Spring is here, and design trends abound! We asked our team of Homepolish designers to weigh in on six themes we’re seeing all over the place. Get the lowdown on the latest and greatest design trends for the season.
Spring has sprung! And with the new season, we always find a new slew of design trends. At Homepolish, we frankly don’t LOVE the idea of trends… we prefer to think of home design as something that is longer lasting. But we can’t deny that there are design decisions that become more popular over time. We had our team weigh in on the latest.
From food to fashion and home design, there’s no denying a shift from the big-box and “disposable” toward the unique and individual. “In a world inundated with mass consumption, there’s something nice about owning pieces that are one-of-a-kind and visibly handmade,” says designer Ariel Okin.
Homepolish design clients (and retail shoppers, too) are now eschewing cookie-cutter furniture and décor for artisanal, handcrafted pieces showing evidence of a maker’s hand and personal style. “Seeing the personality or artistic eye of the maker via ‘flaws’ inherent in all handmade pieces tells a story, and imbues handmade items with a richness and texture often lacking in mass-produced items,” says designer.
As designer Rosanna Bassford put it, “People want to know where their products are coming from and the stories behind the people making them.” The shift toward the artisanal most likely has to do with folks being disillusioned with near-identical offerings from store to store. “Anyone can get well-designed pieces at an accessible price point now,” adds designer Christine Lin. “I think the swing towards artisanal and small-batch design is a reaction to this, and is addressing people’s desires to own unique things.”
Now, even large-scale retailers like West Elm and Urban Outfitters have taken notice, and are getting on board the artisanal steam train. West Elm’s Handcrafted line features rugs, pillows, baskets, and more made by more than 20 artisan groups in 15 different countries. And when Urban Outfitters opened its Williamsburg, Brooklyn store, it simultaneously rolled out Space Ninety 8, a concept store featuring one-of-a-kind goods made by Brooklyn artists. And yes, it’s still going strong.
Sigh. It’s hard to argue we’re all pretty much parked in front of our computers all day. And when we aren’t parked there, we’re parked someplace else, feeding our Instagram and Pinterest obsessions via our various smart devices. Let’s face it… The search for a tangible escape from our everyday technological grind is something of a noble cause.
As one would expect, recreating elements (think vinyl faux-stone flooring, indoor gardens, living room hammocks, tropical prints) that say, ‘Serenity Now!’ are increasingly becoming the bees’ knees. While every home may not have the luxury of turning its guest bedroom into a zen dojo, clients are carving out designated areas to be calm and celebrate some me-time. “Toss the noise of buzzing streets and endless to-do’s to the curb and create little moments each day to re-center and chillax,” advises designer Taylor Edwards. “Adding peaceful pause moments—even only small ones—will make a big impact.”
Escapism can come in many forms. Homepolish’s Kathleen Mannis practices escapism with a fun antidote to rainy Seattle weather. She painted her kitchen accent wall hot pink, and hung a flamingos-and-hibiscus print. “When you’re trying to escape, it’s important to take stock of where you are,” Mannis advises. “Flamingos in Florida might feel tacky, but flamingos in Seattle seem so out of place that they’re perfect.” On the more extreme, designer Angela Belt is working on creating a custom bookcase revealing a secret door through which a Connecticut client will literally hide away from the everyday.
Nothing says ‘Wow!’ like a good statement light, and our designers agree. No matter the size, you’ll know it when you see one: A good statement light can be simple or ornate, dramatic or understated, and unusual or quirky. But it always, always makes the room. (“It’s the jewelry on top of the outfit,” says designer Rosanna Bassford.) Now trending: Mixed metals in one light, burnished brass and bronze finishes, glass orbs, organic and architectural shapes, and filament bulbs.
Sure, there are the obvious areas in which to go big or go home (over the dining table, high-ceilinged living rooms, etc.) but wow-factor lighting is becoming our designers’ go-to in unexpected places like walk-in closets, powder rooms, and even home offices. “There’s no wrong place for a great fixture,” as Jennifer Wallenstin says. “Hanging a statement-making light in an awkward, unused corner is perfect for pretending that the makeshift workspace in your living room was always meant to be there.”
Lest we be tempted to put an amazing fixture in every room, Angela Belt cautions, “Decide which room will have the statement-light. Adjacent rooms should get the backup singer lighting. Don’t water down your overall design with too much going on.” And as always, says Ariel Okin, “Install a dimmer, because everyone looks better in diffused light.”
“Neutrals are timeless,” as Ariel Okin so succinctly puts it. Despite trends in bold, heavily saturated colors fast-becoming the “new” neutrals (like Pantone’s Greenery), the design world is re-gravitating toward browns, beiges, and khakis in tile, wall color, textiles, and other applications. It’s no wonder. Neutrals are safe, reassuring, and familiar… and why wouldn’t we want to come home to colors that inspire comfort?
Muted colors, in fashion and interior design, are very on-trend this year. Pale pinks and grays, camel, and yes, the dreaded beige are on point. Larger investment pieces such as sofas and rugs are trending toward neutral. Walls, too, are becoming more subdued.
But, designer Taylor Edwards notes, “A common misconception regarding the neutral palette is the idea that it’s dull or colorless. Neutrals actually highlight everything from wood grains to marble’s veins and the buttery hues of worn-in leather.” Jennifer Wallenstein advises that when designing in this color scheme it’s important to mix materials and finishes to give neutral-toned spaces some much-needed texture and character.
On the flip side, jewel tones are still on trend. Often referred to as the “New Neutrals,” heavily pigmented, bling-inspired tones such as emerald, sapphire, ruby, and amethyst have officially taken the interior design world by storm. Vibrant and bold, they’re not for the faint of heart. They almost instantaneously add a richness, sophistication, and luxuriousness that designers say is hard to achieve with the aforementioned neutrals.
Jewel tones can personalize spaces that previously were soulless, enabling homeowners to tap into their personal style, showcasing their individuality. With the exception of navy and emerald, expect to see a flood of gem-inspired hues on accessories rather than on walls.
While faux materials have taken over the scene—resin wicker is now the gold standard in quality outdoor furniture and folks absolutely love engineered-quartz countertops—trading in the real thing for faux materials in furniture and decor is half-embraced half-bugaboo for Homepolish designers. But when it comes down to it, all agree that using faux materials is really an issue of practicality, cost, and utility.
Homepolish’s Ariel Okin probably puts it best: “So what if your table top isn’t Calacatta Gold marble. If the you smile every time you eat dinner on it, that’s what’s important.” We’re seeing an uptick in engineered flooring, stone veneers, engineered quartz (as opposed to marble), and faux fur and leather.