Mixing it Up: Our Designers on 2017 Trends

2017 was a year with delightfully inspiring trends, but Suzanne DeRusha (our trends & design manager) and our lead designers Gail Schwartz and Annie Madden agree that their favorite has to be mixed materials.

“There’s so much to tantalize and invoke personality,” Suzanne says. This trend’s use of multiple textures, colors, and patterns definitely adds to the sensory experience.

Loxley cherry Cappuccino Burnt Sienna Glaze and Highlight and Amesbury maple Chai Latte Classic
Layered textures and patterns, like whitewashed brick and patchwork tile, add unique personality to the soft backdrop of Platinum inset cabinets shown in Loxley flat panel cherry Cappuccino with Burnt Sienna Glaze and Highlight.

“I am especially enamored with patterned tile as an outspoken design element. It not only brings something fresh and inspiring to a kitchen or bath, but it also feels timeless,” Suzanne adds. She’s also enthusiastic about high contrast contemporary spaces that combine elements on opposite ends of the spectrum. “I like to offer ideas that get us outside of our comfort zones, even in a conservative design”. Suzanne adds: “For example, if the cabinetry in a kitchen uses one finish, suggest using counters with different surface treatments, like tumbled on the island and satin on the perimeter, for a nuance that makes your client’s project more unique.”

So many takes on texture

Annie shares the same interest in the unexpected beauty of bringing together contrasting elements. “I really like putting finishes like Buckskin Appaloosa with Earl Grey Classic paint and gold hardware for creating a look that is rustic glam,” she adds.

Gail adds that rustic pieces, in particular, are very versatile and pair nicely with designs from modern to vintage to casual. “There are so many different takes on it!” Gail says.

Our designers also agree that the mixed materials trend really lets you personalize by mixing styles you like. It means harmonizing different elements, and most importantly, Gail says, “not confining yourself into a box or a single style.”

Bringing it home

Some homeowners are still a little nervous about fully embracing mixed materials since it can be such a bold look, but Annie says showroom displays can often help homeowners feel more confident and inspired. “We want people to think outside the box and see that it’s a warm and livable look,” Annie says.

Another easy way to incorporate just a subtle hint of the mixed materials trend is to bring in a unique texture or finish as a signature piece on a hood or island or to pair modern hardware with classic door styles.

York Reverse Raised (RR) maple Smoke, Flat Panel (FP) maple Irish Creme Classic; Mission Flat Panel (FP) quartersawn oak Greystone
A trio of colors is seamless when the palette is monochromatic: York Reverse Raised (RR) maple Smoke, Flat Panel (FP) maple Irish Creme Classic; Mission Flat Panel (FP) quartersawn oak Greystone

Farmhouse style is also a great bridge to using a blend of materials and patterns. Gail points out that shiplap (oh, shiplap, everyone loves you!) is a great way to add understated texture with simple linear dimension. In fact, farmhouse style as a whole really emphasizes expressing your individual style.

Or, use top trends like farmhouse style, high contrast, and mixed materials in small doses in a more casual space. For example, take a look at this photo from our Bath Silhouettes Terrace Collection:

Briarwood Raised Panel oak Smoke Ebony Glaze & Highlight
Combining three big 2017 trends in this bath are shiplap walls, patterned stamped concrete tile, brushed gold hardware in a complementary shape, and vintage lighting. It’s a great way to bring a small space to life! Cabinetry features Briarwood Raised Panel oak in Smoke Ebony Glaze & Highlight.

“It’s an example of ways to use the trend as inspiration in an accessible way,” Suzanne says.

Overall, 2017’s mixed materials/mixed styles trend really put the power in every person’s hands to create a space that expresses their unique style. Gail sums it up: “Really, this trend is, ‘Be Fearless.”

Share and tell!

What was one trend in 2017 that stood out in your mind? How have you incorporated it into a design? Post your thoughts in the comments below!

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