Tidy Little Trend Guide

I have been indulging in the trends of 2011 for a few weeks now, so it’s only fair to dish up all of them in a single giant serving of shelter forecasts and aesthetic predictions for the eleventh year of the new millennium. Each of my shelter and design trends is featured below with a link to the original piece. Here goes.


Say goodbye to the greenwashing of 2010 and say hello to honesty – honest materials and a new era of candid green accountability. The Federal Trade Commission is revising its Green Guide and providing standards to back up product environmental claims. With the introduction of home energy monitors, even your home can finally be quantified in terms of effective environmental efforts. Modest and modular homes are another trend for 2011, which should make those home energy monitors considerably more favorable. Another year of prefabricated glory will lure home owners with affordability and efficiency.

Read the full piece here.


The global authority on color predicts an entire year bursting with flamingo pink. Pantone named Honeysuckle (more aptly recognizable as the color of juicy bubblegum) as the hue of 2011. Here’s what the color-loving folks at Pantone had to say about their vibrant new forecast:

“Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing ‘everyday’ about it.”

Read the full piece here.


LEDs are appreciated for their efficiency and ability to deliver six years of continuous light from just one bulb. This may be the year LEDs move beyond current widespread use (traffic lights) and into our homes. European designers are perfecting the aesthetic component of LEDs and offering gleaming fixtures gorgeous enough for even the most refined aesthetic.

To balance our new love for LEDs comes a nostalgic admiration of incandescent bulbs. This year we will visually drool over the incandescent bulb and let it shine uninhibited. Exposed bulbs (no casings, no fixtures) will lend interiors a raw industrial vibe.

Read the full piece here.


Harry Bertoia has had many years of renowned recognition, and 2011 will be no exception. This year will be all about skeletal, as in obsessed with framework. The design community, specifically furniture and accessory design, will strip down to wire framework and embrace the classic Bertoia chair (and maybe a few other vintage and modern wire creations too).

Simple, curvy steel frames will be everywhere. Furniture, bakers racks, storage, kitchen accessories such as wine storage,  utensils and cake stands, etc. Keep an eye out for wire framework to demand a presence.

Read the full piece here.


Four materials fit seamlessly with the 2011 slant toward honesty and green accountability – concrete, bamboo, cardboard, and exaggerated wood grain. Look for these surfaces in 2011 because they’ll be showing up everywhere; furniture, wallpaper, flooring, clothing, electronics, accessories, lighting, and everything in between.

Read the full piece here.


Pattern, pattern, pattern. Last year we were amused by chevrons, transfixed by Ikat, and enthralled with imperial trellis. It may be time to study geometry again or at least brush up on geometric shapes (what’s the difference between a lozenge and a trapezoid again?), because the upcoming year will be full of geometric shapes and crisp, angular patterns.

Read the full piece here.


There’s something about riads, Marrakesh, and Morocco that make me swoon. I have long been obsessed with the Kingdom of Morocco. Exotic, elegant, and curvaceous silhouettes define this trend. Watching the vivid patterns and geometric shapes of Moroccan culture infiltrate interiors and design is pure bliss.

Bohemian aesthetics, complete with gypsy ephemera, will also be a major interior force this year. The vivid colors and patterns of the Bohemian style have graced the pages of EcoSalon several times before. Get inspired by bold colors and eclectic details.

Read the full piece here.


Each year the definition of excellent design moves further away from the matching bedroom suites with the nightstand, dresser, armoire, and bed frame in the same polished wood and identical brass handles; this makes me elated. When interiors get more eclectic, they feel more intimate and personal. Each piece in your home can be something you love, even if your mustard yellow side chair doesn’t quite match the goldenrod pillows on your couch.

Freedom from the demands of matching allows your imagination to run wild with the possibilities of your personality. You can find a tufted sofa to catch your elegance and combine it with a sleek solid wood side chair – an improbable match to make your own.

Read the full piece here.


One of the decisive trends for 2011 is nature. Pure, rustic nature. The call of the wild and the desire to mingle with Mother Nature will manifest in our homes, travel plans, and urban environments. As technology continues to present shiny little devices to keep us connected, our innate desire to disconnect grows stronger. Get intimate with nature through traditional camping, unplugging (yes, completely), and experiencing an urban industrial park (they’ll be popping up everywhere).

Read the full piece here.


Online magazines made my list of predictions for 2011, carried over from last year, which was riddled with shelter magazines that found their home online. Shelter magazines have been enticing design lovers with glossy musings for years, but recently many have folded (collective sigh in remembrance of Domino). Here’s hoping 2011 continues to lure design lovers with quality publications. Tread carefully dear readers, after all, how much is too much? I vote for quality over quantity.

Read the full piece here.


The last couple of years we have been basking in the Sixties, often attributed to the expansive addiction to Mad Men (and Jon Hamm). Dust off your disco ball, the era of Annie Hall is about to resurface. The Seventies boasts the mark of legends including Led Zeppelin and Louis Kahn. Dark wood grain, modern geometry, sleek lines, solid brick, built-in features, and colors like avocado and mustard are all icons of the Seventies.

Read the full piece here.


In a twist of acronym irony, it seems that 2011 may be the year that LEED falls behind. The ILBI (International Living Building Institute) extended the Living Building Challenge, the most advanced and demanding green building rating system in the world (think net-zero energy and water consumption). The Living Building Challenge poses the question, “What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?” What if indeed. The challenge is designed as an evocative guide, platform, beacon, unified tool, performance based standard, and a visionary path to a restorative future. Does this make you salivate, or is it just me?

Read the full piece here.


As electronic readers contain more and more of our libraries of words, bound beauties that were once the only way to devour a piece of literature are becoming a nostalgic nod to history. One of the 2011 shelter trends is the evolution of accessories and objectification of objects. Books have quickly become a relic of décor. Bookshelves were an absolute obsession in 2010, and books will be objectified further in 2011. Wallpaper, classic novels with an aesthetic new cover, porcelain books, and bound pages for mere decoration will lounge on horizontal surfaces.

Read the full piece here.

So there you have it, dear reader. My predictions for 2011. Sit back and watch the rest of the year unfold (flamingo pink and all). What’s your favorite forecast? What trends will you subscribe to? Which will you avoid?

(Top image from Nubbytwiglet. Please refer to links for remaining image sources.)