I have a love-hate relationship with trends. While I love to incorporate new looks both in my home and in my closet, this business – and it is a business – of keeping up with the times gets exhausting and expensive.
Hems above the knee or below? Fixtures brass or nickel? Jewelry big or dainty? Pillows fringed or knife-edged? Shoulders padded or cut out? Drapes puddled or tailored? Belts wide or narrow? Accessories rustic or modern? I’ve adopted every one of these trends, I’m embarrassed to tell you.
Over the years, I have been foiled by the fashion fairy, that arbitrary arbiter of what’s hot and what’s not, more times than I’d care to admit. I now approach new trends with caution.
That’s because my cynical side resents feeling manipulated to buy new things, and views the changing world of design as a marketing ploy to make me want – then buy -- new looks. Which works! However, my more agreeable side concedes that the flow of fresh looks is simply the market’s answer to our insatiable appetite for novelty. And I do have an an appetite.
So here’s how I reconcile this conundrum. While I don’t adopt new trends very often -- preferring to stick with classic, timeless apparel and décor -- I like to look at what’s new.
Thus, to stay in the know on the home front, I asked a few leading interior design experts what will be in vogue for 2018, and came up with these top eight trends. Who knows, maybe a few of these will show up in my home or yours:
Hues of blue
Every year, top paint brands try to influence color trends (and stir up paint sales) by declaring their own color of the year. These color choices often have no common denominator. However, for 2018, three top paint brands anointed shades of bluish green as the defining color for 2018: Behr chose In the Moment, Dunn-Edwards picked a similar shade called The Green Hour, and Sherwin-Williams dubbed Oceanside as the color of the year, a deep, opulent shade that the company’s director of color marketing called, “the color of wanderlust.” Whatever you call it, shades of marine blue are surfacing in décor this season.
A velvet explosion
Watch for surges and splurges of velvet, which is poised to take over the design stratosphere, said New York designer Elaine Griffin. “Design now is about celebrating everyday luxuries, and no fabric does that better than velvet,” she said. Unlike linens and microfiber suedes, velvet adds instant sophistication to any seating group. It's the “it’ fiber for the new year, especially in jewel tones like sapphire, citrine, emerald, amethyst, and pink garnet. Fear it’s too fragile? While pure cotton velvet can stain easily unless its stain-guarded, new poly-blend velvets have a lush, luxe feel that is as childproof as it is elegant.
Anything but stainless
Consumers are experiencing “stainless fatigue," said Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb. “Thus, we are paneling kitchen appliances, so they disappear and make the space look larger.” Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design for The Home Depot, agrees and adds, for kitchens the biggest shift is away from stainless steel to black slate and black stainless appliances.
Black has also been growing in popularity in plumbing fixtures and furniture over the last few years, added Grubb, so it’s only natural for it to become on-trend in flooring. Though gray wood continues to be popular, Fishburne said to watch for black and darker charcoals emerging in floor tiles as well.
Accessories come alive
Expect to see more houseplants, indoor herb garden, and even shower plants -- that’s right, plants that live in your shower – this year, said Fishburne.
Call it hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”), the Danish word for a warm, gracious place, or cosagach (pronounced coze-sag-coh), the Scottish term for the state of being "snug, sheltered or cozy," the cozy living movement will continue strong into 2018, said Fishburne. “We still have a desire for this simple, quiet, disconnected lifestyle where our home is our haven.”
On cabinets and floors, we’re moving away from white and gray into wood tones and finishes, said Grubb. “An overwhelming amount of our residential projects are using hardwood flooring right through the bedrooms, as wall-to-wall carpeting is being left behind.” Wider plank sizes remain the preferred choice for a project with an edge. In finishes, while medium brown stains will continue in popularity, espresso or very dark brown stains are going away. And as we move forward, expect to see more of an unfinished oak look.
Made by hand
A trend powered by technology, home furnishings made by humans not machines are getting attention. Though the high-touch, low-tech trend has been with us a while, it will continue to find new expressions as consumers “celebrate homegrown artisans and artistry from all over the world,” predicts interior designer Karen Wolf, of South Orange, N.J. Think artisan light fixtures, hand-carved folk art, and handwoven blankets. Watch the love for Peruvian alpaca products to grow.