2018 Summer Design Trends

By nearly all accounts, 2018 has been a strange year in terms of the progression of seasons. There were blizzards in the Northeast when there should have been daffodils, regions in the West that experienced less precipitation than usual, a warmer than usual spring in the South, and some intense patterns in the Midwest making couples and corporate clients alike nervous about planning customary early summer outdoor celebrations. Hosts have had to acknowledge unpredictable conditions while still embracing all of the things that people love most about today’s event design.

Perhaps for this reason, the summer design trends are a conservative mix of enduring trends and timeless ideas. The hottest colors, textures, lighting, and design concepts of summer 2018 are familiar, but with a twist. They inspire a feeling of security amidst uncertainty while still pushing the envelope a bit and inviting personalization and a new take on old favorites.

Photo courtesy Jenny DeMarco Photography – www.jennydemarco.com

Colors

In popular colors for example, pastels remain popular, but brighter pops of color will make their way into otherwise monochromatic designs. Ultra Violet has risen again to notoriety and continues to be strong in fashion and décor.

Metals & textures

Rose gold is back this year and it’s huge. It goes with almost anything, which explains why so many people love it. Mix metals with pops of color and different textures to create unique combinations and a totally new look for each event. If you mix your favorite textured linen with rose gold for example, you embrace the trend while making the look your own.

We are also seeing more textures in linens, both solid and patterned. The slightly ribbed texture of Faille is quite popular.

Photo courtesy Don Mears Photography

Candles

Candlelight is one of the most enduring trends of the season, and it’s not going anywhere soon. Rose gold goes great with candles, and draws on a timeless look which will encourage couples or corporate clients to share their images and memories for years to come.

Photo courtesy Mike B Photography – www.mikebphotography.com

Lighting

Setting the mood with lighting, especially for corporate events, has become a must-have, instead of a nice-to-have. A nice event without great lighting is basically a meeting. Is that how your client has envisioned his or her event?

Seating

Don’t just think of seating as “where to put guests.” For both corporate and personal events, interaction is important to the overall experience. That is why cocktail hour lounges continue to be so popular—they are more relaxed areas where people can sit or stand comfortably and get to know each other.

Matching your seating to your event is important these days. A buffet doesn’t necessarily require assigned seats, but assigned tables are important. Seated meals still pair best with specific seat assignments, though.

Catering

Experiential catering remains popular and will for the foreseeable future. Mashed potato bars, mac n’ cheese bars—comfort foods that are fully customizable, personalized and delicious served in small, fresh quantities by chefs who can interact with guests answer all of the biggest priorities for today’s summer events.

Themes

Gatsby themes are huge in corporate events at the moment. Old Hollywood Glam simply never loses its appeal. It is the perfect theme for a steamy summer cocktail party around the pool, or a formal sit-down meal.

Performers

Clients are interested in incorporating live performers where they weren’t previously featured. Corporate events are turning to magicians, caricature artists, and burlesque dancers (appropriately G-rated, of course) to turn up the energy of their crowds and encourage more engagement.

The summer 2018 trends in event design are versatile and appealing. What do you have planned for your bold, new looks?

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Kim Sayatovic

Kim Sayatovic is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Belladeux Event Design, a full-service wedding and event design firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.