Cathi Lloyd of Decorating Den Interiors in St. John sorts through the myriad suppliers and products at immense home furnishings trade shows to see the latest trends in color, furniture, lighting, floor covering, fabrics and accessories.
While most design trends begin small, they eventually sprout in showrooms known for their forward-thinking design eye and slowly spread to suppliers that have more mass appeal, she says.
“Many of the trends are a continuation of trends we saw developing in prior markets and are either still in the early stages, may not yet have mass appeal or some we term ‘have arrived,’” Lloyd says. “Most trends take a while before we see them, accept them and embrace them in our home in this area.”
So what’s hot now or on the horizon in home décor? St. John is home to several interior design professionals who say the next market trends to hit Northwest Indiana include classic colors, timeless metals and unique accessories.
The popular neutral color of choice continues to be gray, which works well as a backdrop as long as homeowners don’t “gray” out an entire room, Lloyd advises.
Dawn Johnson of Mary & Martha Home in St. John says the use of gray is part of a shift from warm to cool undertones for general home colorations.
“So many homeowners are now trying to update their yellow-based homes to the new trendy grays,” she says. “This can be done, but is a bit tricky.”
The best way is to introduce items that have both the warm colors of yesterday’s decor along with a new color to introduce, Johnson says. Patterned pillows and wall décor can accomplish this, though she advises to introduce a new color in at least three ways into each room.
“For example, if you want to introduce blue into a room with a brown sofa and rusty rug, add a patterned pillow with blue, brown and rust, along with a blue throw and something on the wall that has those colors,” she says.
Lloyd says you can never go wrong adding touches or lots of blue—another hot color—to a room.
“The market is still full of many hues of blue, including spa blue, periwinkle, royal, navy and all the tints and shades in between,” she says.
Together, black and white add a degree of sophistication, though white by itself—in all its variations from cream to ivory—is in for 2016, Lloyd says.
“This seemingly non-color is the preferred choice for many home decorating products,” she says. “Don’t forget, however, to add a dash or more of color when working with these two colors.”
The use of metals on furniture and accessories is not a new design element, though to the extent and how metals are featured as stunning design elements is trending in the design world, Lloyd says.
“With metal, you can forget about simple straight line designs,” she says. “It can be twisted, rounded, chained and molded into any direction desired.”
Even gold is making a comeback.
“Lighting, chandeliers, artwork as well as furniture pieces and fabrics,” Lloyd says. “Gold is new again.”
Don’t be afraid to mix and match metals, Lloyd says, because unlike jewelry, there are no rules here.
Another popular element in the market now is naturally inspired designs.
“Nature’s designs can best be described as Wabi-Sabi, which is the Japanese tradition of looking at the beauty of something through its imperfections,” Lloyd says. “Nature inspired designs in furniture, fabrics and accessories continue to have staying power with the consumer.”
Reclaimed, rustic woods with rough, open-grained finishes that are full of character keep things casual and are found in relaxed traditional to contemporary design styles, she says.
“Grass cloth wall covering is woven from natural materials and can add a beautiful natural texture to otherwise plain walls,” Lloyd says. “Window coverings also reflect this natural trend with woven wood and other natural fibers for window shades.”
Retro and Eclectic
The desire to flashback to mod silhouettes and styles of the mid-century is still going strong, Lloyd says. Even plush faux fur or a shag rug are popular accessories, while mid-century lines, bright colors and large geometric prints on furniture add appeal.
“Classic Barcelona never go out of style, but they are especially popular now,” she says.
Another recent fad is the inclusion of pallet art, Edison bulbs and pencil tile, Johnson says.
“These are fun to play with, but beware of investing a lot of money into trends which you will tire of as soon as the next fad comes along,” she advises. “When choosing fixed elements—like tile, floors and things you won’t be ripping out any time soon—remember, boring now, timeless later.”
A surprising trend hitting the appliance industry is the desire from many consumers to go back to more traditional units, including washers that have agitators. This gives consumers more control over the cycles and the amount of water than some front load and efficiency units, says Erik Schneider, owner of Hometown Appliance & Electronics in St. John.
“People want to go back to the mechanicals,” he says. “They want to make their own selections and not have the unit thinking for them. That’s very unusual in this day and age when everything is about technology.”
Though stainless steel is still popular, most manufacturers are releasing smudge-proof styles of stainless, Schneider says.
“Black stainless steel is also really taking off,” he says. “It’s very elegant and warm, and adds a whole other look to your kitchen.”