Best design bets of new year

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Home & Garden - By Me­gan McDonough The Washington Post

As we en­ter 2019, 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 through­out the home.

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 ac­cou­trements, 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

Des­ti­na­tion tubs.

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

“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 can also 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.

Board-and-bat­ten ac­cents.

The modern farm­house style will con­tinue to flour­ish in 2019 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.

Houzz ex­perts saw a resur­gence of un­painted wooden van­i­ties in 2018, and they pre­dict it will 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.

Wood van­i­ties.

A four-wall ac­cent color.

For­get the ac­cent wall; 2019 is all about the ac­cent room. Home­own­ers are opt­ing to paint all the walls — even the trim and mold­ing — in one room a dra­matic 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.


A full-height back­splash can be a stylish fo­cal point or a dra­matic ac­cent in a kitchen. The back­splash can add to the il­lu­sion of ad­di­tional sur­face area.


Dark and moody paint col­ors are gain­ing trac­tion through­out the home.


Glass-and-steel room di­viders are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar, thanks to open floor plans.


As self-care rou­tines be­come even more pop­u­lar in 2019, the bath­tub will fol­low the trend.

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