After 10-plus years covering design trends — from the Birds-on-Everything Movement of a few years back to more recent nautical and neon pop-ups — I can finally share a trade secret: I’m having way too much fun to ever call myself an expert.
But I can tell you that not every trend is for everyone. Still, there are some that are too cool not to at least try.
Last week, I hit Architectural Digest’s Home Design Show for one of my favorite professional pastimes: ogling samples, designers, and things I wish to someday own in the name of scouting trends.
Here are my favorite four design trends spotted at the show, at least one of which you should try out in your own home this year.
1. Marble and polished concrete
Pretty (but not too pretty), with an airy visual vibe. These two “raw” materials are built to last — and enjoying a cool-looking moment in the decor spotlight.
Coil + Drift’s Dusk coffee table is proof that a living room table can stand as its own conversation piece (because with a table this stunning, who needs beautiful coffee table books?!).
Noble Goods’ walnut-wood-and-concrete Shard cocktail table is another stunning example, from the geometric lines down to a few simple inlaid brass rings nodding to gatherings and cocktail parties to come.
2. Copper and brass
Seattle-based Ladies & Gentlemen Studio’s wares range from kitchen cutting boards to living room furniture to jewelry — and the label’s talent shines on all fronts.
Their Forward/Slash desk lamp feels as much like a swank desk accessory as a handy office staple, and the Aura Lights fixture is versatile enough to display in an entryway, over a mantel, or as the main light source in a living room or den.
Meanwhile, New York–based design shopkeeper/designer Michele Varian grounded her brass Mala pendants with an earthy, wanderlusty point of view.
3. Postfab woodwork
Sacramento, CA–based Stikwood has been beloved by indie design writers for a few years now. (I was one of them. I covered their online debut.)
Even more reason I was thrilled to spot them at this show, among household-decor brands that have been around for generations.
Stikwood’s premise is simple — and genius. Pick a wood finish you love. Measure your wall or desired surface. Receive stick-on slats that are easy to DIY apply and have trimmed by a local professional. Revel in the newfound feeling of homeyness, no matter whether you’re renting, buying, or going through a reclaimed-weathered-wood phase. (One of their top sellers, by the way.)
4. Modular furniture (with a human touch)
After spotting Debra Folz’s Wrap Extending dining table, I decided that hosting party guests with a card-table-turned-dining-table was no longer acceptable.
Folz’s diagonally folding design (which recently enjoyed its own New York Times write-up, by the way) is the first convertible table I’ve ever seen that doesn’t try to hide the fact that it’s a convertible table.
There’s no leaf table awkwardness, and no card table awfulness. Just pop it into the shape you want and admire it — comfortably — from any angle. (Which is exactly what I plan to do should I persuade my husband to get one.)
Which new trend are you excited to try out at home? Share in the comments below.