then there's no need to cover its beautiful shape," they urged. "We always try to encourage our clients (especially those on a budget who may feel more inclined to value a deal over the investment) to be thoughtful about the purchases they make. A cheap sofa may feel tempting when there is so much else to factor in, but if you find one that is not only beautiful but of true quality, you'll thank yourselves a million times over when you aren't rushing to replace it within a few years."
OUT: Indigo Everything
While we appreciate a beautiful shibori or indigo textile as much as the next person, Korenberg and Pablo say it's time to turn the indigo dial down a notch or two. "We suggest mixing and matching textiles to keep things from feeling too trendy or predictable," they said. "Use a variation in blue tones to create visual impact, and always ground with neutrals. When working with indigo prints, the imperfections are what make them beautiful; we like to try to find things that feel handmade and one of a kind.
A striped pillow or Kuba cloth textile can break up the palette so that the eye is less overwhelmed."
OUT: Cool Gray Tones
It's official: The all-white look is out. "I'm over white walls," said Roth. "I think 2018 will be the year to be more experimental with color. The past few years, we have all been loving the wonderful Scandinavian influences, so there has been a lot of whites and grays and super-cool tones. I think people are craving warmer tones, and we will see colors such as taupe, mink, and mustard make a huge comeback next year. I think we'll see more people using these tones in paints and upholstery. The texture will be key.
Contemporary wallpapers will be more widely embraced, even by minimalists."
With the emergence of quality over quantity, handmade products will gain popularity too, and Orlando Soria, creative director at Homepolish, says we'll see more pottery. "This isn't breaking news, but pottery will continue to be a popular trend in the new year, along with anything sculptural or handmade," he said. "People are looking for unique home accents, real art to make their space feel personalized to them."
OUT: Reclaimed Wood
Though he does love handmade items, Soria is "over the reclaimed wood trend." Why? "It's been co-opted by so many furniture makers that don't do a good job of capturing what was good about the trend in the first place," he said. "Real old wood with character and a naturally distressed finish."
Dorianne Passman, co-founder of Thea Home, agrees. In fact, it's the one design trend they are really sick of seeing. "As a whole, we don't love when a material or item that was used for something is repurposed into something else," she said. "For example, a floor being made into a table, piping made into a lamp, and so on. We believe if you want something that feels old and used, buy an antique or a piece with a used-feeling finish."
OUT: Edison Bulbs
Soria is also tired of Edison bulbs. "I've been over them for a while now, but I'm ready for them to die," he said. "Too many Brooklyn bars (and other establishments that copied that aesthetic) got into the trend, and their ubiquity (along with their cloying old-timeyness) got stale fast."
The minimalistic trend has swept through everyone's home this year, but Emily Henderson, founder of Emily Henderson Design, says it's time to bring back some embellishment. "I have been a fan of embellishments in fashion for a long time, and I am excited that that particular trend is bleeding into design in a refined and palatable way," she said. "Ruffles, pleats, and ornate carvings (of course, done in the right way) are a few of the things that are starting to pop up in design, and I am excited to see more of it.
The feminist trend in design is coming hard for 2018, and I am into it."
Most of us feel as though the chevron trend has surpassed its use-by date, and Soria confirms they're officially done. "This one is controversial, but I hate basic chevrons and am ready for them to go away," he said. "By this I mean the crisp, simple ones with two colors in a chevron pattern. There are some more traditional, more ornate chevrons I still like, but every big-box store released chevrons on everything and I just got sick of looking at the pattern. Next!"
IN: Hand-Dyed Fabrics
Just as the handmade trend starts to sweep its way into our home décor choices, Soria says fabric will also go in this direction. "Hand-dyed fabrics (more refined than simple old-school tie-dye) will come in again," he said. "The new hand-dyed fabrics will have subtler patterns and be more simple than previous versions."
OUT: Fiddle-Leaf Figs
They seemed to be in every corner of the home tours we featured in 2017, but Kathryn Robson, principal architect of Robson Rak, says it's time to move on. "I'm tired of seeing the outdated fiddle-leaf fig in most interior shots," she said. "In fact, I think that indoor plants are an outdated accessory. On the other hand, cut flowers and greenery are a necessity."
IN: Art Deco Furniture
While we still aren't over the midcentury-modern look, Soria said we will soon be swapping these pieces for Art Deco styles. "I'm seeing a lot of 1930s-inspired Deco furniture lately, and I think that trend of sculptural, nonrectangular furniture is going to have a comeback," he said. "People are starting to sway away from the simple, modern eclectic look in favor of a more high design, avant-garde look."
OUT: Faux Design
Although the fake world in fashion and design has come a long way (e.g., faux fur, engineered wood, and even bonded leathers and fabrics), Henderson said there is still a big faux culprit she is not a fan of. "When new tries to imitate old in all the wrong ways," she said. "I am talking faux shabby chic, faux industrial, and faux finishes. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some industrial-inspired or antique-inspired pieces out there that still work, but the trend of making everything new look old is something that is old and dated to me."
Instead, Henderson says to look for authentic pieces from the flea market or pieces inspired directly from antiques, as "those will always be in style and give you the look you want."
IN: Seamless Cabinets
We love a simple, modern kitchen design, and Passman says this will continue in 2018 with the seamless, frameless cabinet look. "This clean and simple design is in (which we are so happy about)," she said. "People are starting to stray away from too many lines. Keeping cabinets seamless is a great way to create a calm space."
OUT: Geometric Tiles
We love a unique backsplash, but there's one that Robson is definitely done with. "I am very sick and tired of seeing geometric tiles on kitchen splash backs and feature walls in bathrooms," she said.
ALWAYS IN: Going Against Trends
While home décor trends are definitely fun to sprinkle around, Nate Berkus doesn't follow them. "Trends are designed to make people feel bad about themselves and what they don’t have," he said. "It's more about what feels classic; just do what do you love."
His design directors, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon, and Sasha Adler agree. "We strongly believe you should fill your home with not only beautiful things but things that have meaning to you," they said. "Pieces that you find on your travels or that you fall in love with at first glance will never be out of style. We are so 'over' design trends, and our hope is that in 2018, we will continue to celebrate more individualism and authentic style. Because living beautifully is about living with what you love, and no one can tell you what that is or should be."