What Home Design Trends Are Hot on the Horizon?

Just in time for spring, we turned to design experts to get a style refresher course.

What’s hot and what’s on the horizon? Local pros gave us their takes on the trends to try now — and which looks are heading into retirement. Whether you’re updating a single room or decorating a new house top to bottom, here’s some pro inspo.


Photo by Julie Rothschild

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Dressed Down

“The trend is toward relaxed-formal rooms, like this dining room that can accommodate a grown-up dinner party or 10 kids eating pizza. The idea behind relaxed-formal is that people, especially younger families, want to use every part of their homes and not have rooms used exclusively at the holidays or for a dinner party. We are turning formal living and dining rooms into more casual, usable, family-friendly spaces.”

Monica Fried, Monica Fried Design

Photo courtesy of Roughan Interior Design

Art Options

“Art is becoming more and more popular with the general population through affordable sites such as Saatchi Art, Gray Malin, and Artspace. Art is a universal accessory that is becoming a necessity when finishing a room. People more than ever want to connect with their purchases; it’s an emotional connection and a visual investment that tells a story. Every room should showcase art such as sculpture, paintings, photography, or folk art. Long gone is the sterile, minimal room. We need soul to finish a space.”

-Chris Roughan, Roughan Interior Design

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Fit and Trim

“Less is more, especially when it comes to interior molding. We’re shying away from decorative crown molding and wainscoting and keeping it much more minimal. Our trick for updating older homes with a lot of crown and paneling is to add a punch of color. Our favorite for trim right now is Benjamin Moore’s San Antonio Gray.”

-Jillian Georgio, Georgio Home

Flex Your Furniture

“Glazed ceramic stools from White Birch Studio in Westport are a must-have for porches or outdoor space. The contemporary indoor-outdoor cubes come in gorgeous colors: orange, apple green, cerulean blue, cream. You can use them as stools or end tables. They introduce a punch of color and a different material with the shiny ceramic.” 

-Dorye Brown, Dorye Brown Interiors

Color + Mixed Metals

“There’s been a big resurgence of colors and textures. Deep gem tones are coming back strongly. People are ready for some warmth and a little more color. Instead of a gray sofa, think navy or deep purple. People are bringing in modified animal prints and mixing metals and woods. While our clients used to commit to all brass or all silver, we’re moving toward mixed metals, a trend that started in jewelry and moved into decor.”

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-Bets Miller, Nest Inspired Home

Photo by Artist Kim Keever

Going Bold

“Deep, rich colors in fabrications with a luxe hand like velvet, cashmere, and mohair work up into the most inviting seating. With artwork, I’m finding clients are interested in emerging artists, and they’re less into black and white photos and neutrals and more willing to consider something that’s a ‘wow’ factor in a room.”

Debra Funt, Debra Funt Interiors

They’re So Over It!

What design pros are saying “next” to…

• All-White Kitchens
• Nautical Motifs
• Silk Flowers

• Oversized Furniture
• All Gray, All the Time
• The Reclaimed Wood/Industrial Look


Photos courtesy Putnam & Mason


“Are we through with everything in our lives being gray? With 2018, we may just be free from that oh-so-very-gray prison. I see the year celebrating soft yet notable colors, an updated contemporary take on the sherbet colors of the ’80s. Pantone’s pale dogwood, Nile green, and Niagara are good examples.”

-Robert Passal, Putnam & Mason

Spruce Up the Sunroom

“Throw down a colorful indoor-outdoor carpet. Make it lush with large-scale plants and perhaps a tree or two (available at grocery stores). Have a wicker tray at the ready for cocktail hour. Set up a summer bar cart with colorful vintage glasses, witty cocktail stirrers, and all the [mixers] for exotic summery concoctions.”

-Carey Karlan, The Last Detail

Pattern Play

“We are seeing ethnic patterns and embroidery—from Moroccan trim embellishments and Kuba cloth pillows to strong graphic pattern in wallcoverings. I love these applications in a traditional or modern room because they add personality and strength without overpowering the space. These pieces have a history, which evokes curiosity when added to an interior.”

Chris Roughan, Roughan Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Sharon Rembaum Designs

Earth Days

“We’ll see more earthy tones and textures in 2018, with organic materials such as wood, marble, and stone. I think we are going to see a lot more textures, like wood on walls and ceilings. Lots more dark-wood furniture and neutral textures with pops of earthy colors like terra cotta, blues, and greens. Millennial pink, which has been so popular over the last year, seems to be holding its own.”

-Sharon Rembaum, Sharon Rembaum Design

Photo courtesy Ferguson Malone

Aging Gracefully

“We have seen a movement toward a more raw, found-object approach to existing homes. Examples include the reuse of worn-looking, historic floors or exposing historic structural members such as floor joists, timber columns, and beams. More residential clients are asking to celebrate the age of their homes and sometimes to contrast these obviously older features with modern treatments of kitchens or baths.”

-John Malone, AIA, Ferguson Malone

Outdoor Zen

“Outdoor living is a design mainstay, and people are putting more thought into all elements of their landscapes. Sensory gardens and components that involve all the different senses of sound, light, color, texture—which in the past were designed for healing or therapeutic gardens—are now in demand with much more mainstream audiences. People are stuck inside on their computers or their phones, and just going into a garden where they can have those senses stimulated is so valuable. Elements to incorporate: laminar jugs, wind chimes, gongs, and sophisticated speaker systems.”

-Cleo Abrams-Horsburgh, Conte & Conte Landscape Architects

Glam Is Back

“Curves and shine are in. I see more sleek, sexy, and curvy elements. Nineteen-forties modern comes to mind: not overly fussy but glamorous with a pop of color. What fun that is! Think: high-gloss paint, used sparingly, and curvaceous mirrors.”

-Jane Bell, Jane Bell Interior Design

Photo courtesy Last Detail Interior Designs

Going for Gold

“Silver is giving way to gold in every arena: hardware, lighting, fabrics, accessories, frames, and wall color. I remember going to lighting showrooms at market several years ago, looking up, and seeing a canopy of silver. Then the next year it was half gold/half silver, and this most recent market all that glittered was gold! This trend started in lighting and has expanded across the board. I hope my clients kept all that gold hardware I had them replace with silver to update the look because brass is back.”

-Carey Karlan, Last Detail Interior Design


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