Trends for 2016 – The Good, The Bad, The Bold, & The Beautiful
As the world turns and we launch into another year of aspirations and goals we look to the stars (or Houzz) for some avant-garde style inspiration. Should we jump in head first and go for the gusto or maybe kindly accept the advice and say “Thanks but no thanks”.
Two-tone Kitchen Cabinets
^ Two-tone Kitchen Cabinets – We’ve been doing this for a while but mostly with two painted finishes (white uppers & charcoal base cabinets). This design trend is pushing us to mix woods or contrast them with crisp painted finishes. Contrast creates interest so keep this in mind when decorating any space. The glass doors with the black trim just scream industrial chic and need I mention the subway tiles at the back of the cabinets? I’m bowing down at the perfect combination of sterile commercial kitchen meets relaxed residential hub. This trend is a DO in my books especially for my DIY savvy friends out there who have dated oak cabinets and need a little refresher.
Formal Dining Rooms
^ Formal Dining Rooms – Family mealtime is arguably the most important time of the day. We should feel comfortable enough to linger, chat, and maybe whip out a board game once the dishes are cleared to keep the quality time flowing. Some of my fondest memories as a child are playing Thumper at the dinner table (It’s loud, obnoxiously silly, and super fun but I’m pretty sure we made it up). The idea of a fancy space to dine when I am feeling fancy and a casual space to indulge when I am feeling sloppy is not my thing. Let me be candid here, I have a modest home that I rent (I am a single mom with three jobs – let the violins play) so I only have one eating space (actually, two if you include the coffee table in front of the TV). Our eating space is versatile enough to be used for quick school-morning breakfasts or romantic dinners for two (I lied, not single but my partner lives 246 miles away. That is a beautiful story for another day).
Personally, my vote on this is to opt for one eating area but make it kid friendly and special. Set the table with placemats, linen napkins, candles and a centrepiece. Create a swanky restaurant vibe in the comfort of your own home.
^ Workhorse Islands – Islands are not new to the MUST HAVE scene but designers are giving them more responsibility, and, why not really. They now have big features like prep sinks, deep storage, and welcoming seating. Personally, I would forgo those narrow uppers and spoil myself with extra deep cabinets with pull out drawers for flatware, small appliances, the dog food, and whatever the heck I want. *Sigh* A girl can only dream (I really can’t complain. Forget the kitchen, I have a dressing room! Be on the lookout for a blog post on that magical place.) With an island designed so well you hardly need the rest of the kitchen so I say go for it.
Statement Mirrors in Bathrooms
^ Statement Mirrors in Bathrooms – The mirror and vanity are the focal point of any bathroom but if one is simpler, make sure the other is the statement piece. In my quest for the perfect blog post inspiration, I pinned a lot of swoon worthy vanities but lack lustre mirrors. Hanging mirrors are all the rage but the round mirror hanging by rope or leather has no shock value left.
Then I found this gem hanging by the wayside. This master bathroom is well endowed with seven windows and not an inch of space for a wall mounted mirror. Enter brilliant design mind of Bonnie Miller, a former retail executive for Restoration Hardware who clearly has a knack for industrial meets raw simplicity. This combination is the ultimate statement piece. Maybe the moral of this story is, the statement piece is not necessarily what you put your money into but what you put your effort into.
Tech Free Living Spaces
^ Tech Free Living Spaces – I can’t be certain if this space has a TV or if that is a poster mounted above the fireplace where the TV is usually found. If it’s the latter rather than the former then I commend the brilliant tongue in cheek art statement suggesting we put an end to television watching. I think it is important to have tech free time out but don’t think for one minute I’m ready to jump on my salt box, burn my bra, and sign the technology petition. My TV is front and centre in our living space and we refer to it quite a bit. We also have family time sans technology: we play board games, sip champagne by candle light (not with the 6 year old), chat for hours, read magazines, work, play, or just hang out. Call it discipline. Call it structure. Call it freedom of choice. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a personal responsibility to remove yourself from the technology vice so you can open your mind to everything else around you. To give it a little credit, technology provides a necessary distraction for kids waiting for supper to hit the table or when you need a mindless escape at the end of the day but having one gathering space in the home that doesn’t give you the option to hit the easy button isn’t such a bad idea.
