9 Design Trends We're Tired Of + What's Next
It's a new year, and we're ready for some new design trends to come our way. I asked some of our editors to list a trend they'd like to see evolve in the coming months, and their answers did not disappoint. Check out what they had to say, plus some fresh alternatives they'd love to see this year.
David: Cutesy Wall Sayings
"This was fine when you just saw it occasionally, especially if the saying was particularly clever, but as a motif, it’s gotten a bit out of control."
Our Alternative: Photo Murals
HGTV Dream Home 2016 Living Room Mural
HGTV Magazine offers an inside look at HGTV Dream Home 2016's beachy-beautiful living room. This splashy wall-spanning photo, taken in the 1970s, shows surfers hanging ten at a nearby beach. The image was blown up by a vinyl company, then applied like a giant decal. The paint color throughout the rest of the room is Quiet Rain by Glidden.
Lisa Romerein (styled by Elizabeth Demos)
Wall sayings aren't all bad, but they can easily go from inspirational to juvenile. The living room in Dream Home 2016 features a huge black-and-white photo from the 1970s that definitely makes an impact without looking like it belongs in a college dorm room.
A photograph from 1970 found at an area historical society that depicts shows local surfers and printed on the same material as bus wrap creates a conversation-worthy accent wall. "Basically it's four really long strips of massive stickers and by the time it's put up it’s seamless and you can't even tell," says interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn. "It looks like someone just made a gigantic photo."
Deanne: Books Displayed Backwards
"I miss seeing titles and authors and jacket designs."
Our Alternative: Hanging Art Directly to Bookshelves
We’re all about adding interest to the bookshelves, but flipping the books around seems a little counterproductive. How about hanging a favorite picture or object directly to the shelf instead?
Liz: Granite Countertops
White and Gray Kitchen With Quartz and Granite Countertops
Two countertops? Twice as nice! A center island topped with quartz by Cambria is a functional focal point in this kitchen by Denise Wenacur of DW Design & Decor, and the countertops around the room’s perimeter are solid black granite. “That mix – and those materials – represent the most current countertop trends,” Wenacur says.
Nick Daunys; Design By: DW Design & Decor
“I know, every person on House Hunters wants them, and sure, it’s a quality material. But variety is the spice of life, guys!”
Our Alternative: Concrete Countertops
“I’d love for equally-useful and durable materials like quartz and concrete to get their moment in the sun.”
Liz (Take Two): Color-Coded Wedding Candy
Pink Candy Buffet With Cake Stands & Apothecary Jars
Dessert buffets are a popular trend at weddings, and creating your own sweets setup is more manageable than you might think. The key is to stick to the same color palette as your reception, but play with different heights and textures. A mixture of store-bought confections can sit happily beside your homemade delights in clear glass domes and display pedestals. Here, desserts and candies in varying hues of pink are featured throughout the table for a unified look.
Cristina Riches, Bird's Party
“Another trend I’m hoping will evolve this year? Color-coded candy and dessert buffets for weddings and parties.”
Our Alternative: DIY Crafty Favors
“This year, try swapping it in for a more unique or more delicious DIY favor, like a personalize-your-own craft station or a trail mix bar.” Learn to make these glitzy spoons at Something Turquoise.
Kelly: Chalkboard-Painted Walls
“I’m really tired of chalkboard-painted walls."
Our Alternative: Cork Walls
Get creative with your space. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn finds space under the stairs to house a multipurpose workstation in this 700-square-foot Brooklyn loft.
"I’m intrigued by the alternative of covering a wall with cork and painting it so it’s seamless with the rest of the space, but I also like leaving them plain.”
Chelsea: Mason Jar Decor
DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
The overall style of Sarah and John’s great room and kitchen is contemporary, organic and rustic. To add a touch of farmhouse charm, a simple Mason jar was repurposed as a soap dispenser by drilling a hole into the lid, then inserting a pump from a discarded plastic soap container.
“As summer drinkware, they're great. For storing homemade jams, even better! But as a soap dispenser? Nah.”
Our Alternative: Milk Glass
Corner Milk Glass Display in White Country Kitchen
Corner shelves maximize space by storing and displaying a milk glass collection in this small kitchen. Fresh flowers, fruit and eggs bring bright, natural color that pops against the stark white background. A tarnished watering can used as a vase and a natural wood cutting board are beautiful country touches.
“Let me propose a swap. Milk glass is equally as rustic and charming (and inexpensive!) but with a timeless, vintage look that Mason jars just can't achieve.”
