Bold Designs Turn Kitchens, Bathrooms Into Showpieces

Go bold in your home! Brighter color combos and loud wallpaper designs are dressing up interiors, but this attention-grabbing trend is being mixed with toned-down natural materials and accents. Houzz, a home renovation and design website, offers its predictions for the home styles likely to have a big impact this year.

1. Keep It Natural

Homeowners are rethinking synthetic materials like engineered quartz, which has dominated kitchen renovations in recent years. Instead, owners are gravitating toward natural materials that they believe add more character and authenticity to a space, Houzz notes. More designers report installing quartzite and other natural stone countertops, as well as marble tile and wood cabinets and vanities—notably in white oak.

2. Curbless Showers

Showers are getting softer edges. For example, designers may run mosaic tile flooring continuously through the entire bathroom, including the curbless shower area. “This approach further enhances the sleek, streamlined effect of a curbless shower design, extends the nonslip surface and helps a small space appear larger than it is,” Houzz notes.

3. Bathrooms Go Black

Though all-white bathroom finishes remain popular, more homeowners are incorporating hints of dark, contrasting colors. For example, 7% of homeowners installed blue vanities, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Jet black vanities and other black bathroom accents—set against crisp, white backdrops—also are trending. “The white finishes keep things light and airy, while the black creates a touch of drama,” the Houzz report notes. “Brass details and wood-look tile flooring help add warmth to this classic palette.”

4. Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Connections

Homeowners have been craving greater ties to their outdoor spaces: 20% have renovated their kitchens to open it more to the outside, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. Sliding glass doors are among the top features on home buyers’ wish lists, as well as large windows to maximize outdoor views and bring in more natural light. Further, a focus on natural materials and colors, as well as nature-themed wallpaper prints, is helping homeowners feel connected to the outdoors.

5. Modern, Rustic Living Rooms

In living rooms, natural materials are dominating, too. This is prompting a modern rustic style that channels both a rugged and cozy look. “Natural stone fireplaces and surrounds, wood beams and off-white walls mix with comfortable furnishings in organic whites, browns and beiges to create an updated look that feels anchored to a rural past,” Houzz notes.

6. Color Pops Everywhere

Bright and bold colors are one of interior designers’ favorite emerging trends. “The shift away from mostly neutrals and whites is something many pros attribute to the pandemic,” Houzz notes. “These days, homeowners seem more adventurous and willing to take a chance on creating brighter, more vibrant spaces.” To help achieve these more colorful backdrops, owners are turning to wallpaper and embracing eclectic patterns. Houzz data shows searches are up for “paintable wallpaper” (93%), “chinoiserie wallpaper” (71%), “floral wallpaper” (52%), “ceiling wallpaper” (40%), “Art Deco wallpaper” (33%) and “dog wallpaper” (46%).

7. Warm, Relaxing Kitchens

While design pros say a desire for bold color is extending into kitchens, they also say more homeowners are asking for a warm and soft style that’s restful and relaxing. To pull off this look, they’re using greige or off-white cabinets, light woods, muted tile, subdued patterns and warm bronze and brass finishes in the kitchen.

8. Layers of Texture

“Layered texture” is buzzing in home design. Textures are being added throughout a home via the decor, wallpaper, materials and accessories. “We’re seeing a lot of designers layer wood, rattan, stone, metal finishes, concrete and various textural fabrics in one room to create a dynamic style that’s full of visual and tactile interest,” Houzz notes.

9. Traditional With a Twist

From brighter colors to wild wallpaper and layered looks, maximalist decor styles are taking hold. For instance, combine “vintage pieces with lots of upbeat pattern and wall coverings” to perk up a traditional look, Houzz notes. “Think of it as a traditional style returning in a fun way.” Some professionals say ongoing supply chain issues gave rise to this trend by forcing homeowners to look locally for antiques and recycle, repurpose or reupholster pieces “with whimsical details and a pretty patina.”

10. Island Seating

Kitchen islands are being made with seating top of mind. “While the traditional seating arrangement has typically been a row of stools on one side facing the cooking area, some homeowners on Houzz are seeking alternative setups to accommodate a variety of needs, such as the ability to sit face-to-face with guests or sit at a standard dining table height,” Houzz notes. “We’re seeing a lot of islands with creative seating arrangements, like two-tiered designs with seating for 10 people and dropped-down or raised-up areas for various needs.”