Cyber trails, like the scattering of digital breadcrumbs, are a fact of modern life. Every click, save, search and share we make on home design websites like Houzz and Pinterest add to creating a real-time picture of our cumulative interests and obsessions — which are being used to predict our shopping futures.
Not as sexy as a crystal ball but definitely more reliable.
Pinterest offers more than 18 billion images of home design alone. The social bookmarking site spots rising trends by tracking the ebb and flow of the most popular photos and user search words on the site. Houzz — which showcases the work of more than 2 million design professionals — spots trends in much the same way. The influential home design site additionally draws on those pros about “what they are seeing with their clients,” said Allison Gervis, Houzz trend expert.
Pinterest’s researcher and in-house stylist Larkin Brown said the deep dive into the website’s data is always fascinating, as it seeks to tell consumers what they want, perhaps even before they know they want it: “These are the ideas we think people around the world will be trying in 2019.”
Chlorine-free pools are making a splash; this one is by BioNova Natural Pools.(Rin Robyn / BioNova Natural Pool / Rin Robyn / BioNova Natural Pool)
Tile backsplash comes to the forefront in the open living spaces of 2019.(Caroline Sharpnack / Houzz)
Wide-open spaces: Kitchens that easily access the outdoors are a must for modern renovations.(Lucy Call / Houzz)
Glass and steel room dividers create a sense of privacy and place.(Jours & Nuits 2016 / Houzz)
Destination tubs are the place to escape it all.(Chris Snook 2016 / Houzz)
Cactuses and succulents are the new darlings of the houseplant set thanks to their low maintenance and fighting spirit.(Behr)
Deep, dark moody room colors are on trend for 2019.(Alexandra Crafton, 2017 / Houzz)
Vanity piece: Wood that shows off natural knots and grain is the pick for 2019.(Kathryn MacDonald / Kathryn MacDonald)
Black is the new white when it comes to kitchen cabinets.(Fine House Studio 2018 / Houzz / Fine House Studio 2018 / Houzz)
Fabric art goes beyond macrame for 2019. Embroidered Cleo Wall Hanging, $598 at Anthropologie.(Anthropologie)
Geometric wall design provides a bold option to wallpaper.(Valspar)
Benches in the kitchen nook provide seating and style.(Nick Klein 2018 / Houzz)
Wallpaper, and especially temporary wallpaper, is predicted to be big in the year ahead. Ghosted Cactus Removable Wallpaper, $138 at Anthropologie.(Anthropologie)
Tin is in. Tin ceiling distressed wallpaper, $104 for a bolt at Houzz.com.(Houzz)
Don’t forget the mustard: Gold is good for home decor accents and accessories.(Pinterest)
Contemporary fireplaces, used inside and out, are hot. Cocoon Aeris black hanging fireplace, $2,450 at Houzz.com.(Houzz)
Transform your floor with DIY tile stenciling. Cordelia tile stencil, $16.95 at Houzz.com.(Houzz)
Using accent color on all four walls, including trim and molding, offers a fresh look for the year ahead.(Jessica Cain 2018 / Houzz)
Check out the following 19 trend directions these design sites predict will click for you in 2019.
The rise of backsplash tile
Does your kitchen backsplash match the couch? Maybe it should. Floating shelves and open floor plans mean tile backsplashes are on display 24/7. “You’re really seeing the full wall now,” said Gervis, “a couple of years ago you didn’t have so many floating shelves and you were seeing the cabinets. … Now you’re seeing all the way through, and it makes sense to run the tile from the countertop to the ceiling; it’s really beautiful.”
Mustard is everywhere and we’re not talking about hot dogs. “Five years ago it was more of a sunshine yellow paired with gray and white,” said Brown. “This is deeper, warmer, and we are seeing it paired with jewel tones like emerald green or teal.” Use it as an accent or go for the gold with upholstery, wallpaper or painted furniture.
Macrame and crochet have been the darlings of the bohemian set for several seasons, and they are still important, but for 2019 design devotees are venturing beyond fringed wall hangings on dowels. “If you have a beautiful rug that you want to hang, or fabric or quilts,” said Brown, “it’s about really embracing textiles as a new form of artwork.”
