Home design trends for 2019

The new year is here, so what’s on your home improvement agenda?

Many people tackle big, disruptive projects like kitchen or bathroom overhauls that come with big price tags and a lot of noise and activity. But smaller changes, like updating color palettes, furniture or accessories in your rooms can make a big impact, too.

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Staying on top of home design trends is not about watching more HGTV shows where everything is gray or covered in shiplap. And it’s not just about flipping through pages in shelter magazines where every room is perfectly staged and, very likely, filled with custom-made furniture that not everyone can afford.

The place to watch is the High Point semiannual furniture market, where major manufacturers debut new collections that, to some degree, dictate what you’ll find in furniture stores, from colors and textures to shapes and trims.

Two Houston interior designers, Laura Umansky of Laura U Interior Design and Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora Interiors, offer their take on the recent fall market, showing the top trends you’ll find if you go shopping for home furnishings now.

Just remember, some trends will come and go and others will have staying power. If you don’t hire professional help for decorating your home, stick with things that are in your budget that you truly love, and your house will reflect your style.

Here’s what Umansky and Solomon say are hot right now:

Swivel chairs

Chairs are getting a lot of attention, and one style that’s increasingly popular for its versatility is the swivel chair. Not only are they comfortable, but in big open floor plans where kitchen, dining and living areas all occupy one big room, swivel chairs allow you and your guests to pivot to different activities and conversations.

“We get so many requests for swivel chairs. Even those who don’t know they want them are asking for them without saying those words,” Umansky said. “They’re flexible, especially in larger living spaces where you have two or three seating areas. People in swivel chairs can turn to any conversation.”

Solomon said that swivel chairs and power motion seating in general was popular. “In just about every chair (style), you’re going to find swivels,” she said, noting the built-in functionality that manufacturers are paying attention to.

Warmer tones

Yes, we all saw this coming. The cool gray tones that have dominated home design for the several years are finally giving way to warmer hues. You’ll see full-on beige tones or just warmer grays that we’ll call “taupe.”

Solomon noted that butterscotch or caramel-colored leathers were everywhere, so you’ll likely see those tan leathers on sofas, chairs and ottomons. Don’t be surprised if they’re tufted, a nice little detail that adds polish to any piece.

“I saw a lot of leather. It was surprising to me how much — and the butterscotch color was in every showroom,” Solomon said.

Autumnal pastels

If you love a fall palette, this softer take on rust, orange, brown and green is what Umansky means when she references “autumnal pastels.” There are always people looking for bright colors to energize their home, of course, but the trend of soft neutrals is now extending into fall colors.

“Think of it as 50 percent white injected into deep rust or olive green. I saw it everywhere,” Umansky said. In her own Classically Current blog, Umansky called out Benjamin Moore’s Brickyard Clay and Olive Branch as two paint colors that fit this theme.

Lilac and blush

In that same vein, the soft blush color that’s been popular for the past couple of years continues, and its color cousin, lilac, is moving in. Umansky and Solomon both said deep shades of lilac made an appearance at High Point, as a continuation of the warming of colors in general.

Burl wood

Brown wood may not be so popular, but lighter wood grains are, including the unusual grain shapes in burl wood, Solomon said. You’ll see it in accent or coffee tables and in consoles and credenzas.

Green velvet

Is it possible to not like velvet? This soft fabric now comes in much tougher, high performance styles that are easier to care for, even with children and pets. Umansky and Solomon both said they saw a lot of green velvet chairs at the furniture market.

“I just love velvet in general. I love velvet and heavier textiles and we’ve been using it quite a bit in interiors the past couple of years,” Umansky said. “Velvet is popular and we’re still on that train.”

Adding to the green theme, Solomon said she saw lots of malachite stone, on furnishings and malachite patterns in wallcoverings.

Rattan and cane

Whether you call it retro or boho, cane and rattan furniture — updated versions of furnishings you may remember from your parent’s or grandparent’s sun room or lake house — is back. No longer relegated to patio/porch usage, chairs with rattan frames and credenzas or consoles with cane panel inserts are more refined than ever, Umansky said.

“I love cane furniture because it makes me think of French Deco and the 19th century, a really old application. I’ve seen Louis XV dining chairs with cane backs, but in the U.S., cane is something we think of as midcentury,” Umansky said. “You’ll see a lot of updated applications, with even more contemporary lines of furniture with cane.”


It’s a good thing that mixing metals is still in style, because metal preferences seem to change faster than any of us really want to swap out hardware. The preference for silver tones gave way to gold, and now, warmer silver tones such as pewter and polished nickel are popular, Umansky said.

Solomon said that while gold statement light fixtures still made a strong showing, she saw warm silver as a finish on all kinds of things, including credenzas and other case pieces.

Black with gold

Solomon’s own style is bold and eclectic modern, so the trend of black pieces with gold accents are right up her alley. She noted that several tables and case pieces — such as bar cabinets, consoles and coffee tables — are being made with black finishes and gold trim or hardware.

“It is really sophisticated, with a glam feel to it,” Solomon said of black and gold, or even black and white.

Curvy silhouettes

The increased interest in midcentury modern and modern decor is bringing in more curvy silhouettes in sofas, chairs and other furnishings, Solomon said. You’ll see kidney shaped settees or sofas with rounded ends.

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