In 2017, we couldn't help but become overwhelmed by the devastating events that occurred at the hands of Mother Nature and mankind. We ran at a faster and faster pace, trying to keep up with technology and the "social media Joneses.” We were bombarded with flash sales and pop-up events, and we found ourselves exhausted by politics, media and the search for affordable healthcare. No wonder why experts discuss the idea that our society is suffering from their own form of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and why we are hearing the term Hygge being used more and more often.

Hygge - pronounced "hoo-guh" -  is a Danish term defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being:· The word is said to have no direct translation in English, though "cozy" comes close. In the fast paced, ever-changing world in which we live, the comfort and coziness of home is becoming more and more in the forefront of our minds. We need a place to feel safe, a personal space to call our own, and a place where love and being loved conquers the negatives of life!

So, let's practice a little Hygge together: snuggle up, grab yourself something to drink and let's take a look at the 2018 design and color trends forecasted by the merchandising team at Norwalk Furniture. Let's think about and dream about making our rooms peaceful, positive and comfortable environments that reflect who we are and how we live. Let's work to declutter, de-stress, and disconnect from technology while reconnecting with each other within the warmth and security of the place we call... home.

Handcrafted

The experiential process has become increasingly highlighted in our everyday life, from food, to drink, to fabric and furniture; we are interested in learning the behind-the-scenes efforts put into the meal we are eating, the beers we are drinking and the fabrics we are sitting upon. It's all about artisanal and handcrafted, a trend in home furnishings supported by an assortment of fabrics that are especially technically sophisticated and uniquely woven in patterns and constructions; they replicate techniques that most typically would only be available as handcrafted textiles, but are now available to the everyday furniture buyer. Exploded chenille, specialty embroidery, delicate matelassé and broken damask are all feature fabrics used especially on accent chairs and pillows. This trend also supports the focus on the use of the many color tones of blue in home decorating and paint, with the announcement of Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year, Oceanside, described as a collision of rich blue and jewel-toned green, a color that is both accessible and elusive. Watch for birds, especially peacocks, and for insects, especially bees for accent decorating.

Alchemy

The medieval forerunner of chemistry, alchemy focused on the supposed transformation of matter. Clay to gold, iron to silver, and exotic potions to elixirs of life. Central to this trend are fabrics with a high-luster finish and a definite "look at me" glitz factor. A little goes a long way with these fabrics, but the lux detailing and fun factor they add to a room are undeniable. They can be used as an all-over fabric on a curvaceous sofa or found on curtains cascading down alongside windows. Copper finishes are accented with touches of cream, dove and verdigris. Along with copper, rose gold takes center stage in accent furnishings such as lighting and accessories. And don't worry... animal print and leather lovers of these trends continue to be supported with iridescence in both print and hide! And just when you thought brass or gold hardware was passé, it has made its way back to being center stage with great panache.

New Boho

Without question, the clearly emerging decorative trend millennials are adopting is an exuberant bohemian mix of patterns, ethnic reference and lively colors. Perhaps not quite as spare as "la vie boheme" of the classic Paris garret apartment, the New Boho pad is an eclectic mix of flea market finds, creatively edited accents, purchased treasures and a free­ spirited mix of colors, plants and fabric patterns.  This lively vibe can range from romantic to folksy, but it's never boring. Neutral, creamy sofas are now seen piled with a mix of brightly patterned pillows and throws, with oversized large-scaled printed floor pillows waiting nearby for an evening of friends gathering for a lift of spirits in toast and attitude.

Cheers to Hygge. Cheers to Home. Cheers to... decorating for the comfort of home, 2018-style!

Color trends and photography by Norwalk Furniture.