I will survive: A cactus chorus
Last year’s houseplant craze revealed a lot of black thumbs, Brown said, “Now people are looking for plants they can keep alive. … They are learning about plants that are survivalists.” Look for succulents with novelty blooms and creative shapes. “We’re seeing different cacti coming together in really cool arrangements,” said Brown.
Wallpaper is going mainstream. “I think it felt quite novel and brave when someone would choose wallpaper,” said Brown, “and now with the rise of removable wallpaper, it’s achievable even for renters.”
Do the math. Geometric wall design multiplies the cool factor. “It’s incredibly colorful and bold,” said Brown. “We are seeing so many fantastical wallpapers; this is a response to that … it’s a way to continue to have that patterned look, but with something less flowery.”
Want to maintain that light and airy open floor plan but create a sense of privacy and place at the same time? You’re not alone. Houzz reports that the popularity of glass and steel doors and windows has inspired a new wave of room dividers. “We’ve seen them in bathrooms for a while now,” said Gervis. “These glass and steel room dividers let light through, but you still have that open feeling. So maybe one group is in the dining room, and kids are watching TV in the living room, and you want to block the noise a little bit.”
Need we say more? Although a Houzz survey reported that 1-in-4 remodelers are removing the tub from their master bathrooms, those who keep it are doubling down with sculptural, stand-alone soaking tubs that provide a luxurious focal point.
As options for dramatic black appliances, range hoods and kitchen islands continue to grow, Houzz reports users are gravitating to all-black cabinetry. The site predicts 2019 will be the year black cabinetry paired with white walls, backsplashes and countertops gains momentum.
The dark side
Houzz predicts homeowners will increasingly turn to the dark side in 2019, favoring navy, black and forest green as they tire of minimalist, all-white interiors. “We’re not just seeing this on walls,” said Gervis. “It’s on cabinets and millwork as well.”
Built-in benches and bench furniture are having a moment in the kitchen nook. Allowing for flexible seating and under-bench storage solutions, Houzz touts the trend as an affordable, convenient alternative to pulling up a chair.
Love, actually: Board and batten
Even those of us who have seen barn animals only on YouTube have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with farmhouse style. It is the trend that just keeps giving, and in the year ahead Houzz predicts we will go public with our infatuation. Look for classic board-and-batten farmhouse-style construction popping up on exteriors in suburban neighborhoods near you.
Bathroom vanities made with reclaimed or light wood and finished with a clear stain are predicted to provide a warm, organic touch in bathrooms for 2019. The look celebrates natural wood grain, knots and all, and can complement styles ranging from rustic to contemporary or modern.
Committing to color
Gervis said designers who contribute to Houzz have indicated a shift toward boldly painting all four walls, including trim and moldings in an accent color. “We’re not saying that having one wall [painted] in an accent color is dead,” said Gervis, “but we are seeing an increase in painting all four walls.”
Tin is In
At Pinterest, style seekers are exploring the use of tin, not just with the old-fashioned application of tin ceiling tiles, but also as decor across an entire wall. Brown credits the trend to something that feels modern but is actually quite retro.
Natural swimming pools
Chlorine-free pools are making a splash for 2019 with Pinterest reporting a 262% increase in user interest in saltwater and pond-inspired swimming pools that bring a whole new meaning to cool.
DIY faux floor tile
Cursed with hideous floors? Pinterest users are taking matters into their crafty, thrifty hands with a newfound passion for painted floor tiles. Brown said she had been aware of the trend in statement flooring but was surprised when her research uncovered a 1,276% increase in searches and pin saves on how to paint a faux-tiled floor. The idea: use a large allover 6-, 8- or 12-inch tile stencil and complementary grout line stencil to transform basic and boring into a Spanish, Moroccan or wallpaper-inspired statement floor. The style hack also works on tile backsplashes for the kitchen or bathroom.
Indoor and outdoor fireplaces in sleek, modern designs are firing up interest in creating focal points and gathering places. Look for designs that elevate the humble wood pile to a style statement and fireplaces that trend toward contemporary.
First, kitchens were opened up to the home’s main living spaces. Now the walls between inside and out are coming down as well. Large sliding glass doors or collapsible, folding doors are increasingly erasing the barrier between workspace and play area. Expect to see more kitchens opening onto large decks or patios in the months ahead.
Bonnie McCarthy contributes to the Los Angeles Times as a home and lifestyle design writer. She enjoys scouting for directional trends and reporting on what’s new and next. Follow her on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome