Steven Favreau: 2016 and 2017 Design Trends

December 29, 2016

Steven FavreauBoston-based interior designer, and Robert Allen brand ambassador Steven Favreau takes a look back at what was hot in interior design during 2016, and predicts what trends we will see in the year to come.

In 2016 I travelled the country as Brand Ambassador, speaking on behalf of Robert Allen Fabrics in a self-titled odyssey called My Year With Robert Allen. During that time, I noticed trends – some easily predicted, some utterly surprising. While some of these have been around for a while, but even stronger this year, others are brand new. Here’s some of what I saw for 2016:

Industrial Chic:
Cerused woods, black powder coated metals, matte finishes and raw materials signified an even greater move toward industrial inspired living. I was giddy when matte finish black, bronze and slate kitchen appliances hit the market.

All interior design by Steven Favreau


Photograph by David Duncan Livingston

Photograph David Duncan Livingston

Photograph by David Duncan Livingston

The New Traditional: Draped Rooms
I am seeing traditional patterns, styles and floor plans sneaking back into the market. The rebirth of the formal dining room has begun and includes large floral wallpapers or paperbacked fabric, statement mirrors and dramatic lighting.

Steven favreau Draped Room

Photograph by Eric Roth

Steven Favreau Boston Junior League Showhouse

Junior League of Boston Decroator’s Show House, Fabric Shown is by Robert Allen, Photograph by Michael J. Lee

Minimalist and Mismatched Kitchens
Mismatched kitchen cabinets have been coming and going for years, but in 2016 they came on even stronger than before. This year featured statement pendants, outdoor fabrics, raw materials, open shelving and a mix of many finishes on the walls, floors and counter tops.


Photograph by Eric Roth

Luxury Items
In 2016, customers were looking for luxurious accents such as fire features, wince cellars, bidets and in wall specialty appliances like espresso machines. Sure they’ve been around forever, but client’s wanted them even more this year.

Steven Favreau Wine Cellar

Photograph by Eric Roth

As I look to 2017, I have no doubt the trends will continue and interior designers world-wide will continue to be inspired.

Here’s what I predict:

High-Tech Decorating
3D Printing has threatened to burst onto the scene. I think 2017 is the year for designers and manufacturers to pick up this really cool tool. Digital fabric printing has allowed us to stretch our creativity and create a look that is truly custom.

In The Mix
In 2016 we were mixing metals more than ever. In 2017, we will mix to our hearts desire. This will include antiqued gold inspired by last year’s star, antiqued brass.

The Neutrals
The new neutrals this year will have a hint of color. I predict subtle blushes of pink, dusty grays, and chalky browns.

Not Your Grandma’s Wallpaper
Art inspired wallpaper will continue to find their way on walls throughout 2017 thanks to companies like Phillip Jeffries.

I sat on a panel/game show for New England Home magazine, called Love it or Lose it and was surprised how eight design, fashion and lifestyle experts were completely in agreement on some things and totally at odds on others. So at the end of the day, whether you like a design trend or not, they are certainly worth considering.

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