January 18, 2017

Design Forecast: 5 Trends to Watch for in 2017

With help from a team of industry experts, we set out to decode the themes that are set to dominate interior design in 2017. 

Nature’s Palette

Peach Encounter by Valspar.

Calming shades of green, purple, and taupe have topped almost every major paint brand’s color forecast for 2017. Reflecting the rapidly growing wellness industry, these soft, desaturated tones are backed up by themes of sustainability, simplistic living, spirituality, and self-improvement.

Praising it for its “vitality of nature and new beginnings,” Pantone announced Greenery as its color of the year for 2017. “The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world,” the brand said. 

The shades in Valspar’s 2017 palette are all drawn straight from the natural landscape; a botanical yellow green, terracotta, apricot, and warm stone gray are four of the 12 curated colors. Meanwhile, Benjamin Moore presents a dusk-inspired purple hue called Shadow as its Color of the Year. 

Raw Surfaces

Oxide Range Cooker by Lex Pott for La Cornue.
The Lava collection by Peca.

Sarah Housley, editor of trend forecasting company WGSN, believes that surfaces will be moving away from the flawless rose gold and high shine metals of previous years and heading in a more “raw and even primal” direction. “Deep silver metals and dark, tactile stone are set to be explored more widely by designers this year,” she explains. “Pewter, zinc, aluminum, and tin were emerging materials at last year’s shows, and rugged lava stone is starting to be used in very interesting ways across smaller items such as tableware.” 

Interior Design Hall of Fame member Glenn Pushelberg of Yabu Pushelberg agrees, predicting that rich tones layered with natural materials will be in demand in 2017. “Due to the mood created by current global geopolitics of pervasive uncertainty, there will be a desire for warmth and intimacy without trending to a tendency to replicate a particular era in full,” Pushelberg says. “We look forward to seeing a moodier, more artistic approach to interiors, that conveys a comfortable, collected feeling as opposed to stark, over-styled spaces.”

Sculpting Light

Alphabet of Light by Artemide.
Suspenders system by Sonneman.

“New technology is allowing us to move our lighting toward more decorative architectural systems that can illuminate space with waves of sculptural forms, as opposed to individual fixtures,” says Robert Sonneman, founder and CEO of Sonneman, in reference to the brand’s modular Suspenders design. “The intent is a system that can be configured as a tiered web of infinite scope and variety. These fixtures invite a diversity of interpretation, from individual lighting sculptures to an application across the broad expanse of a large space.” 

Similarly, Artemide’s Big Alphabet of Light, an Interior Design Best of Year winner, is made up of straight or curved Base modules that form complex structures, while the concave and convex elements of Barbican’s Wave join together to make undulating installations.

Home Theater

Balance lamp by Victor Castanera for Oblure.

Bold color blocking, strong graphic forms, and kaleidoscopic surfaces dominated last year’s fairs, as designers pushed boundaries with experimental furnishings. “Things are getting nutty and there’s more to come in 2017,” says David Alhadeff, founder of the New York design store and gallery The Future Perfect. “I see an increased appreciation for contemporary design, with designers and homeowners making smart decisions about the interplay of color, graphic elements, and daring architecture. Our clients are increasingly seeking and using truly unique pieces to create a thoughtfully mixed, eclectic interior.”

Connected Home

Smart Assistant by Lenovo.

All aspects of our daily life are gradually becoming connected to the Internet of Things. At the 2017 edition of CES, mobile device accessories brand Griffin Technology introduced a collection of Bluetooth-enabled home appliances that allow users to tailor every aspect of their morning routine. From the strength of their coffee to the color of their toast, everything is controlled via a simple smartphone app. Voice-controlled smart speakers such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Lenovo’s Smart Assistant are bringing the sci-fi fantasy of a virtual personal assistant to life. Helping users to schedule their day, these digital companions advise on traffic and weather conditions while happily making up a shopping list. We will continue to see connectivity integrate into our interiors in 2017.

View the slideshow for more examples of these trends!

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