10 Design Trends for 2018

It's that time again to take stock of what's happening in the world of interior design and see what's on the horizon in terms of design trends. Some trends are just starting to poke their heads above the fray while others have been gaining popularity since the beginning of 2017 and even before.

Terracotta Tiles

I know what you're thinking. "Not those dated floor tiles from the 70's!" Nope, not those. Check out this gorgeous, original use of hex shaped terra-cotta tiles by design firm General Assembly. The photo above highlights no less than 3 trends for 2018. One is the choice of terracotta, two is mixing different tile styles together in a very unique and creative way. Lastly, the choice of a hex shape which is a really strong trend right now.

The Bath Tub within the Shower

The bath tub inside the shower has really been building momentum. It's a very efficient use of space as long as the bathroom can accommodate this layout and it enhances the spa-like atmosphere that so many homeowners aspire to in their bathrooms. Clad in the same materials, the two seamlessly dwell together in the same space.

Amy Krane Color, Home DIT

Sheepskin Rugs

I know. They've been a standard in Scandinavian and Bohemenian style homes for some time. But their popularity and use seems to know no bounds. You're seeing furniture upholstered in it. Sheepskins are used as throws as often as rugs. Whether in their natural colors or dyed, lambskin pillows are everywhere in home design.  Plush is in and these furry items are at the forefront of the movement.
Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color


Yellow Accents

The brightest of all the hues yellow is usually best used in moderation. That is if you're going for a saturated version of the color. I'm seeing fantastic yellow tiled walls and backsplashes as well as decor and accessories of all types. Yellow is cheery and fun and can even be considered sophisticated in certain softer shades, like above.
Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color


Black Millwork

Black is a major home design trend. Its popularity on house exteriors and kitchen cabinets can't be overestimated. Black is a bold statement for a wall color and can intimidate all but the most intrepid. Used in smaller doses it's easier to consider. It's graphic and bold and edgy. We're seeing more and more black in case goods and on wall millwork.
Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color

Catherine Plumet Interiors

Ceramic Tiles

I had to include this again because the trend is so strong.There are more and more sources for these beautiful, often colorful, always graphic, ancient tiles. Companies like Popham Design and Claesson Koivisto Rune are leading the pack with innovative patterns which harken back to the past while adding the warmth of a handcrafted object.
Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color

Attribution Unknown

Blue Velvet Sofas

Yes, luxe is here and juxtaposing the luxurious with the rough hewn, handmade or rustic is a hallmark of interior design today. Velvet is back and blue velvet sofas seem to be making a splash.
Amy Krane Color

Miguel Angel Garcia Belmonte


Ceramic Lights

Another nod towards the handcrafted. Pendant lights have been hot since the island was ushered into our kitchen design lexicon. We're seeing more and more lights which have the artisanal, hand made feel. Due to their opaque nature the clay is often punctured to create a peek a boo effect.
Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color

Trough Utility Sink

The Trough Utility Sink

Remember these? You might have seen one in a basement, in a 1940s home or maybe as a slop sink at a work station. They're finding themselves, often painted black on the underside, in more genteel, modern environments. It's that mix of utilitarian and designed which make them so interesting to use. Home Design Trends Amy Krane Color

Creative Tiling

Think the only way to tile is to use one pattern, one color, one size of tile and cover an expanse creating 4 plumb corners? Uh uh. Tiles are being creatively combined with other tiles and materials like wood, plaster and cement to create truly unique surfaces.   There you have it. Where home design is heading in 2018. Let's meet again in December 2018 and see if these burgeoning trends came into fruition full force. See you in 2018.

A Primer on Paint Sheen

choosing paint sheenWe all know that choosing paint sheen (or finish) is one of the most difficult decisions for the average home owner. There are many different sheens and to complicate the matter paint manufacturers use a different array of names to describe more or less the same finish from brand to brand.  

What to consider when choosing paint sheen.

The proper choice of appropriate paint sheen is a matter of considering the type and function of the room, the amount and direction of natural light and to a lesser degree, personal taste and design goals.  

Semi-Gloss and High Gloss Paint.

The higher the sheen, the more reflection on the surface. This means every imperfection in the wall will be visible and available to scrutiny. Light will bounce off the wall, in effect, lightening the color of the wall. In certain situations, especially with dark color paint, you will literally see white/light patches on the wall. A high gloss paint is a terrific choice for an exterior front door where the shine creates a more formal look and the high gloss is robust enough to stand up to the wear and tear a front door takes.

gloss sheen paint

House and Garden

Millwork, doors and wooden moldings do well painted with a higher paint sheen. Here satin/pearl or semi- gloss work well. They stand up to fingerprints, the wet mop and more regular use.
high gloss walls

Livia Mucchi Roberto

High gloss on walls and/or ceilings have come into vogue in the past few years but this treatment works well in rare situations. In the first example above, gloss has been used on a ceiling creating reflections which bounce off the white walls which is the most reflective wall color there is. This is hardly a visually ergonomic design. In the green room, the paneled walls are painted high gloss but because of the uneven nature of the paneling the walls don't become a mirror-like lacquer surface and is therefore more livable.  

Eggshell Paint.

Rooms which are more trafficked or need to have walls washed regularly like a kitchen or bathroom are better with a low level sheen as those finishes create a harder shell and are easier to wipe down. I use eggshell for kitchens and bathroom walls and satin or pearl for cabinets. In this bathroom the wainscoting has been painted in semi gloss. Not only does this higher sheen look appropriate on the millwork but it will stand up to the water splashes from the sink better than a flatter paint finish.
semi gloss paint on wainscoting

Amy Krane Color

Matte Paint.

Rooms which don't take much abuse do best with a flat looking finish. They cover wall imperfections very well. Today's matte paints are billed as washable flats which allow for a certain amount of washing. (not scrubbing) The surface looks velvety and rich with a suede-like appearance and the color looks true, not adulterated by light reflections. I use matte whenever possible in a home. For even less reflection, a Flat paint finish can be used on the ceiling.
matte paint sheen

Amy Krane Color

Painting a Staircase.

Paint sheen for a staircase

Amy Krane Color

If you choose to use paint on your staircase keep in mind how much abuse it withstands. As you walk up a staircase the risers occasionally get scraped by a shoe. Bannisters are constantly handled. These are reasons to use a stronger, higher sheen like a satin or semi gloss paint. Ultimately, your own personal taste should inform your choice of paint finish but keep in mind it may be at the cost of practicality.

How to Choose Interior & Exterior Paint Colors For Your Home

how to choose paint colors Are you about to redecorate, renovate or build? Learn how to choose paint colors. Many people want to make their own color decisions but end up stuck, staring at color chips pasted to their wall for months. Choosing colors is difficult but the right color makes the difference between a home that makes you feel great, reflecting who you are and one which leaves you cold and uninspired. Exterior house color is the number one factor affecting your home's curb appeal and therefore its value. Learn how to choose paint colors which reflect your individual stye, the ambience you want to create and the decor you have. Nationally recognized Architectural Color Consultant, Amy Krane is an professional colorist sought by media outlets like Elle Decor, Consumer Reports, Domino, Family Circle and more. She has been awarded "Best of Houzz 2017" after receiving the same award 4 years running. This presentation, filled with visual examples, will walk you through how to choose colors. You'll learn the basics of color theory, what's important when choosing color, what's on trend and what kinds of color support a healthy environment. The 75 minute talk will have a Q & A following. Germantown Library, February 12, 2017. 1pm- 3pm.