Stylist Christina Wressell Shares 10 Trends from the Front Lines of Color and Design
As we go about our everyday lives, we always look out for colors and objects that inspire us. We also listen for what inspires people whose taste we value. Through this vast network of designers, artisans, and stylists, we’ve built an inventory of promising colors, compelling patterns, and rare textures. So when we’re asked how we always have the inside scoop on which trends will be showcased in our favorite style magazines, we sometimes give away one of our secrets: We’re very good listeners.
One of our go-to stylists is Christina Wressell, of the New York City–based Utopia agency. For more than 20 years, she has been fashioning extraordinary scenes and images for clients such as Target, the Land of Nod, and Timberland. In addition, her work has been featured in Country Living, HGTV Magazine, and Domino.
Trend spotting takes a skilled pair of eyes. As Wressell told us, “It’s an instant feeling I get. When you’re looking into a camera, you just know what looks good.”
She was kind enough to take a break from a photo shoot and share with us 10 of her favorite trends.
Pretty in Pink
One of the color trends that’s looking good to Wressell at the moment is pink, distinctly pale shades of pink paired with a compelling texture. Pink also made a few appearances in Pratt & Lambert’s 2016 Color Trends, especially the soft pink of Jessie 5-10 in the Odyssey trend palette.
Designer Kim Markel’s Glow Chairs are our favorite use of this fashionable shade of pink. These cast-resin chairs make us remember the playful jelly shoes of our youth. Markel’s Glow Chairs come in a variety of colors, including a delightfully light watermelon.
“People have rediscovered plants,” Wressell told us.
Houseplants have been bringing the lively colors of nature indoors for as long as houses have existed, but this new crop of greenery isn’t limited to hanging spider plants or potted peace lilies. The houseplants trending now are large potted indoor trees. One that caught our eye is the Ficus lyrata, commonly known as the fiddle-leaf fig. Derived from the rainforests of western Africa, this banyan fig features glossy green leaves that resemble—you guessed it—a fiddle.
Back in the eighth century, Japanese artisans created a dyeing technique known as shibori. All forms of shibori involve a process of binding or tying textiles and then dyeing them in indigo. What we in America call tie-dye is actually a basic form of shibori called kanoko. Today, the most popular techniques are miura, which uses a looped binding to create a splash effect, and a fold-and-pinch method called kumo that creates a spider web–like pattern. Lately, Wressell has been in love with pillows that showcase any of these delicate and bold shibori patterns.
Touch of Gray
When it comes to paint colors, gray is timeless. Of course, gray isn’t just gray anymore. Now, designers and paint lovers can select from shades such as Pratt & Lambert’s Stone’s Throw 28-18 and Half-Tone 29-25, and many, many more. Wressell told us that selecting the ideal shade of gray for your next project is all about the space. “The darker the decorating, the darker the paint.”
We are always looking for unique ways to add what Wressell called ”playful pops of color” to our rooms. One of her suggestions was ceramics splashed with jewel tones.
If you’re on the hunt for color-popping ceramics, and you also happen to be in Los Angeles, we highly recommend you stop by Dream Collective, in Silver Lake. The boutique’s selection of ceramics from local artists, such as Jennie Jieun Lee, will help liven up any room in your home.
Ebony and Emerald
Another color that recently caught Wressell’s eye is malachite green, particularly when paired with black. Whether it’s ebony floors and a gray mohair sofa with malachite-colored velvet pillows, or high-polish black tiles in a kitchen with malachite-accented countertops, this color combination is unexpectedly stunning.
To achieve a bold ebony with paint, we suggest Pratt & Lambert’s Midnight Black 33-16. If green is what really inspires you, Pratt & Lambert's Gem 21-14 provides a malachite accent. For an even deeper shade of green, try using Leafy Bower 23-18, which was just selected as Pratt & Lambert’s 2017 Color of the Year.
When people think of cobalt, they usually envision one of two things: the element or eye shadow. However, you can sprinkle this bold shade of blue around your home in more tactile ways. Wressell suggested pairing cobalt with a tobacco shade of brown, such as “a great leather sofa with steel legs and velvet cobalt accent pillows.”
Turning the Tables
According to Wressell, “Layering has been in lately.”
As an example of this trend, she pointed to people using their coffee tables for more than just resting their feet. Now, she said, people who want to liven up their living rooms are stacking “trays, objects, books on a beautiful coffee table.” Not only does this trend give you the chance to show off your favorite book of photography or the new biography you’re reading, but it also gives you the opportunity to create little vignettes that reflect your story. These include a mirrored service tray with a bottle of your favorite aperitif, or a jar filled with the parts of summer you want to keep with you all year long.
Cut a Rug
In keeping with the layering theme, Wressell has spotted a trend of placing rugs over other floor coverings. She suggested furs paired with Persian rugs, or layering cowhides over weathered wood flooring. One idea we’re particularly fond of is pairing neutral sisal rugs with colorful flat-weave rugs—together, the two resemble paint on canvas.
Light Up the Room
This last trend blends two of our favorite designs: retro shapes and angled light. Wressell mentioned that people are really into lighting that resembles sculptures, and not just vertical lamps or horizontal fixtures. Not only is this trend attention-grabbing, but it also allows you to experiment with the angles of light in a room.
For more on what’s next in color and design, check out our Trends page. You keep living, and we’ll keep updating.