Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

It was an interesting first day at Maison & Objet. Everyone had different opinions about the trends because I think everyone looks for whatever interests them. For example, I’ll be at High Point market and someone will say “I saw RED everywhere” and I’ll think “Really? I didn’t see much red” but that’s because red is not my colour.

I think you’d have to read a few trend reports to get a real sense of what they are.

Here are the upcoming trends from my perspective.

Will I be right? Well I often am, so if you’re wondering who to follow to be in the know, you can happily follow me ; )

So first things first, texture and metallics? I feel like that’s not news because we have talked about both for a while. But let’s just say they were definitely represented.

Also if High Point Market is showing 2017 trends this year, then Europe’s biggest show is definitely 2018 and beyond. A forecast of the future of living.

One day was enough for me. I power walked through as many booths as I could and took photos. After all, I needed my strength to attend the Paris Flea Markets on Saturday and Sunday.

So let’s get to my trends report shall we?

So the first newsflash is this: There was very little grey at Maison & Objet.

What? Can it be true? Could grey be going OUT? I already said it was going out when I wrote this post last year when I lost 150 Facebook fans all at once and was completely traumatized.

No one was ready to hear that grey was out, even though that’s not what I was actually saying. You’ll have to read it again to understand.

Well it looks like Black is the new Grey. Take a look:

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Look at these amazing stone bookends (above)! Now those are a serious accessory for a console table!

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Black and white framed art was simply everywhere. As well as oversized coral.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Geometric stone table tops like these (above), also found on coffee tables.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Black and white penguins to go with the theme.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Another cube geometric pattern in fabric this time (above). After all, if this is a new trend pattern announced in 2016, it’ll still be here in 2018 by the time it hits mainstream.

Related post: 2016 Trend Watch 3D Cube Geometric Patterns for Tiles and More

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

This mauve pink shade was also big at this show. As well as black and white inlaid furniture.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Another black and white lacquered geometric cabinet. Notice the black lacquered mirrors above it.

It’s like the 80’s are back. Not only was forest green the big ‘trendy neutral’ back then but so was black. There is still black leather furniture around today from that era (much to my sisters chagrin) as well as black lacquered cabinetry.

But black is back in a big way and black is glam. So are the golds and jewel tones that I saw everywhere.

Black is powerful, striking and glamorous when it’s done right, but heavy and lifeless when it’s handled badly, so I would tread lightly embracing it as THE new neutral.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Here it is the mauve again combined with yellow beige which I don’t love but it doesn’t clash because there’s enough pink in this colour so that it reads like a colour not a neutral.

Another lacquered coffee table.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

And here’s a tablescape to go with it.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Muted blue in a subtle herringbone pattern.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Blue and white is still going strong, here with a purple undertone.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Bar carts as end tables. I don’t think I’ve seen it done before and especially not as much as it was here.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Navy blue shown against a black wall.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

This chandelier spanned the entire length of the dining table and look how low it is. . . it was probably installed this way for drama at the show but it was very cool anyway.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

I was truly surprised to walk up to this booth and see mostly black wicker. It was warmed up by cognac-red leather wrapped furniture, also a big trend according to the rep.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

What goes with that much black? Jewel tones. Reds, hot pinks, teals.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Peacock and bright golds.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

A red sofa with floral patterned pillows with a black background.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Bright turquoise which is still. Going. Strong.

When I tried to find a playful orange fabric just last month for a roman shade there was very little orange in my fabrics but plenty of turquoise.

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

One of the first booths I saw at the show was by this artist Valerie Courtet whose animal sculptures are just happy!

Is Black the New Grey? Trends for 2018 from Maison & Objet | Maria Killam

Okay so here’s my take on this whole thing.

I occasionally get emails from readers asking “Maria what’s the next trendy neutral going to be” and up until this show, I’ve said “I don’t see it yet”.

I’m just reporting what I’m seeing, not making a prediction, but it does appear like there’s a lot of evidence here to suggest that it’s black.

When I was in Houston last Fall to lead of my workshops, Terreeia and I went to Nasa for a tour. There’s a newer control center now but we all filed into the old one for a presentation and all the upholstered flip down seats were orange. From the 60’s, because orange was a big colour on upholstery back then.

Then, of course, brown in the 70’s.

Then black, forest green and navy in the 80’s.

Then in the 90’s, grey was big along with a greyed sage green (lots of us had a greyed, sage green sofa).

And then in 2000 brown was back. That takes us until now with grey.

