Every year brings more options for materials, finishes and ideas to bring into our interiors. If you’re ready to try something new, consider the following design trends. We searched through Houzz data, popular photos and articles, and talked to designers for this snapshot of 22 things you’re likely to see more of in 2018.
1. Dedicated chopping and baking stations. Regular countertop height is fine for those casual weekly meals. But for larger, more involved recipes that require a lot of chopping, rolling or other strenuous maneuvers, a lower countertop is more ideal. That’s why some avid home cooks are gravitating toward dedicated chopping and baking stations that are often a continuation of a larger, standard-height island.
2. Matte black finishes. Last year, satin brass made its takeover of kitchens. This year, look out for matte black in bathrooms as well as kitchens. Homeowners looking for a statement-making look that’s contemporary and complements a variety of materials and styles are embracing this tough, versatile finish. Companies like Moen, whose matte black finish is shown here, are expanding their products to include more options in the durable finish.
3. More color in kitchens. White will always be a classic palette for kitchens, as the annual Houzz kitchen trends study continues to show. But its increased popularity means there’s going to be some all-white-kitchen fatigue as homeowners look for ways to personalize their space. So while white kitchens aren’t even close to going away, expect to see a rise in color for the kitchen, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Plus, warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets, leading to sophisticated, rich palettes.
4. Antibacterial materials. Imagine a countertop that helps take care of that salmonella bacteria for you after preparing chicken for dinner. That’s the idea behind several materials presented at the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings (CERSAIE) in Italy back in September.
The new K-Life technology incorporated into Porcelanosa’s Krion solid surface not only is antibacterial but also eliminates chemicals that come into contact with it, as well as purifies the surrounding air.
How does it accomplish this? Through a process called photocatalysis, which uses a semiconductor in the surface to enhance a reaction to light, killing bacteria and breaking up pollutants.
IdeaGroup’s Disenia also showcased a similar product at CERSAIE. Its new shower gaskets have an antibacterial treatment.
Meanwhile, Bataform, by Cermica Globo, is an antimicrobial treatment that has been shown to reduce germs and bacteria on surfaces.
5. Dining tables in the kitchen. Not everyone is in favor of a big island, especially for eating family meals. Who wants to face the same direction all the time, as in a diner? Many homes, especially those with smaller kitchens, are reconsidering a traditional dining table in place of an island.
6. Wallpaper-like tile. Several fascinating tile styles captured the attention of visitors at CERSAIE. There’s new tile that looks like wood, concrete, resin, fabric and even wallpaper. The latter is prized for offering the elaborate pattern look of modern-day wallpapers while being durable enough to wipe down with a sponge and detergent.
7. Glass insert for tub-shower combos. Many still love their shower curtains, but partial glass dividers are coming on strong. Glass shower panels keep compact spaces airy and open, allowing a clear view to a statement shower tile or more natural light.
8. Concrete accents. Concrete has always been a popular material choice, but don’t be surprised to see it in more unexpected ways, such as in furniture, decorative accessories, wallcoverings, countertops and tile. “My clients are expressing a desire to use materials in unusual ways,” says designer and Houzz Contributor Jennifer Ott. “Concrete is as popular as ever, but it’s showing up in unexpected places such as in furniture, decorative accessories and even as concrete-look wallcoverings.”
Designer Yanic Simard agrees. “The humble material and its comforting cool tones mixed with light linen and pearl grays add relaxed air to any space,” he says.
And the concrete look is carrying over into other materials as well. The stoneware tiles shown here (Beton Chic from Ricchetti’s Manifattura del Duca range) mimic the texture of concrete and come in a variety of colors.
9. Bold-colored sofas. A daring sofa color tackles two common design challenges: adding color and creating a focal point. If you feel like your living room is lacking in either of these areas, consider taking your sofa color up a notch. Blue, pink and green are all great places to start.
