Yes, we’re just kicking off the holiday season, and while we are thinking about stuffing our stockings and which one of those 35 holiday parties to attend, let’s take a breather and look back on what this year has brought us in the world of design.

Yes, we’re just kicking off the holiday season, and while we are thinking about stuffing our stockings and which one of those 35 holiday parties to attend, let’s take a breather and look back on what this year has brought us in the world of design.

TOP TRENDS WE LOVE (and want to stick around)

Stone with attitude

Studio 34 South; Photography by Nina van Ewijk

Give us all the marble, quartzite, soapstone we can handle... and the more veining and movement the better! Could it tend towards a Versace/ Soprano villa easily? Yes, maybe so. But used as the main focal point like Studio 34 South did in their Harleem Residence and it takes your space to the next level. For a modern monolithic look, install with a waterfall edge. If your vibe is more traditional, include beveled and rounded corners.

Major Curves

Decus Interiors; Photography by Felix Forest

While Mondrian inspired designs will always have a place, this year the arch took major stage in the design world. Australia and Northern Europe were one of the firsts to expand on this trend and it quickly spread all over.

From furniture to casework to walls, the curve is both sexy and soft, bold and elegant. We love a good arch, but there can definitely be too much of a good thing. Restaurants whose brand is integral with the arch will have lasting power (was McDonalds the original inspiration for 2019?!), but commercial spaces jumping on the curve bandwagon for the heck of it run the risk of looking dated in 5 years.


Brass Fixtures

You had a nice run, brass kitchen faucet, but it’s time to be put to bed. You too, brass cabinet pulls. Don’t get me wrong, we like unfinished raw brass - the kind that darkens to a beautiful patina over time. But the shiny, yellow version that we’ve seen for the past 3 years? It’s time for that to go.  

Plain Jane Navy Kitchen Cabinets

Have you ever seen a navy kitchen island paired with white cabinets surrounding them? Of course you have. So many home builders have relied on this tried and true formula for kitchen design, and it has made the once modern design trend feel overused and dated. Consider using wood or a painted glaze instead of shaker plain painted cabinets - they lend a warmth that can’t be achieved with paint alone.  

Crazy Terrazzo

Terrazzo, once dedicated to airport floors, has seen a strong comeback everywhere from flooring to countertops to wall cladding. We love terrazzo’s ability to be customized for any space’s color scheme. But lately, homeowners and designers alike have been overusing this and making the large, color splotched patterns ubiquitous in remodels and new builds. Not only is it expensive per square foot, but it is so distinctive it will certainly look out of place in just a few years. We’ll take a hard pass on this trend.


Glass brick (and other bricks too)

Ok, hear us out on this one. The creative use of brick to create movement in facades has been mastered by the works of Behet Bondzio Lin Architekten and more recently, Geom Design. The once boring building block is boring no more!

The glass blocks of today incorporate color and pattern like used in the Siren Hotel by Ash Design. If the 80’s are making a comeback, we’re happy to welcome this trend back into the mix.

Images above from left to right: Ash design, Siren Hotel; Biasol, Pinkie Cafe; WRSN Architects, AirBNB Flagship Office

It’s hip to be square

FAP Ceramics

Luigi Rosselli Architects

Related to the driving success of the circle, arch, and all the other curved friends of 2019, the square is due for a comeback in 2020. We’ve already seen it take off with tile (Hello, Zellige), but we anticipate this geometry to translate to other applications (hint hint… see glass block above).

The “square” has the ability to morph based on your design aesthetic. A 4x4 ceramic tile in a fun color will read post modern, while a white tile with a bevel can lean more traditional. The options are endless for this one!

Tiled Hood Vent Covers

House of Chef Jacques, Home & Leisure Magazine

Kitchen hoods - we all need them. They have made vast improvements in design over the past ten years, but sometimes the large hunk of stainless steel really isn’t working in the design vision. Yes, wrapping it with drywall or concealing with cabinetry are all fine solutions, but tiling this utilitarian piece sounds even better.  

That’s exactly what Jacques Erasmus did in his kitchen featured in House and Leisure Magazine. The rest of the kitchen has too many swoon worthy elements to mention (that ceiling!), but we’re loving how the simple 6x6 tile is continued around the sizable hood. With so many other elements in the space to draw attention, this helps to make it quietly function in the background.

What are some of your favorite trends of 2019?