So when you think about it, there’s not that many colours that are considered ‘neutral’ and black has been in my last two trend reports in January, and at the top of my trend report in 2015.

Recently a reader emailed asking about Pantone’s new Fall colours, lots of the same colours represented in their collection as we’ve just reviewed.

After all, new colour trends are definitely chosen by the consumer and simply picked up by manufacturers.

Over to you my lovelies, what do you think? Does black resonate with you or do you see a different colour?


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Related posts:

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2015

Maria Killam’s Trend Forecast for 2016

The Trends you Need to Know Right Now for 2017

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  1. Interesting reactions! I love the jewel tones and the drama. I see black as a constant – years ago I went to a presentation by the editor of Style At Home and she said something along the lines of, all great rooms have some black and some white in them. I’ve found it helpful when trying to figure out what colour to choose for a smaller piece of furniture or accessory. My house tends to be darker with a lot of original brown wood and black in small doses is a good neutral. I also love the drama of black window casements.
    I think black and white photos and patterns are pretty much a classic. I was doing a room in black and white for a while (I’ve since backed off a bit) and no matter the trends, you can always find black and white patterns in crafts, all over the world. Since I move slowly I found this easier than trying to work with a specific colour trend.

  2. The 150 people that dropped you are just having a temper tantrum because they just don’t want to hear that their stuff could be now dated, because they will love it less. My family room is a chamois color with the dreaded (not by me) oak trim. Is it trendy? No. But it is peaceful and full of light and it makes me smile everyday. I do feel sorry for the girl down the street, who just had her house painted with 30 year paint (Rhino Sheild) in gray though. Seriously, just finished a couple of weeks ago and that would really bother her.

  3. I think what trend reports demonstrate is that people should go with the colors that thrill them, aim for a timeless look, and incorporate trends only if the appeal and work with the rest of the decor. It is hard to avoid the trends totally as they dictate what’s available and subtly influence what we find appealing.

    • Agree. Most of us want to live with what we love instead of with what other people say is trendy. You have to be pretty passionate about interior decorating to even think about dramatically changing your decor to keep up with trends.

  4. Thanks for bringing us all the latest trends on clour Maria, your photos are fabulous! As for the next neutral? I think it’s white right now as oppose to gray. Even though many clients of mine are still loving the grays, I find more than ever, white is prevailing -with grays mixed in the palette as well. If you look at the covers of the past Style at Home Magazines for the year, I can (almost) safely say that all of the rooms featured are white/off whites with hits of colour in the accessories/accents. So, my prediction is that white has slowly become the new neutral and will be here for quite some time. I love black and I adore a moody room, but I think for many people that is too dramatic and the myth that the dark colour makes a room look smaller, still scares people, even if it’s not true!

    • We’re decorating with black now, too much of any trendy neutral is not awesome, however people will overuse it because that’s what always happens. White is definitely a huge trend and will be for a while. That’s why this is a 2018 trends report 🙂 Thanks for your comment! Maria

  5. You did a great job with the photos! They look very professional. I have found the trends gearing toward the 80’s and early 90’s for a while. I think besides fashion showing what is coming next in home dec, TV shows can drive trends as well. Mad Men ushered back in the huge mid-century mod craze. Now shows set in the 80’s and 90’s are popular. When I look at the set of The Americans, I see a lot of current trends. Some sets of Halt and Catch Fire as well.

    Now onto what I am really interested in – that rug in the blue and white room pictures with the multi-scale herringbone! Do you have any info which could be helpful in finding it?

    • @Melinda: IF you are referring to the area rug in the fore front I would consider it more to be a ‘hounds tooth’ design (than a herringbone one). That said; do a web search: blue and white hounds tooth design area rug European design. (i.e.: To name one that is similar — has one called NuLoom Handmade Houndstooth Blue Wool) also Ballard Designs has a wonderful selection of ‘patterned rugs’ so you might want to try them as well.) -Brenda-

      • Hi, Thank you! I realized as soon as I had posted that I wrote herringbone instead of houndstooth. I have been searching and searching! So far haven’t found one with the same patchwork design.

  6. I just finished reading your blog post when I picked up the latest CB2 catalogue. Your trend report is all over the catalogue – black leather sofa, black cocktail tables, black accessories, etc. Most of these are paired with jewel tones, white/cream with blue and teal thrown in. Some are paired with natural elements. Grey seems to have moved into the backdrop.
    As always – you are ahead of the curve.

    IMO, CB2 has always been the home of light, bright and colorful – a happy modern if you like. This is a significant departure as they seem to be following West Elm.

