14 Interior Design Trends Analyzed by Google Search Volume
Interior design trends in the United States can be as fleeting as the spring crocus or as hardy and lasting as the hardwood gracing millions of homeowners’ floors. Much of the momentum surrounding these trends is dictated by a current preference for mid-century modern and vintage styles. Shades can vary, but the steadiness of the natural and the timeless are generally reigning supreme. On their way up or trickling downward, these trends for décor, walls, flooring, and fixtures show how America sees itself in the home. Using Google's search trend data, we can see how much or how little different elements enter our minds.
Painted Ceilings: Steady Upward Trend
Homeowners who long to use an amazing palette of shades and hues for a room are beginning to see the ceiling as a fifth wall. Past preferences called for leaving the ceiling white, due to an interest in saving time and aiming to keep a higher feel for lower ceilings. Trends over the past eight years indicate that adding color to the ceiling has taken over somewhat—people feel less bound by the old advice. They can make the ceiling a lighter shade of the same color on the walls, or go for bold colors on high, vaulted ceilings that can support it.
Floral Print: A Little Less Seasonal?
Some trends wax and wane with the change in the weather, and floral prints are a good example. Colors such as pink, brown or grey can have their time in the sun, but preference for flowers in home décor and accents seems to literally follow the sun. With an increase in interest for vintage designs hailing from the 1970s and 1980s, the flower’s current power sits in its ability to remind people of times gone by.
Once the sun starts to shorten its stay every fall, the average homeowner turns to other styles, but search data suggests that these valleys aren't as low anymore. This could potentially mean that more decorators and homeowners are experimenting with floral print in "non-traditional" seasons.
Wood Décor: Hot Item for 2018
As a design element, reclaimed wood has been reclaiming its position of prominence in various parts of the home. Wood held a minor role throughout the aughts, with a linear climb over the past five years. People who loved the idea of reusing hardwood flooring boards that are decades old wondered why they should not take advantage of the same style for their doors and accents throughout the home. This design, often referred to as “rustic-tech chic,” combines the latest in smart home technology with a base that is decidedly old-school.
Chevron Décor: 15 Minutes Might be Up
For a few years, it seemed that chevron décor, these zigzag lines in repeating colors, had taken over the interior design market. Fabrics and walls were heavily adorned in the style. However, in the past year or two, preferences for the design have dropped off sharply. Experts suggest that this change may result from a desire to use a style that looks more appropriate for adults, not kids. Something a bit more upscale, like herringbone, offers that necessary variation without coming off as too basic for the home.
Wabi Sabi: Trend to Watch
In the early 2000s, people began to consider the idea of accepting their imperfections in the home space. This concept has a traditional Japanese philosophy behind it, known as “wabi sabi.” This design aesthetic branches out into a variety of options, from a broken bowl repaired with a shiny sealant, to the acceptance of minor faults in a painted wall. Wabi sabi, which peaks and drops periodically in popularity over the past few years, asks people to let go of their demand for perfection in lines and color, allowing natural variation to thrive. This kind of look may be great for LA condo dwellers that want to embrace the imperfect aesthetic.
Tufted Sofas: Steady Climber
A growing interest in the traditionally popular pieces brings a continuous look at the tufted sofa. The origins of this seating upholstery approach, held together in a grid of buttons, is a little hazy. It may date back as far as the 18th Century. More recently, it held a strong corner of the market in the mid-20th Century. A resurgence of preference for the mid-century modern style seems to have brought it back into vogue. People appreciate the classic design and the luxurious feel of a tufted sofa in leather or other materials.
Marble Décor: Moving On Up
Natural stone has a popularity that seems to be gaining ground every year. People love the completely unique appearance of a cut piece of stone. It may look a little like others, but each piece is one-of-a-kind. Marble décor for flooring, countertops, and accents is booming. Shades range from the brightest white to the deepest black, with veins presenting a stripe of contrast. Marble offers a classic beauty that reminds homeowners of stately homes and structures from centuries gone by. The material is very hardy, making it less likely to crack or break over time.
