Home Design Trends
Real estate is moving quick these days, and design with it.
Sept. 28, 2019
“Design is a very natural process. It does not follow fashion — fashion follows a current or up and coming mindset. All design should be intuitive — never contrived or simply regurgitated lifestyle.” So says Dorina Rudd, owner of Design Strategies in Lake Ann. An interior designer for the past 30 years, Rudd has seen a lot of trends come and go. Northern Express reached out to Rudd to talk about how home design has been evolving and where it’s headed next.
Rudd said trends change “about every 10 years or so.” Changing now: the urban industrial trend of the past few years, with its hard-sharp lines, grey and brown tones, industrial light fixtures, white cabinets and marble tops, is giving way to more refined, sinuous lines and flow, and warm rich colors.
“The industrial trend became a huge bubble of popularity that became oversaturated, and it burst. Trends are like that, and then the pendulum swings back, like it always does, and we strive to create balance and lines become softer, cool tones become warmer.”
She said she’s seeing a lot of changes in how people are approaching their lives and their living and working spaces, and with it — more concern about environmental impact. From global warming to health and wellness, people are becoming more mindful of what they want, what they consume and what they throw away, she said.
“They’re saying no to disposable furniture. They would rather improvise until they can get what they really want that will last a lifetime. There is a desire to get back to things that have meaning. Timelessness speaks to values and good stewardship,” she said.
Case in point: Increased use of timeless materials like handmade nautical polished brass vs. man-made brass. “We are moving more towards things that are long lasting, like using an heirloom quality, antique chair, combined with a contemporary clean-lined chair. Kitchen cabinetry is simpler with cleaner lines — hunter green or even black cabinets give a strong, bold kitchen look. Tabletops and rugs are taking on curved lines, and there is a return to sofa seating, which goes along with our desire to make our living spaces more inviting.”
One item whose time seems to be quickly ticking away is that old standby, the microwave oven. Inconsistent with the trend away from processed and frozen meals and toward slow and freshly cooked whole foods, they’re being designed right out of kitchen layouts. A new trend is the addition of a beverage center, an updated version of the ’80s basement bar. An area dedicated to a coffee, tea, and/or wine bar, the centers usually sport a wine refrigerator and /or instant hot water in a space for family gatherings and entertaining — often outdoor kitchens and living spaces.
With the popularity of the “less is more” attitude, there has been an increase in more multi-functional spaces and furniture, said Rudd. The murphy bed is making a comeback with new, modernized versions. The old-world technique of caning, for example, is still going strong, and brands keep reimagining it in more interesting forms and shapes.Marble is still the preferred material for kitchens; however, the appearance is more discreet. All-black kitchens are on the rise, using black in metal, painted wood and stone, even the sink — a style that offering a contemporary and sophisticated look, especially when mixed with indoor plants.
Following the UN's warning that we have just 12 years to prevent environmental catastrophe, designers and brands are getting serious about sustainability.This is evident in the explosion of eco-friendly building ideas and materials now available, including flooring like cork, bamboo, reclaimed hardwood, rubber, leather and concrete, to recycling steel, old plumbing and door frames, to using low VOC emissions paint, to living roofs that arepartially or completely covered with vegetation.
Photo at top: An example of softening the urban industrial look is shown in this Glen Arbor kitchen. The floor was done in a pickled blue wash cherry and the ceiling in a golden pine pickled white. The glass shelf unit is over a beverage center accessible from the kitchen as well as the dining room.