The Design Trends (That You Haven’t Heard About Yet) That Are Going to Heat Up in 2017

published Jan 10, 2017
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

As a design editor, it’s my job to stay on top of (and decode) potential trends in the industry. There are some that are low hanging fruit (for 2017, it’s clear the color green is a front-runner, plants are now “it” items, and there will be a prevalence of natural/boho materials like terra-cotta), but others kind of fly under the radar until all of a sudden, you start noticing them everywhere. You know when you learn a new word, and from that moment on, you begin to hear it in every other sentence? It’s like that, and, I predict, these seven trends will also be like that. Remember we told you first!

Animal Print

We’re talking tiger and cheetah prints here, not whimsical block-printed elephants and blowfish (though we certainly love that interpretation of “animal” prints). The experts at design resale website Chairish reported that sales in the glam, wild prints are up and strong, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more leopard racing onto home accessories like pillows and throws.

(Image credit: Chairish)
(Image credit: One Kings Lane)
(Image credit: Claire Bock)
(Image credit: Nanoleaf)
(Image credit: Caitlyn Cartlidge)

Tole Lighting

Part of me thinks tole (and no, it’s not a misspelling of toile as I once thought), is an extension of the “granny” movement that started brewing in past years. It’s folky, reminiscent of (better?) times, and incredibly charming. For those not interested in the minimal movement, you might want to start digging up these painted, floral lighting pieces and candelabras made of sheet metal from your local thrift store before they become too coveted.

Op Art

The abstract, ethereal prints that have flooded the art market in recent years are still going strong, but stronger, crisper op art made popular in the 1960s and ’70s is set to make a comeback in 2017 and beyond, particularly in vibrant violets and neon colors.

Statement Rugs

I’ve always been a huge supporter of rugs that double as art pieces. Heck, find a rug you love, that really speaks to you, and build a room around it (it’s a great place to start a design scheme, by the way). Southwestern motifs started popping up in the second half of 2016, and I’m personally happy to report that bold floor coverings like these, as well as other punchy designs, will be even more prominent this year.

Avant-garde & Innovative Lighting

I had an inkling after last summer’s ICFF that lighting was about to go off script. There were a handful of innovative makers introducing lighting that could be customizable by its owner (and we’re not talking light intensity), and since the show, I’ve seen more and more of the same thing. Look out for LED bar lighting that you can play around with to create something entirely new (shapes, words, and beyond).

Classics Revisited

Even though reports showed that the antiques market was struggling to sell (particularly to the younger set) in recent years, I have an inkling that traditional silhouettes from centuries past will be more broadly accepted (and desired). But because antiques don’t typically come cheap, there will be a crop of manufacturers reintroducing new takes on old classics.