2015 Trends in.... Home Design

Over the next few posts, I will be ringing in the new year with some commentary on housing and design trends to watch in 2015. If you're considering buying, building, rehabbing, upgrading, staging to sell, or just curious about what's hot now, take a gander!

Today I will be featuring Home Design trends to watch in 2015 - keep in mind I am no expert, just highly excited about and interested in design and decor. If there's any trends you're spotting that I didn't feature here, I would love feedback in the comments!

1. Mid-Century Mo-DUH-rn

Duh, there's no surprise here; if you have been keeping up at all over the last few months, you'll see countless examples of Mid-Century Modern design features popping back up - from small flipped houses, all the way to million dollar stunners, this trend is everywhere. The most common homes you will see this design style in are ranch/rambler style homes, since their open layouts work well and their year of construction generally dates back to when mid-century modern homes were first popular. Think Mad Men - low backed couches, sling chairs, minimalist, pops of color, and an open, inviting layout perfect for entertaining. If this concept strikes your fancy, pour a nice glass of bourbon and sit back in front of your low profile fireplace and jettison yourself back to a time when the designs were simple so the parties could be complicated... 

2. Going for the Gold

This trend is one that I am personally obsessed with - how could I not be into the idea of accessorizing one's life in gold? Gold accents have been popping up everywhere; replacing stainless, brass, and even chrome on fixtures, handles, lighting, furniture, and even wall coverings. It's an unexpected way to bring a little glamour to a space; switching out your faucet, adding some gold trim to a credenza, or bringing in some curtains with gold accents are great, simple ways to incorporate this trend into your home. 

3. PLEASE Go Chasin' Waterfalls

Ahhhh, the Waterfall Edge Countertop. I'm just swooning at the thought. If you want to make a statement in your kitchen, THIS. IS. IT. This look can be achieved with virtually any solid surface counter - yes, that's right, you don't need to spring for Calcutta marble or speckled granite in order to make this happen. In fact, many homeowners have been using quartz, or even cement, for a really unique [and sturdy!] look. The cement is a really great choice if you're trying to stick with a modern, urban feel (think downtown NYC loft), and quartz is a really great choice that can not only save you money, but can save you maintenance, because once this magic surface installed, you don't do anything to maintain it- EVER! And quartz comes in so many color and style variations, you'll never be missing the idea of granite or marble again. Just be cautious with this design choice; if the space you have isn't large enough to yield for something like this, it can make the room look smaller. 

4. Wallpaper - No Longer the Enemy

Before you cringe at the thought of wallpaper, read on. Wallpaper went away as a trend years ago, and it is back now (for all of the good reasons it was once so loved). Wallpaper is a highly custom addition to a home, and can make the place feel like it was made for you. However, when you are ready to sell your house, potential buyers might not feel the same sense of peace with the wall covering you have selected. That the old problem with wallpaper - because it was impossibly hard and time consuming to remove, buyers hated the idea of purchasing a home with wallpaper that didn't suit them. Today, however wallpaper has become increasingly easy to install AND remove - some versions are even removable by simply peeling them off the wall. Not only can wallpaper be an easy weekend project now, but a myriad of amazing design choices are available. Grandma's wallpaper is a thing of the past; now you can get gorgeous patterns, and even some really unique textures that can quickly liven up your space. Just be careful with how MUCH wallpaper you use. One accent wall can be a great addition to a room, but placing it around the whole room can easily become overkill. 

5. Wait, is that Wood?

We all love the look of a wood floor, but the maintenance? Not so much. There have been many upgrades in the design world when it comes to "wood," and they are all great options. Engineered hardwood is not only more affordable than traditional hardwood, but it is much easier to install and is affected much less by changes in humidity and climate. And the best part? It's still wood! If the thought of using a wood substitute makes you ill, this is definitely a home run option. If you're like many homeowners, however and a design concept is more important than the actual material itself, laminate has become a really great choice for a more affordable option that requires less maintenance. Laminate technology has greatly improved over the past few years, and in many cases you can't even tell the difference between laminate and real wood. Laminate is also a perfect choice for a basement; be weary to put hardwoods in a basement, because the moisture content is much higher in this area of your home and your gorgeous wood floors could be subject to warping and buckling. And for the final option... Drumroll Please! Porcelain Tiles. But wait? I thought this was a post about wood? IT IS! Porcelain tile is made now to look EXACTLY like wood, but it is much more resilient [not to mention more affordable!]. If you really want the look of hardwoods in an area like an entryway or kitchen, where there is bound to be a bit of water and moisture on the floor, this is a perfect go-to option. Not to mention, porcelain is so easy to clean, and requires no maintenance! If you do want this option, however, be careful with the color choice for grout. If you are wanting a true wood look-a-like, picking the wrong grout color can make this choice look more like tile than wood. Consult a professional on this one; with the money you save in materials you can afford to get it installed professionally. I call that a win-win!

