Bob and Cortney Novogratz are a design duo—and parents to seven children—who recently bought a 1920s-era castle in the Hollywood Hills. Check back regularly on as they blog about the rewards, risks, messes, and successes of the project, giving their expert tips and tricks for home renovation. You can follow them on Twitter at @TheNovogratz.

We’re self-taught designers, and we’re true believers that good design doesn’t follow rules. Lucky for us and for you, 2016 is all about breaking design rules. Case in point: the two Pantone colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity. Anything goes.

We’ve got a few favorite trends that are popping up in 2016. By no means are they rules to follow — we just think they’re fresh approaches to making your home the best it can be. Here’s a peek into what we’re currently obsessed with:

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1. Bring Nature In. Whether you live in an urban or rural area, bringing in a natural element like wood columns softens an interior. On one of our projects, we fashioned columns out of natural tree trunks from the area. Nowadays you can find everything from side tables to coffee table to sculptural pieces made from beautiful wood varieties.


2. Go Bold with Drapes. Geometric shapes and patterns have made it to drapes and shades. In our mind, the bolder the better. We took cues from travel and our kids in designing our latest line for The Shade Store.

3. Two Words: Exposed Lighting. Whether it’s a bulb or a cluster, exposed lighting is a fantastic way to give a little whimsy to a space and make it feel architectural.


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4. Gold Faucets Are Back. Installing a new faucet is an easy way to revamp a space. Gold is really for every day now; a gold faucet can be sleek if paired with modern cabinets or casual if paired with a farm sink. Don’t be afraid to mix your metallics if you have chrome or silver elsewhere in your kitchen. Bring in accessories to tie everything together.


5. Install Black Hardware. Hardware is another easy way to freshen up a space. Black hardware makes a beautiful statement and can transform dull, tired cabinets into chic cabinets. For something modern, opt for a tubular bar pull. For something more traditional, go with a cup pull.

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6. Wordplay is Here to Stay. We love that wordplay personalizes your house, tells your story, and inspires you. We like using it in unexpected ways, like on the “Family” rug we designed for one of our clients, or on something that gets noticed every day, like the “Count Your Blessings” throw pillow we designed.

At the end of the day, your home should really be a reflection of who you are. What’s in today may be out tomorrow, so listen to your gut. The only “rule” we live by in design is to take chances and to do what you love, so don’t be afraid to mix it up.