Buck the trends

Interior designers choose personalizing over ‘in’ things in 2018

The curved lines and saturated color of this lounge chair is reminescent of the 1970s and right on point for 2018, according to designer Athena Calderone.

As the new year dawns, it's not only a chance to reflect on our accomplishments, but also an opportunity to look forward and set new goals for our health, career, relationships and home, too. While we don't subscribe to the "new year, new you" tropes, we do believe in the power of intention setting. By clearly articulating your thoughts and desires, you can truly set yourself up for success. And who doesn't want to kick off a new year like that?

The place we start is our home. After all, it is where all of this manifesting takes place, so it needs to feel special and safe. This is your sanctuary. But before you get started, let's take a look at some of the trends that were, and those that will be in 2018 first. Of course, we don't suggest you follow this advice meticulously, because it is, as Nate Berkus once told us, "all about living with what you love -- with what best represents who you are."

Interior designer Leanne Ford agrees. "I tend to ignore trends," she tells us. "Which means sometimes I'm 'in' and sometimes I'm 'out,' which I am fine with. To me, trends are just an opportunity for clients and individuals to see what's new out there in the world, maybe things we didn't even know existed. But at the end of the day, what looks best in your home and what feels best to your soul is what you should listen to. Let's face it -- if you wait long enough, you will be 'ahead of the trend' in no time."

In the end, trends are a fun way to look at what we loved and get excited about what's to come. So we asked interior designers to share the trends they're happy to leave behind in 2017 and the ones they hope to see more of in 2018.

OUT: Reclaimed wood

IN: Curved furniture

OUT: There are a few trends interior designer, foodie and author Athena Calderone is happy to see the back of in 2017. "I would love to see reclaimed wood, industrial furnishings and rustic accents eradicated in 2018," she tells us. "Design is moving toward a slightly more lush and sexy direction. Rustic on top of rustic just feels dated and excessive. Salvaged oddities were seen everywhere from the Brooklyn Flea to Brimfield in the past, and while many of these items are indeed treasures, it is true that too much of one thing is never a good idea." Ain't that the truth?

While on their own they can look great, Calderone thinks the look has just been overdone. "Reclaimed shelving on top of salvaged industrial items on top of rustic findings on top of patina -- it is just too much," she adds.

"For me, design should be more about an eclectic mix that expresses your personality. I find that exercising restraint with just a select few items with a rough-hewn finish or patina can still be quite attractive but always paired with something slightly more sophisticated and polished. It's all about the yin and yang. Too much of one particular look diminishes its impact."

IN: For 2018, Calderone is all about the '70s. Furniture with curves and saturated colors is what she's feeling right now. "The tide is slowly starting to turn from rectangular sharp lines to an influx of softer edge and fabric and walls and furniture with a punch of pigment -- hues like ochre, deep green and burnt rose tones are popping up everywhere," she says. "More and more, I'm drawn to items that are shapely or circular, swiveling chairs, round cushions, and sloped mirrors. Arches, in general, are also appearing in decor as well as architecture, like an opening to a room or an arched wall niche. The look is glamorous and a little unexpected, and it's definitely finding its way into the world of design and to my inspiration boards. No doubt about it -- we're embracing the curves." And we're totally on board.


OUT: Faux industrial

IN: Authenticity

OUT: While industrial will always be in style, interior designer Emily Henderson of Style by Emily Henderson believes the faux industrial look has to go. "Something that has character, age and tells a story can be worked into any room no matter the decor," she says. "However, when it comes to faux industrial, you should steer clear of anything that feels too 'manmade' or made to look old."

IN: Instead, Henderson foresees a return to anything authentic. "There are so many good vintage, antique, and thrift-store pieces that are begging for a new lease on life," she says. "Rather than grabbing something new, do a bit of digging online, at the flea market, or at your local architectural salvage place to see what they might have."


OUT: White-on-white kitchens

IN: Dark kitchens

OUT: While there will always be a place for a classic white kitchen, Claire Staszak of Centered by Design says the white-on-white look has officially reached its saturation point. "The past few years, we've seen variations on the all-white look, such as adding different color islands, open shelving, and contrasting bottom cabinets, which has been refreshing, but designers and savvy homeowners are ready for a new take on the modern kitchen. Design is about evolution, and I think the white kitchen (like the white subway tile) has saturated the market to a point where trendsetters and kitchen designers are really looking to new materials and new colors to introduce to their clients."

IN: In response, Staszak says people will start turning to the dark side. "There has been a huge swing toward darker kitchens, black, dark gray and navy, and I believe natural woods are coming back strong," she says. "Not those honey oaks or dark mahoganies of the dated past, but fresh, lighter stains that feel more raw and natural. There were a lot of painted cabinet kitchens featured in magazines in 2017. In 2018, I think you're going to see a lot more wood."


OUT: Brushed brass

IN: Black finishes

OUT: If there's one item Thea Home co-founder Dorianne Loshitzer can't wait to turn her back on, it's brushed accents. "Brushed accents are everywhere and have really been overdone," she laments. "Don't get me wrong -- brass always has its place, especially a gorgeous unlacquered bass in a traditional or even modern home. I will say though that the use has reached a level to where everything (from the hardware to the plumbing fixtures) in a kitchen is brass. It just makes the space feel a bit contrived and less organic. Touches here and there are great."

IN: So if brass is out, what can we turn to instead? Loshitzer says we'll start seeing people gravitate to a lot more black finishes, from black light fixtures to charcoal-hued cabinetry and inky hardware. "It's bringing the aesthetic from a place of shine and bright glitz to more of a refined and simplistic minimalism," she says.


OUT: Trends

IN: Personality

We already know that Leanne Ford doesn't believe in following trends, so what is her forecast for the year ahead? "Personalize it," she says. "My No. 1 rule about decorating for others is this: The client is first. Ignore the trends. What's in, what's out, what's on the way in, what's on the way out, it's all irrelevant. What matters first and foremost is what the client wants, needs, have, loves, feels good in, feels attached to. Work with that first, and then the actual space is second. Listen to your client, then listen to your house. It will tell you what it needs to feel good, and it's usually texture, white paint, some personal treasures, and incredible lighting." Hear, hear.



Designer Athena Calderone would love to see reclaimed wood and other rustic furnishing eradicated in 2018.



Brushed metal fixtures are so 2017. Black fixtures will shine in 2018, says Thea Home co-founder Dorianne Loshitzer.



Round mirrors were all the rage last year.



Black kitchens are on point for 2018, designers say.



White-on-white kitchens are on their way out, according to Claire Staszak of Centered by Design.

HomeStyle on 01/06/2018