2016 Microtrends

Because my brand relies heavily on consumer interest, one of my biggest challenges is staying on top of trends in my industry. I’m always keeping an eye out for emerging trends in the market– I read voraciously, follow influential brands on social media, and pay attention to what fellow creatives are talking about. 

I recently updated my shop with some lapel pins and in my explanation of why I created them, I cited some of the other microtrends that are starting to pop up in 2016. One thing led to another and I decided to expand upon my predictions. Enjoy!

Tropical Birds

Last summer, tropical prints were everywhere. This time around, they're still in the picture, but (as big trends do), they've evolved a bit. While fronds and palm patterns are still coming back this summer, they're bringing birds along for the ride. These aren't just any birds, but ones that fit along with the paradise theme. I've already noticed parrots, cockatoos, toucans, and flamingos beginning to pop up all over the place. I'm pretty excited about this one and have already been painting some feathery friends.

Tropical Toucans   •  Society6

Tropical Toucans  •  Society6

CatCoq via  Instagram

CatCoq via Instagram

Parrot Watercolor   •  Etsy

Parrot Watercolor  •  Etsy

Toucan Pencil Case   •  Skinnydip

Toucan Pencil Case  •  Skinnydip

Jeepers Peepers Novelty  Bird Cat Eye Sunglasses  • ASOS

Jeepers Peepers Novelty Bird Cat Eye Sunglasses • ASOS

Paradise Found Side Plate   •  Anthropologie

Paradise Found Side Plate  •  Anthropologie

Aperta Platter   •  Anthropologie

Aperta Platter  •  Anthropologie

Aperta Dinner Plate   •  Anthropologie

Aperta Dinner Plate  •  Anthropologie


Continuing with the tropical theme, pineapples aren't going away yet. They were all over the place in 2015 and they're sticking along to complement the palm leaves and paradise motifs.

Tropic and Choose Bag   •  Modcloth

Tropic and Choose Bag  •  Modcloth

Marble & Acacia Cheese Board   •  Anthropologie

Marble & Acacia Cheese Board  •  Anthropologie

Serenity/Rose Quartz Ombré Gradients

It's not really a surprise that the Pantone colors of the year on trending, but the cool part is watching how designers are interpreting the gradient for themselves.

Ombré Tree Rings   • Etsy
via  Spotify


This is a fun one. 2015's drink of choice was rosé, which was perfect in itself: pink in color, bubbly in taste. Now, they're making room for Bellinis, which are sidestepping mimosas for the brunch cocktail of choice. Peach juice + champagne... what's not to love?

This screenshot from Brit + Co says it all:

via  Brit + Co
via  Brit + Co


We can thank Coachella's popularity during the last few years for this one. "Festival" anything right now is on fire. Floral headbands, crochet-meets-club style, and temporary metallic tattoos are all flooding from this trend. Braids, fringe, feathers, skulls, tie-dye, leather... I could go on and on. I also have a sneaking suspicion that tents/teepees as home decor items derives from festival-mania, too. (Although the latter could equally be from the Scandinavian trend, which I'll get to later.)

Water Buffalo Skull   •  Etsy

Water Buffalo Skull  •  Etsy

via  Pinterest
Evil-Eye Tote   •  Society6

Evil-Eye Tote  •  Society6

Wood Carvings

I'm not necessarily taking about figurines, but think more along the lines of carved wood entering the home decor scene. Urban Outfitters dedicated an entire section of their store to it.

Amira Carved Wood Dresser   •  Urban Outfitters

Amira Carved Wood Dresser  •  Urban Outfitters

Amira Carved Wood Headboard   •  Urban Outfitters

Amira Carved Wood Headboard  •  Urban Outfitters

Hope Round Coffee Table   •  Urban Outfitters

Hope Round Coffee Table  •  Urban Outfitters

Rashmi Carved Coffee Table   •  Urban Outfitters

Rashmi Carved Coffee Table  •  Urban Outfitters

Graphic Throw Pillows

This one's great for me, since my throw pillows are among my best sellers on Society6. As far as home decor trends go, throw pillows are one of the easiest ways to stay up-to-date. Bright colors, bold graphic elements and hand-done touches are all over the place right now.

Tropical Wanderlust   •  Society6

Tropical Wanderlust  •  Society6

Victorian Lounge   •  Society6

Victorian Lounge  •  Society6

Retro Burst   •  Society6

Retro Burst  •  Society6

Killin' It   •  Society6

Killin' It  •  Society6

Sea Foam Palm Leaf   •  Society6

Sea Foam Palm Leaf  •  Society6


I was fortunate enough to visit Peru last fall, and I fell in love with these fuzzy little guys. Maybe I'm hyper-aware of them since the trip, but I'm getting the feeling that alpacas are going to be the next owl.

Alpaca Punch   •  Modcloth

Alpaca Punch  •  Modcloth

The Journey Ahead   •  Etsy

The Journey Ahead  •  Etsy

via  Eslamonda
Watercolor Alpacas   •  Etsy

Watercolor Alpacas  •  Etsy


One of my personal favorites. Also, stating right now that I'm officially elevating this one to a macrotrend. We're not going away any time soon, people. Startups and women empowerment is a great combo, and one that hits close to home. There's no shortage of resources right now for women seeking to make their own success. Brit + Co.'s founder even wrote a blog post highlighting her tips for fellow startups. Also check out 15 Career Tips from Our Favorite Girl Bosses.


In November, Nordstrom switched over to their holiday packaging, illustrated by Sanna Annaukka. I've been spotting Nordic-influences just about everywhere since. I've mostly been keying-in to the illustrative aspects of the Scandinavian trend, but you're also seeing it manifest in home decor– white/grey walls, geometric tiles, cool/bright lighting, graphic artwork and overall minimalism.

Saga Side Plate   •  Anthropologie

Saga Side Plate  •  Anthropologie

Saga Platter   •  Anthropologie

Saga Platter  •  Anthropologie

Lapel Pins

As trends typically do, lapel pins are a revolving door of trendiness and right now, the door is swinging in their favor. They can thank their reemergence to the 2015 Men's Fall Fashion Week. Fast-forward a bit, and they've hit both genders. You see them on jackets, tote bags, knapsacks, and the likes. 

KCMO Lapel Pins   • Etsy

KCMO Lapel Pins  • Etsy

Jar Full of Stars   •  Etsy

Jar Full of Stars  •  Etsy

Tropical Leaf   •  Etsy

Tropical Leaf  •  Etsy

...& the leftovers.

I couldn't decide if these were noteworthy or not, but am tossing them in the mix as a side note. Gourmet waffles, puns, farmers' market chic, and brass. (Individually, guys. Not all at once.) Hope you guys enjoyed the insight! :D