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Hearth & Home July 2015

Tomorrow 2016

By Richard Wright

If you’re in the patio business, the toughest decisions you make all year involve fabrics – color, texture, pattern. Maxine Lauer explains what consumers will be looking for next year.
Maxine Lauer.

“I know people who believe in all neutrals. We work with a lot of people and that’s what they do. They do neutrals and they’ll throw color on the neutral. People are actually not afraid of color as a base core anymore, especially in the blue/green family that is trending so much. But we’re seeing some new greens come into play, which are much bluer cast than the yellow-cast greens that we’ve had. We’re seeing the orange change up from spice to coral as we’re going into 2016.”

Modern Craftsman

“As we look ahead at the 2016 season, we’re going to see Modern Craftsman continue. It’s the number-one style for the last three years in new home construction, and it’s across all price ranges, from Toll Brothers to Pulte.

“For the modern Craftsman, we’re seeing the blues again with earth tones being really important as the blue family moves forward. There’s a metal story here with the copper/bronze with platinum underneath, giving these browns a lighter approach; they actually have a white underneath the finish that really brings the platinum forward.

“Oak – natural, reclaimed, scraped or seared – continues to be a wood of choice. Chevrons are very important, as are leaves and staggered stripes. Again, texture is very much key, whether it’s on a faux wood or a stone surface. There’s a trend to using double tables, coffee tables; there are two instead of one. Interior designers pretty much all across the country are doing it. You can pull them apart and make one long rectangle, or put them together and make a square; that’s a trend. 

“There are lots of accessories being used, especially with serving and dining, and the interest is still strong in rugs. Here, too, we’re seeing blue take on a variation of teal, aqua haze, but it’s a deeper aqua haze. We’re seeing the orange take on more of a red cast for the 2016 season and some greens continuing with more of a yellow cast; they will be balanced by a neutral.

“A burnt clay sienna has been added to the palette, we see the green, we see a layered copper bronze. Platinum underneath is very important on these finishes. Again, there are warm brown stains on oak, and time-worn, aged reclaimed wood grains. This is quite important for the Craftsman look. 

“We’re seeing multi-blues and greens being incorporated, and for 2017 we’re actually going to see it incorporated into marble tile with color. We’re starting to see even woods and stones take on more color, which is really a nice new direction for wood and stone. 

“There are warm copper textures, textured chevrons, layered, blurry leaves, staggered stripes, cross-hatch textures – very artisan, very Craftsman. Now, wingbacks have hit every category. This is the first season they have reached the Modern Craftsman category. We’ve seen the wingbacks in traditional. We’ve seen modern wingbacks, but now we’re seeing even this crafted look doing its own version of the wingback chair, that is so important. 

“Soapstone continues. Cross-cut sections of wood continues. Stone and the use of stone continues. Burlap textures become a little bit rougher. Squared off shapes. Texture is key, along with structured forms.”

(Re) Colonial

“This is really what has happened here. The Millennials that are entering the marketplace are eyeing the many traditional homes that were bought by Baby Boomers back in the ’80s and ’90s that are all for sale as Baby Boomers try to downsize a bit. Just one of them can’t afford it, but we’re seeing if a Millennial or younger Gen X person buys one of those homes, they do their own version of traditional. That’s where this is going toward 2016.

“So we’re seeing these finishes, warm silvers with hints of black, almost taking pewter down a little darker. We’re seeing gently distressed effects on wood, whiskey stains with a little bit of black underneath, but oak is still a premier look in wood. We’re seeing a new wicker with a circular woven motif giving that strength. That fret work look is so popular that we are starting to even see it in weaves. 

“There is the modern wingback, not as historical as it was last season. It’s much more of a modern approach now. Here again you see the X-base, two tables doubled-up. Traditional details and shapes continue to modernize and shed heavy, ornate embellishments. 

“Accessories come in variations on a classical theme – the Greek key, chandeliers, updated classic tables. But this story is crisp; it is very crisp and clean and high contrast. It’s a navy/cream or a navy/light gray. You can accent it with a little cast green, but the big navy cream story, this two-color, simple, clean, crisp design is huge. Warm grays balance it out. 

