Beyond the latest materials and colours for your home are emerging design trends focused on innovative technology, accessible design, and sustainability. We look at how these trends translate into the best new features for your home. Read on noteworthy design trends for home and cottage in 2019/20.
Trend #1: Innovative technology
We might not have flying cars yet but there’s a definitive futuristic influence in today’s home design. The increasing use of IOT (Internet of Things) technologies—colloquially, “smart” devices and integrations—has resulted in a bona fide trend towards features and appliances that are good for us, and the environment. Consider these notable newbies to the home design scene:
• Superior showering – The Delta H20Kinetic Pendant Raincan is a futuristic showerhead that is designed to “sculpt” your water stream for more coverage without using more water.
• Kompletely konnected – The Kohler Konnect takes “smart” technology to the next level by linking in with an existing system (like Alexa or Google Assistant) or their phone app to accept voice commands for lighting, water, and music. It’s about as close as you can get to directly communicating with your house.
• Flotation device – Forget soaking. With this tub from Toto, you can simulate the feeling of zero gravity during bath time. Their “Zero Dimension” technology is just the thing for those who want to know what it feels like to bathe in space.
Trend #2: Universal design
Closely associated with aging in place design and other accessibility initiatives, universal design is no longer a special consideration and should be considered standard design. Forget about designs that sacrifice style for functionality. Today’s universal design looks great and is better for everyone.
• Lights on! – Lighting that senses your presence and moves to light your way is not just for those with vision limitations. Motion detection, “smart” voice-activated switches, and illuminated cabinets and fixtures make every room better.
• Don’t touch – You’ve used them in airports, restaurants, and public buildings, and now it’s time to bring touchless faucets to your home.
• Go, go, gadget grab bars – The availability of grab bars, especially in showers or near toilets, is a major benefit. The problem is, when you imagine them you’re thinking of something large, unsightly, and utilitarian. The good news is there’s a whole new sector of multipurpose, movable grab bars so your towel bar or shower basket can double as a stabilizer.
Trend #3: Sustainability
• Waste not, want not – We discovered the new Ann Sacks Crackle Collection by Kohler WasteLAB at a major design show in Vegas earlier this year. These gorgeous high-end tiles are made from recycled dry cull. WasteLAB artisans hand-cut and glaze each tile, giving them a unique, bespoke appearance.
• Floor plan – Recycled and chemical-free carpet tiles and flooring are an attractive and environmentally friendly way to finish your rooms. We’ve sourced these for multiple projects—including our 2019 HelluvaHut—and they are a winner every time!
Trend #4: Kitchens and baths
This year we’re seeing a lot of innovation in kitchen and baths with several emerging trends.
• Compartmentalization – Increasingly, kitchen and bath spaces are designed with bespoke storage. Forget large bins or closets—everything should have a specific space to make it easier to find. This can usually be achieved through pull-outs or drawers.
• Custom appliances – Why go for plain white when you can have an appliance that matches your decor. Custom treatments on refrigerators, range hoods, or dishwashers can really make a statement.
• Reconsider the cabinets – Consider leaving out the upper cabinets in place of larger windows or open shelves—especially those that float or are suspended from the ceiling.
• Island life – Free-standing kitchen islands—those that are elevated off the floor on legs—are very on-trend. The style welcomes re-purposed pieces and promises to remain classic. The photo here is of a custom island we designed for a Haliburton open-concept kitchen (take a look at the full gallery here).
• Integration – Kitchens and bathrooms are seeing an increase in integrated (built-in) hardware on drawers and cabinets.
Trend #5: Mixed metals and materials
Break boundaries by mixing and matching metals on hardware, faucets, and light fixtures. Best practices suggest using each material at least three times in the room, but beyond that the ideas are endless. This year we’ve seen a lot of variation in materials as well. Rather than relying on matching countertops and kitchen islands, for example, consider using wood and metal. A mix of raw and painted wood can spruce up a room, as can the considered use of several different stains.
Trend #6: Interiors
Cambria countertops are timeless and this year we’re seeing designs with a matte finish and bold veining like their Brittanicca. In keeping with the renewed interest in natural materials, wood—especially durable types like hickory, walnut, and oak—is very on-trend for interiors right now. Consider it for floors, cabinetry, and furniture. Warm neutrals like grey and brown are replacing the cooler greys seen recently, with an influx of muted pastels and moody hues like hunter green, teal, and navy blue.