  7. I see what you’re saying but I think that black is a segue colour. It’s certainly very workable with the wildly popular yellow gold.

    In my opinion, navy is the coming neutral.

    • I agree but it was the same in the 80’s navy, forest green and black. I’m fine with all of it, what I don’t like is when any trendy neutral is overused which it will be because that’s what always happens. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  8. The shift to graphic patterns just clicked in my head with a much quicker-moving visual market… icons for phone/computer apps. A couple-few months ago, they all shifted from the 3d effect that was popular for some time, back to a sharp 2d look. Now I’m curious about the relation to home/interiors trends.

  9. It will take the general public about 3 years to bite onto this new trend if in fact it becomes the old/new kid on the block. Personally I love black and white and have always had it as a base in my decor, however I use the black judiciously. My all time favorite floors are black and white checked marble. I use my black and whites with blue and whites and add accents of emerald, or pinks, or yellows according to the seasons or my mood. It works for me and I don’t see me changing anytime soon since this has worked for me so well over the years. Love reading what they are showing and you are so good to share with us out in blogland.

  10. IMHO, I feel ‘black’ will always have a place in interior design no differently than it will as in fashion, however how it is used is an entirely different subject . In other words, if one wishes to be a slave to their home constantly dusting then I say ‘go for it’ …. ☺. With respect to the other colour and decor trends, I personally prefer those that you highlighted in your 2017 High Point Market post in comparison to what I see in this one, being their use may be more versatile in dressing the average (North American) home. i.e.: Though I love jewel tones, I would be cautious in how I would use them in a small space as sometimes ‘less is more’. Oh regarding the mauve; I would love to know its colour match as on my monitor it reads more of a muted pinky mauve and appears to be very similar to two upholstered side chairs that I presently have in my Living room which I only chose to go with a reproduction of Claude Monet’s ‘Landscape With Thunderstorm’ but have been toying with idea of having them recovered as not overly fond of their colour BUT maybe now will save myself a few $$$ by not doing so …. LOL!. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Re your High Point Market post Maria, if you happen to be having a high volume of visitors to your blog recently; you can blame me as I posted the Bungalow 5 side-server that you featured on one of my Pinterest boards and the traffic has been overwhelming with those who are saving it and quite possibly following the ‘visit/read it’ link being yours. (Just thought I would let you know and hopefully you don’t mind.)

    • I should have added: re the Monet reproduction piece of artwork. It is actually a high resolution, dated and numbered limited edition ‘giclee print’. Though I wish it were real; settling for something less is one of the curses of having ‘ a champagne taste on a beer budget’ … LOL!

  11. I’ve been loving jewel tones for a couple of years now. While I love the coastal pastels in other homes, I couldn’t get it to feel authentic in mine. I recently painted a room in a grayed down version of a jewel tone which I think makes it feel more current and less 80s. I love black with wood tones and cream.

  12. This makes me think of my highschool art teacher who used to tell us to “find our black” when we were pencil sketching and the whole picture was a bit pale, light and insipid. She would insist that some part of the shading should go all the way to black to get the full richness of graduation in the picture.

    I wonder if after all the white and grey, this is sort of the energy behind black. It doesn’t take much though to act as a foil for everything else. Sort of like the idea behind “une touche rouge.”

    Shiny black is a pain too, it shows every fingerprint and water mark.

  13. In 2010 we redid a bathroom after a flood and I did the whole thing in grey. This was just as the grey trend was creating and I recall decorating my house at that time with orange, teal and grass green (sounds ugly but it really worked).

    In 2014 we built and I wanted nothing to do with grey. There’s not a drop in this house – the walls are all white and the neutral I used was matte black. Knobs, granite countertops, shower tile, picture frames, light fixtures, so on. I actually just painted our garden doors black this week. The whole thing feels really current and we get tons of compliments- I think because the trend is just starting so it’s different.

    Aside from woods and organic materials, the accent colours I used are deep red and navy- so, when you think of the grey trend and all that turquoise and orange you saw with it, it only makes sense that the natural progression is black with navy and red. I had a hard time decorating my house with those colors two years ago but this summer at Home Sense they were everywhere- so there you go.

  14. I always think there is place for black no matter what “trend” we are in (and red but undertone changes – orange or blue). Be it small bits like frames, vases, clocks, lamp bases, things like house numbers even! or maybe stronger like an accent tile, pillow, color in the rug. Not too long ago I wanted to decorate the space in a mix of cream (as the base), a blue red, and charcoal/black and add or not! a blue grey. But it did not work with our fixed elements – the wood trim. Oh well!

