The Bold & The Beautiful


Looking for that “wow” factor when it comes to your home? From wild wallpaper to daring lighting that makes any room shine, here’s a look at the top home design trends of 2017.

Even in Miami, it’s OK to be a wallflower—at least, when it comes to enhancing the walls of your home. “I’m a die-hard wallpaper lover,” admits Annhy Shim-Morel, design director of Shim Projects, who’s using eye-catching and dramatic wallpaper to bring dull spaces back to life. “Having been raised in the ‘70s, my fondest visual memories are of wallpaper. It gives a sense of comfort.” Before you shudder, take note: wallpaper has come a long way since the ‘70s. When choosing a pattern, Shim-Morel suggests sticking with organic patterns like palm leaves (especially since Pantone’s Color of the Year is “Greenery”) or a geometric print. She also says strategic placement is everything. “People who are reluctant about wallpaper should either go crazy in a small place like a powder room or bathroom, or choose one focal wall in a hallway,” says Shim-Morel. Her favorite collections are from Cole & Son, Eskayel, and Calico, but if you’re still afraid to commit, try a temporary, removable version. Shim Projects, 7261 N.E. 4th Ave., Suite #101, Miami; 305.803.0533;

When it comes to the colors trending in home design right now, Joy Lynskey, the creative director of Jewel Toned Interiors, says it’s all about variations of slate blue, which can read masculine or feminine depending on the surrounding finishes. Lynskey suggests using pops of blue in textiles and unique upholstery from places like Jeffrey Michaels in the South Florida Design Park, and even adding the color to a kitchen backsplash. “Another strong trend is to use this slate blue color in the use of custom cabinetry in the kitchen,” says Lynskey. “Applying this color throughout adjoining rooms will connect the two areas and allow for a smooth transition.” Another top trend she’s loving is exposed wooden beams that draw your eye to a special place in the living room or an entertaining area. Jewel Toned Interiors, 105 N.E. 3rd St., Fort Lauderdale; 954.774.9565;


It’s also good to be green this year. Pantone’s color of the year is “Greenery,” so add a pop of green with a Bubble Swivel Chair or Pavilion Ottoman from Artefacto. 17651 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305.931.9484;

Renowned British interior designer Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design, whose clients have included royals and celebrities including Madonna, says today’s homeowners are all about “lateral living” to maximize luxurious square footage. “We are opening up spaces. Multifunctional living is what everyone wants right now,” says Fontanella of the open-plan trend, whereby rooms are connected instead of enclosed. The sought-after designer, who now has an office in Miami, likes to create one flowing, multifunctional space that can include a kitchen, dining room, drawing room or game room and bar. She says homeowners can apply that same open format to create seamless indoor-outdoor living, by using the same stone from the home’s interior to create an outdoor living room. Fontanella is also bringing the new trend of “layering” to South Florida from across the pond. “I like to mix different materials, so it gives a room depth and personality,” she says. “For instance, in the dining room of a home on North Bay Road, we layered different finishes from Kenyan wood inset panels, stone columns with inlay bronze, and a tinted mirror ceiling. It all balances out.” Argent Design;1800 Sunset Harbour Dr., Miami Beach; 786.393.6223;

One of the best (and easiest) ways to transform a space is by playing with lighting, and designers advise that we be unafraid to add some drama. “Lighting adds interest to a room without having to bring in more furnishings or color,” says Sarah Barber-Bazail, principal designer of B. Design, who fields a lot of requests for custom-made lighting fixtures. “Like adding accessories to a simple outfit, you’ll want to choose statement pieces. Look for quirky lamps, chandeliers and pendants with odd shapes and combinations of different finishes and materials.” Barber-Bazail suggests opting for wall sconces over a floor lamp and a sputnik chandelier in matte (not shiny) brass for a trending Mid-century modern look. “Matte brass looks good with any design setting from traditional to contemporary, and it also works well with other finishes.” Top spots for dramatic lighting include a prime spot above a dining room table or a nightstand, front and center in the living room, or even suspended over a bathtub. B Design; 305.753.4176;

Bathrooms used to be an afterthought, but designers say now homeowners are focused on creating a relaxing sanctuary. “For nearly 40 years, I have been an evangelist for better bathrooms. The homeowner has finally realized that a great bath is a great investment,” says Barbara Sallick, co-founder and senior vice president of design for Waterworks. To design the ultimate oasis, Sallick recommends a neutral-colored bathroom combined with unlacquered brass. “The use of unlacquered brass in a neutral space is like adding an amazing necklace to a simple black dress. It adds interest, structure and a focal point in the space.” She also suggests infusing natural stone with veining into the bath. “Stones with rich figuring across the surface tell magical stories about the way the earth was formed and add romance to the bath.” When it comes to where to spend your money, Sallick recommends that homeowners invest in high-quality marble-patterned floors. “The floor is the smallest area that needs to be clad, so the investment in a great floor is a timeless design statement,” she explains, adding that walls can be cloaked in subway, hexagon or shimmering, metallic tiles. Waterworks, 167 N.E. 39th St., Miami; 305.573.7593;

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