A new year means new trends. At Dering Hall, we’re craving trends that feel grounded in how people live and grow, and timeless beauty that helps support a sustainable future. Innovators and rule-breakers are changing the shape of design, as are creators who champion classic aesthetics and transform them for a contemporary audience. Our Top 10 Trends for 2019 reflect the developing direction of design and avoid dead ends that subvert new ideas. Enjoy them here.

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1. Art Deco-Inspired Accessories

For the last few years, design has leaned toward contemporary, with the prevalence of mid-century modern styles as the exception. Now, vintage and verified antiques from a range of periods are all the rage, including Art Deco. Antiques feel like an antidote to society’s obsession with novelty — they look backwards instead of forwards. When paired with contemporary details, Art Deco looks achieve a refreshing balance of old and new.

For the space above, designer Michele Safra of Michele Safra Interiors says, “The client wanted an apartment with a deco feel without wanting to make it look like a museum.” She chose a vintage cabinet crafed from Macassar ebony wood, typical of the Art Deco period, with colorful blue interiors that mirror the surroundings of the waterfront Miami penthouse.

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2. Healthy Home

In the midst of climate change and rising energy costs, as well as technological innovation and societal interest in health and wellness, homeowners have been discovering new ways to save energy and money in the longterm, but they also want their home’s style to communicate health and wellness through everything from nature-inspired furnishings — such as live edge tables — to wood and stone walls and ceilings. The upcoming year will continue that trend. “Most of our clients plan to live in their homes for the duration of their lives,” says Camille Shamble of Fergus Garber Young Architects. “We plan for that through flexible programming and space planning, and through a combination of current technologies and passive systems.”

The room above by Fergus Garber Young Architects incorporates sustainable technology as well as sustainably sourced materials. The table was crafted from eucalyptus found in northern California by Douglas Durkin. For the walls, the board-formed concrete matches the bark on the site’s oak trees, creating a natural, comfortable environment. Using energy modeling, the design team chose a mass of blue stone and white oak that would best regulate interior temperatures, aided through radiant heat flooring.

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3. Matte Black Accessories

A dose of black accents gives this season’s styles some glamour and sophistication. “Black never goes out of style, and it looks good with everything,” confirms Maureen Winter McDermott of Winter McDermott Design, a firm based in the Hamptons. “It creates a pop against a monochromatic interior while also creating energy and a bit of drama.”

Because the kitchen next to this space featured black cabinetry, McDermott used matte black to tie the two rooms together. However, she also suggests that a bit of black can also effectively balance a bright ambience. “There is a ton of natural light, so the black grounds all the airiness and expansiveness of the space,” she says.

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4. Sculptural Ceiling Fixtures

New lighting fixture designs often resemble sculptures in their artful detailing. Adorning the ceiling, they create drama, often without venturing into melodrama, especially when paired with minimalist interiors. “I’m a huge proponent of light fixtures,” says Regan Baker of Regan Baker Design. “I’m a firm believer that they make a room, and are just as important as art.”

In this dining room, the client chose this standout fixture in smoke finish from Lindsey Adelman, which pleased Baker, as she’s always enjoyed Adelman’s work. “This sculptural element elevated the room and created a contemporary and sophisticated feel,” she says.

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5. Inspired Wallcoverings

From fresh, eclectic prints to textured cloth coverings and more, wallcoverings have become a top trend to watch. “With the growing popularity of wallcoverings, vendors are frequently introducing new wallpapers just as they do other textiles,” says Peter Sandel of Peter Sandel Design, LLC. “There’s so much variety on the market that wallcoverings have become a go-to finish for clients looking to personalize a space.”

In this master bedroom, Sandel wanted to represent the styles of both clients. “It was critical to their relationship that we struck the right chord in designing a space reflective of both their individual styles, one leaning more modern and the other slightly traditional,” he says. Accordingly, he chose a Phillip Jeffries wallpaper called “Rivets” that walked the line between their two aesthetics and offered them exactly what they were both looking for.

