The new year opens up before us like a clean white canvas. Our wish for the design professions is that we keep what works - negative space, clean silhouettes, user-friendly materials - even as we shape the look of the next chapter. It can have escaped no thinking person that 2016 was rife with social tensions and polarizing messages. What we who love the comfort of home know is that there is no greater balm for the spirit than breaking bread with people whom we hold dear in a warm and cared for space. With a great deal of hope in the power of home to reset and renew the spirit, here humbly is our design forecast for the season ahead.
The return of prints to drapery fabrics and wallpaper is a welcome addition to designs that have been centered around angular geometrics in recent years. Classic subjects like leaves, butterflies, and birds are being colored vibrantly and writ large to pack a punch. Use prints that are deconstructed or exotic in style to create a fresh and memorable space.
While open floor plans have justly earned their popularity, they do present challenges, such as allowing noise and food odors to travel through a house unchecked. Additionally, a home with too few walls can ignore a fundamental human need for solitude. We anticipate seeing a more conservative approach to removing walls in 2017 renovations and look forward to designing those cozy, tucked away spaces that allow us to escape for a quiet read or meditation.
From wall coverings to upholstery fabric, we're predicting densely textured fabrics this year that will rival your favorite cable skit sweater for comfort. More and more we're spending time in front of computer screens; designs that are alive with tactile experiences helps us to better connect to real space. Our favorite 'goes-with-anything' fabric this year is striae sculpted velvet. It feels fantastic to the touch and stands up to the every day tests of active home life.
Near and dear to our own hearts, there is a growing trend toward artisan-made home accents and furniture. Supporting craftspeople who are carrying on traditional skills or developing the classics of tomorrow has numerous advantages, from knowing that your home has interesting and storied pieces, to helping to revitalize industries in your own back yard.
This year isn't the starting point for this journey, but in 2017 we expect to see bold emerald and rich plum move from accent to backdrop, as milk white spaces make room for daring accent walls. Perhaps the best lesson in color from almost two decades in design is to be a good editor. Thoughtful placement of color will add spirit and sensuality to any home; white space and negative space - as in graphic design - are important palette cleansers to help sharpen the impact of hero colors.
The beautiful glow of copper, gold, and brass finishes will continue to accent anything from tabletop decor to cabinet hardware. This year will see a return of bronze and raw iron to add the deeper notes that have been less present in metals in the last couple of years. Expect to see metal used in fresh ways, like brass inlaid in marble or copper trimming on earthenware goods.