The team at Candler Park-based Balance Design has been exploring the latest trends as they work with clients. What has emerged is more sustainable materials, more personal spaces and paying more attention to overlooked areas, like ceilings. Here are some of the trends Balance Design (balancedesignatlanta.com) hopes to see take off in 2017.
 
Naked Floors
We’re always looking for green, sustainable building solutions, and remodeling with wood floors is typically a smelly, messy process involving sanding, staining, and polyurethane. Rubio Monocoat, however, is a plant-based, 0 percent VOC flooring solution with a one-coat oil finish. We have been using it to achieve a more natural Scandinavian look, but there are many different finishes available. – Stephanie Andrews
 
Modern Moulding
A recent trip to Charleston challenged my “less is more” tendencies. This geometric wall moulding satisfies a historical desire to ornament your wall without terribly faking it. This monotone moody trim and wall color doesn’t hurt either. Consider taking your walls, ceilings, and doors to a daring level of embellishment. – Elisabeth Paulson
 

Image courtesy Plain English Design

Backsplash Backlash
My weakness is a beautiful and functional kitchen. I love the bespoke nature that kitchens are taking on recently, and an edited, clean design is always timeless. Sometimes the dominant, geometric nature of a tile backsplash can take the focus away from great custom cabinetry. Luckily, we’re seeing more and more home do away with the backsplash by either completely removing them, or pulling the countertop slab up the wall for a seamless look. Either way, the focus is on the beautiful custom work and not grout lines. – Shelby Adamson
 
Conversation Pit
Don’t get any shag-covered 1970’s flashbacks – modern sunken sitting areas (or “conversation pits”) are streamlined enough that they are comfortable without sacrificing style. This year my focus is on the comfort of design and not just the aesthetic, and sinking into a nest-like area such as this is just what I’ve got in mind. – Danielle Clockel
 
The Fifth Wall
Though often forgotten, the ceiling is a great place to bring some daring personality into a room. The use of wallpaper or mural will bring the eyes up and add interest in an otherwise overlooked space. Especially eye-catching with clean neutral colors and monochromatic palettes, the fifth wall is one to be embraced and utilized. – Melody Richardson
 

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.