2019: A Year of Decorating Distinction

The year isn’t even half over, but already there are unique décor trends that distinguish 2019.

By Tammy Adamson-McMullen


It may only be May, but 2019 is shaping up to be rather remarkable when it comes to decorating and design. Already there are unique trends in place that will have a longtime impact on the way we live in our homes. Here are five of the most notable so far.

Vertical Design

Vertical design is one of the biggest trends of the year as consumers make better use of off-the-floor spaces in their homes. The result is a growing industry of wall- and ceiling-mounted products that make our homes both more beautiful and more functional.

Shelving is a prime example. Encompassing a wide range of styles, materials and finishes, shelving can be found in every room of the home and especially in kitchens where shelves often are installed in lieu of upper cabinets. Open shelving makes a room appear larger. And when the shelves are painted in the same colour as the walls and other cabinets, the room looks larger still.

Wall gardens are another vertical sensation—perfect for small homes but trending in larger spaces, too, to add colour, texture and life to a space. Metal planters were popular in 2018; wood planters are gaining steam in 2019 (but need to be sealed for water protection). And the most popular fillers? Succulents, which are trending both inside and outside the home.

Colourful Cabinets

In the not-so-distant past, cabinets were dominated by whites and off-whites. Today, you can comfortably choose any colour you desire and still be on-trend. Bright greens, deep blues, complex reds, grays and even blacks are gaining steam and look stunning with brushed gold hardware. Colour-washed cabinets also are on the rise and include washes of aqua, charcoal, greens, deep red and even lavender—all part of the trending home palette.

And what about white? White hasn’t gone away, as many homeowners still appreciate the clean and fresh look it offers. If you have white cabinets and want to add some colour, consider painting just one bank of cabinets in the colour of your choice and leaving the others white—another on-trend look.

Artistic Wallpaper

Wallpaper is continuing its rise in home decor. Among the most popular prints are those with a modern-art flair: Picasso-inspired geometrics, Pollack-esque colour strokes, fluid Matisse-like patterns and linear Bauhaus designs. What these statement-makers have in common are high-contrasting colour, large-scale images and dramatic use of white space. Bold and sophisticated, they can be used anywhere and especially as accent walls, in entryways and down hallways.  

Of course, this modern look isn’t for everyone. Wallpaper companies still offer plenty of florals, stripes, plaids and other more traditional motifs. But these prints, too, are changed from years past with images that are larger in scale and have surprising bursts of colour and metallics. And many are artistic in their own right, with swirling colours and Impressionistic renderings.

Strong Geometrics

Geometrics are everywhere in 2019! You’ll find diamonds, stripes, circles, ovals, hexagons, chevrons, triangles, chevrons and similar patterns—not just in wallpaper but also in window treatments, upholstery, furniture, wood and tile installations and much more.

The most popular geometrics are large in scale, although it’s not uncommon to see larger geometrics paired with smaller ones. You’ll find large-scale geometric-patterned pillows, for instance, layered with smaller-scale companion pillows, or large diamond-shaped tile installations on the floor complemented by smaller diamond tiles on the wall or backsplash.

Also trending are geometric designs that appear three-dimensional—a look popular in wallcovering and upholstery and achieved through improved printing methods.

Industrial Mixing

Industrial styling has been gaining in home design over the past decade. But in 2019, it’s mixing with other styles as well, leading to whole new categories such as “industrial country,” “industrial cottage” and “industrial modern.”  

You can make any style more industrial with the simple addition here and there of the products that have made the look so popular: rusted and distressed metals, warehouse lighting, Edison light bulbs, utility hardware, masonry walls, acid-washed concrete, plank flooring, exposed beams and pipes, monochromatic paint colours and so on.

But there are so many industrially inspired products currently on the market—even those meant for more traditional decors—that it’s becoming difficult to avoid. As we move closer to 2020, you can bet that most of us will be living with at least a touch of industrial design in our homes.