Trends 2018: A Local Designer’s Perspective

Every year, new colors, patterns and practices for working sustainability into public spaces reflect the ever-changing world and needs of building owners. Putting aside all the buzz words and trend reports, we asked Amy Cuker, principal of Down2Earth Interior Design, a unique design practice from Philadelphia that focuses on creating beautiful sustainable and low-maintenance interiors, what trends are on the studio’s radar this year.


Bold is Beautiful

Amy: Just look at the colors of the year! We recently talked about all the ways Pantone’s color of the year, Ultraviolet, is making a big splash this year.


vibia trends2018 ultaviolet color


Not only that, Benjamin Moore’s color of the year is a fiery red, called Caliente AF-290, and Sherwin Williams has named a deep aquatic blue, called Oceanside SW 6496, as its 2018 color of the year.






This bold color landscape is a perfect backdrop for strong geometric forms in crisp white and silver.




Trend in Application
Right now, our firm is working on designing a lobby for a veterinary clinic. The design must convey the animal hospital’s use of cutting edge knowledge and technology. Functionally, we aim for the design to be a highly durable and low-maintenance environment. Aesthetically, the look should be warm and timeless, building upon trends that are sure to last. So while we don’t follow trends per se, our personal riff on the strong color we’ve been seeing is a royal blue inspired by the veterinary hospital’s logo and the collar of a favorite canine patient, Blue.


Image Sources: Down2earth Interior Design and Benjamin Moore


Organic Shapes and Sustainable Energy

Amy: Juxtaposed with the strong blue accent color will be ceiling light fixtures, that are used to define cozy seating areas within a larger waiting room. The organic shape of fixtures like the Ameba and the Rhythm Horizontal pendants are perfect for creating some presence in the ceiling plane.


Trend in Application
With growing environmental consciousness world-wide, and a 24/7 electricity demand at the animal hospital, energy efficiency is key. The Ameba features energy- saving compact fluorescent bulbs, making it far more efficient than a light system of its size to use halogen or incandescent lamps. Additionally, it is compatible with advanced dimming systems, allowing you to use light that suits that ambiance and time of day, ultimately leading to lower energy consumption.




Wallpaper is back in a BIG way

Amy: Adhesives are easier to remove than ever before, making building-owners less apprehensive to take the plunge. Our eyes have been given a break since the wallpaper overload of the seventies and we’re ready for some pattern again, this time with a bit more whimsy.


Trend in Application
We’ve chosen a wallpaper to use for the restrooms in our animal hospital project that features cartoon dogs running amok. The fun and busy pattern of the wallpaper pairs perfectly with the clean, minimal sconces, reinforcing the goal of the brand: high-tech warmth.



Wallpaper image source: Designtex


The physical environment is the ultimate conveyor of personal or brand identity. No matter how trends change, that is a fact that will remain true year in and year out.


Amy Cuker is an interior designer with over 15 years of experience designing buildings and educating young designers. Read more from her on the Down 2 Earth Interior Design blog.