Eye on Design

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8 Design Trends to watch for in 2019

From architecture that can withstand Mother Nature’s wrath to warm neutrals replacing gray-washed rooms, stay in the know about the biggest interior design predictions for the coming year, writes Barbara Ballinger in REALTOR magazine.

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Shifting economies, demographics, and land shortages are issues altering how we live and what buyers are looking for in a home. Going smaller has become bigger—a trend Not So Big House author and architect Sarah Susanka first advocated more than 20 years ago. I have read and re-read her books a number of times. Great information and suggestions!

A desire for greater affordability, convenience, healthfulness, sustainability, and old-fashioned comfort are still on the wish lists of many clients. But Connecticut architect Duo Dickinson says he’s witnessing another trend: a renewed willingness to remodel.

With a mind to resale value, here are eight interior design trends that experts anticipate becoming more dominant in the new year, and advice on how you can apply these predictions to your real estate business.

Light, Views, and Fresh Air
Wall of windows in home

Why it’s happening: Research shows that natural light can boost healthfulness, both physical and emotional, so architects and window manufacturers are responding. Dickinson’s top suggestions to clients are to repair or reglaze windows, add more windows, build a deck, or add on a screened porch. “It gives them an important connection with the outdoors,” he says. Manufacturers like Marvin Windows and Doors are debuting new product lines, such as windows mulled together for a wall of light, and the company’s new Marvin Modern collection minimizes framing for maximum sightlines

Away With Gray
kitchen cabinets in teal and beige

© MasterBrand Cabinets

 

Why it’s happening: Color swings keep rooms fresh, but what may appeal often depends on how trend-focused the locale is, along with the age and style of the home. According to Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, “Grays are now in the midst of a warming trend.” In Chicago, real estate pro Jennifer Ames, with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, says, “It’s back to more white and off-whites.” Her clients are seeking a more neutral, calm background. In Boise, Idaho, beige appeals to the broadest range of buyers, but millennials moving downtown favor a statement wall of bright turquoise or magenta, says real estate salesperson Gehrke.

When it comes to cabinetry, colors are becoming more robust nationwide. Manufacturer MasterBrand Cabinets has found blue tones are becoming more popular, while teal, sage, and olive colors are making inroads. But when it comes to selling, color expert Amy Wax generally recommends being more cautious and favoring lighter colors that convey an easy-to-decorate, move-in atmosphere.

6. Natural Materials and Motifs
living room with natural accents
Why it’s happening:
 After so much focus on clean, spare Scandinavian design, there’s yearning for more warmth and comfort with natural touches. In fact, Miami-based designer Antony Chandler, president of Archiforma Group, thinks sitting in your living room should evoke the feeling of lying in a hammock under a great tree on a breezy summer day. To get the look, Chandler suggests prints and florals in natural-colored tones. Butcher block kitchen countertops and a mix of warmer natural materials such as wood, leather, silk, and stone will help capture the natural feel. Chicago designer Steve Kadlec suggests open grain oak cabinetry, metallic linen draperies, saddle leather, and woven cotton rugs. A warmer, more natural glow can also be illuminated through new LED lights, says Chicago designer Tom Segal, of Kaufman-Segal Design.

High and Low Decor
Cozy bedroom
Why it’s happening: 
For the millennial generation, quality supersedes quantity. But this isn’t limited to their desire for smaller, better homes, says Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz of GOGO design group. It also applies to what they choose to put inside their homes when they decorate. “It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses. How they live dictates their choices,” she says. “They’re very practical about the money they spend, often researching and gathering ideas from sites like Houzz and Pinterest that mix high and low, and then asking experts to cull and complete a look.”

Finished projects might translate into a combination of luxury vinyl planks—which are more practical than expensive real wood boards—and furnishings from readily available online resources like Wayfair, Crate and Barrel, and Arhaus. The benchmark isn’t how fancy or rare something is, but if it’s practical, gives them the right experiences, and nourishes their spirit.

Practicality should be your main mantra. Good readily available resources you might consider, Pogonitz says, come from Room and Board, West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Ethan Allen, HighFashionHome.com, Perigold.com, Ruelala.com, and Houzz.com.