Kari Whitman is a celebrity interior designer for clients like Jessica Alba, Kristen Bell, and Melanie Griffith whose expertise ranges from estate homes to boutique hotels to large-scale residential developments. All of which means she’s definitely in the know when it comes to the latest interior design trends that will transform 2016. Read on to see which ones you may want to incorporate in your home.
Read on to see which ones you may want to incorporate in your home.
1. Mixing Metals
Whitman says a lot of people feel like you can only use one metal per room, but actually right now the big trend is mixing metals, including brass, stainless, chrome, gold, and oil-rubbed bronzes. She says she’s seeing this trend mostly in lighting, but it can really work anywhere. “A modern couch with little stainless steel legs can sit next to a brass side table or a kitchen can have gold knobs with silver plates behind it.” This works on both large and small scales, but for maximum effect, mix cool metals (like silver) with warm metals (like gold or brass).
2. Decorating with Local Art (and Go Big)
Whitman is all about supporting new and local artists, so she suggests anyone who is looking to decorate with new art do so by exploring artists in her city/town or by finding cool vintage art. “Art is such an important part of the house,” she says. “So why not decorate while also giving work to your community?” And don’t be scared to think big. Whitman says oversized art objects are definitely in right now. “I just bought one of my clients a crazy plastic horse that we hung in the stairway after I filled it with lights.” And for another client, she refinished an old canoe, put huge lights in it, and hung it in an outdoor dining space.
3. Incorporating Wallpaper
After so many years of using just paint on walls, Whitman says, “Wallpaper is super in right now.” It’s an easy way to make a big visual change, even if you only use it in small amounts, but Whitman likes to take it even a step further. “It’s really cool to wallpaper the ceiling and not anything else,” she says. Or to put felt carpet on the ceiling instead of the floor. She’s even working on a line of wallpaper that takes graffiti artists work and puts it onto wallpaper.
4. Going Crazy in Powder Rooms
Whitman thinks the powder room should be the craziest room in the house. This is a great space to go wild with color, texture, and art. That way, she says, when people come over for dinner, it’s an automatic conversation starter. Plus, the small space makes it the perfect space to experiment.
5. Bringing the Outside In
We can’t all live in nature, but there’s no reason we can’t bring the outdoors to our homes. Whitman says easy ways to do this are to bring in tree stumps or shells. “I just did a blue glass box coffee table that filled with sand and twigs,” she says. While you may not have the budget to build a custom coffee table, a simple way to decorate with this trend is simply to bring things you find outside that you love—whether it’s a pinecone, a branch, or a rock—and use them as accent details.
6. Going Green
Whitman is passionate about the green movement and recycling and reusing. “Use what you have,” she suggests. “If you have an old couch, go to an upholsterer; they can cut down the arms and take it down to the studs. You don’t need to buy a new one.” She also suggests using earth-friendly insulation for new construction, installing solar panels, using bamboo or palm wood for flooring, and most importantly: doing a little research to find out what makes companies green. “Be careful and buy locally.”
7. Break the Rules (Well, Except That One About Going Green)
The biggest trend, Whitman thinks is to simply not follow the rules. “The nightstands don’t have to match. The curtains can hang from the ceiling.” She says it’s about getting in touch with your inner artistic side and going from there. Most important? “Definitely always be different.”
Top photo of Kari, Roger Snider
All photos compliments of Kari Whitman