2014 and 2015 Design Forecast

by Gaia Mueller
Robert and Gaia Mueller are the owners of Benjamin Moore Kelowna

One of the most fascinating parts of having a career embedded in the world of design is staying on the cusp of new trends.  Trend forecasting is big business, and the major players in the field spend millions and predict with extremely high accuracy what colours, fabrics, sheens, shapes and sizes will be popular in two years.  They’re not just watching the runways in Milan to make these predictions, however; they’re studying demographics (they know the Millennials are becoming an economic force), economics (the subprime mortgage crisis continues to have an effect on tastes), entertainment (The Great Gatsby is still influencing style, for example), and technology (“smart” colours that respond to our moods may be coming our way).   
Summarizing the complexities of forecasts is tricky, but we can see that the overarching influence on 2014 trends is our desire for stability.  In a world of dramatic political, economic, and social change, we are seeing trends emerging which are clearly rooted in our desire for constancy and security.  Here are just a few 2014 and 2015 trends:

Architectural purity in homes & furnishing -- Strongly trending up is the love of more “pure” architectural styling, either traditional or modern, as opposed to the over-designed McMansions of yesterday, which were too often an eclectic buffet of multiple styles.  Whether it’s a custom luxury home or a home by a mass-market builder, it will offer an open floor plan with the kitchen as the centre of the home.  These new homes focus more on harmony, simplicity, and unpretentious charm than on showiness, and often include furnishings which are reinterpretations of historical pieces: re-coloured, re-sized, re-claimed, and re-invented, these pieces link the personal to the historical in a mindful manner.

Farmhouse fusion -- As the name implies, this trend is about balancing opposites. An angular contemporary chair upholstered in a traditional fabric, for example, or a vintage sideboard painted acid green.  An up-cycled wood table may have chrome legs or a bergere chair may be upholstered with burlap.  Here, we can have a piece at once rustic and refined.   This trend includes all sorts of “faux” painting techniques which, given the new products available today, go well beyond the wall-sponging efforts of the 1990s.  The trend to faux taxidermy is continuing into 2014 as well, so expect to continue seeing glossy antlers hanging in unexpected places.

Geometric patterns – Whether chevron, stripe, circle, or some other intersection of angles, predictable patterns will continue to be a dominant motif in design.  Perhaps because we love the harmony of these mathematical structures, we seek to surround ourselves in them.  At our store on Springfield Road, we have entire wallpaper books just for stripes and chevrons, so whether you’re looking for a monochromatic multi-layered pattern or a whimsical look designed by Karim Rashid, you can find a way to put symmetry on your walls.

Traditional patterns – Trending up right now is the return to delicate, some might say feminine, patterns.  For example, toile de jouy is starting to turn up everywhere, from upholstery to bedding to wallpaper.  Toile consists of a repeated pattern in a single colour depicting a generally pastoral scene such as a couple having a picnic or a floral arrangement.  Also experiencing a resurgence is what I’ve heard spoken of as “grandma’s wallpaper,” or patterns which are floral and dainty, as well as patterns which mimic lace and even doilies or macramé.  These toiles, florals, laces, and delfts are often treated fairly traditionally, but they are also re-interpreted more ironically by some, who use colour and material in unconventional ways to personalize classic patterns.  For example, I’ve seen toile patterns depicting a cartoon shrub or done in lime green.

If you hold a can of paint up to your ear, can you hear the blue?  Blue is the colour of security, safety, trust and stability, so it is with little surprise that blue in all its shades and hues continues to dominate the colour spectrum of 2014 and 2015.  Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year is Breath of Fresh Air (806), a soft and simple light blue which looks just as good in a modern home as in a coastal cottage.  Our entire 2014 palette is designed to provide “new” neutrals that provide a relaxing and harmonious feeling in your home.  Who needs “builder’s beige” anymore when you can play warm grays and soft blues against a few punches of dramatically deep mauves such as Pantone’s colour of the year Radiant Orchid?  If you don’t want to embark on an extensive repaint of your home’s interior or exterior but you want to play with some new colours, another big trend right now is colourful front doors so why not go bold and paint your front door something playful?  

Need more inspiration on trends and colours?  You can go online to Pinterest.com or Houzz.com and find endless photos of home décor ideas.  You can also visit Benjaminmoore.ca, where we have multiple blogs and tools for playing with colour and design.  There’s even a brand new tool that asks you some fun questions and then reveals a room designed through your answers.  Check it out at designbywhatmatters.com.