There are a few places that absolutely should be tech free:
1. The bedroom – Any room for sleeping should never have a TV, especially children’s rooms. We are caught up in the daily grind from the moment our feet hit the ground in the morning so when your head hits the pillow at night it is the only time we really have to take a mental vacation and remove all visual clutter.
2. The dining room – Meal time is about conversation, face to face interaction, and reflection about the day. It is not the time to watch a movie and shovel food into your mouth without a thoughtful moment to savour it.
3. Cottage – Vacating the city should be synonymous with taking a tech vacation. Kick it old school at the cottage and grab a Willy Nelson CD (I can’t believe CD’s are old school but that is a fact) or whatever makes you feel like you stepped into a time machine to a moment of your nostalgic past.
Surprising Backsplash & Countertop Pairing
^ Surprising Backsplash & Countertop Pairing – The butcher block countertop may not be a surprising paring to the brick and geometric tile backsplash but it works well and that backsplash is delightfully surprising. A few things to note about this space that will help it endure the years of trends is the relaxed approach to mixing of metals. The ceiling pendant (we just see a snippet of it here on the left but visit the link below to see more photos) is wrapped in a brass band, there are copper pots displayed on the shelf, the hardware is nickel, the sink faucet is chrome and the stove is stainless steel and it totally works. The key here, each of these elements are selected for their visual interest and not just for function. They each make a statement and reflect the style and personality of the homeowners. The moral of this story, If you love it, buy it, and 9 times out of 10 you can make it work.
Punched-up White Kitchens
^ Punched-up White Kitchens – It is hard to go wrong with a white kitchen but it can look a little sterile without adding colour. It seems that 2016 is all about making our homes feel alive and lived in and not so damn serious. To the people out there that are struggling with the longevity of this idea – you need to relax a little. I’m going to get all clichéd on you here and say it.
You only live ONCE
Just forget about the Jones’s. Getting yourself tangled up with that family is a downward spiral of personal disappointment. It is your space so make it beautiful, make it bright, make it fun, make it silly and most importantly, make it that space that you can feel totally yourself in.
Bold Powder Room Wall Coverings
^ Bold Powder Room Wall Coverings – A powder room is intended for guests who will only spend, on average, 3 minutes in there. It is definitely not a space where you need to be concerned about longevity. The powder room above is even a little subdued for the bold direction you can take it but I love it so much I have to give it a shout out. This home was a church re-designed as a residential abode so they had the blueprints of the church blown up and made into wallpaper for this powder room. History really does make good context for design and ultimately a unique conversation piece.
As you may or may not know, I am a self proclaimed DIY addict. I love a good get-my-hands-dirty home improvement project. This idea just dawned on me for a powder room with wow factor that doesn’t require a wallpaper application. Ask your family members what words best describe you and your personalities as a group. It could be relevant dates, favourite quotes, quirky nick names, or favourite family vacation spots. Don’t worry about putting it together in a poem or cohesive story. This project isn’t meant to be contrived. Paint your powder room white, grab a stencil and some black paint and adorn the walls with your family history. Punch it up with a few colourful towels and you can say NAILED IT! Bold powder room wall covering trend achieved.
Attention Seeking Bedrooms
^ Attention Seeking Bedrooms – There is good reason why this bedroom was one of the most pinned images of 2015. It is definitely seeking attention and let me tell you why.
1. Black and white is classic and that will never change. It creates bold contrast and clearly most of us are drawn to that visual cue which emphasizes differences (maybe we are not so opposed to the notion of being different after all).
2. Organic materials soften the edges when we have striking contrast: a fur throw, unfinished wood beams, and a jute rug beside the bed. The space feels more grounded when natural materials play a predominate role.
3. The art seems to be a literal statement and could quite possibly be interpreted as a negative thought. We tend to say something is hanging over our head in the same context as carrying weight on our shoulders. On the contrary, maybe the piece instills a sense of comfort as though the text is providing empathy in a world where empathy is lost.
This space is not contrived, confected, or concocted. A wonderful philosophy to live by if you ask me.
Image Sources: Two-tone Kitchen Cabinets | Formal Dining Rooms | Workhorse Islands | Statement Mirrors in Bathrooms | Surprising Backsplash & Countertop Pairing | Punched-up White Kitchens | Bold Powder Room Wall Coverings | Attention Seeking Bedrooms