Home trends: In & Out for 2016

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

And so it begins.

Don’t look now, but as we kick off 2016 today, the 20-tens – is that what this decade is called? – is half over.

For Detroit, it’s been a decade of renewal and rebirth. As the city continues to find its footing after emerging from bankruptcy, one word could probably sum up its mantra for the new year: momentum.

New restaurants and stores continue to open their doors, especially in Midtown and downtown, and that should continue in the year ahead.

Shoe giant Nike this fall announced plans to open a store on Woodward downtown. Industrial-chic retailer Restoration Hardware also plans to open a store. And Art Van Furniture founder Art Van Elslander predicts he’ll open a store downtown within a year.

Meanwhile, Detroit continues to develop its reputation as a mecca for artists and designers from all over the world. Earlier this month, UNESCO, an arm of the United Nations, named Detroit as a city of design in its Creative Cities Network.

Across the nation, Detroit isn’t the only place feeling a renewed sense of hopefulness. Nationally, as the economy continues to grow stronger, that’s rubbing off in home decor.

Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore both chose white hues – Alabaster and Simply White, respectively – as their Colors of the Year for 2016.

“Alabaster represents a straightforward and necessary shift to mindfulness, well-being and an atmosphere that is pure,” says Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing.

Some may question whether white is actually a color, but Susan Todebush, general manager of the Michigan Design Center in Troy, loves the white hues.

“It’s a warmer white,” she says. “It’s a different looking white then that cold, sterile white.”

Elsewhere at home, texture will continue to be big in the new year – textured walls and carpeting; funky light fixtures; and cool accents such as wood sculptures, minerals and metal.

“It’s all about the texture,” says Todebush. “That’s the biggest thing.”

And technology is changing how we create texture at home. At Cercan Tile at the design center, owner Elizabeth Uberti says porcelain tile that looks like faux wood or marble is growing in popularity and it’s more durable and easier to maintain. Meanwhile, the tiles are getting bigger. At a recent show in Italy, tiles were 4 feet by 4 feet.

“Everything is bigger,” Uberti says.

Tiles may be getting bigger, but our homes are getting smaller – along with our furniture. The tiny house trend isn’t going away any time soon. If anything, it’s likely to get bigger as more baby boomers retire and downsize. And smart home technology will continue to evolve in 2016, allowing us to control everything from our thermostat to our garage door with a tap of our phone.

And design-wise, we’re feeling more confident. Gone are the days of perfect matching sofa sets. People want rooms and furniture with personality and character, including fringed pillows, live edge tables and multifunctional pieces.

“People are really wanting to bring their personality into a room,” says Faith Phillips, vice president of retail store experience for Monroe-based La-Z-Boy.

Let’s hope the momentum of 2015 continues in 2016 – with housing, economic activity and job growth. And as we prepare to elect a new president this year, can we add civility to the list? We can at least hope, right?

Happy 2016!


(313) 223-4686


Alabaster, Sherwin-Williams’ Color of the Year

Simply White, Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Black and white decor

Textured rugs, carpet or walls

Funky light fixtures

Updated mid-century modern decor

Jewel tones



Lucite and lacquered furniture

Tribal motifs

Faux wood or marble tile

Bohemian chic

Smaller profile furniture

Fringed accent pillows

Quartz stone countertops

Rose Quartz & Serenity, Pantone’s Colors of the Year

Geometric tiles

Geometric shelves and mirrors

Textered walls

Ruffled throw pillows or mirrors

Tropical prints

Industrial chic

Curbless showers

Indoor gardens

Handcrafted furniture

Home offices and standing desks

Micro apartments

She sheds

Bar carts


2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

Girl Squads

Blanket scarves

Vinyl records

Grocery delivery services

Upscale Ramen noodles

A new U.S. President

Melissa Gilbert, Congressional candidate

Female “Ghostbusters” reboot

“Batman v. Superman” (filmed in Detroit)

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

“The BFG” movie


“Fuller House”

“X-Files,” the miniseries

Caitlyn Jenner

Digital wallets and credit cards

Self-balancing boards


Sterile White

Cold white

Monochromatic decor with one pop of color

Flat carpet

Boring light fixtures

Boxy furniture

Old neutrals

Stainless Steel fixtures


Plastic furniture

Grandma’s floral patterns


Matchy-matchy decor

Oversized furniture

Solid pillows

Formica counters

Marsala, Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year

Bland tile


Flat walls or typography

Basic knit pillows

Dated prints

Hard industrial design

Inaccessible showers and bathrooms

Cheap fake plants

Mass produced furniture

Working from a laptop in bed

Bigfoot houses

Unused sheds

Dated liquor cabinets


2012 London Summer Olympics

Glam squads

Knit scarves


DIY grocery shopping

Traditional Ramen noodles

President Barack Obama

Melissa Gilbert, actress

Original “Ghostbusters”

The original “Batman”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

“The BFG,” the book

ABC Family

“Full House”

“X-Files,” the series

Bruce Jenner

Old-fashioned wallets and credit cards

Hover crafts from “Back to the Future”