 

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6. Mixed Metals

This season, designers aren’t afraid to mix up their styles with mismatched metals. Unlikely combinations can invigorate a design, and they mirror a similar trend in fashion. “Mixing metals to me is like finishing your outfit with jewelry,” says Cindy Witmer of Cindy Witmer Designs. “Just because I have a nickel faucet doesn’t mean I can’t have brass pendants.”

For this open-concept space that included kitchen, dining, and family areas, Witmer mixed metals to give each zone its own individual flavor. “I wanted to let each space have a personality of its own but also work together,” she says. Her clients loved the lighting options from Visual Comfort, and she could use the lighting to bring out different features. “The bistro chandelier has black metal and brass elements and joins the three spaces in the middle,” she says. “It repeats the element of the steel windows in the kitchen. The brass and glass pendants help make sense of the brass straps on the custom stainless steel vent hood.”

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7. Hygge Spaces

Although referring to Scandinavian style, “hygge” has ventured beyond the Nordic regions and come to define one aspect of a growing interest in comfort and functionality. Designers are choosing to prioritize comfort more and more, especially as their clients demand it, with busy families that require functional, fashionable living designs and millennials that seek out hygge-inspired homes for rest and self-care. “Comfort is a non-negotiable element that homeowners crave as our lifestyles become so hectic,” says designer Karen Wolf of Karen B Wolf Interiors. “If it does not look comfy, it at least has to be comfy.”

“Comfort comes in many sizes, from sofa fill to arm form to seat depth,” says Wolf, referring to the design of the living area pictured above. “Color can also convey comfort. If a color is easy on the eyes, like a gray, white, cream, or neutral, it evokes comfort. Velvets, chenilles, textures, boucles, wovens and fabrics that are chunky emote cozy. Comfort is also how furnishings relate to each other. Does the set-up promote conversation? Is it inviting and welcoming? All of these considerations are accounted for when we design to create comfort without comprising aesthetics.”

 

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8. Transitional Design

Traditional and contemporary aesthetics have each had their moment — now it’s trendy to mix the styles together for a design that’s unique and adventurous. “Transitional looks can be interpreted in many different ways, which is why I think it’s become so popular,” says designer Robin Baron. “By playing with the balance of the classic and contemporary, a space can take on a very personalized look. There are no rules about how to balance the two styles, so it allows for creativity and makes it a perfect style for developing your own special signature for your home.”

In the case pictured above, the client had moved into a Pre-War apartment, and eventually the traditional decor, which the client valued for its history, began to feel out-of-date. “They wanted to acknowledge the apartment’s Pre-War architecture while creating a fresh, clean-lined look, which is the essence of what a transitional look is all about… classic yet modern,” says Baron.

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9. Decorative Trim

Increasingly, spaces are showing off decorative mouldings, which add heightened detail to the overall design. “As we design modern, contemporary, and traditional structures, texture and trim have and will continue to be crucial to the design,” says Judy Proctor of Austin Patterson Disston Architects.

For this particular project, a summer home in the Hamptons, the homeowners were looking for a “clean, contemporary feel with traditional bones,” explains Stuart Disston of Austin Patterson Disston Architects. The woods in the oak, overhead beams, and trim complement each other, and bring a refined finish to the environment. “The trim is reminiscent of classic farmhouse casing, appropriate for this modern farmhouse,” says Disston.

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10. Breaking the Rules

With all the design trends floating around, it’s easy to feel locked into a popular style, but when it comes to contemporary design, there are no hard-and-fast rules. Design evolves constantly, invoking its own history and future in its present incarnation. Of course, there’s still a strong delineation between good and bad design. “There is a right way and wrong way to be eclectic,” says Penny Francis, principal and owner at Eclectic Home.  “Curating and editing is crucial in its success for a timeless appeal.”

The space above used to be a factory, and Francis wanted to include the chipped paster and exposed brick in the final design. “It tells a story and adds so much character,” she says. “We chose to complement the distressed texture with a modern geometric grasscloth in tones of green and gold. The juxtaposition of the old and new makes this space very chic. Playing it safe would have been just painting the wall in a complementary color,  but these two materials give so much dimension and texture to the room.”

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