The Only Honest 2018 Design Trend Forecast – and Why You Should Ignore the Others

I can honestly say in my 8.5 years of design blogging, I have never seen so many articles about the next year’s design trends – and they are mostly CRAP.

2018 design trend forecast

Most of them are geared in the direction of “what trends are OUT” – which means what trends the writer WISHES were out. The worst ones are written by journalists who interview about twenty different designers and compile one list of what’s “out.” Which means you end up with a hodgepodge of trends that have been out for 10+ years mixed in with trends that have barely been around a year, just because some designer says they are “soooo over”.

One notable one was the pineapple motif. One designer went on and on about how she is sooo over the pineapple motif she has seen EVERYWHERE in 2017. Give me a break – most people didn’t even know the pineapple was back “in” last year!

image from Laurel and Wolf

And of course, nearly every designer everywhere is ready for the white farmhouse to fade away. But then there are the cold, hard facts. Truth be told, most trends hang out for awhile and don’t just fade away after a year or two.

So here’s a 2018 design trend forecast based on REALITY, not what I wish or what I like. I follow design and color trends for a living, y’all, so here’s a list of things you will actually be seeing in retail. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to incorporate any of them into your home in 2018!

Cactus & Ginkgo Motifs

While the pineapple isn’t “out,” there are lots of new fabric and decor lines that feature cactus and ginkgo motifs.

Allie Lindsey


Refined and Rounded Edges

Take the mid-century stuff and round the edges – more art deco with softer curves and amorphous shapes. Lots of swivel chairs.



The unofficial shape of the year is the honeycomb, also referred to as hexagon. Lots of honeycomb tiles, fabric patterns, and even tables abound. No, it isn’t new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on trend.

Lucite and Gold

Lucite is everywhere, especially in tables. Gold is still the hot metal for 2018, although you will also see a lot of iron finishes, as well. I’ve also read that copper is so “out.” It’s not. I saw plenty of it at market.

Applied Trim

Lots of applied trim is showing up on furniture, walls, and ceilings everywhere. It’s all in the details, isn’t it?


Encaustic Porcelain Tile

One article I saw reported this one as going “out” this year. Nope. It’s just now gaining momentum. There’s plenty of variety, and it also has a bit of old world charm to it. You’ll continue to see this trend on floors and backsplashes.

encaustic floor tile

Chair Detailing

Look for lots of detailing in chairs, particularly on the backs of chairs. Look for embellishments, contrasting piping, and party-in-the-back surprises.


Warm Climate Bohemia

This look started last year, and I see no sign of it stopping anytime soon. Whether it’s California Casual with cotton macrame, woven baskets, and wooden bowls, or Jungalow® with oversized palm leaves, rattan, and raw wood, decorating with a bohemian vibe is like taking a tropical vacay in your own home.




The Eyeball

This trend is kinda a wild card, but I swear I saw it all over High Point Furniture Market in the fall. Keep your eye out for it (haha).


That’s it for my honest-to-goodness 2018 design trend forecast. Were any of these a surprise to you? You may want to check out my color trend report from High Point Market here.

Next week, I’m headed to the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Orlando with the Modenus DesignHounds to find out what’s coming down the pike in kitchen and bath design. Be sure to follow me on Instagram so you can be in-the-know!


Registration is open for my only fall Expert Psychological Stager™ course – find out how you can start a new career in the field of design now!


Get my special report "Child and Pet Proof Decorating"
Free when you subscribe to my email updates!

Share this Post

36 thoughts on “The Only Honest 2018 Design Trend Forecast – and Why You Should Ignore the Others

  1. Susie says:

    Funny, I can’t keep up with what is in out. Thanks for clarifying the pineapple thing. When I heard last year’s news about pineapples, I was thrown for a loop because I didn’t recall seeing much of them in photos.

  2. Molly says:

    I was kind of pleased to see the pineapple making a comeback. You can see pineapples all over Williamsburg because in Colonial times they were a symbol of hospitality (and of status, you had to have money to afford to rent one for a party).

    The tropical trend makes sense in light of the pineapple’s re-debut last year. Wouldn’t mind a bit of that to help offset how cold it is outside! I like the rounded edges and applied trim too.

    I’ll leave the eyeballs and lucite for everyone else to enjoy. 😉

  3. Molly says:

    Holy cool…..LOVE the eyeballs!! And the applied trim too. Oooh lala. Will be taking these to heart in a couple of redesigns in play right now. Thanks, Kristie!

  4. Anna says:

    Not liking most of the trends – except for the applied trim and encaustic floor tile…Always loved basket weave tiles in bathrooms…The eyeball motif seems pretty creepy…Cool article..

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Thanks for sharing that feedback, Anna. The applied trim takes everything up a notch, so I love it, too! I’m doing a couple of projects now using the encaustic floor tile – so pretty 🙂

  5. Laura P. says:

    Hi Kristie, As always, love how real you are! So glad to hear about what you think will stick, as it makes my classic furniture look on trend hahaha! Have fun in Orlando, supposed to be in the 70s here next week; wish I could meet you! When you are at the kitchen and bath show, can you keep an eye out for any cool accessible features? One of my young adult kids has MS and inflammatory arthritis, and the sad reality is I may need to switch up our kitchen and her bathroom to allow her to remain as independent as possible. I am hoping this can be done in a way to appeal to a 20-something, stylish young woman! I wonder if this is something that is exhibited at industry trade shows?

    • Kristie Barnett says:

      Hi Laura,
      KBIS certainly features the latest in design for accessibility, so I will keep my eyes open for that! I am hoping that forecast will stick, because I could certainly use that change in weather right now – it’s freezing cold in Nashville!

      • Laura P. says:

        Oh, thank you so much, Kristie! I enjoy all of your show reports so I’ll watch for your discoveries!
        My daughter would love the eyeball, so maybe it is a young person or young at heart thing!
        Forecast is for 73 degrees in Orlando on Monday! Will you be at the Orange County Convention Center? Let me know if you need restaurant recommendations!

        • Kristie Barnett says:

          That forecast sounds PERFECT. I believe they have the KBIS BlogTour team fully booked, every moment of the day – I guess I’ll be eating where they tell me I’ll be eating, haha!!! Thanks anyway!

  6. Donna says:

    Love the encaustic porcelain tile, applied trim, chair detailing, and honeycombs. The eyeball pillows made me laugh, but too creepy for my home. Looking forward to what you find at the Kitchen & Bath show! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Cindy Brooks says:

    The eyeball trend surprised me, but I do like the pillows you’ve shown. I’d do one or two of those in my home, but I don’t think I’d want eyeballs everywhere!

  8. Kim says:

    Actually- believe it or not, i want that exact eye pillow. I own a yarn shop, evoke eye is all the rage.
    Wha brand is that? There was no link.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.