“This emerging blue is almost to a navy, and there’s a bluer cast-green being used for accents and details. We see black and silver again, and a mottled approach to finishes. A honey brown stain in the mid-tone is still what we’re seeing. We’re seeing a bit more faux mahogany come into play. 

“If you look at the top woods used in a home of this era, mahogany was one of them. So we’re seeing some reinvention of faux mahogany. Again filigree, leaf patterns, fretwork, the crisp navy and cream story. The Greek key continues to stay around;  the quatrefoil continues. Rectangular links are not going away. Two-tone wickers are here. Bentwood chair backs go forward, but, again, everything is not as ornate as it was in the past.”


“Tropicale is fun and great. I love the color. In metal finishes, we’re seeing a lot of polished copper, sand dappled copper and brown on cocoa bronze; that brown is really important. We’re starting to see exotic woods come back. Before the recession they were a trend and then, because of their expense, they really took a nosedive during the recession. Now they’re back and in interpretations that look as good as the real stuff.

“Weaves are now multicolored. We’re really having fun with wicker. It’s bold, bright, but much more tropical than last season – modern tropical. We have furniture detailing again, mid-century modern; it’s still influenced by Latin America. Brazil was a leader in mid-century modern during the ’50s and ’60s, and so a lot of designers were coming out of there; it has been replicated. 

“We see natural two-tone weaves, and director’s chairs with colors that really pop. Accessory stories are really metal banding with color, lots of bold colors, lighting, tabletops, fire and water. There’s lots of fun with trims and color. This is a bright story again, led out by the green family as it continues to increase and get a little bluer each season. It’s not as blue as blue/blue, but they’re more blue casts than yellow in them. 

“Coral – here’s where the orange story falls off into coral for this season, which is very important for the orange. There are patches of pinks, tropical teal and then a pale blue. It’s just beautiful. 

“Again we have copper. There’s the cocoa bronze still continuing that dark and heavy look, but under this cocoa there’s a lot of gold. Mid-tone browns, walnut and so on continue for wood. Birds are continuing, and layered foliage. There’s fun color with diffuse stripes, and taking a stripe and giving it a celebration of color. Engineered stripes are just fun, and colorful.

“We’re starting to see color in tile play out even on tabletops. Then there’s glass. This is not inexpensive glass; glass is totally being reinvented. 

“We’re still seeing a lot of woven stripes. There are layered open looks for seating. Details are very organic and modern-shaped. There’s a lightening of the finishes in the wood, and there is still quite a bit of bronze underneath. Wood grains are exaggerated and a little more rough-hewn. Then just oversized wickers, or very tight weave, a juxtaposition of very large or very small.” 

Modern By Nature

“Nature imparts its influence here, with the movement of water or stripes that provide a scenic approach; then there are beautiful stamped leaf impressions. Metals are of silver bronze or layers of copper, bronze and verdigris for a warm and cool effect.

“Woods are of a silvered bronze or grey wash; wood grains are exaggerated. Wickers are highly textured, in herringbone and cable knits. Some are oversized and braided, others have very tight weaves. Offset planking for tiles gives them almost a chevron, or a large scale herringbone, look. 

“Fabric patterns are geometric, with swirls and broken stripes. There’s also flowing, liquid designs. Furniture is a lot more rounded in shape and profile, and quite modern. Accessories make use of softened geometrics, with beautiful patterns and materials inspired by natural elements.

“The color story is neutral with blue – that’s really the main story here, and the blue is a vivid blue. It’s a navy that’s crisp. It’s cobalt and it’s crisp. Then, against it is this very pale sky blue being used almost as a white or cream would be to give it an accenting contrast. 

“At times, a touch of mint green gives those deep blues contrast with a color, versus a neutral. It doesn’t always have to be with a neutral. Then you have these warm grays that enter the picture if you want to use neutral with it. Bright white for accenting is very much a high contrast. 

