9 Design Trends We're Tired Of + What's Next

These design trends are so 2015. See which fads our editors are ready to see mature in 2016. Do you agree?

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

Dali Wall Decals, Life Saying, Featured on HGTV

Dali Wall Decals, Life Saying, Featured on HGTV

"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 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.

Photo by: Lisa Romerein (styled by Elizabeth Demos)

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.

Tour the Living Room

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Enjoy the View

The furniture in this sophisticated living room with soaring ceilings and a wall of French doors was arranged to enjoy the beautiful views. 

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Coastal Charm

A beach-worthy accent wall makes a stylish statement and focal point in the living room, which serves as the central gathering space in the home.

Touch of Drama

Custom Coffee Table

When the design team couldn't find a coffee table large enough for the living room, they created a custom-sized table by grouping two industrial-looking tables made from rebar and used glass for the top.

Add Height

A stack of books with marble balls add height and dress up the living room's industrial-style coffee table.

Multi-Functional Space

The comfortable and elegant living room provides a place for conversation, reading or catching up on email.

Comfort and Style

Assorted throw pillows in the living room's soft tones of blue-grey and dove grey add warmth to the sofa.

Lovely Lamps

  1. white photos

Make Guests Comfortable

The living room's chairs and sofas are dotted with pillows in assorted patterns and muted colors.

Coastal Chic

Mix Things Up

The more elegant lines of the side tables mixed with the industrial-style coffee table gives this living room an updated, transitional style.

Anchor the Space

The living room area rug has the same blue-grey tone throughout the space, with a fractured plaid pattern.

Cozy and Warm

A comfortable throw adds cozy texture to the living room's sofa with the same nail head detail seen in other spaces of the home.

Natural Light

The wall of French doors allow lots of natural light inside the calm and elegant living room.

Window Treatments

To soften all the windows without fighting the view, sheer curtains with sandy taupe, blue-grey and medium grey stripes line the windows and help bring the living room's color palette all the way to the ceiling.

Coastal Feel

Black Magic

Local History

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."

Useful Art

The accent wall provides an on-demand view of the ocean, even if you're standing in the kitchen at night and the darkness outside eliminates the water views enjoyed earlier in the day.

Color Cues

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Harmonious Look

This living room view of the kitchen from the foyer shows how the muted colors and various textures create a harmonious look and feel.

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Great Flow

Looking from the living room towards the foyer highlights the great flow this light and bright three-bedroom, three-bath home enjoys.

Deanne: Books Displayed Backwards

Yellow Home Office With Rustic Desk

Yellow Home Office With Rustic Desk

A mixed wood and metal desk and bookshelf add rustic industrial style to this sunny yellow home office. By turning books around so that the spine is facing backwards, the books become a part of the neutral, simple look of the shelf.

Photo by: Dovetail Furniture

Dovetail Furniture

"I miss seeing titles and authors and jacket designs."

Our Alternative: Hanging Art Directly to Bookshelves



With the clever use of pre-fab bookshelves and kitchen base cabinets, add the look of a custom built-in at a fraction of the cost.

Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

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

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.

Photo by: Nick Daunys; Design By: DW Design & Decor

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

Concrete Countertops in Eclectic Neutral Kitchen

Concrete Countertops in Eclectic Neutral Kitchen

"Cast concrete is a truly handmade product that can be customized in a variety of ways and represents a design collaboration between the builder and the client," says designer Jayme Guokas.

Photo by: Isaac Turner

Isaac Turner

“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

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.

Photo by: Cristina Riches, Bird's Party

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



Photo by: Something Turquoise

Something Turquoise

“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

Home Office With Chalkboard Wall Paint

Home Office With Chalkboard Wall Paint

Dedicate a spot in your home office for a chalkboard calendar. Use chalk to draw the calendar shell, then add key dates and appointments each month to keep things organized.

Photo by: Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore

“I’m really tired of chalkboard-painted walls." 

Our Alternative: Cork Walls

Small Workspace

Small Workspace

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

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 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.

Photo by: codyulrich.com


“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 

WallCandy Arts Removable Mustache Wallpaper

WallCandy Arts Removable Mustache Wallpaper

“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

See what Meg and Lili have to say about this bold, retro print.

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

Eclectic Neon Pink and Green Kitchen with Diner-Style Stools

Eclectic Neon Pink and Green Kitchen with Diner-Style Stools

Neon green, orange, and pink combine to create a stunning palette in this eclectic kitchen featuring midcentury, diner style stools.

Photo by: Photography by Suki Medencevic

Photography by Suki Medencevic

“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

Bold Yellow Stove

Bold Yellow Stove

Courtesy of HGTV Magazine

Photo by: Jean Allsopp

Jean Allsopp

Courtesy of HGTV Magazine

“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

Yellow and Gray Dessert Table

Yellow and Gray Dessert Table

This wedding party is completed with a beautiful gray and yellow dessert table featuring an array of goodies.

“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

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

After: Stainless Steel Update

After: Stainless Steel Update

HGTV fan young2by2's new-and-improved kitchen includes a five-burner induction cooktop, Caesarstone quartz countertops and a generous sprinkling of stainless steel hardware and appliances.

Photo by: HGTV fan young2by2

HGTV fan young2by2

“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

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.

17 Top Kitchen Trends

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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

Photo By: 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

Photo By: Moen ©Dave Dickerson

Go Commercial-Grade

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

Photo By: 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

Photo By: 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.

From: Jo Ann Alston

Contemporary Combo

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

Flexible Palette

"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

Photo By: 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

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