By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
Home trends find their inspiration in fashion, movies, television, art exhibits or a designer’s imagination. Typically they first appear in designer showrooms and trickle down to the more affordable sources like catalogs and retail stores.
We talked to designers, studied design magazines and checked trendy websites to come up with our “Six Hot Trends” for 2016.
1. Fifty Shades of Gray
Fifty Shades of Grey is more than a best-selling book or a seductive movie experience. Gray is a safe and sophisticated way to decorate your home. For those who are tired of white or Boca beige, gray is the new neutral. The color in all its shades works well in any décor. It is used in tile, flooring, kitchen cabinetry, upholstery, paint and accessories.
Katia Bates of Innovative Creations in Fort Lauderdale designed this kitchen on Fort Lauderdale Beach for clients who wanted sexy and sleek interiors. She selected gray because it is a neutral that can be used in many shades.
“After considering a couple of color palettes, we all agreed to settle for the different gray, silver and black because it created the dramatic effect they were looking for,” Bates says.
2. Thinking Clearly
You can call it Lucite, Acrylic, Polycarbonate or Plexiglas. Whatever you call it, the effect is the same: a clear material that adds sophistication and chic to almost any home. Designers love it because it can be made into any shape and many colors.
“Unlike glass, acrylic is incredibly strong, and it creates the same effect of openness,” says Bea Pila of Bea Pila Design Studio in Miami, who designed a collection with acrylic including the pictured chaise with removable sides. “Acrylic is almost structural. It gives transparency with strength. It fits into almost any design environment. It can go with traditional, transitional or highly modern.”
Designers also like to use clear tables and chairs because they don’t take up a lot of visual space in small spaces. One of the best known classics in this genre is the Louis Ghost Armchair Designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell. It’s a surprisingly comfortable armchair made of transparent and colored polycarbonate.
3. Jewel Box Colors
We have seen movie stars walk the red carpet at the 2016 Golden Globes and other award shows in ruby red, sapphire blue and emerald green. So it wasn’t too much of a stretch to see these colors in House Beautiful and Architectural Digest. You may not be able to wear jewels every day, but the colors can decorate your chairs, windows, beds and sofas.
Some designers choose to add just a pop of jewel tones in a chair, picked up with the same color in pillows and carpets. Others go all out with an elegant jewel-toned room.
“We love layering in jewel tones on a dining-room table,” says Gordon Andahl, Public and Influencer Relations Manager for Z Gallerie. “Even just one element like a charger adds the right amount of color and richness to a table. Art is a wonderful way to add color to a room for spring. Choose something in a jewel tone to highlight earth tones.”
4. Boho Chic
The look is all over the fashion magazines – suzani and velvet fabrics, hippie fringe, Moroccan looks and luxe textures. Whatever you call it – Boho Chic or Haute Hippie – the ideas have traveled from runways to interiors.
It is a style that attracts those who want to make a statement in their homes. There are no rules, just a creative mix. You can start with a pillow and a rug and layer from there. It will look as if the owner were a world traveler picking up tile from Morocco, a bench from India and ikats from Southeast Asia.
Palm Beach designer Jennifer Garrigues has a reputation for knowing how to mix the elements from Syria, Morocco and India. The popular look she creates can be dubbed Bohemian or Global. Either word describes a work full of interest and the unusual items people bring back from their travels.
“This is what I love the most,” she says. “The unusual but the beautiful. A home should be filled with interest. The eye should be able to roam around a room and tell tales of where the furnishings have come from and the history behind them.”
5. Mid-Century Modern
The interesting part about this trend is it seemed to be popular among the cognoscenti for a long time. They were the designers and trendies who knew the names of Eero Saarinen, George Nelson, Arne Jacobsen and Milo Baughman.
Now we recognize Mid-Century Modern is more chic than that low table with skinny legs that mom had in the TV room. It was hip because we saw the iconic Saarinen Tulip table and chairs in Roger Sterling’s office during the final season of Mad Men. We fell in love with Jacobsen’s Egg Chair in TV commercials. You can still find the originals at high prices, but you can also find reproductions that fit the budgets of those who rediscovered the clean lines and beautiful shapes of the period.
“Mid-Century Modern has the same relevancy today because of its optimistic vitality and notion that great design can be accessible and affordable to the masses,” says Michael Wolk of Michael Wolk Design Associates in Miami.
6. Metal Madness
Metallics have been on the designer radar screen for some time, but the big news is mixing them. It’s the shimmer that makes the difference, whether it is the surround of a mirror, the detail on a table or the glisten of a beautiful glass tile that looks like a piece of art. The rule book has been rewritten. It’s cool to mix chrome with brass and gold tones.
Joe Fava of Fava Design Group in Miami says designers are using a lot more metal in their projects. They are adding wood with warmer metals such as chrome with brass. The big news at the Fall High Point Market in High Point, N.C., was rose gold, which we’re seeing in everything from lamps and sconces to water faucets.
Nisi Berryman of NIBA Home in the Miami Design District is less conservative with the trend.
“I find metal to be essential in a room, and a little androgynous – polished and glittering in its feminine form, or textured and strong like blackened steel or cast bronze on the masculine side,” she says. “They mix well with rich color and add the perfect counterpoint to an organic palette. Also, I’m losing my phobia for mixing warm and cool metals.”