Home design and building professionals often renovate more homes in a year than the average homeowner does in a lifetime. And that means pros see in real-time the constant ebb and flow of popularity in various colors, materials and other home features. We recently reached out to dozens of remodeling professionals to talk about what they’re seeing more of lately. Here are six home design trends that came up repeatedly in those exchanges.
1. Browns Bounce Back
The trend that came up the most among designers and builders was the resurgence of shades of brown. “Brown seems to be making a comeback,” says designer Raychel Wade, who used terra-cotta wallpaper in the home office shown here.
But there’s a lot of variation in the color of brown and its uses throughout a home. Taupes, beiges, sands — basically any earth tone seems to be gaining popularity. “I believe that there’s a trend back toward browns and beiges,” designer Kelly Nelson says. “Lord knows people still love gray, but I think there’s been a shift toward grays with brown undertones — greiges, if you will — that don’t feel sterile or industrial and which work well with both grays and browns. I, for one, am happy to welcome the browns back.”
“Color palettes have evolved from the popular grays and whites of a few years ago to warm taupes, creams and sands with just a small punch of color as an accent,” says designer Michelle Jefferson of AB Design Elements, who used those three key colors to form a soft, inviting color palette in this powder room.
Wade used a rusty ochre for the headboard in this bedroom. “The brown accent color is one of my favorite elements in this entire house,” she says.
Keep an eye out for mushroom, a brown or beige color with gray in it. General contractor Brad Leavitt of AFT Construction has used the color in two projects recently, including for the kitchen cabinets shown here.
2. Dark Jewel Tones Jump Out
No one is saying white is going anywhere anytime soon, especially when it comes to kitchen cabinet color, but many design and building professionals report an uptick in requests from clients for something much darker, especially dark jewel tones.
“Whites are always popular, but lately I have had several clients who have requested dark and moody colors,” designer John McClain says. “I also tend to lead my clients into this direction because I feel that that is the new direction for color palettes for interior design. These dark and sexy colors tend to envelop the room and make every space feel very cozy. I am seeing these darker colors on everything from wallpaper to furniture and in simple areas such as paint on the walls, and I fully embrace it.”
McClain used an emerald green handmade tile set in a herringbone pattern for this Los Angeles powder room.
Wade used dark burgundy for this bathroom. Paired with brass hardware, the color makes a dramatic yet elegant statement.
A similar burgundy on the upholstered chairs in this North Carolina living room by designer Brooke Cole punches up the space. “The design industry as a whole is moving away from neutrals and introducing more and more color,” Cole says. “This room is a great example of living colorfully.”
Green is also finding a home. “So much green right now and I love it,” designer Cindy Eyl of Jefferson Street Designs says.
Here, a rich green pops on a powder room’s vanity and millwork in a home by Randall Architects.
Several home professionals noted an increase in interest for black as a kitchen cabinet color. “I feel like now homeowners are not afraid to experiment with color,” designer Svetlana Hanzyy says. “Bold black, green and blue are very popular.”
Designer Jessica Curry of Interiors by J. Curry is also seeing a lot of requests for black cabinetry, especially paired with brushed gold hardware and fixtures, as seen in this kitchen by JDS Construction.
Designer Sara Malek Barney of BANDD Design says her clients are showing an interest in deep, dark blue kitchen cabinets. “They seem a little hesitant at first to incorporate them into their home, probably because all-white kitchens were so popular over the last few years,” she says.
She shared this kitchen by Haus Interior Design as an example of a deep blue that’s showing up in kitchens lately.
3. Lighter Wood Lifts Off
Wood never goes out of style, but the popularity of various tones is always in flux. Lately, many designers say super light wood tones are having their moment. “We’re noticing a return to lighter, warmer wood tones — away from the darker walnuts and mahoganies,” Erin Tracey of LDa Architecture & Interiors says.
The light wood cabinets, floor and island detail in this kitchen by Savvy Interiors are a good example.
Light wood flooring, in particular, is a top request among many designers we spoke to. French oak and white oak are popular species.
“What I am most excited about are the organic wood tones in both kitchens and bathrooms,” designer Tara Voigt of Voigt & Co says. “Kitchen islands in natural wood tones and range hoods with natural wood elements are great additions to an all-white kitchen.” Voigt shared the kitchen shown here by Studio McGee to illustrate her point.
4. Handmade Tile Takes Hold
While “handcrafted everything” is big right now, Eyl says, handmade tile is really taking off.
Handmade tile shows little quirks and variations in texture, meaning that even something as simple as a white square tile, as used here on the backsplash in a kitchen by Hello Kitchen, can deliver a lot of personality.
“For spaces that demand a little more character, hand-baked tile with pooled glazing and crackled finishes has been a constant go-to,” Jefferson says.
Here, designer Ashli Mizellused handmade wall and floor tile to create texture that adds an extra graphic element.
5. Natural Materials March On
Engineered surfaces have a lot going for them in terms of durability and easy maintenance. But many homeowners and designers say nothing compares with the look and feel of natural materials such as marble and other stones and real wood floors, all of which evolve over time to feature a patina that can’t be mimicked or repeated.
“I want the spaces I design to be beautiful, but even more so lately I want them to wear beautifully,” says designer Angie Edwards of Design Shop Interiors, who designed the kitchen seen here. “I want the hard surfaces of the flooring and counters to wear their age well, which is why whenever possible I try to talk my clients into selecting natural materials like marble and brass or polished nickel, oiled or waxed floors versus urethane. Though these pieces are a bit more vulnerable to age, they can always be brought back to life, which gives them the longevity to withstand the trends.”
In this kitchen by Julie Rootes Interiors, rift-sawn French oak cabinets, Taj Mahal quartzite countertops and a Calacatta marble backsplash form an elegant mix of natural materials.
6. Curvy Furniture Rolls Up
“Curves, curves, curves — curves are definitely in,” designer Crystal Sinclair says.
Designer Allison Lind seconds that. “I’m seeing a lot of curves, sort of a fun, playful ’80s-style look making a comeback in furnishings, both upholstery and case goods,” she says.
Curves in the coffee table, light fixture, sofas and side tables add movement and interest in this Atlanta living room by Hask Custom Homes.
In this Chicago sitting room by Randall Architects, curvy club chairs, sofa, coffee table and patterns on the chest add soft angles to the luxurious design.