Let’s Talk Trends

by Tina Manzer

While particular art themes may or may not be “trendy,” trends in home décor and fashion can impact art and your business. Here’s a look at current wall art, color, and home-décor themes that will still be hot into 2018.

Metal, nature, unique

Here are “Three Trends Buyers Must Know” featured on the website of New York NOW, the home, lifestyle, handmade and gift market.

1. The demand for metal fixtures and accent pieces, like picture frames, is still strong. However, rose gold and brass – two trends from last year – are starting to be replaced by copper. Silver and gold remain classic staples. “Mixing brass and copper, and silver and rose gold will continue as retailers fulfill the mid-century and bohemian design trends that are happening for the rest of 2016.”

2. Juxtaposed with metal are natural elements, including wood, succulents and indoor plants. Key elements include sculptural wood and bark, woven fibers, and polished and carved wood.

3. “Self-expression is at the heart of every purchase a consumer makes today,” notes New York NOW. “This trend comes from an exploration of antique malls, flea markets and craft fairs in search of treasures.” To represent their individual styles, people are mixing old items with new and handmade. Key elements include bright colors, woven textures, batik floral patterns and geometric lines.

The summer edition of New York NOW was held in New York from August 19 through 23. The winter 2018 edition takes place February 3 through 7.

Wall Art

ILevel, a leading art placement and picture-hanging service in New York City, is a perfect trendspotting source. Its list of clients ranges from large corporations and major galleries, to A-list decorators and people with art collections large and small. According to the ILevel blog, a major wall-art trend emerges every few years or so – the company’s framers and stylists have watched waves of typography-inspired prints, ink-blot art and marquee signs come and go. In May, they noted an explosion in art made from African mud cloth. They are calling it the next big wall-art trend.

“Tribal-inspired style has been a big trend for a while now, so it was only a matter of time before these beautiful ethnic textiles, also known as Bògòlanfini, caught on like wildfire,” said a post on ilevel.biz.

The fabric comes from Mali in Western Africa, according to the African Fabric Shop (africanfabric.co.uk). Narrow strips of handwoven cotton are stitched together into a whole cloth, and then painted with patterns and symbols using a variety of natural dyes, including river mud that has been aged up to one year. Typically, each one is a unique creation. The thickness and weight can vary from cloth to cloth, but generally they are similar to a light blanket.

“The fabrics have been used widely in fashion and in homes around the world – they’re having a major moment in décor right now,” said the post. “You’ve probably seen mud-cloth throw pillows and textiles inspired by the prints. But we love the turn toward using the cloth as wall art. The majority of the pieces we’ve seen are simply framed and mounted on the wall.”

Another trend – one that keeps on giving – is gallery walls. “While we’ve been hanging art gallery-style since ILevel opened, it became a major trend six or seven years ago. A good portion of our work became installing arrangements of five to 10 smaller pieces instead of hanging a singular large piece or a diptych or triptych. Since then, the popularity of gallery walls hasn’t waned a bit, and that’s OK with us.”

Here’s why everyone loves them.

They tell someone’s story
“While a singular piece of art can certainly be personal, a gallery wall can almost become a collage of stories,” says ILevel. A single wall may include a painting picked up on a special trip to Paris, doodles drawn by children, flea-market finds, framed postcards and antique plates. In addition to the chosen art, the layout of the display can be tailored to the collector’s particular style, like “classic and symmetrical,” or “abstract and eclectic.”

They’re dynamic
Homeowners have the option to change out their art as they feel like it. They can swap old pieces out for current favorites, and add to the display as new works are bought into the collection.

They’re easy
There’s a gallery wall arrangement that will work for just about any expanse of wall, no matter how small or large or narrow. It’s easy to put together. On the other hand, it may take years to find a singular piece of art that fits just right in a space.

In or out or both?

Some designers say quotes – like “Keep Calm and …” – are out. But Pantone, the color authority turned trend forecaster, says the typography trend is still around and going strong.

“Messaging on home goods has been popular for some time now,” says interior designer Michelle Gage. “It will become increasingly popular, given the way we all communicate on social media. It will remain more of a complement to a room’s story, and live on in smaller finishing touches like pillows and art.”

For colors next year, “intense” is in. “They seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. The color group she described is called TECH-nique, because it pays homage to technology. It includes bright blue, green, fuchsia, and purple complemented by iridescent tones of turquoise and hot pink, white, and frosted almond.

Black and white interiors are a top trend that will never go out of style. “Black is the new gray,” noted interior designer and color expert Maria Killam after Paris Design Week last September. “Black and white framed art was simply everywhere.”

Avacado green and harvest gold will be back in 2018, suggests Pouted, an online lifestyle magazine. “This is amazing news for those who have not updated their homes since the ’70s,” said the magazine.

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