Fall is here and design shows are popping up all over the world. People lucky enough to make the trip have been reporting in on the latest trends taking shape with designers in Europe and North America. This is also a traditional time for décor authorities to reassess what’s hot and what’s on the way out, and the magazines are full of style updates.

Here’s what we’re seeing from the trend watchers and trend makers.

Bold Geometrics Still Dominate

Geometrical Textiles Unika Vaev

Samples from Unika Vaev’s Revue textile collection showcased at Neocon in June.

It’s common for ideas to transition from the runway to home décor, and this trend definitely still has legs. They’re all over Metropolis’ best of new textiles report, and they’re showing up in tiles from every manufacturer out there.

Bold patterns are also making it into new furniture design, like this collection from Alessandro Zambelli featured in Dezeen from the London Design Show.

toscari alessandro zambelli london design festival

Table by Alessandro Zambelli.

Tile Trends: Hex

Speaking of tiles, hexagonal patterns are still fresh (they’ve been increasingly popular in the last few years). There are different colours and materials, and you’re definitely not restricted to the classic small white patterns. In fact, different colours and materials can exist side by side like in this example. Hexagonal tiles are equally at home on walls and floors, and make wonderful backsplashes in kitchens and bathrooms.


Tile by Porcelanosa.

There are rustic vintage tiles in this home showcased in Dwell, and some beautiful approaches in Apartment Therapy.

Hexagonal tiles on floor

Designed by Paola Navone, shown in Vosges Paris.

Tile Trends: “Handmade”

In a world of machined perfection, subtle imperfections that add natural charm can be a treat. The hand-painted and handmade looks of traditional Moorish, Victorian and country tile styles are coming back, like these examples shown in Remodelista.

Tableware Contrasts

Hawkins New York Tableware NY Now

Tableware by Hawkins New York.

Canadian House and Home saw all kinds of bold but harmonious contrasts in tableware at the NY NOW design trade show.

Ecclectic Finishes and Materials

You don’t need to worry about matchy-matchy upper and lower cabinets anymore, or having the countertops all match. This trend has really taken off in 2016 according to Elle Decor, and our customers love it.

Ecclectic Kitchen by Laurysen

By Laurysen Kitchens

Automation is Gathering Momentum

Azure London Design Festival Aredo3 Quartzforms

Design by Arredo3 and Quartzforms.

Smart appliances and kitchen features that work as if by magic have been heating up the Consumer Electronics Show for years, as we reported a while back. Home automation continues to be popular with those who can afford the cutting edge, but it needs more time to come down in price before it changes from a “lust” to a “must”.

Touchless features still look cool wherever they appear, including at the 2016 London Design Festival, as reported by Azure. In this example, Arredo3 and Quartzforms have created a kitchen countertop equipped with motion sensors. Wave your hand and the sink appears, or faucets turn on.

Divided Spaces and Private Escapes

dining room elle decor alyssa rosenheck

Photo: by Alyssa Rosenheck, appearing in Elle Decor

With homes getting smaller, the last couple of decades has seen a huge shift from separate rooms for everything to open plan living. It makes sense in townhomes to have a more open approach on the ground floor, so your guests can see each other when you entertain. But sometimes the result is increased noise and cooking smells everywhere, and cooks who are uncomfortable with guests seeing the chaotic aspects of meal preparation. Overall we’re seeing reports that people want to separate rooms by function, when budget and square footage allow.

Some manifestations:

  1. Enclosed dining kitchens with separate, more formal dining rooms are back. The New York Times reported that many property developers are almost entirely doing enclosed kitchens in 2016. Pocket doors are also used as a compromise when people can’t decide. If your kitchen is still the social centre of the house and your entertaining is more informal, you’ll probably continue to love your open plan space.
  2. Private nooks for personal escape are in demand. Instead of having the office in the family room, Domain reports that people are desperate for a getaway spot in our homes so we can all just “lazily scroll our Instagram feeds in peace.”

Matte Black Metallics

black stainless samsung appliances

Black stainless steel Samsung appliances; Elle Decor photo.

From Elle Decor to the Wall Street Journal, designers are talking about how flat black metal in everything from furniture to plumbing fixtures, and even flat black stainless steel refrigerators (fewer handprints!).

Part of the problem with the copper trend (that many sources are saying is now passé) is that cheap imitation copper just doesn’t look good. If you paid for quality copper and it still works, keep it. Otherwise it’s time for a change.

Parquet Flooring: Gaining Ground with Designers

Before you fall out of your chair, let’s add some qualifiers here: we’re not talking about the 3.5” square tiles that were everywhere in the 1970s.

Parquet flooring by Allegheny Mountain Flooring

Parquet flooring by Allegheny Mountain Flooring.

The new parquet is more of an elegant herringbone approach that is reminiscent of patterns European royalty once used (you can see it in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles). Parquet was also a staple of mid-century modern design before it started becoming the go-to bargain flooring approach of contractors a few decades ago. In Europe, chic versions of parquet still seem to be gaining ground.

A word to the wise – don’t install parquet if you’re thinking of selling your home. It may be an up-and-coming trend but buyers still run from it.

We’re Looking Forward to 2017

Designers are already looking into their crystal balls for 2017, trying to see which microtrends will take over. Stay tuned – no matter what happens, it’s bound to be stylish!

Still hunting for ideas for your kitchen? Caroline Castrucci explains what’s hot in 2016.

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