“Then we have these beautiful sun-exposed prints where they look like they are faded by the sun; it’s a very, very modern approach to nature. We see impressions of nature with modern touches, such as drops of water. Free-form brush strokes again provide a modern touch to the stripes, and those stripes are broken up and not perfectly aligned. 

“We see an offset, planked effect for tile or faux stone. New materials are being injected into wood, or placed on top of wood to use color in a new way. We see nature in the form of large-scale leaves, and branches, with soft, shaped forms. Linen textures are being applied to glass.”


“This trend is very much global in style. We’re still seeing bronzes play out with copper accents in multi-step applications. Wicker has a really chunky, textured, hand crafted look, and the pattern story is really about medallions, two-color filigrees, very globally-styled interpretations. It’s much more Moroccan influence versus Turkish influence.

“Again we have drum tables, circle detailing, tribal accents, a lot of African inspiration in this trend as well as starbursts and geometric fire features. The story has a very interesting combination of earth and sky and bringing it together. Colors are earthy but intense. 

“We see the clay, but it’s much lighter now, and we see a beautiful paprika as the new direction for red. Sage green is in the lighter version, balancing out and providing contrast with some of those intense colors. True blues are here once again. Copper bronze and browns are very lightened so there is not as much black as we had last season. 

“Color is being added to tabletops, and different size planks, from squares to rectangles to small squares, are giving it a really new look. There’s a horizontal scoring, very chiseled and hand-crafted, as well as totem-shaped geometric features.

“The beautiful mosaics look Moroc¶can, but are based on Turkish influence. Weaves are imperfect again, with frayed edges. We see circle motifs, suns, star bursts, dappled textures, and very exotic looks in tile work.”


“Veranda is a vintage, feminine story, with lots of color going on this season. We’re seeing bronze over galvanized, which is brand new. Green is coming into play, and white-washing is very important. Vintage caning with color gives it an update. There’s a fine, simple, nice wicker weave, a ribbon weave texture. 

“However, once again we are in the red family with black, and this is very feminine. For 2017, it will go to masculine, but right now this red/black story has taken on a feminine approach. The use of stripes and ginghams is very important. 

“We’re seeing painted furniture in red. We’re seeing the galvanizing painted red. We’re seeing chairs with a lot of red painted accents. The red and the green story you’ll see a lot and, of course, it’s a very feminine approach even for colorful accessories. So you have this red and black infusion going on, but the story is very clean, crisp, but yet feminine so the approach to this is not unlike the two colors that are traditional, but it’s just a much more garden, feminine approach to the two colors. 

“There is a chambray blue that can be added into this mix for interest, accented by a green/yellow. A turquoise is coming into the mix, and then there is the bronze over galvanized that we talked about, giving it a new update.

“We’re seeing mottled patinas, that green influence, and we’re seeing it on stone and wood, not just on metal. Patinas are taking on a new roll. White-washed treatments on oak is part of the trend. It is very important that it has no real gloss or sheen and feels natural to the touch. 

“Wicker, kissed a bit with black, brings black into the influence. Clean checks, really not even feminine florals, updated medallions, sear sucker stripes, and birds, of course. 

“Pansies are the flower of choice. Again they are emblematic of the garden. We see scroll work that is feminine, but large scale and loosened. There are roped and nautical touches, also a bit of industrial metals and fabrics. Squared-off open weaves are part of the trend, as are slightly scalloped touches to chair frames or cantinas. Restored caning gives it either a new look or a squared-off approach versus a hexagon or a circle approach. Perforations are very lacey here – loops and lattices.”

More Stories in this Issue

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Moving Forward!

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Today 2015

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For the fifth year, Maxine Lauer, CEO of Sphere Trending, shares her (painstakingly acquired) knowledge of trends that are affecting your business.

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Niche Player

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During the ’90s, Pat Moynihan made a highly respected name for himself as president of Waterford Irish Stoves U.S. Today he has his own line of wall-mounted gas fireplaces – the Sólas line.

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By Charles Vernon

Charles Vernon, former CEO of Gloster Furniture who retired this past September, discusses his very successful career (there’s a surprise at the end).

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2015 May Business Climate

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