This Spring’s Latest Design Trends
By: Molly Congdon
“Home is where one starts from.”– T.S Elliot
Our personality traits- the essence of our beings- can be extracted from the walls where we reside. Home represents comfort and familiarity. It’s a sanctuary that reflects who we really are.
According to a study in Political Psychology, conservatives tend to have more sports paraphernalia, cleaning supplies and American flags, while liberals live a more cluttered lifestyle, with spaces filled with books, music, maps and colors.
Bold tones are usually associated with people who are fearless; those with a calmer demeanor tend to lean towards shades of blue. Millennials display more photos of themselves- as they do on Facebook. And users of Vine and Instagram know that “on fleek” means “flawlessly styled,” whether it’s eyebrows, a new outfit, or a newly-wallpapered bathroom.
Do you like the story your house is telling about you, or is it time for a new chapter?
Renovating even one room can be daunting. Just calmly remind yourself, like Dorothy, “There’s no place like home,” trade your ruby slippers for old sneakers, and get to work. Here are some trends for 2017 to inspire you this spring.
That’s right, green is the new “it” color, representing refreshment and revitalization- just the fresh start you may be craving.
“The Pantone color of 2017 is ‘Greenery’- offering of new beginning,” says Jamie Davies, co-owner of 23rd and Fourth, which has a new showroom on Excelsior Avenue in Saratoga Springs.
“We have already seen this color popping up in unexpected places, even in upholstery,” Davies says. “This bright velvet pops in front of a more neutral textured wall to give the setting a fun, yet sophisticated feel.”
Though green is on pointe, there are other color options for those not keen on green.
“Grass greens and peacock blues are usually really popular during the spring months- especially the combination of the two,” says Leah Margolis Nathan, founder of Leah Margolis Design, who has residential projects in Saratoga and Albany counties, the Berkshires, Manhattan and Connecticut. “But this year, more muted tones like a serene mauve and a light beige are making the rounds. They still offer lots of warmth, but also have a really refreshing element to them.”
Lee Owens, of Lee Owens Design in Niskayuna, is working on a new construction luxury home in Saratoga and is embracing the greenery scheme at her own home, too.
“I transformed our powder room by combining vintage floral wallpaper, a thrifted Matisse print framed in a contemporary acrylic frame, and a painted green ceiling,” Lee says. “As you know, wallpaper is having a major moment in residential design, and with Pantone announcing Greenery as its 2017 Color of the Year, this bold bathroom makeover is on trend and shows that you can have fun and take chances in a small space like a half bathroom, even in an otherwise neutral-themed home.”
Design trends are constantly changing, which keeps things interesting.
“Pairing pieces from the same time period is over,” Davies says. “We love to create a look that feels as if it has evolved over time. You want it to create a room that is cohesive, and it is perfectly okay to mix furniture and accessories from the past and present.”
“Interior design has certainly gotten a little edgier and more interesting since last year,” Margolis says. “Bolder colors are being used, and glamorous finishes are increasingly popular. We’re seeing a lot of light stones becoming more readily available- and who doesn’t love beautiful alabaster lighting or a fabulous marble coffee table?”
On A Budget
You don’t have to break the bank- or pull a bank job- to achieve a new look.
“It’s all about the accessories,” Margolis says. “My clients will tell you, I am a firm believer in custom pillows. It sounds crazy, but it’s a great way to make a space uniquely yours. And it can seriously dress up a drab sofa. If you’re mindful of fabric costs, it can be done fairly inexpensively.”
Layering is also a solid technique. “Layer art and decorative objects…in bookshelves, on mantels, in the middle of coffee tables,” Margolis says. “But don’t rush a space. You want your home to feel like a collection, and collections are accumulated over time.”
Small changes can make a big difference. “A fresh coat of paint is something that can always freshen up a space, especially in spring,” Davies says. “You also may be able to pull from other rooms of the house to make your main living spaces feel more cohesive. Look around the basement for side tables that can be refinished in a pop of color, or small pieces like an ottoman that can be re-upholstered in a fun print.”
Grey is being dubbed the new black. “Grey continues to fixate the design world as the ‘new’ black,” Davies says. “On another note, textures in wall-covering, fabrics and rugs-that are appealing to the eye and hand- have entered the arena in full force this year.”
However, black is a contender that will never truly be out of sight and certainly not out of mind. “I’d say the new black is black,” Margolis says. “We’ve watched greys almost over saturate the market. And while greys are still a popular neutral, we’re now seeing a ton of black and white decor- and black walls, which is definitely a statement, but a wonderful one.”
In the Jungle
Interior design is going to the wild side.
“Butterflies are increasingly appearing as a buoyant, happy motif in home design,” notes Elle Decor. “A symbol of both grace and optimism, the butterfly is no longer designated to children’s rooms-but rather celebrated in a variety of spaces with sophisticated accents.” So having butterflies fluttering on your wallpaper is chic.
“Birds and butterflies have found their way into our homes for 2017,” Davies says. “Usually found in accent pillows, on ottomans or occasional chairs, they bring a fun, but elevated flair to any room of the house.”
The style is amusing and playful.
“Spring 2017 is all about the jungle,” Margolis says. “I’m definitely seeing a resurgence of the palm, and animal print continues to have a strong presence. It’s always fun to see an unexpected pop of antelope! Tropical flowers, butterflies and lots of rich, emerald green are also making their way to consumers.”
“For fabrics, it’s always about texture, no matter what the season, but we tend to go lighter and stick to interesting weaves and patterns during the warmer months,” Margolis says. “While spring is the perfect time to pull out the florals, abstract patterns and designs are really flooding the market these days. Abstracts aren’t as rigid as traditional patterns and pair really nicely with other designs.”
Mix and Match
It’s completely acceptable to have a diverse grouping of patterns, colors and textures: in fact, it’s encouraged.
“I’m an absolute lover of pattern, so if you ask me, I say mix away,” Margolis says. “You just have to be very mindful of scale and repeats.”
“Here at 23rd and Fourth, our motto is the more you mix, the better,” Davies says. “We mix textures with clean lines, organic accessories with sophisticated elegance, and pattern and patterns galore. However, if you are being conscience of fading trends, it would be best to only throw in a few crazy patterns at a time, like with small items such as throw pillows.”
Room To Room
The question is where to begin?
“There are two trains of thoughts for this: You could choose to place your efforts on the rooms that more people are going to see-such as your living space, kitchen and guest bathrooms- of you can do the room that you spend the most time in,” Davies says. “Creating an inviting oasis of a master bedroom, for example, should certainly be a priority.”
First impressions can create a pressing need to renovate a space. “People have a tendency to work on and finish their ‘public’ spaces first- living and dining rooms, great rooms and kitchens,” Margolis says. “Bedrooms are always last on the list, but shouldn’t be ignored- waking up in a space that’s unfinished certainly won’t help jump start the day.”
Take your time. “While it can be frustrating to have lots of ‘unfinished’ spaces in a home, try working on all the rooms at the same time- very slowly,” says Margolis. “Tastes and trends change. By continuing to add pieces throughout your home over time, you help to incorporate spaces and make sure everything really flows nicely.”
Molly Congdon, who earned her Master’s in Journalism from NYU in 2014, is a writer living in South Glens Falls. She’s a celiac expert, basketball junkie that drinks way too much coffee and loves to photograph moments with words.
23rd and Fourth- 130 Excelsior Ave., Saratoga Springs
Leah Margolis Design LLC- leahmargolisdesign.com
Lee Owens, ASID- leeowensdesign.com