2018 Design Trend – Feminine Is In!

The Lumberjack-Chic era of dark interiors, Edison bulbs and re-purposed barn wood is waning. Fresh, feminine patterns, light colors and soft touches are in. I, personally, welcome this change with delight.

Over the last decade, a “good ol’ boys” aesthetic swept the world, modeling pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and gathering spaces into rustic havens saturated in uber-masculinity. The defining style of Hipster urban culture has slowly began to diminish in individuality, however, as an overused motif fails to differentiate and inspire.

In 2018, western culture is embracing the rise of female empowerment. There are more women running for elected office. For the first time in American history, a female Senator, the Hon. Tammy Duckworth, brought her infant baby onto the senate floor during regular business. Women are speaking out about abuse and predatory behavior, and demanding economic equality – backed by a majority of public opinion. Women’s marches set a historic milestone worldwide. #MeToo. All of this is gaining momentum in our global cultural evolution.

As western culture is amplifying the voices of women, design standards are also embracing the beauty of the feminine. New chic, trendy restaurants and boutiques, from Europe to America’s urban centers, are rolling out fresh colors, floral prints, and soft accents. The standard is light, open spaces which create a feeling of inclusion and casual comfort. Desirable color schemes lean toward softer hues of blue, light greys with warm or cool values, pleasing yellows, pink, dusty reds, wholesome greens. Geometric structure solids are complimented with textile-inspired accents.

Case in point: over the past two weeks, I gleefully painted over the blackish-eggplant purple, taupe, battleship grey, and dark blue inherited from the previous property owners at my studio’s location. The difference is amazing – instead of rooms that sucked away light and created a heavy, overbearing darkness, I chose a lovely dusty blue, complimented by a fresh, light ochre-tinted yellow (dubbed “Mustard Seed”) for accent walls and the hallway. Our primary workspace transitioned from taupe into a lush green (“Mesa Verde”), which compliments the brilliantly colored Huichol pieces collected from Mexico, custom paintings and objet d-art that bring joy and splashes of whimsy to the space. The difference is absolutely amazing, and has had a profound impact on productivity and general happiness. By introducing a lighter palette, the space expanded visually and now dances with light and peaceful hues. The instant emotion felt is one of genuine comfort.

If you are thinking about a remodel, or opening a new boutique business – embrace your feminine side this year. Make your space a welcoming one that reinforces positivity and casual elegance. Your guests will want to stay a while – and comfortable guests translate into increased sales and retention.


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