2016 Home Decor Trends

1. Free standing bathroom vanities

Built in vanities have had their day. Free standing bathroom vanities are trending right now. They are practical, functional, and don't have to be customized. When selecting a bathroom vanity there are a lot of different sizes that work for different spaces.

Free standing vanities are not supposed to fit perfectly. Having space on either side can help the room not look as crowded.There is a lot of flexibility as far as how much space you can leave on either side of free standing bathroom vanities. However, I would stay away from gaps less that look accidental. I try not to have gaps smaller than 2-3 inches.  If the gap is too small it doesn't look intentional. You don't want to send the message that you are going for the built in vanity look but forgot to measure.

Click here to see my collection of freestanding bathroom vanities. 


2. Shagreen

First of all, what is Shagreen? Shagreen is most commonly shark skin. It can also refer to the skin of rays and dog fish which are all cartagulous fish with skin having a smooth pebble like texture. Shagreen is hugely trending right now but it has been a prized material for centuries.

Interestingly enough Shagreen has been used since about 220 AD when it was first used on Japanese Samurai's swords because of it's durable texture and reliable grip. In addition to Japanese warriors, one of Louis the XV's mistresses was an avid collector of all things shagreen. Supposedly, hardly a week would go by without her purchasing something with the luxurious material.

The Shagreen Trend's last big peak was during the European Art deco phase where designers sought to fuse traditional European style with exotic, rare materials and treasures.

Now, Shagreen is one of the top design trends for 2016. There is a huge variety of real and faux Shagreen furniture and decor available in today's market. Real Shagreen is extraordinarily expensive but I have a variety of gorgeous pieces in my collection that look and feel like the real thing. Click here to see all things Shagreen.


3. Lucite and Acrylic

Clean lines and transitional and more modern styles are trending right now. Clear, acrylic accents and furniture are appearing everywhere in a variety of styles. My personal theory is that in a DIY world, things that cannot be done on the cheap or at home are trending. Things that can't be imitated, that are special and that can't be knocked off are desired in the home. I could be wrong, but DIY acrylic furniture and Shagreen doesn't seem very plausible. Update your space with acrylic touches. Mixing modern acrylic with traditional or rustic decor is a great way to update your space and give it that coveted transitional style. After all, a room should feel collected not decorated. Add interest and modern style to any room with any of these on trend lucite and acrylic pieces.


4. Lacquered Furniture and Shiny Finishes

Fresh, clean and updated lacquered furniture is a great way to add variety to traditional and rustic decor. Try adding a modern, shiny lacquered nightstand to your bedroom and get rid of your warm wood traditional bedside table. Add transitional appeal with lacquered furniture and accents that have shiny finish. Experiment with mixing styles and materials. Put a rustic lamp on a shiny white console with an abstract painting and something organic like moss balls in a bowl to tie it all together. Design is an art not a science. Don't be afraid to experiment mixing styles and materials. The key is not to be afraid to make a mistake. Click here to see all things lacquered and shiny.

5. Gray

The gray trend is here to stay for a while. Everyone is painting over their khaki colored walls and opting for soft gray hues. Revere Pewter has taken Pinterest by storm. Though it's a gorgeous color, it has too much of a purple undertone in my opinion. I much prefer Halo by Benjamin Moore. I always use Benjamin Moore Colors-in fact, I'm such a fan that I named my cat Benjamin Moore. 


6. Wallpaper

Everyone seems to be scared of wallpaper. I absolutely love it but it's a hard sell to clients. People are scarred for life from having to remove it 25 years ago and many have vowed never to use wallpaper again. However, wall paper is significantly easier to apply and remove today. Use it in a small room. Wallpaper in a powder bathroom with no shower or tub is a great way to liven up a small space. It can be used in a bathroom with a shower or tub but it needs to be proffessionally installed as the steam can cause it to peel. I just put Farrow and Ball's Lotus wallpaper in a clients powder bathroom and she absolutely loves it!


7. Statement Lighting

I have written several blog posts on the importance of updating your light fixtures. Statement lighting is huge right now. An unexpected sputnik chandelier in a formal dining room or a bubble glass fixture over the bed in a quiet guest room are two ideas I have in the works at a clients home. I'll post pictures after my install! Love unexpected pops throughout a home-following the rules is over-rated anyways. 


8. Dusty, Quiet Color Palettes.  

The Pantone color of the year is Rose Quartz and I am seeing maeve and dusty pink in just about every showroom. I love light pink in a room as long as it has enough of an earth undertone to it- if it is too pure and powdery it can read "baby girl nursery". I am also loving dusty blues and greens right now. Here is a vision board of a living room I have put together with soft shades of pinks and blues. 


9. Banquette Seating

I've always loved benches at tables, especially in homes with children- you can fit so many little ones on a bench! Now Banquette seating is my new favorite dining seating and possibly my favorite home decor trend of 2016. It's practical, space efficient and all the rage right now. I just put the Jensen sofa in a clients home as a banquette seat in a breakfast room and it looks fabulous! In today's world dinner time may be the only time a family gets to catch up and download their day with each other. Family time is so important so having relaxing and comfortable seating is a must. If you have wood seats of any kind they need to go! I know, I know, you have kids and they spill but stain treat your upholstery and get the pieces that will accommodate longer dinner conversations. And by the way, I'd rather sit on a comfortable banquette with a stain or two than a wood chair any day! 


10. Bamboo Accents

Bamboo hardware and furniture with Bamboo molding is also a trend I am loving right now. Chinoiserie (Asian Style) is making  a comeback and adding bamboo furniture or hardware is a great way to keep your home updated and on trend without making your home look like a pagoda. Click here to see pieces with bamboo accents.


Virginia Harper


Virginia Harper

Cool! That’s a clever way of loknoig at it!

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