Remodeling Blog

As we start off a new year, new design trends are starting to emerge. A new year is the perfect time to make changes and it has many of us in the mood for something different. Scroll through to go beyond Pinterest and find out what our design team is seeing on the horizon as we move into 2018.

1. New Materials

This year we will see some of 2017’s new materials become standard. Chief among those is quartz.

Quartz is a man-made material that can be used in showers and on fireplace surrounds but is typically used as a countertop material. Quartz really started to take market share in 2015 but rose in popularity when the designs improved. Now, not only are we seeing more sophisticated designs but we’re also seeing the prices come down. Today quartz is a serious competitor of natural stone in terms of design and it’s more affordable than ever.

The other countertop material we’ve seen floating around the design community is stainless steel. Not in a sterile, commercial kitchen way, but casually worked into a transitional palette as shown in the right-most photo above. Stainless countertops first gained popularity in the 1950’s, when it could be mass produced and was made widely available. It’s very durable, easy to clean and can be a no brainer in terms of function. It’s definitely a certain look, which will hold it back a little bit, but we’ll be watching stainless steel countertops this year – it could definitely turn into a major kitchen design trend moving forward.

Last but not least among this year’s hot new materials exists in the realm of appliances: slate. The reason we love slate appliances is simple, it’s a warm tone. Many of the homes we work in are golden oak palaces and stainless steel appliances can seem a little stark in an existing home. In contrast to that, black stainless is a fantastic new finish but again, it’s a very cool tone. Slate finishes, simply put, play very well with existing oak trim and moldings. Black stainless and stainless steel aren’t going anywhere but we predict that slate will make its own mark this year as well.

Photo Credit: New Spaces, GE, Apartment Therapy

2. New Hues

In recent remodels and re-designs, there is a lot going on with color. In general terms, neutrals are still in vogue. Light and medium-toned neutrals sing as main wall colors, however, we are seeing less grey and more taupe. Moving to these warmer greige/taupey colors serves many purposes.

First, it can soften some of the more modern trends and make them easier to work into a transitional palette. In addition to that, warmer colors are easier to use in existing homes with golden oak or maple trim.

On the flip side of these warm, cozy neutrals is a dark sibling. Our designers are loving the spotlight on dramatic, moody hues. Darker hues can seem a little scary, but they can be a beautiful feature. Using a darker color can help define a space, make it feel more intimate and dark paint can be the design feature in a room that otherwise might be devoid of intrigue. It is an ironically warm way to give your space a cozy feel.

Photo Credit Left to Right: The Inspired Room, Behr, HomedIt

3. Island Shake-Up

So far in 2018, two things have been happening with the kitchen island. The first thing we started to see was the pull towards a one-level island. Where we used to see a lot of raised bar seating and two tier islands, we are now installing mostly single tiered islands. This style lends itself to a more updated design because of it’s clean, clear look.

The second trend we’ve spotted is as old as time: the kitchen table island. This is one of those old, old trends coming back. For centuries, the kitchen table was where all of the prep work took place. If you tour an old European castle or turn-of-the century, mid-west mansion, you’ll notice that the kitchens are small and consist mostly of a cupboard, stove and a kitchen table.

This style of cooking and living really fell out of fashion in the 1970’s but the functionality of this old staple was hard to deny. It returned in the form of the cabinet- heavy kitchen island in the early 2000’s but that is starting to feel a bit bulky. Just like the one your great-grandmother had, the kitchen tables of today are pretty simple, maybe with a shelf underneath for storage or drawers on one side.

A counter height table will provide all the functionality of an island and the airy space below will make your space feel more open. If you want to keep the functionality of cabinet storage, no problem! The wide expanse of a single-tier island will provide tons of work space and all your storage will be saved.

Photo Credit: Houzz, @immyandindi, New Spaces

4. Creative Finishes

This year we’re predicting a shake-up of small things, namely hardware. You’ll see new finishes and new materials making a splash on Pinterest and in high end design. Whether its an old item in a new pattern or a totally new idea, we’re seeing tradition turned on its head.

Gold is the new kid on the block and we are welcoming it with open arms. Push away that sense of panic; shiny-brass-everything isn’t making a come back just yet. Shiny gold has been used but mostly as an accent to a more demure finish all around. What will be more common is a champagne gold finish. This light, matte take on the old classic is taking the design world by storm and making our hearts go pitter patter.

While we’re talking hardware, wood is taking our office by storm. Wood finishes offer a classic, durable option that is enjoying a resurgence in design. Wood hardware was once prominent in early American furniture, think Stickley and mission style furniture. The trend re-emerged in the 1950’s with the introduction of mid-century modern and it is returning now as a blend of those two styles. The classic texture of wood makes it a perfect fit within a transitional, modern or traditional design and the pliability of it means it can take any shape, size or stain. .

