Interior Monologues

Boston Design Center's on-call experts spy the hottest trends.

With 350,000 square feet of showrooms stocking everything from flooring and furniture to fabrics and fine art, the Boston Design Center may seem a little overwhelming to first-time visitors. Fortunately, in Suite 111, there’s a Sherpa at the ready: one of 15 Designers on Call who offer complimentary one-hour consultations and serve as guides through the sprawling Seaport space. We tapped three designers from the 2017 class to find out what trends they’re excited about right now.

1. Danit Ben-Ari


designextra2On call: Second Mondays
“I love that design is moving away from super edited and cold spaces devoid of personality and incorporating the warmth and life experiences of the homeowners,” says Ben-Ari, founder of Brookline’s Interior Transformations, who fully understands the importance of listening to clients, having earned a master’s degree in social work before diving into design. “Perhaps art is found on a special vacation or textiles are selected that reflect favorite places in the world. I adore composing these elements in homes so that clients can enjoy their lives reflected in the spaces they live in.”

2. Eric Haydel


designextra4On call: First Mondays and third Thursdays
“Mass-produced area rugs are a thing of the past and have opened the door to hand-knotted, hand-tufted custom area rugs,” says the namesake behind Boston’s Eric Haydel Design, a Louisiana native who designed his own New Orleans-inspired Carnival collection of rugs for Dover Rug & Home. “These works of art offer a unique design option that provides the client with a look and feel that is truly their own. A rug section is just as important as the original oil purchased for over the fireplace.”

3. Linda Merrill


On call: First Fridays and fifth Tuesdays
“One of the trends I’m most excited about is the return of color—real, honest-to-goodness saturated color! We saw it at the Kitchen & Bath Show in January, in ‘Greenery,’ Pantone’s Color of the Year, and across the design spectrum,” says Merrill, founder of Duxbury firm Decorative Surroundings, who’s happy to see the heyday of greige wane. “Those styles can of course be incredibly beautiful when done right, but when everything is reduced to just a mix of bland tones, the life can get sucked right out of a room.”

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