As a realtor I see a lot of homes. Many of the homes I see are recently redecorated and often staged. When you go through homes as often as I do, it doesn’t take long to notice trends — and changes in trends.
For several years now the look of choice for many (dare I say most) homes has been light gray walls, white trim, darker toned wood floors, and light coloured kitchens with silver -toned fixtures and hardware. Added to that basic base of decor is usually minimalist art in muted colours.
If you’ve cracked open a home design magazine lately you’ll see that designers are going in a very different direction, and I for one am happy about it. While I love the clean, cool, fresh look of the light gray/white combo, it’s been getting a little tired. There’s a certain sameness to so many houses and I’m happy to see that individuality and personality are making a comeback.
Here are some of the trends that I’ve noticed lately in decor magazines, on Pinterest and in homes that I’ve visited:
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the return of COLOUR! Pantone’s colour of the year for 2019 is Living Coral which we’re seeing everywhere, from home decor accents to fashion. With that trumpet of coral comes other popular tones including blush, pinks, and bronze.
Another colour trend that’s making a comeback — Brown. For those of us who lived through the 70’s there’s no need to cringe. Brown doesn’t have to mean old wood panelling and muddy colours. Think rust, umber, chestnut and warmer yellowy-beige tones. It’s a warmer colour trend and can really make a home feel cozy and warm.
If you’re still hesitant to embrace bold colours, try the 90-10 rule. 90% white or light neutral for a room with 10% hits of bold colours. Think jewel tones and primary colours.
If you’re feeling adventurous, here’s a tip. WALLPAPER is back, big time! Today’s wallpaper is not for the faint-hearted. It’s bold, it’s bright and it’s colourful. As with any strong decorating element, be intentional about how and where you’re using it. Sometimes less is more. If you’re jumping in to the world of wallpaper, perhaps you’re best advised to consult a decorating professional to make sure that you’re getting the look you want.
Oh and I can’t leave the colour talk behind without a nod to the return of black to room decor. Granted, you have to be careful when painting a room black. In the wrong room it can be too dark and feel really confining. But, when done well a black room can be elegant and rich feeling, like this gorgeous living room complete with black chandelier.
As with the colour trends, decorating accents are getting more interesting. Rooms are being composed to tell a story. Many accent items are also decidedly chosen with environmental awareness in mind.
Art is BIG and BOLD and COLOURFUL! The art that’s appearing on walls everywhere is large and colourful. The abstract neutral canvases we’ve seen for the past several years are being replaced by paintings (actual paintings), often large and with ornate frames.
Lamps and other decor pieces are trending to the organic with wood and stone being very popular. Natural light and plants are giving home interiors a fresh and lively feel. Other decor pieces I’ve been seeing have a real hand-made feeling with lots of rope, paper and clay.
Kitchen decor doesn’t change very often — and that’s a good thing. It can be very expensive to change the look of your kitchen. Here are some of the top trends in kitchen decor.
MIXED METALS – This is a great trend because while the return of gold/copper/brass for fixtures and hardware, you don’t have to do it all at the same time, and in fact you’re actually more “on trend” if all of your metal in the kitchen isn’t so “matchy matchy”. The return of gold tones to kitchen and bathrooms goes along with the return of warmer colours overall in our decorating.
Where for quite some time kitchens were tending toward white everything …. cabinets, countertops and backsplashes, again, colour and personality is coming back. We’re seeing very interesting, bold backsplash tiles. Dark counter tops are gaining in popularity and cabinets are making a marked departure from either white or wood tones to being painted in interesting colours. One of my favourite looks are these cabinets painted in navy with gold toned hardware. **TIP: check out local cabinet painters. For a relatively low price they will professionally refinish/paint your cabinets and they’ll look amazing.
APPLIANCES – For the past 20 years or so the trend has been to stainless steel appliances. Sure they’re sleek and look great, but even appliance trends do change. Lately there’s been a return to sleek white as well as colourful appliances. Keep in mind though that a trendy red fridge will likely be more expensive as there aren’t as many of them available … so the law of supply and demand applies. I’m actually excited to see the new trend toward the bronze and copper coloured appliances. They look great!
So the one word that keeps popping up is COLOUR! Colour is making a comeback in decorating. If you’re not sure about changing major elements in your home, start with accent pieces and things that are easy to change (or change back) like bedding, pillows, drapery, throw rugs and art. When you’re more comfortable with colour … GO FOR IT!