Betsy's 2016 Trend Report

A new year means new thoughts for the design industry and where it's going this year. Styles and design elements that I used to love no longer feel fresh, while retailers are stocking their shelves with new and intriguing items. I'm here to tell you what I'm excited to incorporate into my project this year, and to what trends we can feel free to bid adieu. 

  1. IN: Pantone Colors Rose Quartz and Serenity. Bright, jewel tones are on their way out, and in their place are the distinctly tranquil colors of Rose Quartz and Serenity. Calming and powder soft, these shades are coating walls and home accents. They bring a pastel perspective on sophistication. 
  2. OUT: Wall-Hanging Planters. This perennial, cottage-like trend is making its way out this year along with several other tendencies reflective of the rustic, all-natural wave of 2015. 
  3. IN: Big, Bold Art. Gallery walls are stepping out, and instead we are embracing oversized statement pieces. Placing large pieces full of power in the midst of common spaces like living rooms and dining areas is a bold trend to adopt this year. Check out my favorite sites for big, affordable art here. 
  4. OUT: Distressed Wood. While it presents a certain romantic opportunity for nostalgia, distressed, rustic wood is no longer chic. Perhaps that is due to the countless splinters inflicted during this trend's lifespan?
  5. IN: Woven, Guatemalan Fabrics. While bright colors aren't the base for this year's color palettes, we are seeing rich and bright fabrics with ethnic patterns used in accents such as throws and pillows. 
  6. OUT: Agate Rock Everything. Whether it's bookends, coasters, or anything else, agate rock is out along with many other home furnishings that reflect the raw, untreated nature of the out-of-doors (i.e. animal hides and furs).
  7. IN: Pedestal Entry Tables & Wallpaper. Small round tables and pedestals with a picture frame or vase of flowers atop are occupying our entryways this year. Additionally, we are seeing a lot of wallpaper. But wait - isn't wallpaper total pain? Not anymore! Removable wallpaper is making it easy to be creative and non-committal. 
  8. OUT: Furniture With Piping. This industrial-inspired trend was all over 2015 with pipe desks, end tables, bookcases, and more. Now this trend has sprung a leak, and it's time to say goodbye as it is no longer in fashion. 


Online Shopping Like a Pro

Shopping online is so much of a daily part of my life that I felt morally obligated to share my secrets of the trade. It can be so confusing with promo codes here and discounts there, it's really important to think carefully about how to use all of those opportunities for savings. The following are my favorite little-known tips for how to really save big (especially true for the holiday shopping season!):

  1. Go for the hunt. Coupons and promo codes are out there just waiting for you to find them. With sites like Retail Me Not, Coupon Craze, and, find offers for anywhere from 20-70% off your purchase. Type in the name of the store and "promo code" in your browser to see what deals await.

  2. Join Ebates. Seriously, stop reading this blog right now and DO IT! Get money back for every purchase you make from many online retailers. Membership is FREE and they send you checks - cashable checks - in the mail. Getting paid to shop is a no-brainer.

  3. Sign up for mailing lists.  Sure, you may be worried about retailers flooding your inbox, but members of retailer mailing lists are the first to receive news of great opportunities to buy, giving you the upper hand on scoring the deal.

  4. Join loyalty programs. Earning loyalty credit and rewards each time you shop at your favorite retailer can seriously pay off.  Betsy's favorite clubs are at Overstock,, and Wayfair.

  5. Thrifty Thursdays. If you don’t need the item right away, it can pay to wait. Research suggests that Thursdays are the day of the week on which retailers offer the best deals. 

  6. Procrastinate. This may not have worked when you were in school.  However, when shopping, the last-minute rush is typically the best deal. If you’re willing to live on the edge, consider waiting until closer to the holiday dates to score the lowest price before retailers clear out for the season.

  7. Fill up your cart - then wait. If you're not sure about an item, put it in your cart and leave it without completing the purchase. Oftentimes retailers will reach out via email and offer a special discount on that item in order to make the sale. 

  8. Be careful with final sale items. Only buy final-sale if you are 1000% certain you’ll like it. Clearance items are a steal.  But, if they wind up being less interesting than you'd hoped, you may be taken for a seasonal sale sucker and stuck with a piece you'd rather return.

And there you have it! Go forth and save BIG.