Just when we think we’ve defined our personal styles, emerging design trends tease us into second-guessing ourselves by introducing fresh looks. This year and going forward into 2020, design experts have revealed concepts based on blending the new, the old and the different across individual areas rather than restraining décor to a specific style throughout the home.
While open-plan living remains popular, clever definition of interior zones is easily accomplished. Ingenious building materials used on partial or accent walls and half bookcases in beautiful woods, textured acrylic panels or changes in flooring can create depth and subtle borders, establishing areas where design styles can shift but blend well. The goal? The flow of a home finds a more interesting pathway.
Open shelving is back and allows for an artful display of glassware and dishes in complementary patterns and colors. It emulates a puzzle where the various parts come together to create an eye-catching design and, in the case of a kitchen, a functional element. Its opposite, concealed cabinetry, allows for behind-the-scenes, customized storage. Furniture-like finishes add a new twist to cabinets that camouflage a host of convenient and practical pull-out shelves, drawers and appliances. Unexpectantly, doors open onto fun features like hidden wine fridges and espresso stations.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association reports that black stainless and bright colors are trending this year. Homeowners are looking for appliances that offer full Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as pizza and convection ovens and induction cooktops. Regarding overall style, 88 percent of designers say for its timeless look and relaxed feel, transitional styling is the way to go. Ranked second, 80 percent confirm contemporary is still a popular choice due to its minimalist look and smooth lines that so easily blend with a kitchen setting.
Homebuyers and especially renovators are universally interested in more bathroom space. Designers are eager to comply with a focus on creating great looks that pair with functionality to meet a variety of family needs. NKBA holds that transitional and contemporary will reign in the bath, too. Upgraded features such as integrated grab bars and more wall-hung cabinetry will be popular, as well as door-less, walk-in showers and varied metal finishes on faucets. Water-saving “smart” toilets with bidet features, along with panel shower systems and voice-activated controls for water and lighting add technology to the mix.
When the dimensions of a room are not as generous as one might like, high ceilings add volume and ceiling moldings of larger proportions not only add interest but create the illusion of more space. A soft palette, smaller-scale tables and chairs, built-ins in the closet rather than oversized dressers and armoires are a great way to provide tucked-away storage and achieve a more orderly and tranquil mood in the master and secondary bedrooms. Fine linens, luxurious duvets and throws, as well as textiles in subdued shades and textures are definitely the bedding of choice. This is not a massive swing from what we’ve seen recently, but in the last few years more natural fibers and surfaces have found their way into bedrooms.
The “outdoor room” is even more well-appointed and spacious this year. Backyard has almost become synonymous with resort living, adding amenities like pizza ovens to outdoor kitchens, home theaters and bigger-than-ever fire pits and fireplaces. Expansive water and rock features further naturalize the surroundings and provide a back-to-nature respite. New shapes in pavers add appeal and smart lighting enhances both the land- and hardscapes.
With emphasis on well-being and a comfortable indoor-outdoor connection, homeowners feel a strong pull toward designing their living spaces in ways that liberate them from today’s often frenetic pace. Keywords include stylish, practical, simple and low-maintenance.
New flooring products, as an example, have met these consumer requisites. “Growth in resilient flooring is driven by the fact that its beautiful designs and superior performance make it well-suited for a wide variety of applications,” comments Deb Lechner, vice president of marketing at Armstrong Flooring. “When you combine the realistic visuals and textures, durability, resistance to water, and range of installation options, these products provide an unbeatable combination.” Jeanette McCuaig, Armstrong’s principal designer, adds that “Using colors and textures influenced by nature reduces stress and encourages a feeling of wellness. Our focus on wellness will continue to be a key factor. Design will become less rustic and more refined and soothing.”
Lighting offers its own special effects. Pendant lights with glass globes bring brightness to work spaces. Organic, woven finishes introduce softness over the dining table. Floor lamps can contribute to the crossover in styles mentioned above, combining everyday useful function with brilliant colored or textured shades that add points of interest and depth to a room.
Color in compelling shades splashes across walls, furniture, fabrics and accessories this year. Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year, Living Coral, is full of life and warmth. Reflecting Pool from Sherwin-Williams goes for the green in a classically vibrant shade. Valspar offers a playful Orange Slice, which the manufacturer describes as “zesty.” Earth-bred materials like bamboo, cotton, flax, jute and raffia, as well as second-time-around reclaimed wood and eco furnishings made from recycled content incorporate the sustainability factor and green thinking that is on the rise in 2019.
In the context of high-efficiency, technologically up-to-date features that make life easier, reduce costs and improve the comfort of a home have moved from desirable to essential. The latest preference for matte finishes also tones down the array of digital technology that glows throughout a space, as do natural stone, organic tiles, well-placed internal lighting and warm woods—beautiful and easy to keep. Whether exploring new homes or retrofitting current living spaces, incorporating current trends adds style and, as realtors verify, value to your home.
American Lighting Association
National Kitchen and Bath Association
Marge D. Hansen, who has built 11 personal residences, continues to be inspired by home design trends and amazed by the advances in technology and environmentally conscious, sustainable building products.
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