Decor trends take us on a little emotional journey every season. Some speak to how we're feeling, some to how we want to feel.
For 2017, trend spotters say we're looking for ease and comfort. Even at the luxury end of the decor spectrum, the look is less stiff suit, more velvet smoking jacket.
"When you look at this palette, it's a Sunday morning," says Laurie Pressman, a vice president at the Pantone Color Institute. These delicate hues — what she and others are calling an "ephemeral" trend — evoke airiness and light.
Gentle whites and chalky pastels, which gained popularity over the last year or two, now combine with darker yet soothing neutrals like marine, earth, moss and heather. Textures are soft. Woods are low-luster.
"You can fall into it and relax," says Tom Mirabile, a New York-based consumer trends expert.
Crate & Barrel's spring collections include generous dollops of pistachio and aqua, bringing these nostalgic hues into kitchenware and accessories. (www.crateandbarrel.com )
Kitchenaid's newest mixers and bowls come in pretty shades of cornflower and buttercup. (www.kitchenaid.com )
And watch for lots of yellow, says Stephanie Pierce, design director at MasterBrand Cabinets. "From pale butter to dark mustard, yellows are cropping up everywhere," she says, in styles ranging from midcentury modern to country farmhouse.
Some motifs are getting re-worked in subtler ways. California-based designer Alison Palevsky points to animal prints like antelope and cheetah done in gray and beige instead of the traditional colors.
"The pattern adds immediate interest and texture to any room," she says, citing Stark Carpet's Antilocarpa in smoke, stone and silver.
Luxury's new look
If "ephemeral" is decor's languid glass of lemonade, "luxe" is a goblet of heady merlot.
Jewel tones, lustrous leathers and heftier, colored metals appeal to a new "visually expressive" generation, says Pantone's Pressman. "It's all about the finish — shine and luster."
Shiny brass and copper have been growing more popular, note Mat Sanders and Brandon Quattrone of the Los Angeles-based interior design studio Consort. "But 2017 will be about embracing the beauty of aged metals in furniture, hardware and fixtures." Look for burnished finishes in pieces large and small.
You'll see Art Deco references as well, and more of the simplicity and elegance of Danish, Italian and French modernism.
Some classic pieces are being reissued, like chairs designed by Danes Finn Juhl and Hans J. Wegner. Miami designers Todd Davis and Rob Brown are using color-infused woods in a Deco-inspired collection crafted by Indiana furniture maker Keith Fritz. (www.browndavis.com )
There are chic new frameless mirrors at West Elm with Deco flair. Curvy armchairs from Roar & Rabbit, as well as the Delphine console with marble top and brushed bronze hardware, evoke a continental sexiness. (www.westelm.com )
Relaxing and refreshing, this trend hits all the "green" notes with an emphasis on a natural palette, organic silhouettes and sustainable materials. Think farmstead, writ urban.
"It's kicking off your shoes, whether you're indoors or out," says Mirabile.
Crate & Barrel's chunky Big Sur furniture, in white oak, fits the vibe, as does a verdant assortment of faux banana trees, orchids and magnolias.
Donna Garlough of Joss & Main has noted the tropical look expanding.
"I'm seeing citrus trees in the mix — wallpaper with lemon branches, and botanical sketches of orange trees," she says. "Complementing the trend, colors like kiwi, citron and chartreuse made a splash at last fall's decor markets, meaning they're probably going to hit homes and stores in 2017."
Pantone recently named Greenery their Color of the Year, citing its zestiness and vitality. Wayfair's got some green iron side chairs with an industrial look, as well as a transitional loveseat in the hue. (www.wayfair.com )
Sky and ocean blues are perennial favorites, in cloud-patterned textiles in PB Teen's collection, and in embroidered, chambray and shibori table linens at Pottery Barn. Also at the retailer are galvanized steel serveware and kitchen storage items with an easy, rural vibe. (www.potterybarn.com )
Florals are a key component of the outdoorsy trend this spring; they're on everything from lampshades to lounge chairs.
British designer Ted Baker has a new collection of painted tiles with lush florals and chinoiserie rendered in rich hues on sleek glass. (www.tileshop.com )
"The new look of global is not one single country," Mirabile says. "It's almost indefinable — call it neo-global, or geo-hybrid."
Pressman sees an eclecticism created by our personal and online travels.
Think a Chinese vase with an ikat print pillow, for example.
It's a collected, curated and comfortable look with appeal to homebodies looking to refresh their homes for the new year.