By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine
Bold colored vanities and vinyl flooring are gaining more clout in home design. Last week at the 2019 International Builder Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry show, thousands of designers and builders talked trends as vendors showed off their latest innovations for the home.
Here are a few of the surprises I spotted through 608,000 square feet on the Expo show floor:
1. Colorful bathrooms.
A range of hues were shown in the bathroom, as some forecasters looked to add more color into what has mostly been a neutral color palette over the last few years.
Kohler showed off purple and blue sinks as well as a purple clawfoot bathtub. Several vanities on display were in grays, blues, greens, and even pink.
2. Colored cabinets.
Speaking of color, I lost count of just how many shades of various colors I spotted on kitchen cabinets on the Expo floor. White is still supreme for kitchens, but there is a growing trend of more “moody colors” being used, says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, a home remodeling website. Grays, navy’s, greens, and reds are all being used to add more color to the kitchen. Two-toned cabinets—where the upper cabinetry may be in white and then the bottom cabinetry are in navy—also was popular on the show floor.
3. Vinyl flooring.
Sitchinava called vinyl flooring a rising star in home design, a sentiment echoed by many other designers at the show. “Vinyl comes in a lot of colors, textures, and lots of different options,” Sitchinava says. “It’s an easy-on-your-feet material, and consumers are recognizing that. … It’s very conducive to aging in place, and many baby boomers are driving this trend.” The flooring leaders in the kitchen remain ceramic/porcelain tile, followed by hardwoods, and then engineered wood or laminate. But vinyl flooring is quickly gaining popularity in home remodels, and Sitchinava calls it one to watch in 2019.
Designer Julianna Dykstra with Distinctive Bathroom & Kitchen Inc. in Ottawa, Canada, also is seeing a rise of “luxury” vinyl flooring in her market, particularly for the kitchen and bath. The water-resistant material is mostly being used in grays or whites, she says.
4. Floating toilets and beds.
To add some drama to a space, designers are floating objects. Floating toilets—those installed into the wall instead of the floor—are helping to open up the space in bathrooms. On the Expo floor, Kohler showed this black floating toilet:
Also, at the 2019 New American Home, a show home of this year’s IBS, the master bed was suspended by steel cables and it appeared like it was floating in air.
5. Bling for your appliance handles.
To dress up appliances, CAFÉ, within the GE Appliance brand, has launched customizable hardware options in various metals, such as brushed bronze, brushed stainless, or brushed black. Homeowners add different finishes to their stainless steel, matted white, or matted black refrigerator or stove. For example, soft brushed copper hardware handles can be added to a matted white refrigerator for a more contemporary vibe.
6. Roll down shelves.
As cabinets get taller, reaching for those higher up shelves can be a challenge. At the Wellborn Cabinet booth, the company showed off iMove shelves that feature a pull down feature at the edge of the upper shelf. You just pull on the handle and it gradually brings the shelf to eye level.
7. Roll away walls.
Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors were popular at IBS 2019 in showcasing seamless indoor and outdoor living. Most of these glass doors were displayed on long, straight walls that could be rolled completely away--via pocket doors that disappear into the walls--to open the interior of the home to the outdoor space. Some firms also showed how you can add sliding glass pocket windows to tuck them away when wanting to open up the house to the outdoors, or even curved areas of the home with rounded floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors.
Which of these trends do you think has staying power?