Design is a fickle matter. The favored home style of today, a mix of elements heavy on minimalism and nostalgia, is tomorrow’s tacky relic. Nonetheless, many design experts are daring to predict what will work in the next 12 months.
According to luxury rental developer Richman Signature Properties, the favorability of certain designs lie on generational fault lines, driven by the growing number of millennials and Generation X-ers shunning home ownership.
In an analysis conducted with online interior design service Laurel & Wolf, Richman claimed that while young adults want more flexibility in their living arrangements, they are not willing to compromise on style.
“When it comes to millennial renters, the big trend is ‘less is more.ʼ Thereʼs a desire to streamline spaces — to be uncluttered and less fussy than traditional design,” the two firms wrote in an analysis of 2017 style trends.
Chanel Korby, the director of business development at brokerage firm The Nassimi Group, confirmed the appeal of clutter-resistant spaces, saying: “In the fast-paced world of New York, living in a tranquil environment with space-saving furnishings is refreshing and optimal.
“There should be only essentials with minimalist clutter-free furniture, such as living rooms that only have a couch, another chair, a coffee table, a couple of lamps. Or even less — the bedroom may only have a simple bed, a dresser and a night stand. There is quality over quantity; the fewer pieces of furniture, the better,” Korby said.
“Except for bare essential furniture, there should be nothing else on the clear floors. Generally, you should store items out of sight except (for) a couple of simple decorations. You should also have clear surfaces, (such as) kitchen counter-tops with only the toaster and coffee maker. There are no knick-knacks, stacks of books, papers, etc.”
However, this does not mean that the appeal of furniture is now confined to older people. Young renters and homebuyers just have a specific set of demands, and they are willing to part with more cash just to get what they want.
“For the pieces they do choose, millennials are open to spending a little more money if it makes their room stand out, especially from their friends… There is a renewed interest in original furniture pieces and mixing design styles to create a one-of-a-kind, simple yet eclectic look. Driven by the desire to be unique, we can expect millennials to purchase more antiques, vintage and one-off pieces over the mass-produced furniture makers,” the Richman/Laurel & Wolf analysis read.
“Today, millennials desire more than just a space to call home, they want to live in a place that showcases their unique tastes and draws upon their life experiences,” added Leura Fine, the CEO and founder of Laurel & Wolf.
According to a survey of interior design experts conducted by Zillow, the hottest home designs of the next 12 months share a specific set of elements. One of the biggest design trends of the year, the study declared, is marble surfaces.
“Marble, especially in shades of white and light gray, will be one of 2017’s biggest design trends. Experts predict marble will become an increasingly popular material for countertops, flooring and tabletops, as well as in everyday household items, like serving platters or vases,” the report read.
Other popular elements include velvet, built-in bars and “jewel colors” such as emerald green or sapphire blue.
The Zillow survey also forecast the death of several 2016 design trends. Its most brutal assessment was for “quote art,” which it declared “overdone.”
“The quote art trend is overdone, and a fad that will be forgotten quickly in 2017. Rather than decorating with words or cliché sayings, homeowners will start to incorporate artwork reminiscent of the colors and textures found in nature,” the report read.
The respondents were also pessimistic about the enduring appeal of overly industrial furniture. The report predicted that furniture design will soon borrow from science fiction.
“While aspects of the industrial design trend like exposed brick will still be present in 2017, homeowners will start to shy away from its sometimes uncomfortable or impractical furniture. Instead, the 2017 design aesthetic will shift toward “steampunk,” a unique hybrid of Victorian-inspired elegance boasting rich leather and plush fabrics, combined with machine-like accents for a modern twist,” the survey read.
Lastly, respondents predicted that people will want more color in their lives. This will manifest in cool grays being phased out of living spaces.
“From wall colors to couches, shades of gray have been a safe, go-to choice for homeowners and interior designer alike. Experts predict homeowners will be more experimental In the coming year, welcoming brighter pops of color on everything from walls to rugs in an effort to make their space feel more individualized,” the report read.
While people have grown more particular with their design choices, they may not have a lot of space to execute their plans.
According to Mitchell Hochberg, the president and COO of the Lightstone Group, developers are building smaller to keep costs low.
“Due to the continuing increase in development costs, in an effort to make apartments more affordable, developers are making them smaller. To meet the challenge of making these more efficient apartments more livable, developers are incorporating larger windows and higher ceilings, coupled with linear kitchens that are part of the traditional living area,” he said.