Trending: The Colors of 2018

It isn’t lost on me that the life cycle of interior design is itself an endless pattern. The business of predicting color trends in the paint industry is tied into so many elements that it is one of the most fascinating seminars I get to attend. These elements contribute to larger conversations and inspire new waves of societal influences, sparking inspiration for new trends and the start of a new design cycle at the end of every year.  

I had the privilege of attending the Sherwin-Williams 2018 Colormix Color Forecast conference again this year. For all of us color geeks out there, everything just makes more sense in palette. You can tell me all you want about viral this or trendy that, but I just want to see it in a fabric swatch or paint chip form! Of course, design is personal.  Some clients don’t care about trends, but like fashion, it’s important to pay attention to these trends because it permeates everything and is readily available for professionals like myself to purchase.  Just as I am seeing the return of “mom jeans” in trendy stores, certain colors cycle through as well. For example, in the color industry, reds are said to “have legs” on them - color specialists keep trying to get rid of them, but they always walk right back into the design world!

Here’s your behind-the-scenes access to all the trends you’re seeing on Instagram and the sources of my own inspiration for the new year.




Concept: Less is more

Looks: Warm metallics, agate, stone, fur, reclaimed wood

The idea I’ve latched onto the most in my own work, this palette speaks to the mindful living we’re striving for these days. White noise is soothing and the visual silence in both color, decor, and texture can play a huge role in achieving that inner calm. We live in a curated and watchful world and silent, stripped down, unfiltered spaces represent the relief from those external pressures. And imperfections are far more celebrated now than they were a few years ago. That’s why you’re seeing “no-makeup” makeup products advertised on your social media feed and reclaimed wood and pigmented marble in the home. Choose comfort over correctness, and what feels good instead of what seems right. Minimal doesn’t have to mean plain- it just means thoughtful.

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Concept: Be present 

Looks: Geometrics, mirror metallics, 3D effect, cement tile

On the flip side, we can’t deny the force of real-time connectivity in our world. And connectivity in the home doesn’t mean having an Alexa in every room-- it means smarter design and efficiency. With smart houses looming in the future and tiny houses already achieving HGTV status, there’s no reason we can’t use data to inform our design decisions for our homes (the regular kind). After all, a product with just one function is inefficient by 2018’s standards-- we want things that serve their intended purposes and also give back in another way. Form doesn’t always follow function, and chances are, you connect with friends and family through at least 3 forms of communication. With all this buzz, we’re putting an increasing amount of pressure on our purchases to be purposeful; enter the rise of personalization. Though we have an abundance of product and design choices and are never short of visual inspiration (thanks, social media), we live in an on-demand, tailor-made world and the design is no different. Creating spaces where we can better connect to each other, the earth, our roots, and the world outside is absolutely within reach.

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Concept: The world at your fingertips

Looks: Wider plank flooring, natural crafts (i.e. baskets), burnt patinas, folk patterns, batiks, mod cloths

If we’re connected with the world, it’s much easier to become a citizen of it. This palette celebrates the global mindset that technology and travel grant us. Borders are far more open now than they ever were and the inspiration overflows. This impacts not only the style we have access to, but the actual products that are made. We can now find pieces native to one community and display it in for our own, thereby telling a story that goes beyond ourselves. And the story we tell with design can inspire those who encounter it to see the world for themselves. At the end of the day, no matter where we are, we’re all people with common needs. An appreciation for good design knows no bounds.

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Since the new year is underway, I’ve already been drawing inspiration from this conference in my recent work. If you’re wondering how to bring a little more 2018 into your home, I definitely have some ideas for you and can’t wait to hear how these trends are sparking your own.