Design Trends


If you’re looking to redecorate or renovate your home in 2019, you’ve come to the right place. We searched through Houzz data, browsed hundreds of home design photos, reread past articles and interviewed professional designers to bring you this collection of materials, colors and other home design ideas that you can expect to see a lot more of in 2019. Which will you bring home?

1. Full-tile backsplash feature walls. Attention-grabbing backsplash tile is nothing new in well-designed kitchens. We’ve seen colorful geometric and quirky patterns show up in a lot of kitchens for years now.
But what many professionals are seeing more of lately is an interest in taking the tile from countertop to ceiling, including behind floating shelves and flanking range hoods, to create a striking feature wall.
This idea aligns with some broader trends as well. The 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study shows that half of homeowners are opening up their kitchens to interior spaces, and that the most popular kitchen layout is the L-shape. This openness means the kitchen is always on display and therefore in need of a good focal point. A full-tile feature wall draws your eye in, whether through shimmer and texture with something like a simple white subway tile or through bold color and pattern as with a Moroccan design.
It’s also a relatively cost-effective way to achieve a stunning effect. Buying an extra several square feet of tile won’t break the budget, but it looks high-end.

2. Window walls. Cabinet design has become much more efficient in recent years. Deep drawers on perimeter and base cabinets that bring items at the back of the cabinets out into the open means that fewer kitchen cabinets are needed overall. In response, designers and homeowners have shifted to removing upper cabinets on at least one kitchen wall, often to create an expansive window wall that can deliver views and lots of natural light.
“This makes the kitchen more open and expansive,” designer Jennifer Ott says. “It feels less top-heavy. To make up for the lost storage space, walk-in pantries or pantry walls, in which the cabinets span the floor to ceiling, are extremely popular. With upper wall cabinets out of the way, homeowners can put in a line of pendant lighting to light their countertop surfaces in lieu of undercabinet lighting.”

3. Wood on wood (on wood). Many of the most popular kitchen photos in 2018 featured lots of wood, and it’s easy to see why. Wood adds loads of warmth and character, and it pairs well with whites and grays, two of the most popular colors for kitchen cabinets and walls.
Ott says she’s seeing an increase in interest for medium-tone woods rather than super dark or light ones. Wood also adds charm that aligns with the trend toward farmhouse style, which has been gaining in popularity every year for the past three years, according to the recent Houzz kitchen trends report.
Gorgeous walnut wood cabinets and ceiling create a soothing, inviting atmosphere in this Healdsburg, California, kitchen by Claudia Juestel of Adeeni Design Group and Sutro Architects. Meanwhile, the white countertops and backsplash; steel countertop, shelf and appliances; and polished concrete floor cool things down.

4. Cream-colored cabinets. White is still the top choice for cabinet color, according to the Houzz kitchen report, but no two whites are created equal. Some paint companies offer more than 150 white paints — how do you choose?
Many homeowners are moving away from the bright, stark whites and embracing off-whites that feel warmer and cozier, like Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball, shown here in a Boston kitchen by Lisa Tharp Design.
Creamy cabinets paired with other warm finishes like wood and brass and blue-gray tile create a calm and serene feel that works well with transitional and farmhouse-inspired styles, the two most popular kitchen styles.

5. Quartz countertops. Engineered quartz was finally crowned the most popular countertop material in 2018 following a three-year decline in granite, according to Houzz research.
The natural stone and resin material is incredibly durable and can visually mimic the look of more expensive and maintenance-heavy materials like marble and slate. In fact, quartz is so popular that even risings costs associated with trade tariffs haven’t dissuaded homeowners, who save elsewhere in their remodeling budgets in order to still get quartz countertops. “Prices for quartz that either was made in China or routed through China are now seeing 20 percent markups to make up the increased purchase price,” designer Carl Mattison says. “I find in my world people are relying on me, the designer, to help offset costs so they can still get what they want.”

6. Emerald and deep teal islands. As you’ll see later in this article, darker, moodier colors seem to be catching on. Mattison sees a lot of emerald and deep teal being used in kitchens, especially for islands, like the Deep Sea Dive by Sherwin-Williams on the island in this St. Louis kitchen by Jennifer Chapman Designs. “The perimeter cabinetry can be a neutral from white to gray and the island can bring a pop of color to the space,” Mattison says. “By doing only the island a color, people can see the color without it being overwhelming.”

7. A new take on white subway tile backsplashes. A backsplash in standard white 3-by-6-inch subway tile is a classic look that works in almost any style of kitchen. But as with everything that peaks in popularity, design fatigue can set in and designers and homeowners start looking for an alternative while sticking with the freshness of white tile. Larger-format tiles in herringbone, chevron or stacked patterns — anything other than the traditional offset brick pattern — gives the same crisp look but with a bit more nuance and interest, without taking a huge design risk. “With the larger size, the grout lines are minimized, and a clean, fresh take on the old is just what people are looking for,” Mattison says.

8. Custom drawer inserts in an unexpected color or stain. Designers often suggest that homeowners splurge on the areas they interact with the most. Cabinet hardware is a good example, because you’ll be touching the handles or pulls several times a day. But designer Sarah Robertson likes to go a bit further. She often encourages clients to go with a custom drawer insert in an unexpected color or stain, different than what’s on the cabinet drawer exterior. Shown here inside her own kitchen are custom stained walnut drawer inserts. “These are something I really try to talk clients into doing,” Robertson says. “You don’t think about how often drawers are open in the kitchen. You’re in and out of them all the time. It’s such a beautiful touch to have inside drawers.”

9. Kitchens that completely open to the outdoors. A single door connecting a kitchen to an outdoor area doesn’t cut it anymore. What homeowners want is a blurring of inside and out. Large sliding and collapsible doors give that feeling and help increase living space.

10. Countertop cabinets. A designer’s kitchen is always a good place to spot great design ideas. Going back to Robertson’s personal kitchen, you’ll see two countertop cabinets in each corner flanking the sink.
Corners in kitchens often go unused because they’re difficult to reach and wind up being dead space. A tall cabinet with a drawer on the bottom creates a smart storage opportunity for quick-grab items like spices, oils and snacks.

For more ideas from 32 Home Design Trends That Will Rule in 2019