Décor Trends for 2016

Soooooo, I’m sorry to not be more specific, but the trends for 2016 are all over the place. From pastels to deep dark colors. From reclaimed wood to shiny midcentury modern. Different decorators and designers have different opinions. Is industrial in or out? What about sliding barn doors? Letters and words on walls? You can read the conflicting opinions here at Benjamin Moore Color Trends 2016 ;  here at 9 Designers Say Ditch These Trends in 2016 ; here at  Lush Home Trends to Stay and Go in 2016 ; and here Maria Killam’s Trends 2016 (same author, another post: Maria Killam Trending 2016 ), and one more conflicting opinion here Interior Design Trends 2016 . Although there may be different opinions and tastes, there are some general design trends that will last at least several more years. I will try to define what trends actually have a little staying power for the 2010’s.


Here is a guide of the principal décor trends that have been around for the last few years, and will continue for the next several:
Overall design look: Clean lines versus ornate curves and scrolls, in lighting and in furniture design. No oversized rolled arms on couches that are 14 inches wide each. No brown chandelier with lots of scrolls in the metal work, and especially topped with amber glass shades. Instead, think “updated, substantial midcentury modern” if you want your furniture and lighting to be in style for the next several years. Straight lines or subtle curves on arms of couches, furniture pieces, and in lighting, is the style now. Lighting trends include glass or metal pendants with touches of wood or metal, metal orbs, traditional lanterns that are not fussy (and very large), chandeliers that have long spider-like arms rather than twists and turns, clear glass globe pendants, and caged lighting. Even the popular industrial style incorporates the straight lines and less fussy look. Geometric prints and designs are in fabrics and rugs (although florals are making a comeback this spring!). Again, SUBSTANTIAL yet MID-MODERN is the best way I know to describe the overall design look of our decade. This can be carried out in many genres of styles — traditional, farmhouse, industrial, modern, eclectic, and so on — whatever your style, you can incorporate some of these features to make sure you are still on trend.


Modern Sofa in Blue (in style); Chevron pattern (on the way out), all from Wayfair.com


Lighting: Oversized lighting (but not oversized furniture, remember?). Many designers are spending more money on light fixtures than floors and rugs. In general, the larger or the bigger statement your light fixture can make, the better.  And no boob lights! (I still have 3 boob lights in the house, I must confess. Working on this!!!) What’s a boob light you may ask? Anything round, like half a globe, with a nipple in the middle. Please, no more boobs hanging from the ceilings if you can help it. Why? Because they are boobs. (They are not the worst things on the face of this earth, but they are cheap and not interesting and can be found in every house — and a little phallic, to be honest. Sorry if I ruined them for you!)  Instead, opt for barrel shapes and bright metals, glass, and caged lighting is very hot right now.


The infamous “boob light” that we all have. Tired and old. Time to change it. Lowe’s Ceiling Light



Colors: In general, lighter and brighter.  Clean colors (on walls and in décor) have replaced the brown and gold-yellow and flesh colors that we all had in the 1990s. This one is hard for some folks. Sometimes it is hard to change (e.g. Do you still have your hairstyle from when you graduated high school?? May be time to update, just saying ….). But quite frankly, aren’t you ready for something brighter than the muddied red, green, gold, mauve and BROWN? And when you look back, you have to agree that color trends change through the decades. Let me refresh your memory:
o 1950s: mint green, light gray with pale pink, black and white, gold and “atomic space age” accents; straight lines in furniture and geometric prints (what’s old is new!)

o Late 1960s-1970s: Brady Bunch style, think orange shag carpeting, mushrooms as décor, avocado green, mustard yellow, brown faux-wood paneling … ah yes

o 1980s: geese was the décor trend with light blue and pale pink and rose-mauve (yes, we decorated with geese); fluorescent colors and mullet hairstyles in fashion

o Late 1980s and early 1990s: hunter green and maroon – EVERYWHERE — the beginning of the warm muddied colors

o 1990s: brown, red, gold, touches of sage or olive green; Tuscan gold or earthy muddy colors

o Mid 2000s: gray hit the scene hard

o 2010s: grayed down blues, greens, whites, and various shades of gray and greige with pops of color, like turquoise, berry, yellow; grays are still very big (we are still in this decade, you know)


o 2016 Colors of the Year (click on names of companies to learn more):

Sherwin Williams :  Alabaster 7008   (warm white)
Benjamin Moore:  Simply White  OC-117   (white, but not stark white)
Pantone’s Colors of the Year :  Rose Quartz and Serenity   (pastel pink and blue, seen at the beginning of this post)

The Colors of the Year are put out each year by the big paint color companies and are fun and usually inspiring. They do not necessarily reflect overarching decade-long looks, but more what is hot in the decorating and/or fashion world at the time.
Here is my take on this year’s Colors of the Year:
This year the two white Colors of the Year reflect the cleaner and brighter desires of the 2010s. When looking at magazines, many rooms have walls painted white. However, plain white walls are difficult to decorate and quite frankly, I find them a little stark and boring.  I love white as an accent, as in some furniture pieces or accessories. But the task of decorating white walls to look chic and pulled together takes planning and work. One must add lots of textures and colors, but in the right way so that it doesn’t look just thrown together with no rhyme or reason. Perhaps this is a sneaky way to get designers and decorators more business, because you pretty much need some talent and know-how to pull off white walls without looking like your college apartment – you know, the one you weren’t allowed to paint and you just threw up whatever you had thumbtacked to the walls – yeah, that one. (Shameless business plug alert: so if you really want white walls, please call me to help decorate!)
And how about Pantone’s pale Pink and Blue together – pretty colors, but talk about being difficult to decorate in the right way!! Whew! Again, if you want these two colors, please call me. It is so easy to end up looking like you live in a baby’s nursery. Even if you want only pink, or only blue, please let me help you find the right one. I will not help you plan a Pepto-Bismol room, I promise. I love both of these colors, and will be glad to make it work for you, if you’ve been waiting for these colors to make their way into home fashion.

Hope you have enjoyed my take on Décor Trends for 2016. It’s been fun to read all the different takes on what is in and what is out this year (in the above links at top of this post). Many of them conflict one another! My overall advice is, unless you are staging your home to sell, inform yourself, research to find inspirational ideas, and then choose colors and décor that make YOU happy. ( As long as your choice is NOT orange shag carpeting, with a goose wearing a pink bow and blue bonnet in your wood paneled room, topped with an atomic space-aged light fixture…) 