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The colors, textures and fabrics of 2016 as told by local designers


alking about interior design trends is a bit like sharing an opinion—it should be taken with a grain of salt. Trends tend to trickle down from producers into various media sources, then to designers. And along the way, savvy homeowners, renters and amateur designers pick up pieces of the trends and blend them with their own personal tastes. For instance, Pantone comes out with a much ballyhooed “color of the year.” Sometimes the color is a hit—this year, the colors are rose quartz and serenity (pink and grayish blue)—and sometimes they flop—emerald wasn’t used in many designs. Other paint and design companies come out with their own trends, as well. Benjamin Moore dubbed 2016’s color “simply white.” Then, the wheels are set in motion. “So then what happens is a lot of the vendors, the producer of the fabrics, will produce a little bit more in those colors,” says Cynthia Prizant of Prizant Design in San Clemente. “So you’ll see in the magazines images of rooms and vignettes that are designed with those colors.”

Pantone comes out with a much ballyhooed “color of the year.” Sometimes the color is a hit and sometimes they flop. “You’ll see once they’ve set the colors, you’ll see products along those lines that will pop up with accessories and fabrics,” Prizant said, but added, “To be honest, a lot of times they don’t become the trend in the common population.” Indeed, many designers use trendy colors as a well-noted reference, but rely on their own training and, most importantly, the wishes of the client to guide the design. “It’s not about what’s trendy,” says Emily Turner of Maison Blue Design Group, “it’s always focused on what clients’ personal tastes are. From a color standpoint, it’s really personal.” Turner said that trends also tend to move slower in house design, than in, say, fashion, because people aren’t changing their home decor every day, or buying entire new wardrobes every year or so, like some do with clothes. That leads to more “classic” designs in homes; but then again what is considered “classic” is constantly evolving, and thus prone to trends. So given that trends come and go, and are influenced by regional and personal predilections, local designers are still able to pick out some things that are popular this year. In general, warm is out and cool is in. The Tuscan trend that was popular at the end of the last decade has softened and cooled into a palette that includes more coastal colors— 4

Mid-century modern style is on full display in the colors, furniture and fixtures in Prizant Design’s living room. Photo: Jeri Koegel

Neutrals are classic, but gray is enjoying a high point in this design by Prizant Design. Photo: Jeri Koegel

A Maison Blue design featured throwback chairs with bold lines with neutral grays, in front of a wood inset. Photo: Courtesy

blues, greens, neutrals. Della Hayden, also of Maison Blue agrees that coastal, and it’s colors, are in—that’s partly because it’s popular in the Southern California region, but also because it’s (and here’s that word again) classic. “The current trend in color is gray, white, navy and neutral. Those are primarily the current trendy colors, but they’re also classic, and I think that’s one of the elements everyone is trying to get to,” she said. Aside from the coastal theme, Prizant says there is a trend toward mid-century modern in the design requests she’s receiving. It’s a sort of Mad Men-style, ’50s-era chic that is evidenced in clear lines, bold colors and material changes. “There’s a huge resurgence of mid-century modern,” she said. “You can see it not only in the trade form, but also in [consumer stores like] Crate and Barrel.” Walnut tones in wood fixtures are popular, but so are grayer and white-washed wood floors—a product of the trend toward gray and neutral, Prizant said. In metals, golds are coming back. “One of the other trends is a transition from silvers to golds,” she said. “So for instance lighting fixtures, you’ll see a lot of the antique brass and golds whereas a couple years ago it was brushed silvers and nickels. I also think that’s driven by the mid-century modern (trend).” Turner and Hayden at Maison Blue agree in the shift in trend, but are calling it an “industrial, kind of reclaimed look.” “I think that goes back to a couple years ago and they talked about sustainable and everybody’s trying to be more

Cooler tones like blues and greens are trending this year, along with neutrals, in this design by Maison Blue. Photo: Courtesy

responsible and trying to rescue things,” Hayden said. Turner said that no matter how influenced a design is by trends, it still needs to fit the function aspect of any design. “They need to be multifunctional,” Turner said. “Especially in our crowded market, people are living in smaller homes, so their homes have to be especially versatile. That’s a huge part of what we do from the start is space planning, and trying to design around function.” So the next time you’re leafing through a design magazine, watching a home remodeling show or visiting a furniture store, pick out the cooler colors, the gold fixtures and the gray woods, and decide if they’re for you—or if you’ll wait until the trends change next year.

Inside/Outside: Refine Your Space - 2016  
Inside/Outside: Refine Your Space - 2016  

Presented by San Clemente Times, Dana Point Times and The Capistrano Dispatch