The Latest Looks You’ll Love for 2013

Which design trends are interior decorators seeing as the “next big thing” for 2013? Chevron patterns, glass backsplashes and retractable towel rings are just a few making their way into the latest remodels. Keep in mind that as much as you may want to incorporate the latest design trends in your home, it’s important to choose ideas that are practical and will stand the test of time. Here are some suggestions on the freshest finds out there.


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Photo: Chevron Pattern | MoenThe time for bold, yet neutral Chevron has come! This pattern is showing up everywhere: on kitchen walls, backsplashes, floors, throw rugs, pillows and shower curtains. Most Chevron patterns alternate black then white then black, but by playing around with alternative colors, you can lessen the impact of the design and achieve a more serene look. 

Another surprising look involved the resurgence of wallpaper and the introduction of wall decals. Since the 60s, people have been using wallpaper to add an accent and some personality to a room. Both wallpaper and wall decals are now removable and a popular option to spice up your home. 

When it comes to spicing up your kitchen, you’ll find that creative and beautiful backsplashes are a great way to go. Large, back-painted glass panels require no grout and are one of the hottest looks right now. In the past, backsplashes were a purely functional surface that protected a kitchen or bathroom’s walls from sprays and splatters: but today, they’re an easy and attractive upgrade.

Photo: American Cabinet & Flooring | Designer Clay Bernard

Photo: Moen MotionSense FaucetIf you’re looking for a convenient and eco-friendly upgrade, consider Moen’s MotionSense faucet. With just a wave of your hand, you’ll trigger the flow of water. Wave your hand again, and you’ll turn it off. Its state-of-the-art technology helps to maximize performance, minimize waste and make everyday routines faster and easier.

For another green option in the kitchen, check out the many advantages of bamboo flooring. It’s easy to clean, ideal for allergy sufferers and long-lasting. Environmentally friendly (a quick renewable crop). It has extremely low formaldehyde emissions and makes an excellent floor for a healthy home.


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Photo: Moen Retractable Towel RingHead to the bathroom for a smart innovation that’s quickly growing in popularity: Moen’s Retractable Towel Ring. If you’re tired of hand towels cluttering countertops, doorknobs and floors, this is your solution. The ring secures your hand towels in place, expands out to 11″ and effortlessly retracts back to its original position. It works well in every room with a faucet, including bathroom, kitchen, utility room and garage.

Rounding out our list of updates is the new nature-inspired bathroom. Think rustic tiles. A rock wall in the shower. Wicker baskets. A range of earthy patterns and colors. They’re all designed to achieve the feeling of a relaxing, private spa. It’s easy to create a beautiful room that feels like you’re entering an enchanted grotto or canyon.

These ideas represent just a few of the trends tat are destined to become traditions. You can feel confident knowing that as current as they are, these improvements will easily stay in vogue for years to come. 

Surface Value

Consumers play it safe and practical when choosing kitchen countertops

If you had to sum up current kitchen countertop trends in a few phrases, you might use the following: durability, generational preferences, clean and simple and ice cream sundaes. When taken together, they reflect prevailing consumer attitudes about kitchen remodels (and perhaps home improvement projects in general). Sure, they’re renovating for themselves but hey, let’s not get too crazy.

Practical Matters

This sentiment may explain why many of the trends may seem familiar and why performance remains a key concern in purchasing decisions, even as aesthetics have assumed more of a leadership role. “The recession had changed people’s attitudes about experimentation,” said Kelly Morisseau, a Walnut Creek, CA-based designer and author of popular industry blog Kitchen Sync. “I see quartz countertops going as strong as ever but less demand for materials like concrete and stainless steel.” In Ambler, PA – David Stimmel – of Stimmel Design Group, still uses concrete countertops in much of his work but agrees engineered stone is king, its popularity no doubt buoyed by its ease of maintenance and durability.

But all is not engineered stone. White marbles, such as Carrara and Calcutta Gold, continue to have their admirers, and thanks to a flood of lower-cost varieties from overseas, granite has not completely gone away, noted Chad Seiders, executive director of Artisan Group. A softer, warmer alternative, solid surfacing has also regained its footing, especially among those with a taste for the sleek, contemporary and even monolithic. “It’s a better-performing material in that you can do more with it,” said Thomas Perich, North American marketing manager for surfaces at DuPont, citing advantages such as a lack of seams and ability to create coved backsplashes, integral sinks and thick edges. “You just have a lot of flexibility.”

Safety in Colors

As to color, the selections are vast and many, yet consumer preferences still tend toward the conservative. “A lot of clients want to go for the bold colors, but in the end, they never really do,” Stimmel said. Most play it safe with earth tones, such as creams and caramels, or what Morisseau calls “ice cream sundae colors.” Summer Kath, senior director of business development and strategic partnership at Cambria USA, also sees interest in grays, browns, black and, of course, white. Not surprisingly, a recent best seller for Cosentino North America, noted Lorenzo Marquez, the company’s VP of marketing, resembles white marble. 

In fact, Martinez said, “We’re finding that homeowners and designers are seeking options that offer the aesthetic of, say, a marble or granite,” a trend borne out by the latest quartz offerings from Consentino and Cambria. Nature-inspired, the designs are rich in veining and dramatic in movement – a look favored by the older Boomer set whose kitchens are more traditional, said Morisseau. The younger, contemporary inclined are apt to choose calmer options with smaller particulate or, if they live in cosmopolitan areas, solids, which are emerging in Europe, said Perich. 

Mixing and Edging

Where self-expression lets loose is in the mixing of materials and colors – although that, too, can depend on geography – and the varying of countertop thickness, which can range from ½ inch to 1½ inch to 3 inches. Most industry experts agree simple edges and mitered corners are in, but some still field requests for ornate, classic treatments. Also being specified are chiseled edges on engineered and natural stone, as well as wood tops with “a naked or bark edge” that appears as if just sliced from a tree, Stimmel said. Perich has also noticed that in Europe and, to a lesser degree, on these shores, contemporary kitchens are moving toward ultra-thin countertops with virtually no edge.

Developments to watch for? Maybe. Much depends on factors beyond the realm of kitchens and baths – politics, economics, culture – and their impact on consumers’ mood. There will always be curiosity and demand for the next big thing, but if the present is any indication, form and function still go hand in hand.