2012 Design Trends

What’s new and hip in the world of interior design

by Megan Patterson

A new year means new design trends in both the fashion and interior design world. But what are the new colours, colour combinations, and style tips for the coming year? OTD has got you covered.

Pantone’s Colour Trends Predictions

Every year Pantone, best known for its Pantone Matching System for the creation of custom printing inks, comes out with its predictions of what the new and hot colours and colour combinations will be for the coming year. At the end of the year, they pick their shade of the year for the upcoming year. For 2011, it was Honeysuckle, a vibrant reddish pink, and in 2010, it was Turquoise. For 2012, it’s Tangerine Tango, a deep red-orange. Here are their predictions of what colours will be hot in 2012:

  • Brights – especially yellows and oranges
  • Metallics – not just your standard coppers, golds and silvers, but coloured metallics as well
  • Blues and nautical turquoise
  • Muted reds and browns together – think chili pepper red, not fire truck red
  • Candy pinks – shades like Honeysuckle will still be popular in the coming year
  • Grassy green – any shade inspired by nature, but especially colours like bright Kelly green
  • Chocolate brown
  • Yellow, gold and grey palettes

Other hot colours and combinations from interior designers include:

  • Black and grey
  • Black and silver
  • Light blue and grey
  • Emerald and white – Or any other jewel tone
  • Tan and black
  • Golden yellow tones
  • Coral
  • Cream
Jenny Kennedy-Olson, Canada, 2006

Neon Accents

Neon colours, particularly green, yellow, or pink, paired with neutral shades like white and grey are a big trend in interior design for the upcoming year.

Mixing styles and contrasting textures

Don’t be afraid to mix styles–modern with antiques, items from different periods all mixed together, sleek lines with more ornate oriental pieces. It’s very unfussy and modern to do this. Experiment! Have fun! Don’t feel constrained with traditional design rules!

It’s also very “In” to mix unexpected textures together. Here are some to try:

  • Silk and wool
  • Velvet and brick
  • Stainless steel and wood

Modern wallpapers

Wallpaper has undergone a major makeover in the past 5 to10 years. The patterns are much more modern and vibrant than those in the past, and there are also a lot more tools and formulas to make it easier to put up. It’s a very easy way to update or add interest to a room, so definitely give them another look!

Eco-Inspired Design and Eco-Friendly Materials

The eco trend, of course, carries over into the world of design, with colours and textures inspired by nature being a huge trend. Also very popular is using bamboo, cork or reclaimed wood for flooring. Bamboo is a particularly great material because it’s incredibly durable, as well as being eco-friendly since it basically grows like a weed, so it’s very sustainable. Other bonuses of bamboo floors include:

  • It’s generally 25-50% cheaper than hardwood
  • It’s easy to clean
  • It’s hypoallergenic because it doesn’t harbour dust mites or promote dust
  • It’s also made with safe resins, meaning they low formaldehyde emissions

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