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Hamptons Life

Dec 29, 2017 11:24 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

2017 Had a Dizzying Number Of Interior Design Trends

Dec 29, 2017 12:42 PM

Despite the year’s maelstrom of events, interior design sallies forth with trends so numerous that this writer could devote much more than this short column would allow.The color gray still stands strong, focusing not only on carpets, textiles, wall colors and furnishings, but also wood flooring. Whichever way the industry can tease out the gray in stone or appliances and the most basic of building products, the industry does. We also find gray options in China, flatware, and even outdoor furniture.

And speaking of appliances, this year introduced powder-coated color into ranges and refrigerators. Wolf brought out whispered tones of eggshell blues, greens and beiges. True Manufacturing boldly stepped forward with a rich burgundy, a hunter green, and a jersey cream. In fact these ordinary household necessities are expanding into the realm of jewelry, offering handles in polished brass and copper as well as polished and brushed nickel. 2017 has been appliances’ moment to hop out of the closet, throwing off the integrated panels that kept them quietly in the background and strutting their industrial stuff.

In terms of metals, nickel is receding, bowing to brushed steel. Copper, having its 2016 debut, has tarnished a bit since then and receded. But word on the street is brass, brass, brass. It seems that the laborious upkeep reminiscent of 1980s blingy brass has been forgotten, or dismissed. Oh well, what comes around goes around!

2017 saw a blue world, in cooler shades edging toward periwinkle. Bold blues mixed with a hint of green darkened the libraries, entry halls and dining rooms of young vibrant families. Gorgeous vivid blues crept into fabrics, wallcoverings, and kitchen cabinets.

According to designer Tara Kates, jewel tone colors of kelly green, cerise, and royal purple sprang into action in plush silk and cotton velvets, sparking up tufted sofas. These hefty, buttoned jewels have emigrated from Victorian salons and find themselves center stage in contemporary lofts with vast collections of cutting-edge art.

Millennial pink has almost become a password. Whispered, dusty worn pinks suffuse the polite interiors, sofas and romantic bedrooms of the smart set. The more shocking pinks are left to accessories.

Designer Kate Reid expounds that a virtual explosion of wallpapers has hit the interior design world, with not only the venerable design houses mixing into the fray, but small Brooklyn-based upstarts and internet phenomena popping up with dazzling, surprising, innovative twists on this age-old craft. Not just contemporary, modern interpretations, but small pretty traditional patterns, with diminutive dainty repeats cover the market. The patterns seem reminiscent of the 1920s and early Depression-era prints.

The illumination cat seems to have been let out of the bag. According to interior designer Mercedes Ganes, “A universal casting call for outrageous lighting fixtures has attracted scores of innovative designs.”

The lighting fixtures seem to fall into distinct categories: the “creepy crawlies” that branch and spread horizontally across your ceiling like microscopic diseases with illuminated globular attachments; the “danglies” that hang down like the tentacles of jellyfish; the “bubblies,” massed bubbles of glass occasionally suspended from the groupings; the “colonies,” a series of like-minded shapes that hang helter-skelter around the room; and finally, the “starbursties” that take advantage of LED technology with 1,000 points of light jetting out of a molten center.

In the bedding world, duvets may be beginning to make their way back to the linen closet as quilted masterpieces in modern patterns hit the shelves of department stores. Bedspreads, coverlets, and tightly tucked-in blankets are converting the sleeping experience from a fluffy cloud of down-filled heaven to a tailored, tight envelope of restrained modernity displayed on an upholstered, platformed pedestal. Elements of steel and burnished bronzes are slipping into the headboards and footboards, replacing nailheads with a streamlined sparkle of metal.

“The 2017 coffee tables and consoles,” according to designer Alissa Deane, “sported thick glass tops, sometimes up to 2 inches thick.” Acrylic has made a transparent comeback, pushing lacquer aside as the most modern material of the moment. Acrylic’s “not quite there” quality appears to lighten rooms, heavy with mahogany. And sad to say, those 18th- and 19th-century antiques have still not really revived yet, despite their remarkable affordability.

Cheerfully looking forward to 2018, the only thing the designer can be assured of is it that there will be change. Interior design, influenced by the power of Instagram and a host of internet offerings, now speeds forward with the lightning-like, full throttle of clothing fashion. And why should it not? Up till now it has always played second fiddle to fashion. Perhaps in the near future, it will sit in the driver’s seat. Stay tuned!

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