Smart Design With Suzette: 2016 Trend Forecast

Warm metallics are all the rage. Courtesy photo
Pendant lighting in a kitchen. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Whether your style is contemporary, eclectic or minimalist, interior design trends for the New Year are focused towards turning your home into a desirable space that will embody definitive style.

Trends don’t follow a calendar – they evolve. They reach from one year into the next, giving interior design professional’s time to identify them with confidence. Here’s what’s expected to be hot in the months ahead that will be driving retail globally:

Texture Contrasts
First and foremost, the sole object of desire in almost every room will focus on creating depths of texture that represent all things cozy and comfortable. Playful yet sophisticated, favorites are faux fur, suede and brushed velvet mixed together to create relaxing silhouettes. As you’ve heard me say before, harnessing the power of textiles to create your very own sense of warmth, color and interest will make your home feel, well, truly like a home.

Kitchen = Heart of The Home
Easily the most well trafficked room in the house, 2016 sees the kitchen remain as the focus and heart of the home. Celebrating its ability to operate as a multi-purpose space for friends and family, there is an increased popularity of an open floor plan where the kitchen is centrally located, accessible from all areas of the home.

Carrying over from 2015, kitchens are echoing smart, functional designs that casually blend into every nook. Ways to adopt this would be installing smart storage: toe-kick drawers underneath lower cabinets, pots and pan drawers and built-in charge ports for tablets and other tech devices.

Colored stainless steel appliances are all the rage. Black stainless steel is making a buzz. In a poll, nearly two-thirds of people surveyed said they would consider the dark alternative to shiny silver metal. Look to LG’s new Black Stainless Series or Whirlpool’s Sunset Bronze finish for examples. Both are beautiful to look at.

Pretty Pendants

Lighting is my favorite thing to talk about. Have you noticed the copious amounts of stunning pendant lighting? Pretty pendants are plentiful now (try saying that fast three times in a row). There are a wide variety of styles available just about everywhere to showcase your personality. Take advantage of the surplus, especially if it’s time to upgrade your lighting. I know I will!


Vintage glassware is making a comeback. Photo by Suzette Fox

Traditional Tableware

Traditional serving pieces are making a comeback. Gravy boats and footed bowls are necessary members of the tablescape. I recently found a set of vintage, ruby red glass, wine glasses and dessert glassware (wine glasses pictured here) at Boomerang, a local, up-scale thrift store. I absolutely love them and their nod to the past. I try to use them often. I have to admit that every time I use them, they make an ordinary day feel very special.

Palette Particulars

Gray is a trendy neutral that will regain prominence in 2016. Other color preferences seem to be scattered. Benjamin Moore has chosen Simply White as its flagship color for 2016. Sherwin William’s Color of the Year is Alabaster. Pantone’s Colors of the Year are Rose Quartz (a pale pink) and Serenity (a soft blue). Overall the aesthetics are the same – a soft palette that sooths.


Copper chairs. Courtesy photo

Metallics Mixed With Metals

The use of metals in décor is a trend that is continuing into the new year. Warm metals are hot, not just warm golds, but also brasses and coppers. You’re seeing them mixed all over. Metallics are in pillow covers, lighting, side tables, hardware and chairs.

To get it right, not overstated, try using metals in statement pieces instead of many pieces. Midcentury Mod with brass, gold and metallic finishes are popular right now. Get ready to embrace some retro bling.

Simple Lines

The clean, uncluttered look of Scandinavian décor also is gaining popularity. The new modern is clean lines and visual simplicity. You see this in the use of cleaner-looking materials, too. I’ve been using less granite in kitchens for a while now. What’s becoming popular is the clean man-made surface, products like Caesarstone and Silestone.


Attention to the ecological impact of interiors is a trend that has been taking shape for years, and it’s widely expected to continue strong in 2016. From the padding in our sofas to the premium wood sourced for counter worktops, sustainability is at the heart of anything that is being manufactured today.

You can achieve great-looking design with elements that are well made and minimize the impact on our environment. I see interest in this especially among clients in their mid-20s to 40s. Examples include organic fabrics and furniture that’s well made from traditional materials. Also expected to continue strong is the popular penchant for reusing, recycling and repurposing.

Bringing The Outside In

From decorating compact apartments with greenery to turning expansive backyards into glamping (glamorous camping) adventures, consumers are experimenting with how to bring nature into every aspect of their homes.

This exploration of what nature has to offer is visible in the wide use of plant life and garden elements into interior décor. Urban gardens in the areas outside of buildings and even inside homes have a strong presence lately.

Other projects for this year will be filled with natural materials – for example cork, wood, stone, and raw concrete are coming back. This is happening because of the focus of architects and designers with the welfare of their client’s health. Bringing nature inside calms and enriches the life of the residents and is a practical solution to some problems.

Giant tile on a fireplace surround. Courtesy photo


Extra-large-format Tile 

Large-format tiles (such as 12 x 24 inches) have been making an appearance in kitchens and bathrooms for some time now, but be on the lookout for extra-large-format ones. Just how extra? Try 31 x 71 inches, like the ceramic Ann Sacks tiles shown here on a fireplace surround project. That’s almost 3 by 6 feet!

Final Thoughts

A word of caution – when you consider buying into a trend for your own décor, a little restraint may be advised. I try to steer my clients to classic decisions. If you want the look, you can do it with accents, like area rugs, art or pillows.

Take note to embrace your home’s quirks to maintain the balance between the old and new styles. Enjoy the journey of curating anew but concentrate on opting for those that will make your space not only feel rejuvenated but also most importantly, you.

Feel free to contact Los Alamos Interior Designer Suzette Fox to suggest specific design topics or for help with your home. For more information, find her on Facebook at and on her website