As some of you may know who follow me on Instagram, I was invited with a small group of bloggers to experience AmericasMart International Gift & Home Furnishings Market that took place a couple weeks ago. I flew to Atlanta for the weekend and got to tour and take pictures while picking out design trends for this year. If you are anything like me, you might be scratching your head like, “What the heck is AmericasMart?” Basically, AmericasMart is a big tradeshow for home furnishing and gift retailers, and interior designers to attend and buy all the stuff they will be carrying in their stores (or for clients) from the companies and brands that make them. Each brand that is participating has a showroom with all the latest products and designs for retailers to pick out and order what they want sold in their store. Huge stores shop here, as well as smaller shops and boutiques but it is NOT open to the public, so that is part of the reason I didn’t know much about it!
There are 3 HUGE buildings with over 20 floors in each building. I was completely overwhelmed with the size, but I spent most of my time in about 7-8 floors of one building, where all the home furnishings and home decor were located. Our job was to scout everything and pay attention to and photograph the design trends of 2016.
I was so happy that I had a friend who also attended, Heather from Setting for Four! She was the only person I knew previously so it was so nice to have someone to pal around with part of the time. She is one of the nicest people ever.
My favorite part of the whole thing was actually seeing and speaking with the creators, artists, and designers. For some reason I was expecting to see employees or sales people, which some showrooms DID have… but MANY if not all had the actual owner there! Speaking to some of them was like peeking into a world I barely knew existed, and getting a glimpse into their story of how they came up with a particular product or their inspiration for choosing a particular material.
I also got to know a lovely woman who was so inspirational to me, Patti Carpenter. Patti spent her life in fashion and was the former VP of Design at Ralph Lauren among other big brands. She has had a long career in design and trend-scoping but her current passion is connecting 3rd world artisans with 1st world interior designers. She just loves connecting the right people together and is one of the most down-to-earth people I met.
So, ON TO THE GOOD STUFF! Here are my picks for home design and decor trends for 2016!
1. Pastel and Nature-Inspired Color Palette
The calm, soothing color palettes of a misty morning or soft sunset are bringing relaxation and peace into our homes this year. Varied shades of blue, especially coastal-inspired aquas and teals, and deep indigo blues all spell the message of respite. Indigo is almost becoming a new neutral with the variety of other tones it is paired with. Other neutral tones that continue to trend are all shades of warm and cool grays, cognac brown, and contrasting white and black together.
Showrooms, Top Left to Right: Europe 2 You, Pine Cone Hill by Anne Selke, Design Vignette by Habachy Designs. Bottom Left to Right: Gabby, A&B Home, _____
This showroom was beautiful around every turn. I love the pinky-rose colored chandeliers with the rustic table and a pommel horse for a bench! haha! So clever!
Showroom: Europe 2 You
These new designs from Pine Cone Hill by Anne Selke are so perfect aren’t they? Timeless and classic and my faaaavorite color… 🙂
2. Apparel Inspired Upholstery Textures
Think of your favorite pieces of quality clothing that have stood the test of time: they fit like a glove, are soft and a bit worn, and when you look at them they transport you to memories made while wearing them. The upholstery trends of this year include some of those same timeless materials: soft linen and tweed, butter-smooth leather, corduroy and denim-feel twill, velvet, sweater-type knits, and cotton-blends are everywhere in sofas, chairs, ottomans, and benches. Interestingly, they are not just limited to those traditional pieces of furniture, but also as inlays in armoires, dressers, and even on non-furniture items like picture frames.
Showrooms, Left to Right: Gabby, Imagine Home, White x White
And speaking of leather… there was leather EVERYWHERE! And rarely in the traditional dark brown or black colors that you’ve seen in the past. And a fun thing I keep seeing was leather upholstery on vintage french chairs!
Showrooms, Top Left to Right: Curry, Nancy Price. Bottom Left to Right: Dessau Home, Oly
3. Organic Form Juxtaposed with Man-Made
Organically shaped pottery with a single tone, modern-looking glaze is something that is debuting in a big way. The rippled evidence of being shaped on a wheel, or the impressions of fingertips while creating the form, were previously seen as incomplete or made by inexperienced hands. Now it is being recognized as paralleling the movement and growth in a rippling stream or a wavy tree branch, and therefore innately beautiful. Other examples of pairing organic forms with clean lines and man-made components include: live-edge wood slabs paired with modern glass or a chrome base; rustic, grain-visible tables that have a clean lines, and a modern shape; and traditional curved base table lamps modernized with concrete composition.
Showrooms, Top Counter Clockwise: Camilla House Imports, Montes Doggett,
I was absolutely smitten with this organic shaped pottery by Montes Doggett
The artist behind the pottery is this beautiful Mexican designer, Monica Porter and she was so sweet to let me take a picture. Her pottery exemplified a trend that I think will be big this year and into the coming years– a departure from the cookie-cutter perfect. I love it.
4. Matte and Flat Finishes + Metallics
Shiny and lacquered finishes send a message: If a piece of furniture or surface is dusty, scratched, or dirty, it is the most obvious on a shiny surface, thus this finish hails perfection. Conversely, matte and flat finishes not only allow real ‘life’ to happen without marring the beauty, but they remind us of the sheens most often found in nature. Matte finish paints on walls, or wallpapers, flat or natural finish wood on tables, armchairs, benches, and cabinets, all characterize the ‘perfectly imperfect’ trend for finishes. Not surprisingly, since metallics found in stone are one of the few things in nature that naturally shine and reflect light, they are also continuing in popularity, with an expansion of tones like rose gold and copper and on more than just hard surfaces, but textiles as well.
Showroom: Ben & Lael
Most everything I saw that was made of wood had some sort of wash on it to highlight the grain. I saw very little painted furniture pieces and I love the contrast of this natural finish chair with the metallic/glittering pillows.
Showroom: Bliss Studio
5. Hand-made with a Story
Just like family heirlooms that have great value because of the history they have born and been a part of throughout time, the new heirlooms are being created this year. Extra care is made in showing an item’s origin, maker or artist, journey, and future. Hand-scraped tables, hand-stitched ottomans and couches, hand-dyed textiles— all of these, once again, glorify the imperfect, as it is proof that something was authentically made by a human with a story.
Showrooms, Top Left to Right: Zeugma, Uttermost. Bottom Left to Right: Dransfield & Ross, Imagine Home
Showroom: Jamie Young
Whenever I saw a bold pattern, it was usually on the walls or floors. This floral wallpaper stopped me in my tracks.
As did this one:
Something I touched on before but REALLY was infused into nearly every showroom, was the coastal influence.
Showroom: Barclay Butera Lifestyle
I saw coastal pieces mixed in with pretty much every design aesthetic. There was driftwood art in the most modern showrooms, but also these gorgeous canoes hanging above an ornate dining table. Vintage and reclaimed is here to stay– and all because it tells a story (and it looks cool, let’s be honest).
There was one portion of one showroom that had these amazing collection of books for sale. The owner/collector was there talking to me for a minute and he came up with this idea to wrap books in images or quotes so they become their own art! He also had tons of amazing vintage books for sale in sets and I was practically drooling over all of them.
Showroom: J Douglas
There was one company that make their debut Market appearance and with whom I fell in love, called Imagine Home. I’ll be doing a separate post about them and sharing their story here at the end of the week!
So what do you think? What was your favorite? Which one didn’t you like or wouldn’t fit in your home?
Don’t forget to pin this for later!