My Favourite Design Trends for 2018

As a designer, I love the beginning of a new year when everyone is predicting design trends for the upcoming months. I usually like to cozy up with a pile of my favourite magazines, devour  the content and then hop onto my computer to see what my favourite designers are predicting as well.

As I browse the magazines, websites and social media, I’m usually looking for a few things:

  • validation that my own instincts are correct
  • anything that might spark a new idea or inspire me in a new way
  • to determine which trends I think can be integrated into longer term design plans for clients in my area. I like to find ways to incorporate things that are current but will also endure over time and not date too quickly.

This year I found a lot of sources in agreement on what the trends for 2018 are. I'm very happy with the way things are headed as these trends still fulfill my need for minimalism and clean and contemporary spaces.

White Walls

The white wall trend is a favourite of mine and even though we’re hearing and seeing that some colour is being thrown into the mix, I believe that colour is best used in accent pieces and smaller, more defined areas. I’m not opposed to an entire room in a luscious dark shade, but I still prefer the largest areas of the home (hallways, kitchens, open spaces etc.) to be a variation of white or a subtle grey or cream. It might not seem the most practical (especially with children and pets) but paint has become more durable over the years and is the one thing that can easily be touched up every once in a while to make a space look crisp, clean and new again.

Image Source:  Amber Interiors   Photo Credit:  Tessa Neustadt

Image Source: Amber Interiors  Photo Credit: Tessa Neustadt

Natural Elements used in White Kitchens

We are now seeing more natural elements being paired with white spaces and these include light wood floors, walnut tones, grass cloth, greenery and natural stone and concrete. There is some speculation that the white kitchen is on it’s way out (as it’s been so popular for a while now) but I think a white kitchen is a classic that will remain a good investment in the years to come. What we are now seeing emerge includes the introduction of natural elements so that kitchens are not as monochromatic as in previous years. Using accent colours on the cabinetry for select areas such as pantries and islands along with incorporating more natural woods (like the walnut pictured below) create a more interesting and personalized aesthetic. These changes can add dimension, depth and personality to the timeless white kitchen. 

Image Source:  Orsi Panos Interiors   Photo credit:  Janis Nicolay

Image Source: Orsi Panos Interiors  Photo credit: Janis Nicolay

Large Art Pieces

This is one of my favourite trends that I’ve never even considered to be a trend! I’ve always loved the use of a stunning large piece of art to instantly add colour, drama and impact to a room. I also think it's one of the best jumping off points for determining a colour scheme for a room and/or adjacent rooms. The mixture of interesting colours often conveyed in these large art pieces can be used in fabrics, rugs, drapery and other accents to tie the decor together. In my opinion, a solid investment in a piece that you love will never go out style. 

Image Source:  Interior Marketing Group

Bold Colours and Wallpapers

I know this may seem to contradict the “White Wall” trend mentioned above, but I see this trend of bold colour and wallpaper best used in contained spaces such as powder rooms, home offices and libraries - rooms that are adjacent to larger, more open areas that exist in a contemporary home. Using a bold approach in a specific room is a great way to provide a more intimate feel in a select area of your home. It also adds interest and dimension and most importantly, allows you an area to have a little fun with while decorating your home. 

Image Source:  Studio McGee

Image Source: Studio McGee

Lastly, here are some tips for incorporating trends into your space:

  • Trends come and go so I try to incorporate trends in inexpensive ways that help to refresh a space and keep it feeling fresh and current.
  • Have fun with trends on a smaller scale. As mentioned above, try a bold wallpaper or paint colour in a small powder room, etc.
  • Know your style! I can't stress enough how important it is to know your style and stick to it when shopping for your home. If you're not sure what your style is, see my previous post on defining your style

And finally, don’t forget to do what you love. Trends come and go but the true measure of longevity is being true to yourself and your taste so you can enjoy the design for years to come.

How do you feel about my favourite trends for the year? Feel free to tell me some of yours in the comments below. 

Defining Your Style

As I began to study interior design I quickly realized I needed to define my very own style. This wasn’t the easiest thing for me because I tend to fall in love with beautiful things on a daily basis. In fact it took a few months to figure it out but I finally realized that the things I see in design stores, on instagram and in magazines might be items I like, or even love, but they aren’t always items I can live with for a long time. For myself, this comes down to a feeling, or a mood as they like to call it in design school. At the end of the day, I need my own home to feel very calm, serene and harmonious. In the past I would often go out and buy a bunch of new items to decorate a room, only to edit and remove about half of them six months later.  Furthermore, I realized that for me, that editing process feels WONDERFUL. I just love getting rid of stuff. I dislike clutter and think everything looks a lot cleaner without it. Not to mention it just feels better - calm and relaxing. 

So, after all of my research and soul searching, I came up with these words to describe my own personal design and decorating style – clean, minimalist, calm, elegant, timeless. This is especially true for the bones of any project I complete. Let’s face it, renovations are expensive in Canada so the practical side of me agrees it’s best to design a beautiful, timeless, neutral base that can be decorated with paint, fabric and accessories to remain current in over many years. 

Here’s an example of a kitchen that has not yet been decorated but that truly embodies my style. 

Source:  Studio McGee

Source: Studio McGee

Below are links to a couple quizzes that can help you define your style. Pinterest is also a great tool to use to gather photos that you like and over time, as you scroll through your boards you will begin to see common elements of your own preferences.

Apartment Therapy What's Your Home Decor Personality?

Lonny.com MyStyle Finder Quiz

Houzz Decorating Style Quiz

If you need help defining your style or implementing it in your home a professional designer can help to ensure a result that will stand the test of time and that you will love for many years to come.  Let me know your style in the comments below.