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12 Apr 2017

Tradition Is Tops

By Amber Erickson Gabbey To a certain degree, external events influence decorating trends. This year’s political climate, for example, is encouraging people to embrace tradition. “Uncertainty, which our world has a lot of right now, makes people go back to tradition,” says interior designer Barbee James, owner of Boulder’s Details Design Studio. “When you’re feeling secure, you’re more willing to branch out.” That said, rich fabrics, comforting spaces and warm colors are very “in” in 2017, she notes. But the good thing about trends is you can choose which to adopt and which to ignore. “Most people don’t go all-in on trends; they’re too short-lived,” says Laura Hodgson, senior designer at Design Studio Interior Solutions in Niwot. James calls the 2017 trend “traditional,” but Hodgson labels it “escapism”—people getting into nesting and creating spaces that enhance their experience, whether it’s reading, entertaining or simply chilling out. If you follow what’s hot or not, changing up a few things can refresh your psyche. “If you like a trend, jump on board,” Hodgson says. “If you don’t, just surround yourself with things that bring you joy” (always sound advice).

What’s Hot

As you’ll see in the trends listed here, most of the “in” ones revolve around creating comfortable, homey spaces.

Handcrafted artisan pieces

photo by Karen Perhus
“People no longer want mass-produced items from China,” Hodgson says. “They want something crafted by a person. These pieces have a story and soul to them.” This trend reveals itself in fine materials like blown glass and other painstakingly handcrafted accents.

Comfortable furniture

Photo courtesy Laura Hodgson
Furniture with features like rolled arms and circular designs will take the hard edges off inter­­ior furnishings. And navy is the new black. “I love navy because it’s incredibly versatile with both contemporary and classic designs,” Hodgson says, “and it pairs with everything.”


photo by Africa Studio
“Greenery” is the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year. It’s a cheery green that’s “not quite emerald, and not quite a Kelly green, but it’s in that palette,” James says. Greenery was created to provide “the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, which created the zesty yellow-green shade reminiscent of the first signs of spring. Soothing, comforting and nature-like, green is a color we’ll see a lot of in furnishings and accessories, and on walls.

Mixed patterns

photo by Photographee.eu
This trend creates contrast by mixing patterns, shapes and designs. “Even in traditional designs, people are going for big, bold patterns,” James says.


Photo courtesy Laura Hodgson
Think wood, velvet, tweed and linens. Texture is expressed through upholstered headboards that soften a bedroom, and coverlets that provide tactile comfort. “Layered drapes add texture, color and depth to this room,” Hodgson says.


Photo courtesy Details Design Studio
“People are veering away from the cool grays and instead going to taupe shades that are warm and inviting,” Hodgson says. This includes other tones as well, like warm whites and bone whites that are softer than stark whites.

Warm metals

Photo courtesy Laura Hodgson
Warm, muted metals like brushed bronze, gold and brass are edging out shiny, burnished metals.

What's Not Hot

These trends are past their prime.
photo by PlusONE


“Gray became popular during the bad economy,” James says. Now people want something fresh, that’s still neutral, like taupe-y and muted grays.

Shiny/polished metals

“People don’t want bright, shiny metals anymore; everything is shifting to warmer tones,” Hodgson says. This trend reveals itself in light fixtures, appliances and hardware.

Graphic patterns

Geometrics are still in, but graphic patterns are taking a hit, Hodgson says. “Graphic patterns are still around in wallpaper, but this style is becoming less popular in bedding,” she says. Instead, people are going for fringed throws and knit blankets.
photo by Kuprynenko-Andrii


“People still love natural materials, but I think they’re starting to look for new materials that bring warmth and texture,” Hodgson says, like concrete, quartz, and even some woods.

Clean and sleek

According to James, people are trading in stark, modern all-white rooms and industrial designs for more traditional décor with materials that add texture and warmth, like wood, leather and chunky rugs.
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