Last but not least, leather. It is said that there are no original ideas but this one does seem to be a trendsetter. If it makes you nervous and sweaty to think about putting leather hardware on all your kitchen cabinets, you’re not alone. Leather hardware doesn’t necessarily belong everywhere. Even our team had reservations at first, but once you get beyond the initial flinch, it really starts to shine. It’s very durable, it ages with a nice patina and this hardware can come in any size, shape or color. If you still can’t picture it in your whole kitchen, try it on a piece of furniture or in a bathroom. A little leather is a good way to try something new and test the waters of a new design trend.

Photo Credit Left to Right: Etsy Bengjy Minu, Etsy SlaskaLAB, Wayfair, Houzz, Houseologie

5. A Clean Splash

To put it simply: keep it simple. In the world of kitchen tile design, less has become more.

In short, no more deco strips. We are seeing a lot of simple, often matte elongated tiles laid in a stacked or brick pattern. If a decorative tile is being used, it is often in between a few tiles rather than in one long strip in the middle of the backsplash. This allows your cabinets and countertops to do the talking as we see a trend towards simple design as a whole. There might be a pop of “busy” somewhere else in the kitchen but in general, kitchen design is heading for a cleaner palette.

In fact, many people are skipping the tile all together in favor of solid glass. Solid glass is beloved for all the same reasons we loved glass tile. It’s easy to clean with an updated look and a single piece of glass means no grout!

Photo Credit: New Spaces, Wayfair, Wayfair, Design Sponge

6. Drawer Storage

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a better way to live. Stop getting down on your hands and knees to fish out your pie plates.

With full extension drawer storage, everything you need is at your fingertips and it is more available than ever. Most cabinet companies now offer full extension, soft close drawers but there are a few more things you’ll want to look for.

First of all, make sure they can handle the weight of what you would like to store. For pots and pans, we suggest a heavy duty track that can handle roughly 100lbs. The other thing you’ll want to consider is the joinery. Look for dovetailed drawer boxes, it typically signifies a well built cabinet and using a dovetail joint makes the drawer box itself stronger.

The best thing about drawer storage is that they comply with universal design so if you have little ones in the home or elderly parents living or staying with you, drawers are an easier and safer way to access everything they’ll need.

Photo Credit: New Spaces

7. Scandinavian Design

Scandinavian design” has been a buzzword for a while now, but what does it mean?

It’s often shown as a super modern, downtown loft with Ikea furniture. There’s a lot of sheepskin on Eames furniture and it can seem a little unattainable for those of us who live in a 1980’s split level and enjoy comfy furniture.

Here’s the thing, any space can showcase scandinavian design. Yes, any space.

Here are the hallmarks of Scandinavian design:

  • Clean Lines
  • Natural Textures and Light
  • Bright Interiors.

It is true that this design style shares a lot of the modern design qualities but the use of natural textures like hardwood floors really warms up an otherwise cold, modern style.

Clean lines feel a lot more welcoming when they’re cloaked in taupe and cozy blankets. Wooden floors and furniture also fit very well in Minnesota homes and the pension for white or light walls in light spaces is a breath of fresh air after those deep reds and chocolate browns of the early 2000’s, especially in the depths of a long, dark winter.

Scandinavian design is essentially modern design, light. Look for modern furniture with warm-toned upholstery and keep the rest of your design simple. Add some neutral blankets and accessories and you’ve got a Scandinavian space. All you need are four plain walls to get started!

Photo Credit: Shift Interiors, Design Plus Magazine, HGTV, Belivin’ Design.

8. Layered Lighting

This is the most subtle trend on our list but it will definitely take center stage in 2018.

Layered lighting is exactly what it sounds like, layers of different light sources in one space. The kitchens above all feature this technique. You’ll see normal, recessed can lighting as a base, under-cabinet lighting to illuminate cooking and prep spaces, and then we often see pendant lighting or other puck-light accents in glass cabinets or floating shelves.

Layering the light in this way creates a much more intimate space that feels warm and welcoming. The key to layered lighting is to have 2-3 sources of light and put everything on a dimmer – dimmers everywhere. This trend came mainly from a need in the market. As we age, our eyes take in less light so we need more light in our spaces as a whole. It’s a small thing but it will make all the difference in the world.

The best part about this trend is that it fits into every space and every style. Whether you want a scandinavian bathroom or a traditional kitchen, layered lighting will fit in seamlessly – it really doesn’t matter which other 2018 design trends you resonate with!

Photo Credit: New Spaces

So far, 2018 design trends arereally showing us that there are no more rules. It used to be that all of your woodwork had to match and that your bathroom vanity needed to match your kitchen cabinetry, etc.

Toss those rules out the window along with 2017. Whether you’re undertaking a remodel or just doing a little redecorating, try something different and have fun with your design. Keep your eyes trained on our website to see what our clients are choosing this year. The real 2018 trend is personal style, showcase yourself this year.

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