One of the things I love about my job as a general contractor is working with highly talented designers and architects. This allows me a front-row seat to emerging design trends. Being close to a hotbed of designers in Austin, Texas, is an excellent bonus.
While trends always come and go, the classics always return. These are the design trends that translate to elegance. Let's look at four trends making a successful resurgence and explore how even simple additions add elegance to a home.
The renewed interest in black hardware combines functionality with elegance, beauty, and sophistication in virtually any setting. For instance, lately, we've seen an increased use of black and silver hardware with various finishes. When I started my career in construction in the 90s, brass was "in," and today, brass is back. Almost all my door hardware is black, while the hardware for other purposes is some version of brass. Silver is another classic design trend that's here to stay. Stainless appliances are still popular even though they've been around for 20 to 30 years.
Another design trend worth noting is a return to warmth (we'll talk more about that below) but by way of millwork. I see a return to more millwork and fewer Spartan finishes. I did quite a bit of wood walls in my new build and utilized Sugatsune's ease three-way adjustable hinges for some hidden doors (on another note, I've always loved hidden doors, but I see those more and more across Instagram on designers' and builders' feeds). I'm also noticing that people are interested in bringing some warmth back to spaces that previously leaned toward colder, more modern, and more sterile. So we see raw and light-colored stains on hardwood floors and wood ceilings.
We're witnessing the use of more transitional designs that replace cold, sterile, and Spartan finishes. Custom millwork, raw or painted, includes doors, molding, trim flooring, wall paneling, and crown moldings. They all add a high degree of warmth to any home.
While we're on the topic of warmth, raw or light-colored stains for hardwood floors and wood ceilings also add elegance to design. I welcome this move to warmth. In my own home, for example, I have several wood walls, and they add not only warmth but also a dramatic touch to the home's interior.
We see a lot of painted millwork again and houses leaning towards a transitional style, which is a blend of modern and traditional elements. And that's my house in a lot of ways. I enjoyed classic trim and traditional looks, but wanted a more modern twist, so my house has quite a bit of wood walls, wood ceilings, some painted and some raw.
Brushed metal hardware is coming back, representing a classic finish that is an excellent choice throughout the home. Finishes that have been rapidly gaining traction include satin brass, satin nickel, matte black, and antique brass.
By implementing classic colors including black, brass, silver, and gold, and warm wood design features, the results blend modern functionality and the warmth that only classic choices can deliver.