If, like us, you tend to carefully assess your home at the beginning of a new year, looking for ways to spruce up a space or inspiration for a spring project, you’re in luck: according to six designers we spoke with, 2019 brings a variety of chic and refreshing trends worth trying. Here, our experts share the design shifts they’re excited to see take hold in the coming year, from second kitchens to embracing maximalism to a migration toward moodier palettes—and more.
Bringing the outdoors in, and vice versa. “As technology usurps much of our daily lives, and we spend more time working inside, we’re starting to blur the lines between indoors and out. A simple way to accomplish this is by adding plants to our interiors: succulents, air plants, giant palms, and fresh flowers. We’re also opening up the walls from the inside out, moving walls, and adding Nano walls (folding glass walls) and sliding doors that open onto porches, lanais, and patios. There’s also a gravitation toward true outdoor living rooms that are suitable for long conversations and welcome lounging.” —Lucy Penfield of Lucy Interior Design in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mixing your metals and finishes. “The concept of every finish being the same is over. When you mix your metals in a curated way throughout your space, it doesn’t look like a mistake; it creates a layered look that has character. Your faucet doesn’t have to match your island chandelier or cabinet hardware. Instead, choose no more than three per room. My favorites are nickel, antique brass, and polished chrome.” —Caroline Brackett of Caroline Brackett Studio of Design in Greenville, South Carolina
Design: Redo Home + Design. Photography: Kristen Mayfield Photography
Saying hello to an extra kitchen. “We’ve all gotten on board with the open concept, and that’s made the kitchen party central. But that also means dishes are piling up in the sink and the stove and oven can heat up the whole room. I’ve started designing homes with a workspace behind the beautiful kitchen. These spaces feature an extra dishwasher, cabinetry, ovens, and an extra sink. A dirty kitchen allows for prep and cleanup to be tucked away while the kitchen is open for your guests to linger.” —Lori Paranjape of Redo Home + Design in Nashville, Tennessee
Welcoming the ombre gradient on walls. “We’ll be seeing a lot less white walls and trim in the coming year. Instead, we’re taking one color and expressing it in five different ways, working our way through a gradient, where the trim, wainscoting, walls, and ceiling are all variants of one color. Think of it as a reinterpretation of the classic ombre.” —Zoe Feldman of Zoe Feldman Design in Washington, D.C.
Design: Lucy Interior Design
Reusing, repurposing, and salvaging. “Naturally, we are drawn to our history, a story of yesteryear, a connection to something that once was, but now has been repurposed. This is all about that connection to the earth and re-using old and reclaimed wood for furniture, doors, accent walls, and cabinets. We love remaking vintage textiles and worn rugs into lovely pillows, or upholstering a found stool or a French chair. We are all working hard to reduce our footprint and to be mindful of waste. This trend, that’s not fussy and perfect for our busy lives, does just that.” —Lucy Penfield of Lucy Interior Design in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Getting moody with color. “The most noticeable design trend for 2019 is shifting away from rooms that are all white and introducing moody, thought-evoking colors. You are going to start seeing kitchens, foyers, and bathrooms take on a much different look in the next year when it comes to richer color tones. After 10 years of my shop being Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White, I recently painted it Farrow and Ball Railings. It’s a black/blue that makes art and antiques really pop, even more so than on a white wall.” —Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home in New Orleans, Louisiana
Design: Zoe Feldman Design
Moving away from traditional kitchen cabinetry. “We’re seeing homeowners opting for built-ins and standalone pieces that have more of a furniture feel in lieu of standard cabinets. Think work tables as islands, open shelving, hanging pots, hoods that are plaster or brass, and paneled appliances. We’re trading in the pure utilitarian nature of kitchens of the past and focusing on a more decorative feel; it’s about time, considering the amount of waking hours we spend in these spaces.” —Zoe Feldman of Zoe Feldman Design in Washington, D.C.
Bringing 80s furniture back. “The trends from the decade of excess have returned, but thankfully we aren’t revisiting all of them. Designers are turning out huge, oversized furniture, like plush sofas and chunky glass tables with a brass bottom. We’re also seeing more textures that shimmer in sequins and velvets. One of my favorite ways to incorporate this trend is with fixtures, like a cool, huge brass and lucite acrylic chandelier. Make this trend work by choosing just one or two pieces to mix into your existing decor and keep your house looking balanced. This is also a great opportunity to scour consignment shops and antique stores for amazing vintage finds. The real thing is often better than the reproduction.” —Tula Summerford of Design by Tula in Raleigh, North Carolina
Design: Shaun Smith Home
Taking it to the max. “There’s a departure from minimalism as its polar opposite, maximalism, takes a stand in the new year with its bold presence of personality. The trend is expressed in an explosion of color, texture, and pattern in the room. Think woven grassy texture living seamlessly with silks and rich velvets while playing on bright colors on everything—from Chintz to Damask prints. Another major key is having juxtaposing periods and style in the same space. For example, if you have a marble or lucite coffee table, think of doing a rustic wood dining table. Maximalism has an emotional and personal quality because you’re ultimately drawing on all the things you love.” —Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home in New Orleans, Louisiana
Replacing black and white with brown. “There’s a departure from cooler tones like grey or ‘greige’ in favor of deeper, richer colors, particularly chocolate brown. This earthy palette paired with dark woods allows for a sense of luxury, creating a nearly neutral look that foregoes the need for blacks and whites.” —Zoe Feldman of Zoe Feldman Design in Washington, D.C.
Design: Caroline Brackett Studio of Design. Photography: Erin Comerford
Bringing back your grandmother’s florals. “Floral fabrics and wallpaper are everywhere in a fresh, new way. This is a classic, British layered look with a mix of other patterns like stripes and small-scale prints. En suite bedrooms are featuring window treatments, wallpaper, and fabric all in the same pattern. A great way to make this trend work is to pull colors in the wallpaper into the rest of the room.” —Caroline Brackett of Caroline Brackett Studio of Design in Greenville, South Carolina
Embracing mismatched patterns. “As was evident on fashion runways in Alice & Olivia and Gucci, we’re seeing this trend of mismatching five different prints pop up in furniture design, too. When mismatching on your own, it all comes down to scale. If you have a large-scale floral print on a pillow or the back of a chair, choose a coordinating color fabric in a geometric small print or a stripe.” —Tula Summerford of Design by Tula in Raleigh, North Carolina