January 6, 2019

Ringing in 2019 means being on the cusp of a new decade and bracing for the wave of innovation that follows. If 2018 was any indication; however, the tides are already churning in the design world. To shine a light on what we can expect design-wise in 2019, we quizzed DECASO president Kendra Frisbie about what hot-button trends she’s loving for the months ahead. From a renewed focus on serene shapes and tactile fabrics to a focus on all things female, these are the trends that will be shaking things up in 2019.

Photo courtesy of Hostler Burrows

1. Strong Femininity

“By all accounts 2019 is the year to celebrate the strength and work for and by the woman,” says Frisbie. In the wake of the femme revolution, galleries and museums are front-loading their 2019 calendars with exhibitions powered by female talent. While certainly not reserved, these female-crafted pieces tend to skew more poetic than those created by their male counterparts. They’re also more likely to embrace a softer palette, making them the perfect complement to abstracts and realist paintings celebrating the female form.

Photo courtesy of Talisman

2. Bringing Sexy Back

Mid-Century Modernism has long shed its connotation a trend, but that doesn’t mean the style has spent all its tricks. This year look for curvaceous seating created by late modernists like Karl Springer and Vladimir Kagan to be curling up in the living rooms everywhere. “Sensual curves are not only visually striking, but add warmth to a space,” says Frisbie. Serpentine sofas can also be deemed “room makers.” Set one down and, presto, you have a finished room. For clients transitioning from minimalism to maximalism, a curvaceous sofa can strike an enticing balance of both.

3. Moment Makers

“Goodbye greige—statement-makers are back!” says Frisbie of this compelling trend, which focuses on the inclusion of decor pieces that are unexpected, eccentric, and just plain jaw-dropping. As design continued to molt its minimalistic sheen, moment makers are ideal for those looking to take a confident step towards drama. Color and form are key drivers of this trend, so look for an uptick in the excitement around Murano glass, tessellated furniture, and Memphis-inspired pieces.

Photo courtesy of Gallery Girasole

4. Warm Metallic Accents

Given that few things have the ability to spruce like a brass accent, don’t expect to see warm metallic accents retreating in 2019. “This is an enduring trend that adds luxe and warmth to any space, indoors or out,” says Frisbie. While there have been rumblings the chrome is due for a redo, expect the warm-toned metals to again prevail. New to the scene will be rarely-seen furniture silhouettes in brass, including barstools and dressers. One warmer-toned metal that can hit the road? Rose gold. Expect to see brass’s blushing cousin head the way of the air plant this year.

5. The Classics: Black & White

In the past decade, black and white has taken a backseat to more peaches and cream palettes (millennial pink comes to mind). In 2019, expect the tuxedo to strike back with new offerings in lighting, furniture, and decor. “Nothing beats black and white for allowing bold forms to take center stage,” says Frisbie. As interest in angular, spider-like French Modernist lighting continues to gain steam, expect to see black and white overhead lighting making a particularly bold statement.

Photo courtesy of Jean-Marc Fray

6. Comforting & Calm

As powerful as an outlier moment can be, there’s something to be said for hand-polished shapes and cuddly fabrics that soothe rather than stimulate. “Simple, soothing forms can really influence our perspective when the world outside seems a bit wild,” says Frisbie. Given that Danish Modernists excelled at body-cradling, holistic shapes, keep an eye out for Scandinavian pieces reupholstered in sensory fabrics. Velvet, sheepskin, and even suedes are all choice fabrics for making these vintage pieces feel like new.

Photo courtesy of Sitta Gallery

7. Earthy & Organic

Since there are those minimalists who aren’t ready to part with their LC3 chairs yet, but crave a refresh, earthy and organic pieces will likely experience an uptick in popularity. Among the easiest ways to make modernism feel more layered is texture. “From bold Brutalist forms to celebrating materiality in its simplest fashion, pieces don’t need to be polished to be perfect,” says Kendra. Wicker, grasscloth, and hand-tooled leather are all prime for pairing with Modernism’s most bare-bones designs. For those who are more in toe-dipping territory, sculptural lighting and vases can be a low-risk way to integrate more layers.