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Top 5 Interior Design Trends for 2017

Straight-lined minimalism gives way to liberal ornament, and kitchens get a room of their own. Dozens of interior-design pros weigh in on next year’s trends.


Out: Rigid Geometrics

Atlanta designer Julie DeWalt said, “Hard edges and stark patterns are fading away as we strive to add warmth to homes.” Founder of New York gallery The Future Perfect David Alhadeff includes kitschy and colorful Memphis décor in the outgoing trend: “Enough with the arbitrarily wild and crazy.” In tiles, Italian designers Francesco Breganze and Virginia Valentini see “a decrease in sharp hexagonals and octagonals in favor of warmer neutral designs—especially those that create fabric-like patterns such as tweed and linen.”

In: Layered Maximalism

Interiors professionals are chilling to cool, simple lines in favor of patterns layered like the pieces above, from Zak + Fox. New York designer Starrett Ringbom is seeing more “tassels and trims as rich, louche interiors make a comeback.” Other elements this wave brings: Chinoiserie, ornate historic motifs, florals, organic patterns and the handmade. Dallas designer Michelle Nussbaumer pointed to the worldliness of new interiors: “I’m seeing a mix of cultures, objects and travel finds coming together.”


Out: Somber Grains

“Dark woods like mahogany and ebony are going out of style because they look a little heavy,” said New York-based designer Aamir Khandwala. “Woods such as oak, pear-wood and birch feel more modern, as they are lighter in color and more uniform in grain.” The only thing more bleak and dated than the duskier varieties of wood is lumber with a past. “Anything reclaimed or that looks recycled is definitely on its way out,” explained Mr. Alhadeff— whether cabinetry, furniture or flooring.

In: Terrazzo

Bits of marble suspended in cement (or chunks bound in resin, like the Marmoreal material Max Lamb created for Dzek, right), terrazzo is “one of those classics people underestimate,” said New York designer Mariela Alvarez. “It’s almost indestructible and great for floors.” A popular choice in lobbies and restaurants, the polished material also suits a home’s foyer, kitchen or bathroom. “From 10 paces back, it reads as clean, fresh and neutral while showing dimension and texture up close,” said New York designer Drew McGukin.


Out: Flashy Ore

“The shiny, polished brass from the 1970s made a huge comeback the past few years,” said New York designer Sasha Bikoff, but in 2017, the showy material’s shine has largely worn off. Like gold-plated anything, the lacquered metal skews nouveau riche, especially when used in quantity. “As with any beautiful element,” said California designer Ohara Davies-Gaetano, “less is more.”

In: Muted Metal Finishes

Where metallics are concerned, subtlety trumps glitz. San Francisco designer Grant K. Gibson predicts the ascent of matte details like oxidized metals and matte glazes, while Ms. Bikoff recommends the “higher level of sophistication” provided by “warm and worldly antique brass.” Nashville’s Chad James concurred: “It’s time to move to neutral-colored metals, the more-primitive steel and cold gun metal.” He suggests pewter, like the Nanz Company’s knobs at right, as another refined alternative.


Out: Pallid Pink

“Some colors like pale pink have been all over showrooms but have a short life-expectancy,” said Charlston-based designer Michael Mitchell, speaking for himself and partner Tyler Hill. Chicago designer Tom Stringer agreed, noting that while “blush was promoted as a color trend earlier in the year, it already looks tired and drab.” Though some designers buy into the world’s looking better through rose-colored glasses, Mr. Stringer asserted that “no one looks good sitting on a pink sofa.”

In: Forest Green

“When I was growing up, forest green was everywhere, but we got sick of it and felt it was too heavy and formal,” said California designer Becki Owens. “Now it’s making a modern, moody comeback.” East Hampton architect and designer Erica Broberg Smith offered, “We’ve seen the color in European design magazines, but we’d put our money on its arrival stateside this year.” Ms. Owens specified, “It’s dark, but it looks current and fresh when used with grays, blacks and white and creates a sophisticated edge.” Try Farrow & Ball’s Studio Green, right.


Out: Open Floor Plans

While the free-flowing layout of midcentury modernism has long reigned, many designers and architects are reintroducing clients to the joys of compartmentalization. “Loft-like living isn’t for everyone,” Mr. Gibson said. “In years past, everyone knocked down walls to create ‘great rooms’ with kitchens connected to living spaces, but people realized they actually desire a sense of separation.” For Beverly Hills designer Stephan Jones, it’s time to close the door on open-concept plans.

In: Separate Kitchens

“Many of our clients love to cook, and the kitchen is a central part of their home, but they don’t like having it as a focal point during a dinner party,” Mr. Jones said, while Mr. Gibson noted that folks on the other side of the entertainment equation appreciate a little discretion as well: “People don’t particularly want to see a messy kitchen.” The new year’s resolution? Give chefs their space, like the room shown at right. Ms. Broberg Smith considers the kitchen “the most important and highly used room in the house,” deserving of four walls. Mr. Jones also called for, “a good exhaust system,” adding that “not all food aromas are pleasant ones.”

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