What all the cool kids are doing


Twice a year, I jet off to High Point, North Carolina, to attend the Furniture Market. Me and 75,000 other furniture fanatics spend a week scoping out what we hope will soon sell in home furnishing stores across the country.

This year, I have been invited to be on a panel and speak on trends. While this is a heady compliment and sounds fun, talking about trends actually reminds me of gossiping about what all the cool kids are doing.

To prepare for my 5 minutes of fame, I have been trolling Pinterest and Houzz for emerging colors and designs. Those sites are great places to see what has made it to the hip list. Plus, I must confess to feverishly flipping through the home magazines as I wait in the checkout aisle at the grocery store, hoping to spot some new mix of color or wood tone.

There, now you know how my inner genius works: Pinterest, Houzz and the express aisle at Publix.

Picking what colors are going to sell is always a crowd pleaser. Buyers always want to know what color pillows and rugs they should snag for the next season.

The truth is that forecasting color is easier than you think. There are color clues all around you. Graphic designers are often the first ones to try out a newly trending color. So, I keep an eye on what color font they are using in fashion ads. If I want to see what color the apparel industry is dishing up, I hit up the T-shirt section at a hip retailer. Looking to see what colors are finding their way into the home biz? Try scoping out the lineup of towels at Bloomingdale's. The more elite and expensive the store, the faster they tend to get on a new color trend.

Want a bit more textbook guidance? You can always Google Pantone’s color of the year; for 2016, rose quartz (aka ballet pink) and serenity (a blue) were selected.

When I see the same colors repeated in font, towels and T-shirts, then I know that it will likely make its way to pillows and rugs.

Now that you know the tricks of the trade, can you guess what color has dominated everything from T-shirts to towels? It has also been the best-selling paint, tile and drapery color for the past 2 to 3 years. Here’s a clue: This foggy hue has rolled in and is here to stay.

Gray is the must-have color.

Are you wondering what colors, other than gray, are hot?

Navy, leaf green and teal are the new players.The word on the street is to keep an eye out for magenta accents, since it looks smoking hot when paired with gray and navy. Anything else?Yes, if you are a romantic, this is your time. Touches of tranquility are in. Shell pink and a soft cloudy blue have been spotted in velvet pillows and luxury bedding.

Want more? Well, it’s time to mix things up.

You no longer have to try to match all your wood tones. Consider putting a blonde wood sideboard on a dark floor. Infuse some gold accents into your silvered spaces. Maybe toss some vintage finds in with your modern mojo.

One more thing. Inspirational words are the new art. In place of a picture, consider a sign or quote on old barn board.

Here’s the best thing about what’s hot right now: You can break all the rules and make your own rebel recipe for design.

Disclosure: The tricky part of trend talking is that, when something is considered “in” something else is likely considered “out" or "passe.” So, before you critically scan your space, please keep this in mind … there is nothing more beautiful than a joyous home.


Amy Archer

Amy Archer is owner of Sarasota-based Creating Inspired Design and writes the Barefooted Designer blog. She can be reached by email.
Last modified: March 25, 2016
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