Emotional comfort is on trend for home decor in 2019

What trends will dominate home decorating in 2019?

When we asked interior designers about the colors, fabrics and styles likely to be popular next year, one message came through loud and clear: People are seeking comfort at home.

But rather than casual, farmhouse-style comfort, these designers are seeing a trend toward a sophisticated, elegant comfort achieved through things like warm wall colors, antique wooden items with a patina of age, and rounded corners on furniture.

Along with the physical coziness these items bring, many folks seem to be seeking a degree of emotional comfort in their home decor.

“Someone just asked us if we would do an ombre carpet up their stairs, working with the ombre wallpaper up the wall,” says New York-based furniture and wallcovering designer Brett Beldock. “They want this cocoon feeling. Our surroundings have to be really warm and comforting now … everything is crazy and we're all up in the air.”

We've asked Beldock and two other interior designers — Washington D.C.-based Marika Meyer and New Yorker Dan Mazzarini — for details on what we'll see in home design in the coming year.

Comforting spaces

For years, Americans were in love with open floor plans and large furniture. Now, “people want more intimately scaled spaces,” says Mazzarini. “Not Victorian-small, but not this kind of ‘everything open' living.”

In response, we're seeing “a temporary pause on oversized things,” he says, as people feel like nesting.

Along the way, the color palette is becoming equally cozy. Popular neutral colors have “been so cool for a number of years,” Meyer says. As 2019 approaches, “we're coming back into more warm neutrals.”

And Beldock sees furniture shapes changing: We're seeing a return to rounded edges and pieces of furniture with big, soft, rounded arms.

Patterns and papers

Expect to see lots of paper and fabric coverings on walls and ceilings in 2019. Beldock says murals are popular, as are patterns that can be mixed to create a vibrant space and give walls an appearance of depth.

Meyer agrees that patterns are increasingly important. As part of a “return to traditionalism” in home design, she sees many people opting for “heavy layering of very traditional patterns.”

Although many patterns incorporate a mix of colors, expect to see plenty of rich shades of green in fabric and wallpaper patterns. While blues and indigos have been huge in recent years, Meyer says that in 2019 “green is the new blue.” It's likely to be used in everything from upholstery patterns to kitchen furnishings.

Warm woods and traditional styles

Antiques and secondhand items are also having a moment.

“There have always been the antique lovers that we've worked with,” says Mazzarini. But now, a growing number of people “are responding more positively to things that have an actual sense of history.”

Meyer agrees: “More and more clients say to me they're interested in a beautiful wood antique chest,” she says.

This trend is quite practical in the smaller-scale homes and condos favored these days, Meyer says, because people have a real need for storage space. If a client chooses an antique wooden chest instead of a Parsons table, “it's concealed storage.”

Traditional skirted tables are becoming popular again for the same reason: Under the soft folds of a fabric tablecloth that reach to the floor, you can store items out of sight.

Even for homeowners who prefer a more modern style, warm wood tones are increasingly popular, Beldock says.

“Everyone's using warm woods and walnuts,” she says, or “actually doing a fireplace, and around the fireplace having your extra wood in a niche on each side that's the height of the whole wall.”

Some clients continue asking for lighter wood tones, Mazzarini says. But even when paired with white items for a very clean look, the wood grain brings a degree of warmth to a room.

Shades of blue were popular in 2018, says designer Marika Meyer, but she sees a growing trend toward decorating with shades of green, as seen in this Washington, D.C.-area breakfast nook designed by Meyer.
Among the trends emerging for 2019 are an embrace of patterned fabrics that can be paired together, as seen in this Washington, D.C.-area living room designed by interior designer Marika Meyer.
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