A Look to 2017: 10 Design Trends

design trends

Photo: Mike Baker

While it's been a tumultuous year politically, design trends spotted in 2016 and even before, continue to manifest. Warm metals like copper and brass abound, pinks of all types continue to appear as sophisticated wall color choices and dark tones are showing up everywhere. Live edge wood used in everything from tabletops and shelving to bed frames continues to be featured in shelter magazines and homes alike.
Amanda & Chris Air BnB

Amanda & Chris's Air BnB


A deep jewel purple, Shadow is Benjamin Moore's 2017 Color of the Year. Mid-toned violets like PPG's Violet Verbena and Olympic's Cloudberry made the top list as well. Perhaps purple's association with mystery will help transport us to another, more pleasant time, if only emotionally. Purple has got appeal for many applications. A room with lots of natural light will help it sing. design trends 2017

Bleached Wood Floors

The choice of bleached, pickled or gray washed floors continues to dominate wood floor tones. Used in conjunction with deeply pigmented walls the combination is irresistible. Note 3 of the 4 photos above show the trend. Even wood floors laid in herringbone or parquet patterns are going this route. It's a more, rustic, unfinished look borrowed from influences like Scandinavian design and the Boho look, prevalent last year.

design trends 2017 bleached wood floors Wallpaper

It's true wallpaper eased back into use a while ago but it's here full tilt now. Used in powder rooms and bedrooms before, it's beginning to appear in hallways and foyers, living rooms and restaurants. Pattern continues to engage and delight the senses as one of the coming year's most exciting design trends. Last year we saw a real uptick in the use of patterned cement floor tiles. While that trend continues, pattern is everywhere on the walls now.

design trends wallpaperThe Modern Farmhouse

If I've heard it once I've heard it a thousand times this year. Many people who own single family residences are looking for the modern farmhouse look. What exactly is it? It's shiplap, (horizontal paneling), predominantly white or light Scandinavian cool colors on the walls, painted built-ins in the pantry and mudroom, shaker or inset kitchen cabinets and drawers, an airy modern clean feel with warm touches from rustic beams and organic materials like wood floors.
design trends modern farmhouse


design trends modern farmhouseTone on Tone

One of the first things one learns training in the field of color is to vary up the contrast, LRV (light reflectance value) and color temperature when choosing hues for a room. This tone on tone look defies good visual ergonomics and healthy color practice but it's out there and catching on as one of the newest design trends. The look is monotone and therefore (seemingly) soothing and sophisticated. Too much time in a room like this can cause eye fatigue from the monotony but there is certainly a contingent that finds it glamorous and au courant.

design trends 2017 tone on toneThe Camel Leather Sofa

From moderately priced purveyors like West Elm to Room and Board, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and beyond, everyone is selling it. It's clubby without being stuffy, informal and sexy. While leather often appears masculine it's being used in rooms with a more feminine twist as well. The more aged, scuffed and worked in like an old pair of boots, the better. design trends Camel Leather sofa Dark(er than the walls) Trim Colonial homes were often decorated this way and it's back. Generally less applicable for modern or contemporary homes, in more historic venues with wide and decorative trim it's becoming more common. design trends colored trim

High Gloss Painted Ceiling

For a few years now we've seen designers creating glamorous rooms in homes, clubs and restaurants using high gloss paint on all 4 walls. This kind of paint finish creates a highly reflective space which can be uncomfortable and it requires perfect walls as the gloss shows off every bump. This year we have started to see gloss on the ceilings with matte walls. Depending on how much natural light in the room, the kind of artificial light, the amount of hard surfaces in the room, how the floor is treated and the color of the walls and ceilings, it may or may not work.

design trends high gloss ceilingsBlue, Green and all in between

While neutrals continue to be the most commonly employed colors for dwelling interiors, and purple is the new "it" color per the paint companies, there is no doubt that blues, greens and the hues in between are making a splash. Pantone hit the nail on the head with "Greenery" as their new color of the year. You can't pick up a shelter mag or take a peak at Pinterest without noting the interest in these colors. Known as soothing and/or refreshing their application is appropriate for any decorating style. As people have moved away from the all white kitchen and even the grey kitchen, we're noting a prevalence of cabinets in deep greens, mid blues and teals. This year's bleached wood floors, camel leather sofas and even modern farmhouse vibe all work with this palette.

design trend Tealdesign trends blue and greenDesign Trends : Black Accents

Let's face it, black is sophisticated. But it's easy to go overboard so the key is to use it as an accent. Make sure to add touches of warm colors to the space so it doesn't come off sterile. Incorporating black into a room adds instant contrast and a graphic quality to the decor. It's showing up as kitchen cabinetry, on millwork throughout the house and on interior doors and window mullions. Black window sashes and mullions help the eye move beyond to the outdoors, bringing the outside in. design trends 2017 Black accentsWell there you have it! 10 emerging and developing design trends for 2017. At Amy Krane Color we're looking forward to exploring the home design world with you next year!

