Around Again: Three 2016 Décor Trends with Historic Sources

In fashion and interior design, everything goes in circles. Here are a few current home décor trends – and those predicted to capture your imagination this year – paired up with historic styles, all to inspire the fresh reinterpretation you’ll create next time you make a change in your space.

Geometric shapes. The current focus on repeated circles, squares, or triangles, often in a simple and graphic pattern, has the benefit of feeling traditional and no-nonsense but also offering current appeal. If used in of-the-moment metallics, this shapes feel like a slimmed-down version of Art Deco’s complex tesselations – but darker or rusty tones are perfect for bringing back the edgy Brutalist elements of the 1960s and 1970s. Geometric motifs have also characterized every period of Egyptian revival.

Blue tones. Lovers of nautical décor take note: Navy’s the color of the moment, often with a serene and cloudy complement of lighter blue with grey or lavender undertones (and it coordinates gorgeously with the turquoises that have defined the first half of the 2010s and aren’t going anywhere). The blue and white porcelain of 17th-century Holland – which named the color Delft blue – and the qīng-huā blue and white ware of 14th-century China make it clear that deep blues have been inspiring decorators for centuries; more recently, navy walls were widely chosen in the 1940s.

Strong florals. Designers’ craving for pattern has recently translated the trend for naturalist sketches onto upholstery – and with few fabrics left plain by our hunger for detail, florals have reemerged in multiple styles. Dark, rich floral patterns that will be appearing in fine furniture providers’ swatch books in the coming months and years recall the color-on-black florals of the 1980s. Before that, a five-year period just after World War II ended featured earthy and exuberant South Pacific-inspired florals. The Edwardian period’s light, feminine, and eclectic feel used smaller floral patterns; it would be effortless to re-create with today’s bolder patterns. And chintz, the glazed calico cottons imported to Europe from India between 1600 and 1750, always serves as an inspiration for high-end floral designs.

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