6. Put it on Display

Open shelving, especially in kitchens, has become increasingly popular. This is a perfect choice for either really small or really large kitchens. In a small kitchen, wall-to-wall cabinets can make the space look even smaller, so adding floating shelves can really open up the space. Just be cautious to include enough storage in other areas of the kitchen to hide large appliances, platters, etc that you don't want everyone seeing day-to-day. Remember, just because you may not need extra storage, when you sell your home, that could be a make or break for a potential buyer, so if you have the space to add a little more storage, do it! With large kitchens, this concept can do a lot to improve the design and break up the space. If you have cabinets covering every square inch of your wall, it can look a bit overwhelming. By implementing a few open shelving options, you can really enhance the look of the space, and not lose out on necessary storage since you have so much in other areas. If you are messy, however this option is not for you. Keep in mind that all your dishware will be on display; if you can't keep it organized, then this design trend can actually hurt, not help, the overall aesthetic of your home. 

7. standalone to stand out

If there's anything that can make you instantly feel like royalty, it's taking a soak in a standalone tub. In previous years, the built-in tub has been preferable, but the freestanding tub trend is coming back strong, and for anyone who enjoys a good spa day, this is a welcome addition to a home's design. While all the bells and whistles of a jetted tub are nice, a standalone tub can easily become a statement piece for your bathroom. Traditionally freestanding tubs favored a more vintage feel (think claw-footed tubs), but with this trend on the rise, there's countless options to fit the overall theme of the house, from huge, deep soaker tubs to square-shaped modern looks, there's a choice for everyone's taste. When done right, a standalone tub can be a great art piece in a home, as well. If you implement this look into your home, your biggest problem will be finding a way to convince yourself to get out of that gorgeous tub.

8. Not Just for the Farm Anymore

Pockets are for pants, not doors! Goodbye pocket door, HELLO sliding door! This is a trend that originally started with Farm doors (think those huge, gorgeous solid wood sliding doors you see on stables), by bringing a fun, rustic touch into the home. While farm doors are still widely popular, the rustic look doesn't fit everyone's design preferences. Enter the sliding door kit! You can find the kits at any home improvement store, and quickly and easily make a sliding door out of ANY door of your choosing! That means that if your home is sleek and modern, shabby chic, or even plush and luxurious, you can ditch the pocket door for a slider and still be on point with the theme of your home. The sliding doors work especially well in small spaces where a swinging door could be burdensome. The best part about them is that they can act as a great focal feature of the room, eliminating the need for costly art or other statement pieces in a room. The sliding door is a great example of form and function working in perfect harmony, and I especially love it because it can be a quick DIY project. 

9. Sleep Light

Gone are the days of bland ceiling fans and boring table lamps. Great lighting makes EVERYTHING look better, and who wouldn't want that? We are seeing light fixtures used more and more in unconventional spaces; the bedroom being one of those. By utilizing a pair of small chandeliers for your bedside lights, you not only free up counter space on your bedside tables (goodbye, clutter!), but you can create a beautiful, yet unconventional space that feels inviting. This trend also allows for simpler bedding and bed frames, and can eliminate the need for wall art since the lights really become the focal point of the room, saving you money on those expensive items.  Great fixtures on the ceiling are an awesome choice, too - just be careful not to hang it too low over your bed, or you'll be swinging from the chandelier instead of sleeping under it! 

10. Bring Back the Beam

The ceiling beam was traditionally installed completely for function - it holds up your house! In recent years, the trends have moved to a sleeker look, which means many of the ceiling beams have either been drywalled and painted over, or have been installed into the ceiling itself to hide it. The beam is back, though and this trend is a beautiful addition to a space. So strip away those painted beams in your house to reveal the gorgeous wood grain underneath, or stain it dark to make the space feel richer. Don't have a visual structural beam in your house? Don't worry! You can DIY this one, too! It is very easy to create a faux "beam" using just three equal sized boards. Get boards that are long enough to run wall-to-wall in the direction you want the beam to go. Attach the boards together to create a "beam" (it should look like a long, rectangular box without a top on it). Place the open side against the ceiling and affix the "beam" to the walls and ceiling, and VOILA! You're officially part of the beam club. P.S. This trend goes particularly well with Mid-Century Modern design!

On the next post I will be featuring 2015 Trends in Home Technology... Stay tuned!