Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

5 Home Design Trends We're Most Grateful For

This Thanksgiving, we offer thanks for family and friends—and also good home design. After all, the right style and an organized appearance goes a long way to helping sell houses. 

After years of normalizing neutral color palettes, for example, designers are embracing more colorful trends to showcase personality in homes. REALTOR® Magazine's Styled, Staged & Sold blog asked designers and stagers what home interior trends they're most grateful for this year. Here are their top picks.

1. More colorful spaces

Goodbye, white kitchens and gray walls. More color is moving in. Homeowners favor bolder hues inside the home, not just for pops of color but also as a base color for an entire room. Paint companies have chosen variations of blues, pinks, and greens as their picks for 2020 Color of the Year. These colors also are being splashed on kitchen cabinets, exterior doors, and home accessories. 

The paint firm PPG selected Chinese Porcelain, a blend of cobalt and muted navy tones, as its 2020 Color of the Year. Sherwin Williams followed suit with Naval, a deep navy blue. 

Naval Blue is the 2020 color of the year from Sherwin Williams.

Photo Credit: Sherwin Williams

A blue and white painted bedroom.

Behr's top 2020 pick is a meadow-inspired, yellowish green called Back to Nature. 

Behr's "Back to Nature" green.

Pinks also are catching on. HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams, the company's offshoot brand, chose a blush hue called Romance, while Benjamin Moore chose a soft, rosy hue called First Light. 

A Rose "Blush" color painted dining room with teal-green chairs around a table.

Photo credit: HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams

A Living room with white carpet and rose "blush" colored accent wall.

Photo credit: Benjamin Moore

2. Luxury vinyl flooring

A design trend that's stylish but low maintenance, more homeowners are embracing luxury vinyl as an alternative to hardwood and ceramic tile flooring. Vinyl is touted as being cheaper, warmer, and softer on your feet; it also requires less upkeep than traditional hardwood or tile. 

Today's luxury vinyl shouldn't be mistaken for linoleum and other varieties of sheet flooring. Luxury vinyl can be laid out in planks, tiles, and sheets, and it comes in trendy finishes. Luxury vinyl planks can resemble the look of hardwood and are offered in handscraped and wide plank varieties. The planks can be installed diagonally or in a trendy herringbone pattern, and they also can resemble tile and marble.

The lower maintenance of luxury vinyl is appealing to families with young children and pets. It's a water-resistant material that works easily in kitchens and bathrooms.

3. Voice-controlled smart appliances

Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are ushering in a new and advanced era of smart-home technology. The choices are growing too: Smart plugs, for example, cost as little as $10 and enable you to say: "Alexa, turn on the lights." Add smart light bulbs that can be controlled via voice assistants, as well as other appliances such as the thermostat, door locks, and security cameras. Suddenly, smart homes have become more attainable and cost-effective.

Google Home
Amazon Alexa
Smart Plug

4. Statement ceilings.

Finally, a reason to look up! The home's fifth wall is commanding the spotlight. In the roaring '20s, stamped ceilings, such as those plated in copper or tin decorative sheets, were popular. But the trend faded in favor of smooth ceiling finishes. Now, the statement ceiling is back.

This time, however, paint, wallpaper, or wood moldings are the ceiling accents of choice. A statement ceiling can brighten up a space and make it memorable, says Katie Skoloff, principal designer and founder of In Site Designs, an interior design firm in Greenville, S.C. "We find the interest on a ceiling draws the eye up, and you cannot help but feel the space is there to ‘wow' you," she says. Wallpapered ceilings, as well as wood beams and coffered ceilings, are today's standout options.

Coffered Ceilings with pattern

5. Contrasting kitchen design

Along with more colorful interiors, the white kitchen is fading in favor of a bigger statement, including tuxedo cabinetry, shiny hardware, and brass-trimmed range hoods.

Polished brass on cabinet hardware, range hoods, and appliance handles shines in otherwise white kitchens, appearing to be like jewelry for the space. CAFÉ, a hardware line for the GE Appliance brand, offers customizable options in various metals for refrigerator or oven handles. For example, soft-brushed copper handles can be added to a matted white refrigerator for a more contemporary vibe.

A kitchen with polished brass hardware

Photo credit: CAFÉ

Contrasting kitchen cabinets, such as the tuxedo kitchen, also are gaining popularity. The trend calls for upper and lower cabinets to be painted different colors—perhaps white on top and a gray or dark walnut on the bottom. It's essentially a way to add more visual interest than an otherwise all-white display. 

An alternative—and slightly less bold—version of this trend is also taking root, such as all-white cabinets and a contrasting kitchen island in a deep blue, gray, or walnut color. 


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