Farima: Fake Moustaches
“I will not be sad if I never see a mug with this print on it again. It was cute for maybe two months, but here’s hoping we only see them on men in 2016!"
Our Alternative: Memphis Design
Design Goals - Memphis Design Lovefest 04:46
We get it. An over-the-top fake moustache print can add a fun, quirky vibe to just about anything. But maybe it's time to move onto something new. We think Memphis design is going to be huge for 2016. Think of it like fake moustache's older, cooler brother. Pair this retro print with modern accents for a look that screams 2016.
Camille: Neon Kitchens
“As a lover of color, it pains me to say this but (I'm over) neon anything in an interior. Thankfully it was a short-lived trend that never caught on with the majority of Americans.”
Our Alternative: Bold Pops of Color
“Instead of overloading a space with over-the-top colors, take a more measured approach and pop in a few high-energy hues balanced by neutrals and softer shades.”
Kayla: Matchy-Matchy Elaborate Parties
“I’m ready to see elaborate party themes for both kids and adults with matchy-matchy decor and printables galore go back to basics.”
Our Alternative: High/Low Mix and Match
Cheerful Table Setting With Striped Tablecloth
"We're seeing more prints in wedding decor, from sweet florals to graphic prints like stripes and chevron, or even plaids. Go bold in color or use metallic and shades of white for a more subtle palette. Prints are absolutely stunning and add an unexpected element to your wedding decor," says Sara Murray, BHLDN Stylist.
“Pull a party together using repurposed items combined with store-bought pieces, dressed-up everyday foods and signature cocktails.“
Shannon: Stainless Steel Appliances
“I’m over stainless steel appliances for 2016. I used to like them, but after seeing them in every single kitchen for so many years, I’m ready for some new finishes to emerge.”
Our Alternative: Retro-Inspired Designs
Yellow Spanish-Style Kitchen With Retro Pink Refrigerator
A vintage pink refrigerator is positioned against a yellow wall on which are several small clay animals. Brightly-colored iron chairs sit around a rustic wood table carved from a tree. A mosaic tile counter and painted hood continue the colorful look.
“I personally love colorful, retro-inspired appliances, but for a more neutral look, I also like darker, brushed-metal appliances that are fingerprint resistant and sleek, white appliances inspired by smartphone design.
Gray is the New White
Wondering what color to paint your cabinets? The kitchen industry's leading manufacturers say that while white cabinets continue to be tops, gray is the shade they're betting on to break white's top spot. This kitchen by Wellborn pairs soft gray cabinets with richly stained wood showcasing yet another kitchen trend — combining cabinet colors is a trendy look that's holding strong. Image courtesy of Wellborn Cabinets
Opt for New Functionality
Not only is the color of kitchen cabinets changing — hardware manufacturers, like Blum, are changing the way cabinet doors and drawers function. These hydraulic, easy-close doors fold up and out of the way with the touch of a button making them perfect for kitchens where space is an issue. Image courtesy of Blum
Classic Black and White Palette
The look may change as styles evolve, but the appeal of a black-and-white kitchen never dies. It's all about high contrast this design from IKEA juxtaposes white lacquer cabinets (from IKEA's LIDINGÖ line) and Absolute Black granite countertops, but it also benefits from the tension between country and modern. Warm rustic hardwood floors are an effective counterpoint to sleek cabinet materials. Image courtesy of IKEA
Fresh Hues for Sinks
Like kitchen cabinets, sinks are trending away from basic white or stainless steel. This eye-catching green apron-front sink by Kohler was designed by tastemaker Jonathan Adler. A colorful sink is a great way to pop in a small amount of color in a neutral kitchen or make it more of a focal point by using the same hue in the backsplash. Image courtesy of Kohler
Choose Bold Fixtures
Bold color isn't the only way to create excitement. Kitchen designer Vasi Ypsilantis used these oversized light fixtures with black fabric shades from Tech Lighting to add some wow: "They're about 2 feet in diameter and are slightly larger than you would expect for the space," she says. "But they give a great sense of depth perception and create drama in a room with a typical low ceiling." The luxurious cabinets are Poggenpohl's Marsh Oak Veneer with a rich near-black stain. Image courtesy of Poggenpohl
Contrast Light and Shadow
In the same kitchen, Vasi chose Caesarstone "Blizzard" for the countertops and used a glass mosaic backsplash from Mixed-Up Mosaics that combines milky white and eggplant colors with a mirrored tile. "Keeping the cabinets such a dark finish in a small space worries most homeowners because they think it will make the kitchen look smaller," she says. "But it actually creates drama, as long as the countertops and backsplashes are kept light or white to balance light and dark in the space." Design by Vasi Ypsilantis