Color for an Open Plan House

lindal cedar HomeIn 2001, a Bucks County, PA couple fell in love with Woodstock and began what was to become an annual ritual visiting the area. In 2008 they bought 3.5 acres. Drawn to area by the excellent hiking and the Woodstock Film Festival they decided to build their retirement home there. They started researching house styles and realized the perfect layout was one that they designed themselves. The couple chose to work with Atlantic Custom Homes, independent dealers for Lindal Cedar Homes. The Lindal Homes are semi-custom and the house they designed is loosely based on the Elements line. Using a software program called Chief Architect, they made drawings of what they wanted, then bounced ideas back and forth with the Atlantic rep, eventually submitting drawings to the Lindal architects for the final plans.  To quote the couple, “We wanted to design the house around the natural slope of the land, including roof pitches. It needed to include a walk out ground floor to accommodate the "daylight basement" and large picture windows with views. gray open plan living room Set deep in the woods on a mountainside, taking advantage of the setting was key. Large picture windows in the main living space frame the view and allow masses of light into the space. The home is compact in size at 1850 sq ft and has all that they desire. Open Plan Kitchen The open plan situates the kitchen at right angles to the main space and the soaring 20 foot ceilings lead up the clear varnished cedar staircase to the open master suite on the higher floor. Privacy is not an issue as the guest bedrooms are on the lowest floor. Lindal Cedar HomeThe house has a covered porch for al fresco dining. The choice of wild flowers instead of front lawn is inspiring. On the lowest floor, the home includes an office/library, a yoga- exercise room and a guest bedroom and full bath. Loft bedroom color The color scheme is focused around a light-medium gray, Benjamin Moore's  Bunny Gray for the communal spaces. The gray rises to the highest elevation into the master suite. We chose Benjamin Moore's Toucan Black as an accent wall to create contrast with the pale gray. The floors are Brazilian Koa, which adds warmth to the overall color palette. All of the paint colors chosen are cool. They work well in the house because of the preponderance of very warm colored woods. The master bath is Wedgwood Gray which actually is a muted blue/ green that highlights the Mexican ceramic tiles in the shower. woodstockmasterbathAK Exchanging visual reference with a homeowner is a hallmark of my color consulting practice and the wife’s reference for her yoga room was an explosion of pinks and lavenders.
Yoga Room

Yoga Room Reference

We landed on a muted lavender called North Cascades which was enlivened by a shot of hot pink in an over dyed rug. The mix of cool violet and hot pink serve to both relax and stimulate as the couple practices yoga, meditation, weight lifting and elliptical in the space. lavender yoga room On the bottom floor, the library continues the cool theme with a deeper blue green, Benjamin Moore’s Mystic Lake. The Guest bedroom is Sage Wisdom from BM’s full spectrum line called Color Stories. With all of the greens chosen, the colors of the interior echo those outside. Benjamin Moore Mystic Lake The difficulty choosing color for an open plan house is of course where to choose your color breaks. It’s best to choose accent walls which are architecturally unique or which signal a change in function to use a new color. Keeping flow is of upmost importance because changing a color in an illogical place wreaks havoc on the senses. With an overall medium to light hue for the main space we were careful to add contrast here and there to keep it interesting. Besides the almost black accent wall in the master bedroom the powder room is a dark blue, Benjamin Moore's Old Navy. A return visit to the home found the couple in love with their new home, their color choices and their life in Upstate NY. If you’re in need of help with interior or exterior color you can find me at amykranecolor.com.    

Painting a Ceiling with Color

painted ceiling

Amy Krane Color

When you're looking to add a design detail that's a bit out of the ordinary, consider using color on a painted ceiling. It adds an element of fun and whimsy to a room. But designers really differ on the when and how-to.

Parameters when deciding to paint a ceiling with color.

If the ceilings are low, don't do it. When the ceiling is painted differently than the rest of the room the eye will gravitate towards it. If the ceilings are low it will accentuate this problem. If the room is very colorful already either from wall color, decor or both, don't do it. It might tip the balance in the room and create a chaotic space. Consider the color of the walls and floor. The most sure fire way to guarantee a colored ceiling will work is by mixing it with white or off while walls. Painted CeilingsNext choice is with neutral, low saturation colors. Again we are looking to keep the harmony in the space by not getting too busy. Low saturation colors have a lot of grey in them which will counter balance more hue on the ceiling.  Another way to prevent mistakes is by choosing the same color as the walls but changing the value (or lightness) of the color on the ceiling. Painted Ceilings

Types of colors for a painted ceiling.

Choosing to carry a muted, soothing color like a desaturated blue onto the ceiling works well. Remember in general, cool colors recede, warm colors advance. Black is tricky. Sometimes it creates the illusion of infinite space and looks like a night sky. If the ceiling is high enough this is often the case. In these circumstances it's a wonderful choice. Other times the dark color will really make the ceiling feel like it's coming down on you causing a cave-like ambience. A color painted on the ceiling in the wrong environment can do that. Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 11.32.40 AMNote above, in the room on the left, the black is just on the ceiling but in the middle photo the black was pulled down to cover the top portion of the wall. This will, in effect, lower the ceiling so it should only be done in a room with very high ceilings. In the room on the right the black ceiling echoes the black floor, creating a very different effect than in the first two rooms whose floors are white. This creates a sort of book ended feeling ~ very cozy. painted a colored ceilingChoosing  a warm color for your ceiling really changes the temperature of the room. Again, this is most successful in an otherwise neutral environment. In general, I advise to use flat or matte paint on a ceiling to avoid reflections bouncing all over the room but if gloss is desired make sure the rest of the room is devoid of shine. painting ceilings with colorCreating patterns with color can be really interesting but if you plan to pull the ceiling color onto the walls be careful how you to do it. By pulling the green onto the wall and the floor, the room on the left has created a balanced environment. I would have not painted the molding green on the entranceway as they did though.  The room on the right is less successful. They've tried to balance the activity on the ceiling with pattern on the floor but the room feels disjointed. A doorway serves an important function and making it disappear, though playful, doesn't help it fulfill its role to signal a place of egress. color on a painted ceilingLastly, tying the color of the ceiling into another part of the structure adds to the cohesion of the space. The black ceiling works beautifully with the black doors and trim in the loggia on the right. The bathroom on the left would have worked better without turquoise on the vanity as it's not a part of the architecture and ends up appearing piecemeal and arbitrary.