From finishes to functionality, here’s a fearless furnishing forecast

Wood-grain finishes are really "in" right now. Photo: Courtesy
Dark wood-grain finishes are trending, says furniture expert Sheryl Novak. Photo: Courtesy

Here are our predictions for trends in furniture and décor for expat homes in Mexico for rest of the year and beyond.


It took a few years to get used to the splash of vibrant, bright stunning hues. For example, the Sherwin Williams color of the year is a bluish-green jewel tone called Oceanside. Now doesn’t that sound like Mexico?


Another trend we predict will be huge is more focus on the organized home. Gone are the days of shoving things in closets and digging though them.


Space savers

Following along on the theme of organized living, another trend we see growing is the increase in space-saving solutions. Most new condo developments offer one- and two-bedroom units. This is quite different from 10 years ago when there were far more three-bedroom units on the market.

With less square footage, maximizing space becomes more important. Furniture that is convertible will be more practical. That’s why we predict an increase in demand for items such as Murphy/wall beds, sofa beds and trundle beds. Not only can they be used for guests, they can also retract to save space for the homeowners.

Natural attraction

We are seeing an increase in requests for furniture made from wood and weaves. This look of coordinating wood and weave started gaining momentum mid-2017 and does not look like it is going to lose steam anytime soon.

The materials most in demand are chairs woven with banana leaf, water hyacinth and bamboo. All natural, these items are woven to create either great statement pieces such as headboards and daybeds.

Pairing four water-hyacinth dining room chairs with a wood-grain dining table and bench brings together the warmth of both materials.


The latest style for outdoors, originating in Europe, is a combination of bamboo and vibrant colors of high-grade synthetic rattan. Stunning! Not only do they make a beautiful statement, they also are good materials to weather our tropical environment.

Also hot this year is anything with an exposed wood grain. Whether dining or coffee tables, benches or headboards, the natural look is in. Edges are rough. Dark grains are dominant. Stains are wax-based. Although not a new trend — we have seen it for a few years at the furniture shows in North America – it will continue to be stylish and in demand.

Outdoor options

Since we spend so much time outdoors, it only makes sense to start maximizing the space. Watch for full outdoor kitchens including built-ins such as mini fridges, wine coolers and warming ovens. Outdoor kitchens will also incorporate islands with bar stools for the opportunity to move the entertaining around the food prep area.

Full outdoor living rooms will also be on trend. Sofas and sectionals will be available in more styles, with more cover options than ever before. Outdoor recliners will be available so that you can grab a siesta.

The previous big trend in outdoor furniture was brown synthetic rattan, now ubiquitous at big-box stores. Originally available in a high-grade material at reasonable costs, the market is now flooded with cheap synthetic that cracks and splits within a year.

In 2018, buyers are looking for outdoor furniture that lasts longer. They want furniture that is good value, comfortable and won’t need to be frequently replaced. We are forecasting a demand for outdoor furniture made from materials such as teak and powder-coated, rust-proof metals to make a big comeback beginning this year.


Home electronics

Of course, we cannot omit home electronics from our future trends list. There are two trends we see for 2018.

One is the continuing migration of homes in from satellite service to internet TV and streaming services. This will save homeowners on their monthly bills and still allow the ability to watch high-quality entertainment and get up to date news.

We predict the second trend will start in 2018 and grow exponentially over the next three years – the use of intelligent assistants in rental properties. Imagine your renters being able to give a command such as “Turn on Netflix” and not have to worry about which remote to use. Or, that they can ask “Where is the nearest taco stand?” and get verbal directions.

They could call for a taxi, set an alarm or turn out the lights with a simple voice prompt. Your renters or guests will be able to get an immediate answer to any question they have. We predict that by the end of 2018, intelligent assistants will become a feature that renters will look for and value when deciding on where they book their stay.


Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over 10 years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico — the online furniture store for your home in Mexico. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture, for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico. Email the author at for a free newsletter on how to get good value on furniture in Mexico.