Autumn 2015 Trends

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, October 31, 2015

Powder room under the stairs, New Canaan, Conn. Photo by Tim Lee. Interior design by Drummond House.

Powder room under the stairs, New Canaan, Conn. Photo by Tim Lee. Interior design by Drummond House.

Life In Our Foothills, November 2015
By Gillian Drummond

The High Point Market takes place in the spring and fall every year, where tens of thousands of new products are shown from around the world. It covers everything from luxury products to the very inexpensive.

I find that attending keeps me apprised of what is happening in the home furnishings industry. It sparks my passion for design and fires my imagination. It has to be navigated carefully and with a plan or else even a seasoned veteran like me can get easily overwhelmed.

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This fall I find that design doesn’t have a specific direction but rather new trends and fresh approaches to both contemporary and traditional design. I am seeing these trends not only in furniture, accessories and art, but also in the new fabric and wallcovering lines. I will also cover the fall color forecast.

The first trend is handmade, rough hewn and imperfect. To quote Jeanne Chung, one of the trend spotters for the High Point Market, “Often called the ‘Brutalist’ movement, this unrefined aesthetic is characterized as an expression of material, an embracing of the imperfect, and an appreciation for handmade craft.” It is shown beautifully as a roughcast aluminum base for a glass topped table, or a cocktail table made from old fir blocks that waterfall to form the base.

Shay Geyer, another trend spotter, looks at the use of agate, geodes and minerals that are like that perfect brooch or pair of earrings. Embellishments of natural minerals and stones can be and are used on occasional tables, boxes or used as a design element in fabric.

Metal finishes shine, particularly gold, brass and copper. Even though nickel and bronze are still popular, polished brass and gold are defiantly in the limelight. They bring a feeling of luxury to any room and to many artisanal products.

Traditional is back, but has been re-imagined and left its grandmother behind. No more all brown furniture. It is more timely and has more glamour to it. It shows more curves, a lovely softness, a lot of tufting and buttons in upholstery and glamorous finishes in case goods. Rich dark wood finishes used with gold leaf. A lot of nail head trims used on sofas, chairs and headboards. Forest greens and rich navy blues both in paint and fabrics. Also seen are enameled tabletops or the use of stone, such as malachite or solid surfaces, such as Silestone’s Albedo. It is navy blue and white and can be dressed up or down to fit many design aesthetics.

Color and pattern are “in” in a big way. No more playing it safe with color! Vibrant colors in florals, stripes, fretwork and lace patterns are used on wallcoverings, fabrics and even on painted furniture, lamps and accessories. Rich colors are used on furniture and on walls, or bright colors are used as “pops” of color in a white or beige room.

Black and white, or deep blue and white, bring timeless elegance or can be very contemporary when used with a splash of a bright hue and contemporary furniture. Gold really sparks when paired with either of these color combinations.

Deep blue, black, red or deep green are being used with glossy paint on walls to bring sophistication and glamour. In the September issue of House Beautiful there is a vibrant red lacquered library in a Vermont farmhouse. Red and white printed fabric covers all the furniture, window seats and shades, making it a warm and inviting, cozy and cohesive room.

Be brave and go for it! The nice thing about paint is it is so easy to change when you get tired of it or if you make a mistake. However, if it is a color you love, then living surrounded with it on your walls will make you happy or calm or whatever emotion the color you have chosen elicits. That is the wonder of color; it always brings out an emotion.

Color is a very personal thing; we all have different emotional reactions to color. This year I would say that all color is in; greens, blues, yellows, persimmons, pinks, purples, mauves, periwinkle, browns, grays or any color you can think of.  I hope this trend stays because color in our homes enriches our lives and fulfills us emotionally.

Wallpaper is the other design element that is being used in a big way. Beautiful colors of grasscloth, metallic papers, Chinese scenic papers, brightly colored florals and pattern or subtle colored papers — they all have a place in our homes. It may only be in a powder room to bring a glamorous or cozy feel to a small space. In an entry foyer, wallpaper can say welcome to our home in such a beautiful way. In a child’s bedroom it can bring fun to the room, even if only used on one wall. As a backdrop for the bed in a master bedroom, wallpaper can be stunning. In a dining room it can make the room into a magic stage setting with candlelight.

Use your imagination and bring a new design element into your home with wallpaper. Wallpaper has been improved so much that now it is not half as hard to remove when you are ready for change or to sell a house. Remember that with wallpaper, the way the walls are prepared before you hang it is what makes it easier to remove.

Design today is a wide-open field. If you follow your own wants, needs and desires, any style is suitable.  If you’re filling your home with things you love, your style will tell its own story over time!

Gillian Drummond’s design firm, Drummond House, is located in Tryon, N.C. Visit for more information, or contact her at or 828–859-9895.