After years of normalizing neutral color palettes, for example, designers are embracing more colorful trends to showcase personality in homes. REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog asked designers and stagers what home interior trends they’re most grateful for this year. Here are their top picks.
1. More colorful spaces
Goodbye, white kitchens and gray walls. More color is moving in. Homeowners favor bolder hues inside the home, not just for pops of color but also as a base color for an entire room. Paint companies have chosen variations of blues, pinks, and greens as their picks for 2020 color of the year. These colors also are being splashed on kitchen cabinets, exterior doors, and home accessories.
Behr’s top 2020 pick is a meadow-inspired yellowish green called Back to Nature.
Pinks also are catching on. HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams, the company’s offshoot brand, chose a blush hue called Romance, while Benjamin Moore chose a soft, rosy hue called First Light.
2. Luxury vinyl flooring
A design trend that’s stylish but low maintenance, luxury vinyl is enjoying popularity as an alternative to hardwood and ceramic tile flooring. Vinyl is touted as being cheaper, warmer, and softer on your feet; it also requires less upkeep than traditional hardwood or tile.
Today’s luxury vinyl shouldn’t be mistaken for linoleum and other varieties of sheet flooring. Luxury vinyl can be laid out in planks, tiles, and sheets, and it comes in trendy finishes. Luxury vinyl planks can resemble the look of hardwood and are offered in handscraped and wide plank varieties. The planks can be installed diagonally or in a trendy herringbone pattern, and they also can resemble tile and marble.
The lower maintenance of luxury vinyl is appealing to families with young children and pets. It’s a water-resistant material that works easily in kitchens and bathrooms.
3. Voice-controlled smart appliances
Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are ushering in a new and advanced era of smart-home technology. The choices are growing, too: Smart plugs, for example, cost as little as $10 and enable you to say: “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Add smart lightbulbs that can be controlled via voice assistants, as well as other appliances such as the thermostat, door locks, and security cameras. Suddenly, smart homes have become more attainable and cost-effective.
4. Statement ceilings
Finally, a reason to look up! The home’s fifth wall is commanding the spotlight. In the roaring ’20s, stamped ceilings, such as those plated in copper or tin decorative sheets, were popular. But the trend faded in favor of smooth ceiling finishes. Now, the statement ceiling is back.
This time, however, paint, wallpaper, or wood moldings are the ceiling accents of choice. A statement ceiling can brighten up a space and make it memorable, says Katie Skoloff, principal designer and founder of In Site Designs, an interior design firm in Greenville, S.C. “We find the interest on a ceiling draws the eye up, and you cannot help but feel the space is there to ‘wow’ you,” she says. Wallpapered ceilings, as well as wood beams and coffered ceilings, are today’s standout options.
5. Contrasting kitchen design
Along with more colorful interiors, the white kitchen is fading in favor of a bigger statement, including tuxedo cabinetry, shiny hardware, and brass-trimmed range hoods.
Polished brass on cabinet hardware, range hoods, and appliance handles shines in otherwise white kitchens, appearing to be like jewelry for the space. Café, a hardware line for the GE Appliance brand, offers customizable options in various metals for refrigerator or oven handles. For example, soft-brushed copper handles can be added to a matted white refrigerator for a more contemporary vibe.
Contrasting kitchen cabinets, such as the tuxedo kitchen, also are gaining popularity. The trend calls for upper and lower cabinets to be painted different colors—perhaps white on top and a gray or dark walnut on the bottom. It’s essentially a way to add more visual interest to an otherwise all-white display.
An alternative—and slightly less bold—version of this trend is also taking root, such as all-white cabinets and a contrasting kitchen island in a deep blue, gray, or walnut color.