  15. As someone above has mentioned, “a touch of black in every room!”
    But mauve? Blech.
    I’ll do my best to avoid it, though that may be difficult. I refuse to wear that drab, unflattering color but I’m guessing there’ll be a lot of in the stores. I’ve noticed we eventually end up “on trend” because that’s what’s out there and for sale.
    One of my neighbors just listed her Georgian-style townhome. She was advised to paint each elegant, dramatic, jewel-toned room a “blah” neutral.
    “Big mistake. Huge.”

  16. Maria,
    I think of black and white as an eternal and elegant combination when balanced correctly, just like blue and white or even green and blue. They will never go away. Yellow and mauve are not in the same category of color combining. What are some of the other eternal color combinations that you think defy trends because of their universal appeal.

    • I agree on black and white being eternal, what depresses me about black becoming a ‘trend’ is the overuse of it that is sure to follow as consumers buy the next ‘safe’ neutral. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  17. Maybe because I’m a Lamp Tramp, the variety of lamp shade shapes & textures jumped out. It seems the prevailing shape has been the drum but your lovely photos showed lots of (80!) cones/PLEATED fabric cones!–not since the 80s…


  19. Hi Maria, How do you feel about black stainless steel appliances, with white cabinets, white subway tile, white w grey marbled granite, wood floors? Think black stainless steel is too trendy? Thank you for your help!!

    • It’s not about being too trendy, it’s that they need to relate to something or they will look like black holes in your kitchen. If you’re going to install black appliances, I would also install black countertops.
      Hope that helps,

  20. Maria – I was looking at these pics again and realized: when i was in Paris in 1999, I went through all the flea markets and I remember seeing LOADS of black and gold and thinking it was all rather heavy, dark, dramatic, etc. Could it be that this is just, well…. Paris? And that it doesn’t mean black is going to suddenly show up on everyone’s walls and sofas again? (Hoping….)

    • I didn’t see black and gold at the flea markets enough to notice. . . There was lots of gold, but that’s Paris for sure. And that’s the current trend big time! Maria

  21. Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook just revealed a design showcasing a 10′ custom BLACK leather couch–Black is Back 🙂

  22. maybe my black appliances and grey travertine floor finally have some glimmer of acceptance. I have been thinking about blackish bottom cabinets and white on top. I have only seen one image with this look and was not totally taken by it. Any thoughts on this Maria?

  23. ? Thought of this post today. All those walls I see in the photos are color and we know many choose to have a light neutral. We have not yet painted our walls but will soon as we just received one of the inspiration posters – the green/blue chicago worlds fair poster- and it should work with the paint we choose. It occurred to me sure black can be a neutral but hardly anyone would paint their living room walls black (and we have color in the more private rooms and I would not even go there!). So what light colored neutral will be in trend to compliment the black, navy, forest green? My perception is either tan (and would that be a saturated beige on your wheel?) or cream as that was also a 80’s thing (cream 4*4 shower tiles abound!). Just curious!

    • That is a great question and it made me realize I had not talked about that. Black will show up in furniture and bathroom tile and might in plumbing as well like it did in the 80’s but you’re right black walls will NOT be the new neutral on the walls.
      Thanks for your comment!

  24. Maria, thank you so much, this in invaluable information. I’m so happy to have you provide us with the latest and hottest information. I completely agree about the black being hot, I hope that people get rid of their big bulky black leather sofas – I call them Michelin Man furniture as it’s so big an bulky!

    Thank you!!!

  25. From what I can make of the pictures above, it seems like The Market is in limbo, and cannot make up its mind. Black seems to be the only solace, in this array of mauve, gray, gold, turquoise, red, brown, black and white. It is all busy, garish, and frankly depressing in my humble opinion. The black and white may be a trendy accent, but I see nothing but confusion. Don’t rush to judgment. Wait it out a little more, to see. Eventually, it will be more subtle. People have lived too long with colors causing them to relax, to rush out and fill their house with chaos. Sure, I understand, we try to be ahead of the game, but I am thinking, other than black and white accents, there is nothing to see here.

  26. Hello Maria. Do you offer courses in Canada? Western Canada to be exact? I live in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

    • Most likely in the Fall we will be back in Vancouver, however in the past my Canadian courses have been the least well attended which is why it was 18 months since I was back in Vancouver this past Fall. . . Maria