Interior design fashions tend to be a classic case of art-imitating-life, and so far 2016 has been a year of extremes; presidential nominees with right-wing opinions and ‘Brexit’ forcing a major shift in the political landscape for Europe and the world.

Oftentimes, when a major event occurs you will notice a change in how people decide to decorate their homes. In some cases it is a defensive tactic, where bold and brass colors are used to express a we-will-not-be-beaten mentality. So, how have events in the first half of 2016 forced a change?

Materials, colors, textures, and patterns form the foundations of interior design and observing how they take influence from seismic events such as financial crises or political changes are important.

Bold as brass and made to last

2016 can be described as a year when people decided to go back to their roots. As such, items that offer a timeless longevity have become increasingly popular. In contrast to last year, when copper was de-rigueur, it appears gold and brass have emerged as authentic alternatives. The bright hues of gold warm up open spaces and reflect light around the room, these bright upbeat tones could be an expression of enduring strength, against a backdrop of global uncertainty.

While it was expected that metals would be in vogue in 2016, unexpectedly brass has emerged as the metal of choice for handpicked household pieces.

“We are starting to see chrome and neutral looks being replaced by color and texture, the throw-away culture is beginning to lose popularity as people become more environmentally friendly,” said Lara. As the global economy continues to shrink and fragment people seem conscious of buying things that will last longer.

Mossy greens will bring the outside in

As a reflection of the move towards sustainable and natural designs, the second half of 2016 has seen a surge in colors that seek to emulate the great outdoors. Even the modern office aims to convince people that they are sitting at a laptop somewhere in a forest, rather than in a concrete jungle. The impact of nature on our bodies is now well researched. Our environment can increase or reduce our stress levels, which then impacts our bodies. In one study in Mind, 95 percent of people responded that their mood improved after spending time outside, changing from depressed or stressed to more calm and balanced.

Remembering the good times

In H1 of 2016, people have shifted their buying behavior to include traditional layouts, prints, and materials. The undecorated trend was big last year but tailored designs are now back with a bang. The pillars of which will be based on symmetry and balance.

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,” said Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling in the poem “If—” and that sums up the design mentality in summer 2016. Balance is slowly being restored with geometric three-dimensional patterns in bed with cement and wood. People yearn for stability and the nostalgic designs of former times. Bold leaf patterns and floral prints will breathe life into wallpapers and fabrics, another attempt to bring the outside in.

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