(BPT) - Whether you're redecorating your home, changing up that old carpet for warm hardwood flooring, or just longing for a fresh coat of paint and some new accents in the living room, the design trends this year are all about texture, style and surprises. It’s hardwood floors celebrating knots and imperfections or variations in plank sizes and color. It's wood on your walls and faux stone tile backsplashes. It's mixing unexpected materials to create an entirely new look. Mix, match and mosaic is what it's all about this year.
Sara Babinski, a designer for Armstrong Flooring, offers her view of the top design trends of 2018.
Inspired by nature
Earth tones are big this year in everything from accent pieces, to linens and walls, to flooring. Think natural-colored solid hardwood and rattan dining chairs. Also on trend: breezy, uncomplicated seaside styles that incorporate natural aquatic blue and green shades.
"We are seeing an ode to the elements in interior design — walls and flooring that look distressed or weathered, and an ongoing demand for the look of reclaimed wood," says Babinski.
A trend that was hot in the '90s is also making a resurgence: faux stone, and designers taking artistic license with depicting natural stone in decor, flooring, and walls.
Diamonds are a floor's best friend
Looks can deceive, and what may appear to be a hardwood floor is actually luxury vinyl or LVT. Thanks to incredible advancements in printing technology, these are no longer your grandma's floors. A perfect example of this trend is Armstrong Flooring's vinyl or engineered tile floor with Diamond 10 Technology, a proprietary flooring innovation that infuses cultured diamonds into the floor, providing the ultimate in scratch, stain, and scuff resistance.
If you still want solid hardwood with the same protection, consider Paragon Solid Hardwood, which incorporates the same Diamond 10 Technology without any compromise. Paragon floors are made from 100 percent solid Appalachian hardwood, ensuring your floors will remain beautiful for a lifetime.
Stimulation of the senses
Create a mosaic of varying colors and textures in your home.
Hardwood flooring in 2018 will celebrate the natural beauty of the wood, showing and highlighting knots and naturally occurring imperfections, including varying plank sizes, colors, and widths. Artisan styles will also be popular this year, with hand-brushed and -scraped patterns.
The “raw meets polished” trend is all about high shine versus ultra low gloss. This may include reclaimed wood furniture, updated with modern, shiny metal hardware or the aesthetic of using both low gloss and medium gloss on your floor.
Also on tap this year is mixing metals, especially in the kitchen. "Warm-toned fixtures can now live harmoniously with stainless appliances and with the latest appliance trend — a beautiful black finish! Copper, rose gold and oxidized metals are especially popular," Babinski says.
Cultural influences and animal prints
Globally, Babinski sees trends of warm minimalism (warmer shades of gray, blue and brown evoking Hygge), and on the flip side, bold maximalism, a strong mix of bold colors and patterns balanced with gray walls and blonde hardwood and wood-look floors.
Cultural influences in accent pieces continue to trend. Whether it's a hand-woven basket or a lamp with a Moroccan design, they add a sense of global style to your rooms.
Although exotic hardwood is going out of style in favor of American domestic species, Babinski is still seeing fun pairings with animal prints in furniture and accessories, such as area rugs, which pair perfectly with natural material floors.
Victorian and antique
The reemergence of Victorian and antique decor can translate easily to flooring trends like Millwork Square Solid Hardwood parquet and strip hardwood in Prime Harvest.
Also in 2018, patterns are meant to be broken, especially in floors. Herringbone-patterned flooring is trending, and floors will incorporate different colors, textures, glosses, plank widths and lengths.
“Flooring can even go on the walls, as seen by the continuation of the wood-on-walls trend,” adds Babinski. “Overwhelmingly, though, hardwood floors will continue to be low-gloss and ultra-matte.”