Ignorant Traveler’s Guide to the Latest Home Interior Design Trends

By Terri V.

I don’t have real credentials for writing this article on the latest fads in home interior design. Therefore, you may be scratching your head — understandably — as to what gives me the right to write (pardon the pun) this article. While I don’t hold a degree in interior design and never worked at an interior design company, I do own a home and, with that, comes years of experience decorating and fixing it. This means spending millions of minutes sifting through home décor magazines; selecting color schemes; and shopping for furniture, paint, curtains, and other home accessories.

So — here is my less-than-professional opinion on what’s in and what’s out in home interior design:

#1 Dark stained wood floors

Thank heavens that the wall-to-wall carpeting of the 70s is still out and wood floors are still in. Builders and homeowners are now selecting darker hues for their wood floors like expresso, ebony, and dark walnut-stained floors rather than the natural and lighter wood tones popular in the 90s and earlier 2000s.

Neutral Walls and Couch Compliment a Dark Wood Floor.

#2 Neutral and natural colors

To complement the now-in-fashion dark wood floors, neutral and natural colors on the floors, walls, and windows are being used instead of rich, bold colors. Homeowners are now choosing white, grey, beige, or natural colors like honey and wheat for their walls, window treatments, curtains, and area rugs. Paint and fabric companies are responding to this trend with their myriad of shades of whites, beiges, greys, and naturals. There have never been so many shades of white and beige before. Look for a hint of glitter or shine on fabrics in the form of sequins, rhinestones, and satin to add sparkle to these light colors.

#3 Wallpaper and paneling

Wallpaper and paneling have been going out-of-fashion gradually due to the trend toward a more open-space look. They can make a room appear smaller. Although it’s fine to have wallpaper or wood in one or two rooms, many homeowners, especially those who have smaller homes, are staying away from both. A welcomed benefit is that paneling and wallpaper can be expensive – so not having either saves money.

#4 Light or dark kitchen cabinets

Should you go very dark or very light, that is the question? Medium-wood-grained kitchen cabinets are being replaced with white, ivory, and light grey cabinets. Also popular are very dark-wood cabinets like expresso, walnut, dark blue, dark grey, and black. Consider refacing your cabinets to one of these new hot wood grains to modernize your kitchen cost-effectively and easily.

Speckled granite and a metal-and-stone-mixed backsplash contrast dark kitchen cabinets.

#5 Granite and quartz countertops

Granite and quartz countertops remain in vogue in the kitchen to give your counters durability with style. One trend is to go all white in the kitchen (and bathroom). Homeowners are topping white cabinets with all-white countertops and accompanying them with crystal, stainless steel, and chrome accessories for added pizzazz. Another craze is to offset very light cabinets (like white, ivory, or grey) or very dark cabinets (like expresso) with speckled granite countertops.

White granite with a touch of grey add class to white cabinets.

#6 Busy and bold backsplashes

This backsplash made of stone and glass is the latest trend.

Kitchens and bathrooms are now adorned with bold and busier backsplashes than ever before. They consist of materials, such as stone; ceramic; wood; and shiny glass and metal. These materials, which come in many shapes and sizes, can be used individually or mixed together. The end-result is more interesting, shinier, and fancier backsplashes. Warning: Busy backsplashes can clash with countertops. It’s important to buy the backsplash and counters together or install the countertop on first and then carefully choose a backsplash.





#7 Stainless steel products

The stainless steel mania for appliances continues with the addition of new stainless steel colors. There is not JUST stainless steel anymore. There is also “black stainless steel” (which is supposedly more smudge- and fingerprint-resistant) and “champagne stainless steel.” Rumor has it that a well-known manufacturer is now working on a “bronze-finish” stainless steel.

Stainless steel and crystal accessories add sparkle and shine.

#8 White or tan bathroom tubs, sinks, and toilets

Gone with the wind (thank goodness) are the harvest gold, puke pink, and Crayola-crayon-colored bathroom tubs, sinks, and toilets. In with the cool breeze are the basic white and tan-colored tubs and toilets. These neutral colors give homeowners the flexibility to use the bolder tiles and backsplashes now available. Consider glazing an old bathtub white. It will come out beautiful and cost around $450. Glazing is also an excellent option should you NOT want to remove the preexisting tile around your tub when remodeling your bathroom. (If you don’t remove the tub, then the tile around the tub will not break.)

#9 Bronze and black matte faucets and fixtures

Now popular and amazingly gorgeous are the new “oil-rubbed bronze,” “aged- bronze,” “venetian bronze,” “copper,” and “black matte” faucets, shower fixtures, and shower doors, which mimic an aged-metal look. These colors look gorgeous with white or tan sinks, tubs, and toilets. Also, many of the new-style stone floors and walls blend beautifully with these brownish/blackish fixtures.

#10 Shower doors

Although in style for a long time, there are more choices than ever. There are framed, semi-framed, and frameless doors. Further, the frames and handles come in different colors and materials, such as stainless steel, chrome, black matte, gold, aged bronze, and brushed nickel. And the glass is available in frosted or regular glass. All are beautiful – so have fun choosing.

#11 Area rugs

Still in fashion, fortunately, are area rugs and, still gone with the wind, are wall-to-wall carpets. Area rugs enhance wood and tile floors by bringing a touch of color and a warm and cozy feeling to a room. Especially in fashion are white, gray, cream, or ivory-colored shag area rugs, which look stunning on dark wood floors.

#12 Tiled entrance ways and hallways

In addition to tiling kitchen and basement floors, many homeowners are extending tile to their entrance ways and hallways to help protect wood floors from overuse and water damage. Tile is water-resistant and on many rainy days will keep wet shoes from ruining the floors. In addition, a neutral-colored tile will give a home an open and airy look.

#13 Plank tile floors

The latest craze in tile floors, especially in bathrooms and basements, is plank faux-wood tiles. The planks look like hardwood, but they’re not. This tile is especially water resistant and comes in beautiful shades of black, brown, grey, cream, and white. The planks can be wide or thin and can be laid down vertically or horizontally to achieve different looks. Many select the same plank tiles for the floor and around the tub. In addition, plank tiles mix and match well with the in-vogue stone tiles. Plank tiles are strongly recommended for basement apartments due to moisture concerns. Use these tiles throughout a basement apartment to emulate real hardwood floors.

Interior designing a home can be a daunting task. Hope this list of emerging trends (from novice interior decorator me) helps to make the process fun and easy. Happy home decorating!

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