Dallas is a cutting-edge town. Our architects and interior designers are immensely talented innovators and award-winners. I asked a few of our local experts, what design trends can we look forward to seeing in 2020, and what will we be kicking to the curb.
Cliff Welch, Welch/Hall Architects
When it comes to modern architecture, Cliff is your man. He also has a great sense of humor, which is essential when you are an architect. His own home is a testament to elegant simplicity, and his annual holiday graphics are something you don’t want to miss. Here’s his take on design trends for 2020.
“There are really no bad materials or even styles. But too often, we see materials, construction techniques, and building methods misused, misunderstood, and overused. For example, there is nothing inherently wrong with painted white brick. It’s been used in some timeless buildings by some incredible architects for over a century. Aalto was the master at blending painted white masonry and natural materials appropriate to the setting. Locally, Max Levy uses it as throughout his work as a background texture for nature, light, shade, and shadow.”
With this in mind, the list below contains materials, techniques, and construction methods that can all be appropriate in the right context when handled skillfully, thoughtfully, and with forethought and restraint, but each has unfortunately become a trend, both overused and misused with little to no regard for context or setting.
Out (So last decade!)
• Paint it White
There is nothing wrong with painted white brick when in the masterful hands of Aalto or Max Levy, but it’s become the new go-to for house flips and strip centers.
• Mr.Potato Head Architecture
This includes the random application of bad wood siding, stone accents (both real and sticky stone), burned wood, Ipe, token board-formed concrete walls, random window types and sizes, bright colors, and token flat roofs.
• Bad Modern
Taking the trimmings of modernism and applying them as decoration. Building cheaply and with no regard for craft and calling it modern.
• New midcentury modern
There is no such thing. Unfortunately, this has taken a meaningful historical philosophy out of its historical context and turned it into a buzzword.
• Shipping containers.
• Gabion walls.
• Corrugated siding.
• Cactus and Buffalo grass yards.
• More thoughtful, well-crafted homes at a smaller scale focused on a simplifying lifestyle in complex and rapidly evolving times.
• Quality over quantity.
• Timeless design.
Barry is one of the most exclusive designers in Dallas. He’s also a terrific guy and always has a finger on the pulse of not only what we can look forward to in design trends but also what’s simply right and wrong!
• Light blue
• Geometric Prints
• More individuality.
• Organic prints.
• Colorful marble countertops.
• Stained wood.
• Sexy light fixtures.
• Creative uses of LED tape light.
Allen M. Keith, Chambers Interiors & Associates, Inc.
I can’t keep up with how many interior design awards Allen and Chambers Interiors has, but it’s a lot.
• All-white interiors.
• A return to maximalism.
• Traditional furnishings.
• A lot more color!
Lloyd Lumpkins, L. Lumpkins Architects
Lloyd is our go-to guy for all things architecture-related because not only does he create beautiful homes, he is spot on with knowledge of design trends !
• I can only hope stripped-down painted brick with comp roofs vanish off the face of the earth!
• Big Closets REIGN!
• No more formal dining rooms.
• Modern home designs with a sense of context – historical and regional.
Traci Connell, Traci Connell Interiors
Traci has been told she has an impeccable eye for space planning and design. We agree, and we’d all be happy in any home she’s designed.
• The white and gray kitchen.
• Light blue on cabinets.
• Farmhouse style
• Livable and durable materials.
• Multifunctional and smart home capabilities integrated within new construction, especially with voice activation.
• Natural materials like rattan.
• Eco- friendly options.
• Timeless, classic style, on the traditional side.
• Modern style with natural materials is also big.
We have been incorporating a lot of homeowner’s collectibles or cherished pieces for a more meaningful look- a home that tells their story.
Eddie Maestri, Maestri Studio
Eddie is one of the finest architects in this part of the country. He also has a turn-key architecture and interior design studio in Deep Ellum, where you can buy all sorts of cool stuff.
- White painted brick.
- The modern farmhouse is done.
- Matchy-matchy pastel and white interiors.
- Architecture and interiors that tell a story. Self-expression and a reflection of the occupants’ personality.
- Warm woods
- Soft colors with high-contrast accents.
- Bespoke/ Artisan materials both inside and out.
- Art Deco glamour.
- More unique design solutions that do not have to follow the rules of being a style.
- More individualism.
- Architecture that respects neighborhood context and adds to the fabric of the neighborhood story.
- Collected and eclectic interiors that tell a story.
Kim Armstrong, Kim Armstrong Interior Designer
Kim Armstrong is not afraid of color, and that’s only one thing we love about her. She recently launched a Day of Design, which means, yes, you can hire an interior designer and get a whole new look in just one day.
- Grey and white
- Farmhouse style
- Barn doors
- Darker moodier jewel tones.
- English European flavor.
- Floral wallpapers or prints are popping up and a touch of a bohemian vibe as well.
- Lighter wood-tone floors will continue to stay popular, but white cabinets, while they will never go out of style, will begin to look boring, and you will notice more of a trend with colorful cabinets, not just on the islands but all over.
- Stained wood, in particular, oak, are being used more in cabinets. ‘
- All metallics are in, and mixing them is totally on-trend.
- Animal Print is all the rage! Has this ever been out, though?
- Porcelain countertops.
- Smart home technology.
- We will see red, a color that hasn’t been used in quite a long time.
- Shiplap in moderation. I think you will see a trend on how to take the architectural interest that shiplap provides, and see a new spin on architectural millwork.
My Wishlist for Turnover Trends
Of course, you want to know what I think about design trends! Writing about, and staging homes daily offers a unique perspective because I see a broad range of creativity from architecture to design. So, here are my ins and outs!
- OMG, can we get rid of the vessel tub once and for all? Yes, it’s beautiful. But. It is so ridiculously impractical. Who can wash a dog or a toddler in one? They are the epitome of stupid design trends and I cannot wait to see them kicked to the curb.
- White is no longer right. Homes are crying out for personality.
- Yellow. If you want to sell a home, banish that color forever.
- Window treatments. We can return to luxury without window treatments. Just hang simple velvet or linen panels and enjoy.
- Classic style, because classic never goes out of style.
- Antiques. Yes. Antiques. Beautiful inherited pieces worked into more contemporary environments.
- Color. Like everyone, I am so sick of the big white box.
- Black is the new white. It’s classic, it’s simple, it’s rich, and it’s timeless. Never be afraid to paint your kitchen cabinets black or your walls black. As long as you have enough relief in furnishings, it will look fantastic.
- Furniture covered in a bold color. Cobalt blue velvet sofas, Kelly green satin chairs.
- Luxury, and I mean luxury can be a gorgeous faux fur throw, over your sofa, so the dogs don’t ruin it. Trust me. I have dogs and velvet, and faux fur throws!
- Canopy beds with drapes, because they are the ultimate in sexy and you can hide the fact you don’t make your bed!
- Wallpaper. Don’t get crazy. A powder room is safe. A dining room is safe. Do not, under any circumstances, wallpaper your ceiling. I will find you and make you sorry you did that.
- Real art. Start collecting. New artists are not expensive. Quit buying your art at retailers. Quit it. Quit it now.
- Architects. If you wonder why your house is not working, the chances are there was never an architect involved. Get a consultation before you attempt anything. Dallas has some of the best architects in the world.
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager and writer for over 25 years. Her love of all dogs, international travel, good chocolate, great champagne, and historic homes knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well!