Shabby Chic: Slowly Fading Away
The concept of intentional distressing, sort of the opposite of wabi sabi, is taking the long way out of the room. Shabby chic involves a love and appreciation of the worn. Distressed furniture and accents made to resemble driftwood hit its peak around 2006. The style offered all the comforts and presentation of a beach cottage or an English country house. It coincided with an increase in popularity of upcycling used furniture and fabrics. As the preference for the clean lines and contrast of the mid-century modern style made a comeback, people started to put away their sandpaper blocks.
Brown Décor: Gradual Growth
The gray of the past few years is slowly climbing into the backseat, making room for other neutrals that offer the same kind of warmth and flexibility. Enter the color brown, with shades that remind people of the elements common to nature. Brown has long featured in homeowners’ interior design goals, simply because it can coordinate with almost any palette. However, the color is taking back its place over grey just in the past couple of years, ranging from a medium oak to a deep chocolate.
Colorful Kitchens: Making a Comeback
For the past several years, the concept of the white kitchen or a kitchen with contrasting shades of black and white has ruled as king. Although a desire for the clean lines of the mid-century modern style still holds, people are looking for a way to bring back a pop of color. Homeowners want a way to offer a bright contrast to their white shaker cabinets and glossy marble countertops. This trend often manifests in choices of colorful small appliances, window treatments, and walls.
Trough Sinks: Solid Gains in Popularity
The bathroom pedestal sink is on its way out, and cabinetry is in. For the perfect complement to a homeowner preference for wood cabinetry, the trough sink presents unending flexibility. Trough sinks are a fixture with a wide basin that is generally rectangular in shape, and can be either very shallow or quite deep. Although the trend has hit a couple of deep valleys since late 2016, its steady growth indicates that it would be a fairly safe bet for bathroom and kitchen upgrades in the next year or two.
Velvet Furniture: Exploding in Popularity
There was a time, not long in the past, when velvet as a fabric was quite out of consumers’ minds. The plush material was seen as difficult to maintain in exchange for its soft feel. People have had a dramatic change of mind, realizing that the luscious texture of this fabric in a rich color like midnight blue or ruby red is a luxury they have just got to have. Since 2015, the trend has been on the rise and growing by leaps and bounds every year. The use of velvet with the tufted sofa or armchair ties in well with the interest in 1950s chic.
Pink Décor: Blossoming Trend
The bubble-gum pink popular in bathrooms in the 1950s faded out fairly quickly by the 1960s. By comparison, the complex, dusky pink commonly called “Millennial pink” for its demographic popularity, has yet to reach its full bloom. The preference is a little too new to determine if it will become a mainstay for the next several years, or rinse out in the wash. This hue offers a variety of tones inside, most commonly identified with rose quartz or rose gold. Although the pink typically comes in the form of an accent, often with a shade of grey, it can take center-stage in solid colors for walls, appliances, and fixtures.
Bamboo Flooring: Consistent, but not as Hot
The pressure to find upscale flooring options that are both hard-wearing and sustainable pushed bamboo into the limelight about 10 years ago. Bamboo is harder than many different kinds of hardwood that are commonly used in flooring. Since it is a grass, not wood, it can be harvested in only a few years, compared to decades for certain types of hardwood like oak. In recent years, people began to question how sustainable bamboo truly is, due to the materials needed to bind the grasses. It is still a viable flooring choice, but losing ground every year.
Following design trends for interior décor can be somewhat of a mixed bag for homeowners. Choosing a fad that lost popularity quickly could make a home seem dated after only a year or two. Opting for design elements with some staying power allows people to keep up with the times, without leaving themselves permanently stuck in the recent past. By considering the relative gains and losses of these 14 design trends, homeowners can make decisions for their homes that will offer an updated feel and a practical use.