Interior Design Trends for 2018 – What’s In and What’s On the Way Out

KAFF002Trends can be pretty fickle — especially in the world of interior design.

Some things that are decidedly en vogue now will be “SO last season” in a matter of months. On the flip side, not all fads are doomed to fade away. Take the open concept floor plan — it’s a trend that has certainly proved its staying power!

As an interior designer, it’s part of my job to stay on top of what’s “in.” But here’s the thing: It doesn’t always mean I – or you -have to dive headfirst into every trend just because the cool kids are doing it.

My goal is to give your home a fresh, timeless feel. That means finding design touches that will last — or at least ones that will prove adaptable when the pendulum eventually swings in another direction.

To this end, I’ve been perusing the latest “trend lists” to get a better sense of what is coming down the pike in 2018. I’ve compiled some of the highlights below. Give it a read and see what you think. Which trends will prove timeless and which will be quickly shown the door? I’m still trying to make up my mind on some of them!

  • Bye-bye all white

All-white everything has been, well, white-hot, these past few years, especially in kitchens. We’re talking white cabinets, white walls, white carrera marble backsplashes, etc.

I actually love this look, but agree with the emerging sentiment: too stark. We are due for a splash of color.

Some, upon hearing this, may be tempted to take their paintbrushes and go wild. If you are a person who just LOVES bright pigments, I’d say go for it. Done tastefully, a host of colors can present a bold, cohesive look. Just make sure there is thought behind your choices.

Photos by Vivian Jones

For example, this L.A. home looks fantastic with the splashes of bright color throughout. But it wouldn’t work in every home or in every locale.If you fell in love with the white-on-white trend and aren’t ready to give it up just yet, try a more gradual approach.

Notice how this Denver living room starts with a fairly neutral base, but has pops of color introduced through cushions, artwork and throw pillows.

I admire the foresight of these homeowners. They’ve managed to walk the line between trends perfectly by blending their all-white cabinetry and backsplash with a more colorful kitchen island, maple countertop and warm-toned floors.

When picking colors, you can still tap the rich, jewel tones we talked about previously. Or dare to go even brighter. Check out the Gen Z yellow discussed in this article (yowza!).

Black is also apparently making a moody appearance. To me, this reads classic, elegance. But it is also a more dramatic shift, so proceed at your own risk!

  • Rustic everything is getting old

It was bound to happen. The rustic/farmhouse/industrial melting pot appears to have boiled over. Most probably agree that we went a little crazy as Joanna Gaines mania took over the nation. Now interior designers are saying enough.

This article explains the backlash in more detail than I will get into here. CliffsNotes version: old on top of old just looks old!

The good news is you can still have your wide-planked floorboards (Yay! I would HUG a perfectly distressed wide-planked floorboard if I could). Look for lighter hues , in a 5-inch plank or wider. And if vintage is part of your design DNA, you can still go there with a few carefully-selected antiques or accessories. Just don’t go overboard!

  • Mixed metals

Rose gold is singing its swan song. I’ve read several articles now that say this pink-hued metal is on its way out. Brushed brass may be going the same way. But the designers who are putting these hues on the no-fly list allow for an unlacquered finish — which is a good thing, IMOHO. A touch of brass or gold can really add the warmth you crave in a room.

The key for 2018 will be mixing these metals with others for a slightly eclectic look. Here’s a really good explainer I came across, which gives in-depth tips on how to mix metals with style.
And remember how we talked about black having its moment? According to this list (scroll down to number 8), we will also be seeing a lot of black fixtures, particularly in matte finishes.

  • Stoke your inner flower child

Here’s a fun, potential wild card in 2018.

I’m seeing more and more designers reaching back to the 1970s for inspiration. That article that talked about banishing all things rustic? The designers there make clear they don’t want to end time travel altogether.

Powder room wallpaper install by JSB Designs.

Powder room wallpaper install by JSB Designs.

They just have a different stop in mind. Drawing from the disco era, they talk of curved furniture and architecture and intense pigments like burnt orange and deep green. Statement ceilings are also listed on several trend lists, including this one, which pulled together some of the top searches on Pinterest.

Something about that ceiling (listed as number five on their list) just screams 1970s. Speaking of, check out that terrazzo floor they listed as number four. Love it!

  • Wallpaper

Trulia says wallpaper is making a comeback this year, and it’s not the dainty, flowery type that you remember from growing up. I’m seeing a lot of texture and dramatic patterns, both of which can really turn a room into a work of art. Read here and here for tips on picking something that speaks to the current trends.

Here’s to 2018! I can’t wait to see how these trends fare through the year.