December 31, 2017
Recline fireside with layers of soft, thickly textured blankets and cushions. Curves are comfy and approachable, popular in sofa and furniture style.

I always look forward to previews of what’s new and trending for the coming year. It’s exhilarating to survey the latest in paint colours and wall coverings, a fresh take on pattern shapes and sizes, and how decorative cladding, including tiles and stone, are being utilized. This year’s splendid array offers something for every taste and style. What stands out across all décor types is a continuing emphasis on all things that bring comfort and optimism to our homes. Call it a backlash given the scary headlines and challenges of modern life. Whatever the reasons, we crave an inviting environment, rooms that offer a collective hug. Here are some inspiring thoughts, and products that are ready and waiting for you.

Soften up those hard edges on furnishings with curvaceous shapes. Rounded sofa backs, padded arms, plump cushions and tactile fabrics are de rigor. Yes, you can be sophisticated and comfy. Velvet is super popular, and smooth fabrics in bold colours. Coffee tables shine bright in brushed metals and glass, with rounded edges and see-through supports.

Practical and open solutions to shelving and storage are indicative of a looser, less than perfect attitude, where everything is out in the open, easily accessible, and part of the overall décor. Shelves are an economical alternative to kitchen cabinets, especially the uppers. They are easy to organize and actually make even a small kitchen appear larger. Whole walls in the living area are arranged with a variety of wood and metal storage units that can be fashioned for an industrial, modern or traditional style.

Wabi-sabi is the traditional Japanese aesthetic that encompasses the art of imperfection. It gives the nod to pottery that’s cracked, chipped or uneven, mismatched wood grain, weathered walls, peeling paint finishes. It’s a comfort to think that a messy bed, or untidy room is acceptable, and it does fit into a relaxed mood.

Dark colours are showing up on more than focal walls; whole rooms are painted in deep red, powerful pink, bold black and nautical navy. Brightly coloured furniture and artwork stand out against these rich shades. Painted furniture continues to be popular, transforming secondhand finds as well as new tables, chairs and cabinets.

Wallpaper has come full circle and is on everyone’s list. But these papers are better quality and colours and images have shifted with the times. Ever popular florals come in sizes from small to big and fat. Light and shadows bring out the embossed textures in fine grass papers and reveal the beauty of layers of colour in the painterly wallpapers.

The metal scene is exploding around us, from the multiple metallic sheens showing off in fingernail polish to flooring patterns enriched with slivers of silver tile. Metallic paints create a shimmery lux mood on walls and furniture. From fashion to home design, upholstery and drapery fabrics are threaded with colourful metals that link up to brushed metal details in furniture.

Always on trend, nature’s lush shades and rich patterns are at the core of design. Green is a living colour, and permeates life and the fashions we create. Bringing it indoors is easier than ever with oversized images of flora and fauna showing off on wallpapers and fabrics. Have you thought about a jungle room? Or perhaps an English country garden overrun with botanicals? Bring comfort and joy into your life, it’s never been easier.

Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to Follow Debbie at Instagram: @debbie_travis, Facebook: @thedebbietravis,,