January 5, 2016


Metals of the Moment

Led by the comeback metal of 2015 - Brass - metals are having a moment. Yes, brass is back. We are moving away from chilly silvery finishes with a nod to the past and a focus on the future. Designers are fearlessly mixing metals in all kinds of living spaces. The metals of the moment - gold, brass and copper - add character, warmth and some shine to interiors. Brass as a finish is not about the shiny lacquered looks we saw in the 80’s and 90’s, but a rawer finish or variations in colour like rose gold. So brass - lacquered, unlacquered, vintage or hand waxed are replacing nickel and bronze finishes on the trend curve. Look for golds to follow the lead of brass to warm up our spaces next year. (See All that Glitters for more…)

Take note, copper finishes are fast emerging as the metal of choice favoured by architects and interior product designers in 2016. What’s not to love?

These metals look fabulous when combined with the alternative texture of another metal such as my favourite - matte black - to create a ‘mixed metals’ look. Matte/Metallic combos can’t be beat for flawless contrast. As long as they’ve got a sheen, they also pair effortlessly with organic textures and materials, from heirloom woods to raw stone and marble.

With mixed metals playing a significant design role right now, venture outside the box to mix them together for some distinctive scheming.  Take it one step further and mix these warm metals with bold, saturated or lacquered color and you have a winning combo. Specifically, turquoise and copper - my bet for the luxe colour combo of the year...or pink and gold with copper - copper amplifies the energy of red, pink and oranges.

All That Glitters

Closely intertwined with the Metals of the Moment trend is a trend I call - All that Glitters. As the saying goes - this is not a trend about gold. It is made up of gold and silver, leafing, gilt, semi-precious to precious stones, crystals, lucite, mirrored surfaces, this isn’t the in-your-face- bling we saw several years ago. More lustrous than shiny; more subtle than showy; All that Glitters is more about preciousness. Cut stones, mysterious settings, raw materials all rendered more beautiful by the genius of man and his hands. In art, precious entails a character of great delicacy, brilliance, even wealth.

All that Glitters is about the valuable and precious. A metaphor for what is rare and unique. It distinguishes the return of well-crafted decorative arts.

Organic Mix

In reaction to the ever-growing presence of technology in our homes, consumers look to the natural world to create a soothing presence in the home. This season has seen a rise in miniature gardens and displays of organic greenery, which responds directly to the idea of bringing the outdoors into the home. This trend is derived from a strong and ongoing natural macro trend that needs to remain fresh if you are to stay ahead.

The Organic Mix is moving forward and morphing - becoming a mashup of Nature made and Man Made. Texture and contrast created by texture is still key to this trend.

Don’t overlook the organic Mix in more formal sophisticated interiors where faux bois has been elevated and natural elements take on an Art Deco flavour.


Design confidante and industry presence for more than 30 years, Deb Barrett is a design expert who combined her twin passions - design and soft furnishings - by founding Window Dressings, a couture soft furnishings firm near Chicago, Illinois. She is an IACET accredited speaker, a member of the IDCEC Advisory Board and Withit. Most recently, she was awarded the Educator of the Year (2015) award by Withit. Deb’s design career has taken many paths, and her fascination with what’s around the corner has led her to her current roles as a designer, sought after speaker, trend strategist and design blogger. Tracking the most cutting-edge developments of the ever-evolving art + science of design puts her right at the forefront of the industry.

Deb's websites are: www.debbarrett.com; www.windowdressingsinc.com and www.softdesignlab.com. Check out her blog Design Confidential.

Photo Credits:

Image 1: HP Market Preview/ International Market Center

Image 2: Turquoisepalace.com, Precious Night candle holder

Image 3: Turquoisepalace.com, Willow Weave metal wire ottoman

Image 4: Interior Design - Shown at Maison and Objet Bat Eye's "Stone Sideboard" is finished in gold leaf

Image 5: Wesley Hall Upholstry

Image 6: Currey and Co. - tree bench

Image 7: Turquoisepalace.com, mango wood tray