Stylist Christina Wressell Shares 10 Trends from the Front Lines of Color and Design
As we go about our everyday lives, we always are on the lookout for colors and objects that inspire us. We also keep our ears open for what inspires people whose taste we trust. Through this expansive network of designers, artisans, and stylists, we’ve curated a list of up-and-coming colors, intriguing patterns, and rare textures. So when we’re asked how we always have the inside scoop on which trends will be featured in our favorite style magazines, we sometimes share 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 constructing memorable 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 an expert 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 gracious 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 hues of pink paired with an interesting texture. Pink also made a few appearances in Pratt & Lambert’s 2016 Color Trends, notably the soft pink of Jessie 5-10 in the Odyssey trend palette.
Designer Kim Markel’s Glow Chairs are our favorite take of this buzzy shade of pink. These cast-resin chairs remind us of the playful jelly shoes of our youth. Markel’s Glow Chairs are made in a rainbow 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 shelters have existed, but this new crop of greenery isn’t limited to hanging philodendrons 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. Hailing from the rainforests of western Africa, this banyan fig features glossy green leaves that look like—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 common techniques are miura, which uses a looped binding to create a splash effect, and a fold-and-pinch method called kumo that makes a spider web–like pattern. Lately, Wressell has been in love with pillows that feature any of these intricate and colorful shibori patterns.
Touch of Gray
When it comes to interior colors, gray is classic. Of course, gray isn’t just gray anymore. Now, designers and paint lovers can choose 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 choosing 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 new ways to add what Wressell called ”playful pops of color” to our spaces. One of her suggestions was ceramics splashed with jewel tones.
If you’re in need of color-popping ceramics, and you also happen to be in Los Angeles, we strongly urge you to you stop by Dream Collective, in Silver Lake. The boutique’s variety of ceramics from local artists, such as Jennie Jieun Lee, will help brighten 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 create bold ebony using paint, we suggest Pratt & Lambert’s Midnight Black 33-16. If it's green you're interested in, Pratt & Lambert's Gem 21-14 serves as a malachite accent. For an even bolder shade of green, try Leafy Bower 23-18, which was just selected as Pratt & Lambert’s 2017 Color of the Year.
When people imagine cobalt, they usually imagine one of two things: the element or eye shadow. However, you can sprinkle this vibrant shade of blue around your home in more solid 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 allow you to show off your favorite art book or the new biography you’re reading, but it also gives you the opportunity to create little vignettes that reflect your life. These include the flowers you picked that are placed in a vase you bought on vacation last summer, or the votive candles melted down from a night of flipping through the photo albums you keep on the table.
Cut a Rug
In keeping with the layering theme, Wressell has tipped us off to 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 thrilled about is pairing neutral sisal rugs with colorful flat-weave rugs—together, the two resemble paint on canvas.
Light Up the Room
This last trend combines two of our most treasured designs: retro shapes and angled light. Wressell noted that people are on the hunt for 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.