Design Trends for 2014

July 29, 2014

Back in May, I went to the Pasadena Showcase House and I posted on what I thought were some of the highlights here on the Décor Revolution blog.  In the process of preparing for that post, I interviewed several of the designers that participated in the showcase house and one of the questions I asked them is:  “What would you say are the most important new trends in interior design for 2014?”  Of course, as a Pasadena interior designer myself, I have some of my own ideas on the subject as well, (there’s this lucite and wood table by Jonathan Adler), but I’ll start by telling you what a few of them responded with.

Showcase House

Mixing Finishes

Both Dawnette Whitcomb-Hughes, who designed the Powder Room, and Karen Shoener, who designed the Master Suite, mentioned the use of blending finishes in their space.  I noticed this right away when walking through both of their rooms.  In the Powder Room, they mixed a vessel sink that has a satin gold finish, with brass inlay in the linoleum flooring and metal vintage gold accent panels above the pony walls.  In the Master Suite, designed by Designs of the Interior, they’ve mixed a variety of finishes including gold, pewter, bronze and nickel.  They even used mirror on the nightstands. I love this idea of mixing finishes in a space rather than having all brass or chrome or wrought iron.   The satin gold finish, in particular, is big right now.  For a long time, chrome and brushed nickel were very popular and they still are, but anything brass or gold was considered dated.  There was a lot of gold at High Point Market this past April, so whether you mix it with other finishes or not, gold is certainly making a major comeback.


Wall Paper

Wall paper is another big thing that is popular once again in interior design.  According to Dawnette Whitcomb-Hughes, designers are using wall paper on ceilings, behind bookcases or other places where you would normally not use wall paper.  Last month I talked about painting the back of your bookcase, in one of my Design tips.  Wall paper works the same way.   Wall paper featured as an accent, rather than on all four walls of a room, makes it more of a focal point and a great way to add some pattern and color to a space that you can coordinate with other accessories in the room.


Smart Homes

Technology in interior design isn’t really a trend, but it is becoming much more accessible as products become more affordable.  The kitchen at the Pasadena Showcase House was featuring a built-in automated coffee maker that was controlled by a smartphone.  It was a $12,000 coffee maker.  This is not what I consider affordable for most people, but there are many products on the market like the Nest Thermostat, which is a programmable thermostat that helps you save energy.  It has a very sleek design and the price is now down to about $250.


Honeycomb Patterns

Geometric lines and shapes are a basic in contemporary interior design. For those who feel that the chevron stripe trend is over, honeycomb patterns and hexagon shapes are the latest way to incorporate straight lines with a bit of a mid-century modern feel thrown in.  This side table at West Elm, or this custom iron Miller coffee table by Lucy Smith Designs is a great example and is available online at

Color Trends

Gray, beige and greige have been the popular neutrals for a while now.  Going forward; blues are big.  Navy is considered a new neutral.  Mix it with turquoise, plum or greens for a great color palette.

Floral Pattern combo

Bold Florals

Florals never really go out of style, but the new look for florals is big, bold and bright colors.  Also, florals that have soft watercolor shapes are very popular as are monochromatic floral prints (all one color).  Florals match up nicely with most other patterns, as long as you vary the scale.  So, if you’re using a bold floral for your drapery, pair it with some mid-size and small scale patterns for your pillows and upholstery.

Fiber Art

Fiber Art

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Textile Design and created a lot of fiber art in college and during the first few years after I graduated, before getting seriously involved in commercial textile design.  Back in the 70’s and early 80’s, fiber art was immensely popular.  Modern tapestries and fiber sculpture were commonly seen in art galleries and many people were purchasing fiber art to decorate their homes and offices.  We are now beginning to see a return in the popularity of this medium.  Large macramé wall hangings, contemporary quilts and all other types of modern fiber art are popping up on design blogs and in art shows.  I couldn’t be happier about this.  I love the soft and tactile expression of fiber art that you don’t get with paintings and photography.

Meaningful Accessories
“Less is more” when it comes to decorative objects around the house. 2014 leaves behind kitschy, purposeless accessories. Choose objects, artwork and photos with personal significance to keep your decorative collection from getting out of hand and avoiding too much clutter.  When your accessories have meaning, each one tells a story and makes your home feel more personal and unique.

Healthy Home

Green and sustainable design is not a new trend, but it is here to stay. Creating a healthy living environment, free of toxins and harsh chemicals, is a top priority for more and more homeowners.  Many are taking advantage of federal and state incentives to evaluate their home’s energy efficiency and overall performance. Upgrade trends include the use of low VOC materials to improve indoor air quality; testing combustion safety, and; radon mitigation.

Reuse and Recycle

Along those same lines; reuse and recycle are currently a huge source of inspiration for many interior designers.  Salvaged wood, stone and metal are popular along with re-purposing vintage items and antiques.  Fresh combinations of rustic and retro styles with comfortable and classic interior design ideas create beautiful, functional and inviting spaces. Re-purposing items, rather than automatically purchasing new ones, means that less materials are going into the landfill, which is improving our environment.

There are many more trends, but I will have to do another post to share more with you.  People tend to navigate toward trends when they are fresh and then, after they become oversaturated, they get tired of them and discard them.  Some say the antler trend is dead or they’ve had enough of the white shaggy fake fur throw pillow trend.  That’s why we call them “trends”.   The bottom line on trends is if you love something, it shouldn’t matter if it’s on trend or not.  Decorate with the things you like, whether they are trendy or not.  At Décor Revolution, we feel that the best design is a classic, clean and timeless style that doesn’t ever get old.  For the relatively permanent elements of your home, we like to focus on more neutral and classic features and save the fickle, trendy stuff for accessories that can be changed out easily once you tire of them.


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