Designed to Last

Nine interior-design trends that will go the distance

Fiddleheads, the fronds of young ferns, have been dining delicacies since the Middle Ages. Fiddles have been played since the Renaissance. Fiddle Faddle, the irresistible candy-coated popcorn, has been around since 1967. All this history is to say that, in 2007, Andrea Dixon and Jen Ziemer of Fiddlehead Design Group chose a business name rooted in an extraordinary heritage, and they tread carefully around the word “trend.”

Dixon and Ziemer are relatively new additions to the collection of interior designers at International Market Square. But they’ve quickly distinguished themselves with their well-focused practice (residential interiors, remodels, and kitchen and bath design) and realistic approach to budgets. Their motto: save your money until you can do a room right. Which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for passing fads.

When we asked Dixon and Ziemer to discuss the year’s top interior-design trends, they dutifully wore their leopard-print accessories (animal prints are still hot) and played along. But rule No. 1: design for you, not the trends.

1) It’s all about emerald green, the Pantone Color of the Year. But any green goes. We’re seeing a lot of layering—acid green on grass green on kelly green, etc.

2) Brass is back, but not in a 1980s high gloss. Rather, you see it in rich, rubbed finishes. It’ll cost more, but that’s the difference between a trend looking tacky and a trend looking legitimate.

3) Nostalgia is the “it” word. There’s a push to mix the old with the new (or to make the new appear old). People want a found, collected look—their grandmother’s antique dresser mixed in with sleek, modern pieces.

4) Everyone’s going high/low, investing in bigger, high-end pieces while also buying inexpensive accessories and smaller furnishings. Even our big-budget clients will pick up things from Target or HomeGoods.

5) Chevron is out—thank God. Herringbone is huge, but with a twist: designers are playing with its scale and color, such that you’ll see it blown up big in hot pink or emerald green. Florals are also creeping back in and, unfortunately, pastels.

6) Nooks and quiet spaces are getting more attention, as is the master bedroom, which is generally the last room on the list. It’s part of the national “staycation” movement. People want more luxury at home.

7) Reclaimed wood is everywhere, as are trolley-cart coffee tables and industrial light fixtures. Things you would have seen commercially in the olden days, like in factories, are now being used in the home.

8) Frames are at the forefront. People are framing everything from their kids’ art to wallpaper to Hermès scarves. Inexpensive yet original art is also a big trend given the Etsy phenomenon.

9) Celebrities are setting the tone, especially Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama. Their styles are classic and can stand the test of time.


1. Iconic brands are having a resurgence. Pendleton’s home section is a must for updated classics (

2. Schumacher is the go-to place for fabrics and wallpaper, so big it’s easy to get lost (

3. Hickory Chair Furniture Co. is a favorite: pieces that eschew trends and last a lifetime (