10 Design Trends to Up Your Style Game in 2018
From French windows to green neutrals to all black everything, take a look at what are sure to be the biggest design trends of 2018 with our Creative Director Tessa Wolf.
2017 was a good year for design. We saw a lot of brass, a lot of steel windows and, let’s face it, a LOT of white kitchens. As much as we (and, by “we,” I mean me and every other Pinterest consuming American) still love these looks, I’m excited to march into 2018 with a whole new crop of design #goals on my list.
Trend #1: English & French Country... Contd.
Kicking things off with this one because it’s kind of old news tbh and I want to be clear that I know and am not embarrassed to be leaning further into a trend that was legitimately everywhere in 2017. DeVOL Kitchens, I still love you and your Instagram and am regularly furious that your hardware and paint colors are only available in the UK. Inset cabinets, I still love you and will pay extra to have you in my forthcoming living room built-ins even though I have been warned you will become uneven over time.
Cupboard latches, icebox latches and other British-named latches, I still love you because I put you on every little door I can find and now everything I touch looks 19th Century as hell. Beadboard, I love you most because I was initially mad that the woman who renovated our house put you in all of our bathrooms and under our island bar top, but then saw Emily Henderson do the exact same things (admittedly, with v groove, not beadboard) and now I know Ruth was just ahead of me on this one.
Trend 2: Wood Casement Windows
Ready for the bougiest sentence you’ll ever read? In college, while studying abroad in the south of France, I interned at Cézanne’s country studio (which is now a little museum). Needless to say, it was bright and amazing and had an entire wall of windows on one side and casement “fenêtres” on the opposite. Apparently, he opened and closed them throughout the day to control his still life lighting. Since our (still) lives and lighting are equally as important as his, we can now have his windows. And we should.
Related, Cézanne also had a door that was 12 feet tall and like 6 inches wide that he would use to slide giant canvases in and out of the atelier. Maybe that can be on next year’s list.
Trend #3: French Baking Racks
Another French thing. I’m not mad about it.
Remember a few years ago when everyone got rid of their upper cabinets in order to have open shelving? Turns out the most sophisticated among us (looking at you, Darryl Carter & Lauren Liess) were using iron baking racks (aka “étagères”) above their countertops for the same purpose. Expect to see lots more of these in 2018.
Get the spirit of this look with our Bolton frame, as well.
Trend #4: Legless (or Seemingly Legless) Couches
Restoration Hardware’s famous Cloud Sofa has been a designer favorite for years for its low-slung, simple design, and now I’m seeing other makers follow suit. There’s just something so comfy and casual looking about a couch with a solid base, and I think you’ll see pretty much everyone who’s due for an upgrade in 2018 going for something that sits on the ground, on a plinth, or has a clean lined slipcover that covers whatever its actual base is. The key is to keep it modern and new with tight, straight lines only—this is not a suggestion to opt for a reclining faux leather number or to buy a loose slipcover for your mom’s old basement couch. Also, no tufts with this look.
Trend #5: Vertical Wall Paneling
Like shiplap, but sideways! 2018 will see tons of designers installing wall paneling vertically instead of horizontally to add height and interest to spaces without much architectural detail. I know this sounds super 70s and it definitely can be if it falls into the wrong hands, but when painted white or one of those light greeny neutrals we love so much, it goes much more English country than retro. Sarah Sherman Samuel (one of our all-time favorite Sarahs) recently installed vertical faux shiplap in her A-frame house, and it took the guest room to a new level.
Trend #6: Vertically-Stacked Art
I’ve been pushing this one on everyone I know for years, and I really feel like it’s going to “take” in 2018. You already love gallery walls and now you love gallery ledges, right? Well I’m here to let you know that next you’re going to love the stack. In fact, the last time we hung one, a picture of it was published in the New York Times. Coincidence? I think not.
Simply find a tall, narrow, neglected wall between two things (likely a door or a window and another wall) and find 3 – 4 things to hang there. The trick is to make sure all the pieces are a little different (frames and mats of various widths help here) and not to feel like the biggest piece needs to go on the bottom... But, whatever you do, don’t put it on the top, either. Horizontally center them and hang each frame 2 or so inches apart. Find another neglected corner to sit in to view and celebrate your previously-neglected corner. Here's our full guide to the perfect column gallery wall.
Trend #7: Light Natural Wood
Last year, I lied when I said all 2017 woods were going to be deep and rich. I mean, I didn’t say that exactly, but I did kind of think it and now I have remorse. This year, things will be lighter. Maybe it’s the caned, blonde wood furniture that comes along with the Scandinavian design resurgence we’re seeing plus the lighter turn the rustic farmhouse look has taken or maybe it’s just that people are looking for a soft, light alternative to all white everything. Whatever the reason, I’m pretty excited about it. Bring this look into your space with light wood furniture, frames (our Ash Wide and Gallery and Cherry Wide and Gallery mouldings are so so so good), and unstained cabinets with dark hardware like Amber Interiors used in her own new house.
Get this look in these frames.
Trend #8: Color – Greeny Neutrals
Farrow & Ball is famous for their mastery of neutrals, and I really do believe we have them (and their general Britishness) to thank for the recent shift from cool-toned grays and bright whites to more greeny/taupey light tones. Please do not think I am condoning the use of house flipper standard “biscuit” here; this is much different and much more sophisticated. Imagine kitchen cabinets in their “Drop Cloth” or “Shaded White”… Aren’t you happy your cabinets aren’t white in this fantasy? Another bonus: green undertones play nicely with others.
Tip: Antiqued gold frames are killer with these tones.
Trend #9: Color – Saturated Mustards & Plums
Pantone tried to trick me into thinking I should like purple in 2018. Nice try, Pantone. I am, however, willing to consider a much more palatable saturated plum (and its friend mustard) for furniture, art and textile accents. This year, the only accents I accept will be named after Clue characters. (Note: I was just informed that Clue recently introduced a new character named Dr. Orchid. *&%^@%$*)
Gold and rich wood frames are also the right match for these deep tones.
Trend #10: Color – Black on Black
Act like I’m not going to paint an entire room black this year.
Mark my words: black on black will be the new white on white. And I don’t just mean black lower cabinets with marble counters or black window frames in white rooms this time; I mean it all. I mean kitchens with matte black lower cabinets, soapstone counters, hand-glazed black backsplash tile, French baking rack shelves, and iron hardware. I think the faucet is still unlacquered brass, though, but we’ll know for sure when we see it on Instagram. Happy 2018!
Get the black-on-black look by using black frames with different textures with black mats.
Framebridge: True custom framing at a third of the price.