10. Casual and calm modern bedrooms. You can’t decorate your way to a good night’s sleep. In other words, if you’re looking for a calm, relaxing bedroom — ideal for a restful night — you don’t want the space dripping with ornate decor, busy patterns or eye-opening color. Instead, a pared down, verging-on-minimalist look that incorporates soothing neutrals, soft fabrics and simple, functional pieces is the direction homeowners are heading.
11. Defining kitchens in open floor plans. Every time a bell rings, an interior wall gets knocked down. OK, maybe not that frequently but it seems like the open floor plan has dominated homes in recent years, and not all homeowners love it. And some are going the other way, seeking some sort of delineation of space, such as in the photo shown here. A half wall of cabinetry creates a semi-closed space between the kitchen and living room.
Other homeowners are embracing a material palette to offset a kitchen area from an open living space, as shown here.
12. Millwork feature walls and detailing. Shiplap, millwork panels and reclaimed wood boards have been around for a while now. But with affordable big box store options and the relative ease with which the average homeowner is able to DIY these materials as accents, expect to see this trend to continue for some time, especially as bedroom feature walls.
13. Hidden range hoods. A statement range hood can make an ideal focal point in a kitchen. But in more compact spaces, the last thing you may want is another bulky appliance. Instead, consider hiding a hood behind some elegant cabinetry, as was done in this Australian kitchen. Coupled with under-cabinet outlets, the hidden appliance allows the small amount of backsplash to appear large, streamlined and elegant.
14. Mixing metals, texture and sheen. “People are mixing metallic elements and are paying more and more attention to sheen and texture,” Ott says. Think shiny brass mixed with matte black steel, or a honed countertop with matte tile backsplash.
15. Countertop details. Sure, it’s important to focus on choosing the right countertop material for your needs, but don’t stop there. There are a bevy of options to ratchet up the look and function of your countertop. Here, cut grooves in butcher block create a drainage for wet dishes and other scenarios.
16. Trough or bucket sinks. These deep, wide and durable sinks are great for hardworking laundry rooms and busy kids bathrooms. And their rise dovetails nicely with the expected continued prevalence of a quieted-down modern farmhouse style.
17. Fish-scale pattern backsplash. If you’ve grown bored of subway tile but still want something simple and classic, check out a scalloped or fish-scale pattern. The look offers more movement, and a bit more interest, than rectangular tile but is still versatile enough to work with almost any kitchen style.
18. Rich colors. Warm grays with rich, earthy shades will edge out cooler neutrals for a more sumptuous look. “I’m seeing a move toward warm grays and rich, earthy shades of camel, rust, tobacco and brown-blacks,” Ott says.
Simard says rich colors like red — especially for sofas — can add a sense of passion, while something like a burnt yellow offers some interesting, unexpected flavor.
19. Vintage lighting. Pros are reporting more interest in vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights. “There’s a huge focus on lighting right now, especially vintage pieces, which is also considered to be a great art solution,” Simard says.
20. Dedicated broom closets. It takes a lot to keep a home looking clean: brooms, brushes, mops, dusters, Swiffers, cleaning supplies. And finding space to keep these things organized while always at the ready shouldn’t be an afterthought.
That’s why homeowners are gravitating toward a dedicated broom closet or cabinet. Clever rollouts and design tactics that make use of slim spaces, such as the inches between the side of a fridge and a wall, can turn out highly functional storage units for cleaning tools.
21. Florals make a comeback. This popular print is getting a revival and a bit of an update, say Ott and Simard. Forget low-energy patterns, and think botanical references in high-contrast colors and oversize blooms. “I’m seeing florals making a comeback,” but not the traditional variety, Ott says. “These are bold, graphic floral prints in high-contrast colors such as black and white or teal and gold.”
22. Fewer white or stainless-steel sinks. White and stainless steel sinks have had their day, says designer Ott. Expect more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.
Your turn: What’s big on your design list this year? Have you spotted the next big trend of 2018? Give us your predictions in the Comments!