What to Adopt and What to Ditch in 2019
by Nancy Erdmann
Small & Smart
The tiny-home movement is still a hot ticket when it comes to paring down and living simply.
With the average house measuring less than 400-square feet, these pocket-size residences offer an alternative to high-cost living, are energy efficient and teach homeowners how to live well with less.
While the small-house concept may not be for you, there are ways to reap the benefits in your own home by staying with a neutral color palette, installing energy-efficient appliances and windows and saying goodbye to clutter.
Bold, bright and unexpected are the Pantone Color Institute’s forecast for this year’s color trends in home design, with reds and oranges taking the lead. “The mindset for spring and summer of 2019 reflects a desire to face the future with strong colors that provide confidence and spirit,” say the experts at Pantone. “The hotter the colors are, the more ‘empowerment’ they encourage.” This year’s shade of the year is Living Coral, with its pinkish hue and golden undertones meant to evoke feelings of warmth and life. Each year the institute selects a color that influences the development of products in fashion, home furnishings and industrial design.
As consumers look to live healthier lifestyles and are concerned about the sustainability of their food, wellness has become a new concept in kitchen design.
From the use of recycled and ultra-hygienic materials to growing herbs and vegetables indoors with small-scale farming units to choosing a minimalist look with soothing neutrals and chalky, smooth matte finishes, it’s all about creating a relaxed setting that fosters healthy living.
Saving our pollinators continues to be a garden trend, but it’s no longer just about the bees.
“Gardeners have taken up the mantle to save the bees, but we need to garden to save all flying insects by planting not only flowers with pollen but majestic trees such as oaks,” says Katie Dubow of Garden Media. Growing native plants is the best way to start and can include shrubs, vines, grasses, succulents, ground covers and such trees as desert willow, Texas olive and Arizona cypress. For a complete list, check out desertmuseum.org/plantcare.
Larger Flooring Tiles
Floor tiles are getting bigger and better. While 12- by 24-inch tiles are still popular, you can now find them as large as 24 by 48 inches.
Better yet, they look like the real deal from stone and marble to limestone and travertine. Tile planks are available in 48-inch lengths, and due to ink jet technology can be manufactured to look exactly like wood or concrete and are hard-wearing and easy to maintain.
Looking for something even bigger? Porcelain tiles are being produced as large as 5 by 10 feet.
Bringing the indoors out is shifting back to bringing the outdoors in. While the majority of us spend up to 90 percent of our time inside — often in front of a computer, phone or TV screen — we also crave connecting with nature. Now homeowners are electing to grow all sorts of plants inside.
“Growing plants and food indoors doesn’t have to be utilitarian,” says author Leslie Halleck in her book Gardening Under Lights (Timber Press, 2018). “It can be a beautiful practice that blends into our living space and lifestyles.” And there are a surprising number of edibles to choose from, including tomatoes, avocados, kale, beets, mandarin oranges and a slew of herbs.
Forget about accent walls, it seems that ceiling embellishments are all the rage. Printed wallpapers, vibrant paint colors, shiplap, coffered ceilings and lacquered finishes are hitting their strides, as are natural wood planks, statement stripes, corrugated metal, easy to install tile and breezy fabrics.
Designers are even lining ceilings with lighted crystals, 3D accents and starlights. It’s all about going for the unexpected.
Bronze Finishes: Flashy hardware had its moment, but now designers are starting to incorporate natural woods and discreet kitchen and bath hardware.
Millennial Pink: Didn’t know it was in? Well, the popular blush pink has been replaced with richer-hued colors overall.
Cold, Modern Design: In its place is a much homier, traditional style featuring warmer woods and the return of color inside the home.
Vertical Garden Walls: Love the look of those artistic box-wall gardens? Due to the weight and difficulty in maintenance, homeowners are now opting for good old-fashioned pots … except today’s choices are so much better.
Granite Overload: Too much granite can make a kitchen look “heavy.” While granite isn’t going away, quartz and composite countertops are taking the lead.