2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year, to say the least. Yet like any other, it brought new home trends that we saw go from the homes of prominent designers to our own abodes. From modern metals to quirky accent pieces, we gathered up a list of the things we saw the most in over the past 12 months on blogs, in stores, and all over our Pinterest boards.
Here’s a look back at all of the trends we saw influencing our own homes and design styles in 2016.
Fish Scale Tiles
So many of the eclectic bathrooms we saw this year featured fish scale tiles. This Moroccan-based, scalloped pattern is often found in a brilliant shade of turquoise. It’s about as far from the minimalist subway tile look as you can get, and offers a welcome opportunity to make any bathroom feel just a bit closer to the sea. Perfect for interior design lovers and mermaids alike.
It’s not just about what the decor piece is anymore – it’s also about where it’s from. In 2016, we’ve seen artisan pieces and “maker” products go mainstream, with companies like West Elm collaborating with small design shops and furniture makers. Think of it as a follow-up to farm-to-table cuisine in restaurants.
Geometric patterns have been popular for decades, but this year’s popular prints took on a modern, Scandinavian-inspired look. Black and white checks and tessellated designs showed up on artwork, textiles, even walls. And you know everyone had that IKEA pillow.
TLC’s Fixer Upper featured a storybook southern couple, Chip and Joanna, whose jaw-dropping renovations had everyone feeling the farmhouse-chic vibes this year. And so interior design saw a huge uptick in the popularity of Joanna’s favorite feature: Shiplap. Although many argue about what it actually is, there’s no doubt that this horizontal, white-washed paneling became the home design buzzword in 2016.
Tech-free Living Spaces
Prominent interior designers and home influencers took a step back from technology this year, and we began to see living and bedrooms sans televisions. Even on Freshome, you noticed — commenting “where’s the TV?” in rooms without a dedicated spot for the tube.
Or faux fur, mostly. Taking a note from nordic design, we saw small throws of the fuzzy stuff tossed over the back of chairs or made into chic pillowcases. Regardless of how you feel about it from an ethics standpoint, it does add texture to those minimally-style rooms that can err on the colder side.
Bulky, Low Furniture
Channeling the laid-back, relaxed furniture styles of the ‘70s, we saw a rise in bulky furniture over the past year. When adapting it to your own home, splurge for high-quality fabrics and square arms. Because bean bag chairs still aren’t back in style yet.
Following the modern bohemian trend, shibori showed up on just about every textile imaginable. This Japanese tie-dye style features indigo and white and is a more muted version of the technicolor madness we’re used to with classic tie-dye. Check out our own list of DIY shibori projects for your own home.
The modern kitchen is changing. This year, a lot of that change came with the popularity of two-toned kitchen cabinetry. Sounds loud, but can actually be much easier on the eye than single-toned cabinets when done right — think black lower cabinets with white uppers. Varying grays or bold and neutral are also favorites.
We’re pretty convinced that mid-century design will never go out of style. So the permanence and investment in a brass, eclectic lighting fixture shouldn’t be as scary as it seems. We’re seeing these spindly chandeliers pop up everywhere in homes: kitchens, dining rooms, bedrooms — even entryways.
There’s no denying that there’s something magical about geodes. These mesmerizing rocks split open to showcase brilliant crystals at their core. In home design, they make stunning bookends, coasters, even lamps. Rock on.
On the opposite end of the sparkle spectrum, matte finishes saw a rise in popularity this past year. The understated beauty and sophistication of this flat finish brought it to walls, countertops, and appliances. We think this is just the beginning of homeowners opting for smoothness instead of shine.
It was a big year for marble. Jumping out of its usual role on countertops and flooring, marble, and specifically, Carrera marble, found it’s way into every decor piece imaginable. Accent tables, serve ware, even the phone case of the girl sitting next to me as I type this.
Gold and brass used to signify gaudy ‘90s fixtures, but warm metals have certainly made a comeback in the past year. Copper and rose gold also made their mainstream debuts. To avoid looking tacky, designers are opting for brushed and matte versions of warm metals.
Feeling nervous about going all gold everything? Luckily, this past year was the year to mix metals of all hues and finishes in the same space. To pull this off, start small, and get creative with which accents that are metal. So if your wallpaper has a touch of silver, try a brass lamp.
What was your favorite home design trend of 2016? Are there any we missed? We’d love to hear from you, so reach out to us over social media or in the comment section below!