As 2018 is now closed, home design experts already have some predictions for the new year.
The home remodeling and design platform Houzz recently released its annual forecast, derived from conversations with industry experts as well as trends spotted among its 40 million monthly users. It offers a snapshot of what we might see in stores, living rooms and Instagram feeds this year.
We chatted with Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker and asked him to dig into this year’s projections. So before you pick up that paintbrush, take a look at the colors and styles the pros say will be big in 2019.
The backsplash as a focal point
In 2019, home design professionals expect to see more full-height backsplashes that seamlessly stretch from the counter to the ceiling – behind floating shelves and range hoods – for a clean and cohesive look. This dramatic statement can create the illusion of additional surface area.
Dark and moody colors
Although Living Coral may be Pantone’s pick for color of the year, Houzz predicts homeowners will lean toward darker and moodier colors, such as navy and forest green, in the new year. Color experts say it is a reaction to white and bright hues that dominated the design world for the past several years. Parker also suspects that visual social networks such as Houzz and Instagram may have helped people gradually become more comfortable with the idea of experimenting with richer and darker colors. “If you tell somebody, ‘Paint your walls dark blue or black,’ people might imagine the Addams family house,” Parker said. But when they see a photo of the design and how these colors create a warm and serene setting, they are much more likely to have the confidence to try it.
Bubble bath fans, rejoice. As bathrooms shift from private, utilitarian spaces to open, spalike environments, homeowners are focused on the accouterments, including free-standing tubs. According to Houzz’s 2018 Bathroom Trends Study, 80 percent of home remodelers were planning to upgrade their bathtubs. A soaking tub was the most popular option and received 69 percent of the vote (a 7 percent boost from the 2017 findings). To achieve the look, bath aficionados are “stealing space from hall and bedroom closets” to expand the size of the room, Parker says, and creating built-in nooks to keep the tub out of the footpath of the shower, sink and toilet.
Although white kitchens have long reigned supreme, professionals are seeing a return to black in kitchen cabinets, range hoods and island accents. The color can be edgy, chic and surprisingly practical for parents. “If you’ve got a house with dogs and kids, scuff marks on white kitchen cabinets are going to be a big problem. Black paint hides a lot more,” Parker says. Expect to see a lot more “tuxedo” kitchens contrasting black with white walls, backsplashes and marble countertops.
Glass-and-steel room dividers
Thanks to the popularity of open floor plans, statement-making partitions will continue to flourish in the new year. Thin metal-and-glass doors and walls offer the illusion of open space while still providing privacy, light and noise mitigation. The dividers also can be used to add visual interest and provide definition to a room, without making it feel cramped or closed off.
Free-standing dining benches
Custom, built-in benching, while popular and convenient, can be expensive. Homeowners are instead opting for padded furniture benches as an affordable alternative. The multifunctional pieces are great for small breakfast nooks, providing flexible seating and in some cases hidden storage.
The modern farmhouse style will continue to flourish in 2018 and spread to the exterior of the home, Houzz experts say. The white siding delivers a “homey look” and can provide texture and interest to an otherwise flat facade.
Kitchens that open to the outdoors
Fans of entertaining and cooking may want to consider expanding their kitchen area to the outdoors. Homeowners in warmer climates are transforming patios into extra seating areas, with durable rugs, cushions and fabrics. Expect to see more kitchens completely open to decks and patios via collapsible doors and window walls in the coming year.
Houzz experts saw a resurgence of unpainted wooden vanities in 2018, and they predict it will only be amplified in 2019, with a turn toward reclaimed and light wood. Visible grain and knots can add texture and visual interest to a space and work well in crisp, clean white bathrooms.
A four-wall accent color
Forget the accent wall; 2019 is all about the accent room. Instead of a bold-colored feature wall, homeowners are opting to paint all the walls – even the trim and molding – in one room a dramatic and bold color. “Typically, I see this trend happening in smaller, somewhat private rooms, such as bedrooms, home offices, studies and media rooms – places where you want a comforting and relaxing vibe,” Parker says. Popular color choices include navy and forest green.