Expert Panel Discussion: 2016 Design Trends

It’s a new year, and you know what that means… The 2016 design trends have been posted, and they’ve caused quite the buzz in the design world. So much buzz that our Scout & Nimble team decided to take the top trend list one step further with an exclusive roundtable discussion, featuring some of the industry’s top design experts.

We’ve got the inside scoop from our friends at Su Casa Design, Bear Hill Interiors, Old Seagrove Homes, and many more! From Pantone’s colors of the year to hidden decor insights, you’ll be designing like an expert with these trendy perspectives:

Let’s start with Pantone’s Colors of the year. Who likes Rose Quartz and Serenity, and what do you like about them?

Kevin Walsh for Bear Hill Interiors: “I Love the 2016 Pantone colors. Not only because of their ethereal quality but more because of what Pantone is suggesting. I have often found that people are afraid to go toward a color because they feel it is to “boy” or too “girl.” I often find myself defending pink by saying there is nothing better than a man in jeans and a pink button down. Same thing with a girl in a navy sports coat with a sling back. It’s really about blurring the lines and choosing what makes you feel and look good.”

Pantone colors of the year are rose quartz and serenity. So many ways to incorporate in your home! | Pantone

Rita Donahoe for Rita Chan Interiors: “I think Pantone’s colors of the year are spot on. I love the theory behind the selection of the Rose Quartz and Serenity combo, and I am really feeling the Rose Quartz for this year! I can’t get enough of it- it’s easy on the eyes and if it’s muted enough it feels sophisticated and not too girly. Both colors are so peaceful and pretty, especially together.”

Who doesn’t like the color choices for 2016?

Andrew Howard for Andrew Howard Interior Design: “I may be in the minority, but I have yet to have a client ask for me to paint their room a combo of Rose Quartz and Serenity. This year undoubtedly represents a mellowing trend in colors, and I believe it is an indication we are headed away from brighter, more statement-making colors.”

Vanessa Francis for Vanessa Francis Design and Decor Happy blog: “I don’t mind the blush pink, but I’m not a fan of the blue as I love darker, moodier shades of blue. This blue is a bit too pastel for my liking. The blush pink can be a paint color in a powder room, a cushion on a sofa, or even the sofa fabric itself.”

That is the perfect segway to our next question.  How can people incorporate Pantone’s colors into their home this year? 

Andy Friesen for Su Casa Design: “I would incorporate the Pantone colors in armchairs and accent pillows, or swap out some framed prints for something that incorporates the colors. Minted has a ton of great prints! This one, Mineral 03 by Lily Hanna, is almost a perfect match for Serenity!”

Mineral 03 by Lily Hanna is the perfect match for Pantone's 2016 Serenity color | Minted

“Additionally, I love the Rose Quartz shade in something like this West Elm Metal Frame Upholstered chair. The combination of the pink velvet and brass is gorgeous.”

West Elm metal framed upholstered chair is the perfect rose quartz pantone application in a home! | West Elm

If it were up to you, what would the color of the year be? 

Shannon Claire Smith for Shannon Claire Interiors and Burlap & Lace Blog : “I was in the minority last year because I loved “Marsala.” I know that people who lived adulthood in the 80s hate the cranberry, oxblood, burgundy, mauve trend, but I’m in so in love with all of them. I’ve always liked the muddied, grayed-out versions of bright colors anyway, and I love the feminine boudoir vibe these colors give off.”

Marsala 2015 pantone color is rich and deep and can be used all over your home | Staffan Tollgard Design Group

Lance Jackson of Parker Kennedy Living: “A dusty coral…I think there has been a shift to the 2 new colors due to people wanting more relaxing tones.”

Coral & Gray Bedroom with a wall of curtains | Thom Filicia

Cynthia Rice of Old Seagrove Homes: “I would choose turquoise. A deep, rich teal would be perfect.”

Turquoise is the perfect accent color for your home this season | Blackband Design

Which trends are you excited to welcome in 2016? 

Vanessa Francis: “I think patterned tile, mixing metals, vintage rugs and plants/greenery (dare I say fiddle leaf fig) will still be strong in 2016.”

Obsessed with this Annette English Patterned Tile. It brings life into any bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom! | Annette English

Patterned tile in bathrooms is always a must. Love the exposed white brick, black accents and patterned floor tile. | Erin Williamson

Kevin Walsh: I’m so glad people are finally coming around to mixed metal. The trend for a while was everything in one finish. Not only is that impossible, but how can you pick just one?”

Mixed Metals + Striking Black Brick Backsplash | CR Home Design

Shannon Claire Smith: “I am welcoming deep, saturated hues with wide open arms. I’m also loving patterned cement tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, tone-on-tone color palettes, warm wood tones, lots of mixed textures, mismatched eclectic decor, and BRASS (who will never not be my friend.)

The-Makerista-Library-Burgundy-Radicchio-Leaf-Brass-Sconces-Books-Traditional-Modern | Gwen Hefner

Rita Donahoe: I am welcoming more global design in the new year. I love how many amazing companies have been founded over the last few years that are bringing us gorgeous handmade goods through empowering artisans in 3rd world countries. Beyond the noble causes of these companies, the goods are stunning! My favorite looks are coming from Africa and South America… but textiles from India and other Asian countries are also amazing.”

kitchen-pink-and-brown-kilim-runner-rug | Jamie Keskin Design

What do you think is a developing trend right now, and why might people not know of it?

Lance Jackson for Parker Kennedy Living: “I think that tone-on-tone color schemes are coming back. It’s not easy to pick up on a look if you’re not in the business with a trained eye.”

Shannon Claire Smith: “I think 2016 is finally the year to embrace the weird. With the over-saturation of Pinterest and beautifully curated Instagram feeds, I think people are craving something different- something that sets them apart from the masses.”

To end our panel discussion, what advice do you have for people who want to update their home, but might have styles that are “now out?” 

Andrew Howard: “I think anyone that asks their decorator for “timeless design” in a world where design trends change as quickly as fashion does is setting themselves up for some level of disappointment. I always tell clients our goal is to achieve something that will remain pretty forever.  It may not fit with every design trend that goes in and out over the course of a lifetime, but will always please you and your family.”

Cynthia Rice: “If you are on a budget, the most important thing to remember about trends is to use them on your decorative accents. Think pillows, tea towels, and accessories. Keep the big stuff classic and then when you’re ready to try something new just make a small investment on the little things.”

Lance Jackson: “Put the outdated pieces away and bring out something more classic. I always keep a small area in my basement of things that I love that are classic. I bring them out and rotate each season.”

Andy Friesen: “Before ditching everything, see what could still work if combined well with new trends. Updating out-of-date rugs and pillows could make a big impact.”

Whether you’re designing, updating or renovating this year, keep this tips and tricks in mind, and don’t forget to stay true to your own style!

And special thanks to our wonderful community of expert designers who made this blog feature possible. They are also some of our favorite Instagram accounts to follow, too! Check them out below

Kevin Walsh, Rita Donahoe, Andy Friesen, Cynthia Rice, Lance Jackson, Shannon Claire Smith, Vanessa Francis and Andrew Howard

Want even more inspiration? Be sure to follow Scout & Nimble on Instagram!

Featured Image: Sarah Gallop Design

Image Credits: PantoneMintedWest Elm, decor8, Thom FiliciaAnthropologie, Blackband Design, Annette English, Erin Williamson, CR Home Design, Gwen Hefner of The Makerista, Jamie Keskin DesignBenjamin Moore.