Candice Olson’s Short List

Candice Olson

Whether you’re buying at High Point Market or another wholesale venue, Canadian interior designer and host of several popular design TV shows reveals the top trends that will continue to be hot this year.

If it has glimmer, shimmer, or muted shine, consider it a must-buy for your lighting showroom. What’s popular among consumers right now is a move away from the cooler Chrome finishes toward warmer gold tones.

“This is not your grandma’s gold. It’s a little softer,” Candice Olson states. “We started to see the trend for Gold last year [and it still holds true]. Gold is the new black. Or, actually, Gold is the BFF of black.”

Velocity, part of the Shimmering Details Collection in Mylar by Candice Olson for York®Wallcoverings, demonstrates the strong pairing of black and gold. 


A Touch of Glint: The look that is catching fire with consumers is more of a middle ground between chrome and gold. “It’s a softened silver with an undertone of gold,” Olson explains. “We call it ‘Glint,’ and it’s been really resonating with people, especially as warmer finishes are coming into the market.”

According to Olson, it’s not only the combination of soft silver and brushed gold or brass in one muted finish, but also the deliberate mix of metals in a room. “There is a metal medley going on [in home décor], where nothing is matching yet it’s all working nicely together,” she notes.  For example, a silver mirror might be paired with a brass lamp.

After several years where Chrome and Polished Nickel have dominated, warmer tones have been steadily gaining ground. “Gold and brass are here to stay,” Olson remarks. “It’s become more accepted. However while gold is coming to the forefront, it’s not going whole-hog – especially in lighting and accessories.”

Candice Olson Glint - York Wall YOUR Dazzling Zanadu
From the Candice OLSON Contract series by York Wallcoverings, Dazzling Xanadu pairs lustrous metallics with tactile matte finishes.


Keep Singing the Blues: “Blues aren’t going away,” Olson states. Blues running the gamut from spa tones to turquoise and indigo will remain popular. “We’ll see a lot more peacock, but not the wimpy [version]. It will be more of a bold turquoise,” she says.

Darker tones, such as navy and indigo, are elegant backdrops for traditional looks. “It also goes well with those spa beiges and spa browns we’re seeing,” Olson comments.

In addition, blues, with their cool tones, add balance. “In today’s home, where we use so many warm materials – like wood – there’s nothing better than blue.”

While blue may be a perennial favorite, it is continually changing. Looking ahead to her color palette in 2015, Olson is keyed in on navy, but not in the traditional sense. “Deep, dark, inky black is so fantastic. It brings drama and freshness to a space,” she remarks. Lighter metallic finishes in mirrors, artwork, and drapery are then layered in front of that dark backdrop. “I always remind people that dark colors absorb light, so you have to up your lighting,” Olson cautions, adding, “Blue is here to stay.”

Blues have been a popular choice in home décor for several years, but will remain especially fresh in 2014 and 2015.

Lighting Remains Key: Olson has long been an advocate of good lighting. “I believe in layers of lighting,” she says, and is quick to point out that strategically placed lighting is important. “If you light everything, you light nothing,” she says. Using lighting to draw attention to a dark corner, a piece of artwork, or on a dining room table brings visual drama. “Lighting adds focus,” she remarks.

“People know me best for lighting,” Olson comments. “I’ve always stressed the importance of lighting [from the time I started out] in commercial and residential design. It is truly the jewelry of the room.”  A firm believer in establishing multiple layers of light from the top to the bottom of a room, Olson has seen a shift in consumer preferences. “I’m finding more of a trend for statement fixtures, where people are [essentially] grounding a room around them like pieces of functional art,” she observes.

“If someone gave me $200 to make over a room, I can confidently make over that space [on budget] by changing the lighting,” she states.

Candice OLson Skinny Dip Candice OLson Rhythm Glint 8602
The 26.5”-high Skinny Dip table lamp is made of molded glass in a choice of either an iridescent Champagne or Smoke finish with a matching glass finial. It is topped with a shade in a geometric pattern printed on semi-gloss paper. The flowing lines of the Rhythm chandelier by Candice Olson for AF Lighting is enhanced by the hand-applied Glint finish.

One thought on “Candice Olson’s Short List

  1. Candice is always ahead of the curve. Great color palatte. Layering lighting is an interesting concept, like layering color or texture, just another element to balance a space. Thanks, Candice!

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