HOME IN ON THE HOTTEST TRENDS
Step away from those stainless steel appliances and put away that can of beige paint. The new year ushers in a fresh crop of home trends, from less white in the kitchen to saturated color everywhere else. For those thinking about buying a place or just wanting to shake things up, we spoke to homebuilding and design experts to see what's hot for the home in 2019.
LIGHTER WOOD FLOORS
All those glossy dark floors that used to be so popular? “We’re seeing light floor colors like brushed hickory or brushed oak,” says Matt Miner, a Coldwell Banker Bain broker and principal of Get Happy at Home in Seattle. “You’ll also notice that wood floors often have a silver wash in them these days.” Alexander Boriskin of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in New York City says wider planks have also gained popularity. “It’s a trend because people love the illusion it gives of a wider space.”
A natural, organic feel is hot for most rooms. “The use of natural materials in the home has become increasingly popular and on trend recently, thanks to images of Scandinavian-style homes on Pinterest and Instagram,” says Morgana Frampton of John Evans Interior Architecture & Design. “Natural stone, reclaimed wood, and metals are key for this trend to work in your home.” If you don’t want to spend a mint, celebrity designer Taniya Nayak says it’s easy to achieve an organic feel in any room by adding textures like jute and using muted, earthy tones such as terra cotta or moss green.
Bedrooms are supposed to be a place of rest, so it's no wonder calm, soothing colors still reign here. Designer Taniya Nayak recommends “a pastel palette with colors such as blue, pale blue, and cream to achieve a romantic and glam look. An easy way for homeowners to achieve this is by creating a striped, pastel accent wall. Take a new approach and alternate different paint finishes — like eggshell and satin — in the same color to capture a soothing, soft ethereal feel and create more depth.” Designer Morgana Frampton says natural materials can help create that soothing feel. “A reclaimed wood headboard is a popular choice and looks beautiful with white linen bedding.”
Homeowners continue to move away from neutrals in other rooms, though. “We have all enjoyed the harmonious, monochromatic schemes and white on white for much too long. It’s time to brighten things up a bit,” says Jessica Davis of JL Design Nashville. “Monochromatic schemes have been a huge trend for the past couple of years because of simplicity. But adding a pop of color to a room will definitely make a statement.” If you're not a risk-taker, experts say you can still make a space more on trend with bold, colorful accents such as pillows, rugs, or art that can be replaced easily.
PLENTY OF TEXTURE
Using texture is another way to add interest to a space if you’re afraid of color. “A pop of texture is the new pop of color,” says Caroline Harmon, senior trends and style analyst with Lowe’s. “Beyond weavings, textured details will elevate white and natural decor.” She recommends looking for textured accents such as poufs and ottomans, table lamps, and geometric wall hangings. If you’re willing to invest a bit more, Ashleigh Sullivan of AllModern says luxe-feeling velvet furniture in bold, deep hues is also a big part of the trend.
Some home experts say we’ve reached a saturation point with all things shiplap, white, and distressed. “The kitschy, store-bought decor meant to look like you dug it out of a barn has gotten a bit heavy-handed, which makes it feel inauthentic,” Southern Living warns. “The same is true of all the reclaimed wood accents and barn doors that look a little forced in a new, more minimalist home.” But that doesn’t mean farmhouse is completely done — it’s just going more mod. Kriss Swint, director of interactive strategy and design at Royal Building Products, says modern farmhouse “celebrates traditional and contemporary architecture blended with urban industrial decor.” Painting trim black, not white, is one way to achieve an edgier look, she says.
WARMER, MIXED-TONE METALS
Fixtures and hardware continue to warm up. “Brass, gold, copper are all very in right now, but they should look natural and not too shiny. So, not plated,” Realtor Matt Miner says. (Unfortunately, that means those old brass doorknobs you may still have from the 1980s are still more outdated than trendy.) Mixed metals — that is, fixtures that aren’t so matchy-matchy — will also be big in 2019, says Gretchen Black, owner of Grey House Design in Louisville, Kentucky.
One trend that is arguably becoming the new norm: If it connects to Wi-Fi, chances are people are installing it in their homes. Stephen Ferrara of Compass Real Estate in New York City points to products such as Sonos speakers, Nest thermostats, and Amazon Echo voice assistants as affordable examples of smart technology. “Technology will continue to shape how people renovate,” he says. “Something as simple as a $20 smart plug used in conjunction with the app gives you full control over lighting without having to even be home.”
LESS WHITE IN THE KITCHEN
Color isn’t reserved for living and bedroom spaces. Designers say all-white kitchens, while still popular, are finally starting to yield some ground. “Kitchens and baths are losing the all-white aesthetic and incorporating neutral gray tones with darker neutral tones for islands,” says Michelle Mumoli, Realtor with the Mumoli Group in Jersey City, New Jersey. Another big color, according to Realtor Matt Miner: blue. “Navy and indigo blue for cabinets — especially as an accent island, or lower cabinets with white primary or uppers — are really gaining traction.”
NO MORE STAINLESS STEEL
Charlotte Russell of Granite & Trend Transformations says this favorite from the 1970s is back in style once again, chiefly “due to its durability and longevity.” Another factor contributing to its popularity: midcentury modern design, which remains hot, she says. “Terrazzo has a wide variety of color options and highlights rich textures. Bringing color and texture together is certainly trending, and allows for designers and architects to express their creative freedom and expression.”
Although midcentury modern is as popular as ever, many experts say art deco is gaining momentum. “Art deco … is about to have a huge moment again,” says Kate Spiro of Kate Spiro Interiors in New York City. “Art deco can add a playful touch to any space, and it can help to soften up a room that feels stiff and uninviting. You can quickly achieve this look by adding a statement piece or additional home decor to your space." Spiro recommends using curvy, sculptural furniture and objects to achieve this more sumptuous, far-from-minimalist look.
SMALLER, MORE FLEXIBLE SPACES
Going green isn't going out of style anytime soon. Energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting continue to rule as homeowners make updates, but eco-friendly choices are also spilling into the design world, designer Kate Spiro says. “There is more decor and furniture available now than ever to consumers that are both sustainable and well-designed. Furniture manufactures are embracing this change by adding in recycled materials like paper, plastic, metal, and concrete to their lines.”
Eco-friendly ideas aren't limited to the inside of the home. Xeriscaping — that is, landscaping designed to conserve water — has long been popular in arid climates, but the idea has gained steam elsewhere as homeowners look to trim utility bills and go green. Using rock gardens, planting low-water plants such as conifers and succulents, and opting for native plants over thirstier non-natives are all trends that show no sign of waning.