Autumnal Analysis

Inspiration 3Design trends with endurance.

by Theresa Rolen Long   

Trends. We set them bravely, follow them blindly, and buck them contrarily. September is the best time to look back on what the design industry predicted would rise in style. What’s ubiquitous, what’s fallen flat, and what’s on the verge of classic promulgation? Anna Wintour said, “It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten.” Here are highlighted home trends surpassing the tipping point as we edge into the style-forward third quarter of 2015:

Saturated jewel tones. Teal, fuschia, emerald, and marine are being used everywhere in the home, from walls and cabinetry to upholstery and bedding. These deep, rich colors contrast nicely with all shades of gray, the current go-to neutral.

Moody minimalism. Stonewashed, muddy-hued pastels mix and match seamlessly, blending with sparse furnishings and lighting to create subdued drama. This look works well in bedrooms, providing a dreamy, restful atmosphere.

Super-cool lighting. Your home deserves something unusual and fun. Unique lighting is becoming the arena for creative expression. Chandeliers and lamps are being made from unexpected materials, in never-before-seen shapes, and have never looked so rad. Jump on this wagon; statement lighting is here to stay.

Inspiration 1Odd couplings. The look of rustic and antique furnishings paired with sleek and modern styles has grit, and provides a fresh juxtaposition for the eye. Plastic Eames chairs look great pulled up to a mahogany antique pedestal or reclaimed wood farm table. Oscar and Felix will approve.

Sectional sofas. Comfort is king. Oversized, “loungy” sofas that fill a room provide hours of family-sized repose and are current big-sellers in high-end showrooms. But be forewarned. The line in the sand for good design gets blurry when one starts adding heated seats, massaging motors, or built-in coolers….

Dark window sashes. Black punctuates windows like mascara defines a woman’s eyes. It adds detail to a room, making windows and their respective moldings pop. Or paint the moldings dark to match the sashes. Painting the windows creates architectural interest in a room devoid of millwork or detail.

Mirrors and smoky glass. Foxed, etched, and smoked mirrors have become classic. Unusually shaped mirrors, framed or unframed, with copper and gold backing, are rising style stars. Clear glass in furniture and light fixtures is being supplanted by smoked out versions, summoning a sultry ’70s vibe.

Furnished bathrooms. Hardwood flooring, upholstered furniture, brass fixtures, chandeliers, and old-fashioned tubs make bathrooms feel like an extension of the bedroom. Jewel-toned tiles are trending, lending cozy color to this luxe look.

Libraries. Whether it’s a room devoted to an overflowing book collection or a carved out nook in a hallway or stairwell landing, people are embracing their inner bookworm. I love dining rooms with bookcases. A beautiful dining room book collection can be perused over coffee and breakfast, and lit romantically by candles for dinner. A dual-purpose dining space gets used all the more.

Inspiration 4Handmade pottery. Speaking of dining, artisan dinnerware and cut-crystal glassware are being used as everyday ware. Harkening to our February article, everything really is elevated. We want and deserve our things to be special, handmade, and conversational- replacing the disposable and ho-hum in our kitchens. This is a resilient trend.

Exotic granite. We ooh and ah over the wild granite and stone options out there, but often shy away from it for our own homes in favor of more muted offerings. However, some granite is nature at its best, and some quarried stone out there is stunning. Having just a touch of busy, colorful granite—as a small counter, backsplash, or even raised cutting board—gives you something compelling to look at while marveling at Mother Nature’s iridescent deeds.

Geometry. Furniture, textiles, and tiles are favoring all kinds of geometric shapes, from polygonal chairs to pixilated prints and hexagonal tile. Juxtapose a geometric table with traditional furnishings for a jolt of fresh style. Poster beds have resurfaced as trendy, offering a comforting visual rectangular negative space in the bedroom, perfect for cocooning.

Patterned rugs. Navajo rugs have replaced chevrons and kilims, and look timely in any setting with their geometric shapes and earth tones. On the opposite spectrum, rugs with irregular patterns and fluid movement—marble-y swirls, snake-y prints, and Tibetan-style striations—soften a rectangular room and grab the wandering eye.

Chasing trends is akin to tilting at windmills, and the market, unfortunately, is often predisposed to mass consumption. But have fun seizing trends and branding your home with your favorites. Some may be fleeting, others may turn classic, and some may just be ones you’re setting yourself. Be fearless in your own example; you know your style the best.

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