These six design trends have stood the test of time. Here, Twin Cities design professionals share how to incorporate them into your own home.
When new trends take over the building industry, it’s not always easy to determine their longevity. Some will be fleeting (hello, shag carpeting and tile countertops) while others become timeless. So, what is it that gives a trend the staying power to last decades?
“Classic design starts by thinking long-term. What will stand the test of time?” says Kristen McCormick, owner and designer at Studio M Interiors. “Great bones and basics are the foundation for any classic interior. We love to look at a home and know it could have been beautiful 25 years ago or it could be equally striking 25 years from now.”
Here, Twin Cities housing professionals weigh in on six design trends that have real staying powers, plus how to make them your own.
From cabinets to countertops, walls to millwork, white kitchens offer a blank canvas to create a space that can be both contemporary and traditional. Add a touch of black and gold hardware, and it’s elegant and glamorous; pack a punch with a bold, colorful island, and it’s vibrant and playful. “White is always current and stylish,” says McCormick. “Lighting, hardware, and decorative accents showcase the homeowner’s personality. Plus, food prep and dishware look great on white countertops.”
Thanks to its affordability and availability in a wide array of colors, styles, finishes, and sizes—think glossy or matte; ceramic, glass, or marble; with or without veining—subway tile continues to be a preferred choice for kitchens and bathrooms. “Homeowners can keep the same materials and change the direction of the installation to make it unique,” suggests Katie Collins, a senior interior designer for Robert Thomas Homes. “For example, tile can be arranged in countless designs—herringbone, straight stacked, vertical.”
Call it the comeback trend of the decade. Once earning a reputation for being old-fashioned and difficult to work with, today’s wallpaper options offer patterns and colors that fit every style. Plus, peel-and-stick applications can make installation a breeze. “It truly is timeless and has evolved both visually and mechanically through much more durable and water-resistant materials,” says Angela Nuessle, the national vice president of interior design at PulteGroup. “If texture is what you want, grasscloth is a fantastic option, while a highly graphic floral can make a huge statement in any room.” For a look that’s all your own, try placing the wallpaper in an unexpected spot, like the backing of a bookcase or the ceiling.
NATURAL STONE FINISHES
Natural stone has always been a popular finish choice for homeowners because of its durability, resistance to scratches, dents, warping, and cracks. Specifically, granite is out, and quartz and marble are in. “Quartz is the ultimate material since it’s maintenance-free and available in a multitude of color options to meet any desired aesthetic,” says Andrea Jacobson, design center manager for David Weekley Homes. While higher-maintenance and more expensive, marble lends a luxurious touch to any surface—and that extends far beyond kitchen and bathroom countertops these days. For a fresh spin on a classic trend, consider installing quartz or marble on your floors, tub and shower surrounds, and fireplace surrounds. “Natural stone provides authenticity and is an easy element that can be added sparingly or in big statement applications pending a homeowner’s budget,” says Nuessle.
“There’s been a big demand for outdoor spaces, especially since we’ve been confined to our homes this past year,” says Boyer Building’s Tim Forsberg, who notes the pandemic has forced many homeowners to confront pain points in their homes and make changes. Whether it’s a gas fireplace controlled via smartphone, a pizza oven, or a water feature, there are innumerable ways to make the indoor-outdoor living trend work for your needs.
Warm, visually pleasing environments never go out of style, and that can be achieved by layering neutrals—but we aren’t just talking about wall colors. Builders are noticing today’s homeowners are drawn toward moulding, baseboards, and banisters painted in warm grays, tans, taupes, even black. This trend extends to windows, too. Black window trim popped up on the interior design scene a few years back, but the next up-and-coming hue to look out for is blue. Navy is the new neutral, after all.
These trends continue to remain relevant for a reason: They are flexible and adaptable to many different interior styles. But don’t feel pressured to install an all-white kitchen or a flashy wallpaper if that’s not your aesthetic. As Nuessle advises, “The key is to love what you have and to create a space that conveys your personal style, not the ‘trends’ of the moment.”
Written By Taylor Hugo