Maximize Kitchen Storage
Kitchen storage is always an issue, especially for apartment dwellers or any homeowner whose kitchen is short on space. To remedy this, manufacturers like Hafele are doubling up storage in new, custom kitchens with clever multi-tiered drawers. Image courtesy of Hafele
Add In Automation
The kitchen of the future is here today. From sensor-activated lights that illuminate the kitchen only when it's in use to meat thermometers that alert your smartphone when dinner is done, kitchen technology is here to make your life easier. If you're new to automation, a great introductory product is a hands-free faucet, like this one by Moen. Perfect for homes with small children who can't yet reach the handle or any kitchen where busy cooks often have sticky hands. Image courtesy of Moen
This residential kitchen with commercial flair was designed by Poggenpohl team Tedd McKee and Rosemary Porto in collaboration with architecture firm CUBE 3 Studio. Functionally, the room was laid out to maximize prep space for cooking; visually, the sense of immense space was heightened by using three different types of engineered stone for the backsplash, the countertop and the island topper. The neutral background is broken with a dash of bright orange in the light fixtures an easily changeable feature when you're in the mood for a different color. Image courtesy of Poggenpohl
Save Money With a Look-Alike
Countertops continue to define a kitchen's style — but they don't have to be a budget-buster. This granite look-alike from Wilsonart is actually laminate but unlike previous laminate countertops features a more realistic, larger stone pattern and rounded edge for a high-end granite look at a fraction of the price. Image courtesy of Wilsonart
New Colors for Quartz
Along with natural stone, quartz countertops continue to be tops. Caesarstone recently introduced a line of six neutral colors for its durable quartz countertops. Shown is the grayish-beige "Linen," whose subtle color gradation lends itself well to sleek contemporary designs. Nonporous and are resistant to heat, quartz countertops are also resistant to spills and scratches, making them a smart choice for families or busy cooks. Image courtesy of Caesarstone
Mix Countertop Materials
if you're in the market for a fashion-forward countertop, granite, quartz and laminate are no longer your only choices. Wood countertops are coming on strong. This kitchen by EnGrain combines the warmth of wood with cool Calacatta marble for the best of both worlds. Image courtesy of EnGrain
Timeless Farmhouse Flair
Kohler's apron-front cast-iron sinks come in a variety of colors, including new neutral tones Dune, a soft sandy shade, and Suede, a dark hue that pairs well with granite countertops. "Apron-front sinks have never gone out of style," says interior designer Christine Baumann. "They add a timeless focal point to any kitchen. From a practical standpoint, they're deep enough to hold large pots and platters for easier cleanup a shorter person can even benefit from better access to the sink." Christine notes that because of their visual weight, apron-front sinks are best suited to medium-size or large kitchens. Image courtesy of Kohler
Marry the Kitchen to Your Home's Style
"Gone are the days when kitchens were just kitchens now they're so pretty they could be any room of the house, says designer Jo Ann Alston of her French Normandy-style design. Jo Ann integrated the appliances for a seamless look and combined light fixtures with different styles and finishes to give the look of having been acquired over time rather than purchased all at once. The mixed gray and brown tones in the Chinese slate and oak flooring complement the island's Jerusalem gold limestone countertop, offering a rich look that never strays far from a neutral color midpoint.
Designer Mark Donnell and architect Michael Cook chose the finishes in this open kitchen to coordinate with the existing tile floor. The Poggenpohl cabinetry in Curit (a warm reddish brown), Titan Gray and Light Yellow makes a cozy combination. Plus, using flat-front wood veneer cabinets like these along with a traditional wood-plank table gives this midcentury home a contemporary vibe. Image courtesy of Poggenpohl
"Keeping a kitchen neutral allows you to personalize it to reflect your style," says IKEA spokesperson Mary Ann Barroso. "This RAMSJÖ kitchen in red-brown can be matched to be on trend with lavenders, purples and mauves we have a kitchen in our showroom accessorized that way right now." The real treat in this otherwise traditional kitchen is the unexpected light fixtures: IKEA's industrial-chic OTTAVA pendant lamps in aluminum, with shades made of mouth-blown glass. Image courtesy of IKEA
Opt for Architectural Lines
Sometimes a touch of modern architecture is all you need to update your look. Kohler's Purist faucet line has a minimalist profile, a 360-degree swivel spout, lever handles, and high clearance for pots and pans. All finishes are complementary to a neutral palette: Polished Chrome (shown), Vibrant Polished Nickel, Matte Black and Vibrant Stainless. Image courtesy of Kohler