Top home design trends for 2015

Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | February 3, 2015

Design experts have weighed in on what they expect to see in home trends this year, and the answers make for interesting design opportunities for homeowners. With some help from celebrity interior decorator and nousDECOR chief designer Mark Cutler, we have compiled a list of the hottest trends you can expect to see in homes in 2015.

Technology incorporated into home design

First it was smartphones, now it's smart homes. Cutler sees many great things on the horizon, including a few that he finds particularly exciting. "The first is voice-operated assistants," he said. "Jibo is a voice-operated assistant that can do many things, from making calls, adjusting the stereo, and even the level of the lights. Amazon has just come out with a similar device, Echo. These may look like toys now, but the potential for these is huge, and these two are just the beginning."

Technology will make a big mark in the things that entertain us, especially by streamlining our television and movie-watching. Not only will the newest technology be completely unobtrusive, Cutler believes it will also be very inexpensive. "For ages, we have had yet another clunky box by the TV, whether it's Roku or any other number of devices, but the Amazon Firestick is changing all that," Cutler said. "Just plug this piece of magic into the side of your TV and you are done, all for less than $50."

The 80s are coming back

From heavy metal to pastel colors to serious excess, it's all coming back around in home design.

"The metal for this year is brass," Cutler said. "After being pushed aside by nickel and then bronze for years, brass is now front and center. Look more to a burnished, satin finish for now, rather than polished brass." Pastel colors are also making their mark in 2015, but not bright and flashy ones just yet. Cutler suspects that sky blue, tangerine, and mint green are going to be hot this year.

Remember the excess of the 80's? That is back in the form of luxury. "No more sitting on scratchy Belgian linen sofas or getting splinters on rough reclaimed tables," Cutler said. "Bring on the velvets, silks, and brocades. Bring on the varnish, gold leaf, and French polish. As people begin to regain financial strength, this year will bring about renewed interest in the finer things, and the desire to live like a well-appointed monk in Bruges is fading away."

Furniture for smaller homes

The movement to downsize homes is gaining strength, but what about the furniture? If you are living in a place the size of a postage stamp, that enormous sofa that seats the entire family simply won't do. In addition to smaller furniture, designers are creating pieces that take into account the visual aspect of a home.

"One of the hottest trends of the year is totally transparent…acrylic furniture is back," Cutler said. "Perhaps it ties in with the 80's idea a little too well, but manufacturers are starting to line the showrooms with new see-through pieces, everything from bookshelves to tables and chairs."

Homemade is making waves

For some homeowners, the finer things in life can also be the simple things. With that spirit in mind, look for handmade items to spring up all over the most stylish homes this year.

"There is a rising interest in fine, handmade products," Cutler said. "It's no longer enough to have an expensive piece of furniture; the trend now is to know who the artisan was, what techniques were used, etc. This trend is probably a reaction to the mass market retailers who are the antithesis of this. Access to these artisans ironically has been helped by the internet, which lets even the most obscure artist in the hills of Mexico reach out to a consumer on the coast of California."

A blend of cultures

Speaking of the internet, it has definitely opened up a whole new world to those who used to know only one part of it. This means that tastes in home decor and design are influenced by all sorts of vibes from across the globe, and the result is an elegant blend.

"As people spend more time traveling the globe, either virtually or in real life, they are influenced by many cultures," Cutler said. "Displaying these new discoveries creates a dynamic culture clash. Someone can sit on a French Deco sofa, set a drink on a carved Namibian table, and rest their feet on a Moroccan rug, all the while basking in the light of a Venetian Chandelier."

Whether you choose to live in a tiny house, paint the walls mint green, keep it all simple and homemade, or opt for the latest in technology, your home is your castle -- and these design trends will help you make it even more enjoyable to live there.

Photo credit to Kevin Irby

About the Author

Shannon Lee is a freelance writer and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.