If you’re looking for inspiration as you consider a home makeover, look no further. Oshkosh Designs has been keeping an eye on what’s hot in the flooring and design world, and we’ve put together a collection of the latest fashions for 2019 and beyond.

Vintage Farmhouse Style KitchenIf there’s a word that could sum it all up, it’s “simplicity.” Making loud statements and clamoring for attention can be left to technology and the media. At home, it’s all about peacefulness and sanctuary. To achieve this calming effect colors have become less flashy, textures more subdued, and patterns less cluttered. Additionally, looks that are vintage-inspired tend to borrow from the fashions of simpler times. Here’s a look at where these design trends are now, and where they’re headed.

Vintage Tranquility

The trend towards greater simplicity in home décor seems to reflect a desire to get back to what’s really important in life. As designs that evoke the peaceful feeling of simple living grow in popularity, it should come as no surprise that the farmhouse look, or rustic chic, continues to be popular. This trend has been around for a while, so unfinished beams, wide planks, shiplap, and whitewashing no longer come across as calculated and deliberate. All the better: this allows for a more nuanced incorporation of the look. Colors are muted and less distracting. Texturing is becoming more subtle and less pronounced. Wide planks and unapologetic use of character grade lumber continue to be popular, thus highlighting the natural characteristics of wood.

Continuum Wood WallThe desire to get back to essentials and recreate the vibe of less complicated eras can also account for the enduring popularity of the vintage look. Simple patterns on floors and backsplashes, as well as areas of uniform color that evoke the 50s and 60s, remain fashionable. The minimalism of the 1980s is also making a comeback, including uncluttered geometric patterns and the sparing use of black-on-white accents. Here again, the trend is away from bold, attention-grabbing looks and toward a more tasteful incorporation of these concepts.

Geometric Patterns

Patterns tend to be simple, orderly geometric shapes incorporated in a way that is not overpowering. Chevron and herringbone patterns continue to be prevalent. Often, homeowners will use these in one area, such as on a kitchen floor or backsplash, and repeat the pattern subtly on drapes, lampshades, or even pieces of wall art.

Repeating Chevron PatternsSuch patterns tend to work better in smaller spaces. The design can thus give the illusion of added three-dimensional space. In larger rooms, however, these patterns can make the space feel busy or cluttered. Avoid this by using wood species with less or more subtle graining, or by including patterns on, say, an accent wall. Another idea would be to incorporate patterns into a simple accent inlay or with a hardwood border.

Many homeowners utilize area rugs and stair runners as a way of adding patterns or color without these effects becoming overpowering. These also serve to define a smaller space in an open floor plan. A similar, low-maintenance way to achieve this effect is to frame in a medallion or add a simple inlay border to offset the space and create unity without clamoring for attention. Defining the important spaces in a home, such as family rooms and dining areas, highlights the importance of personal connections over material possessions.

Cool Colors

It’s no secret that the use of grays has been immensely popular over the last decade. This trend shows no sign of slowing. After all, grays tend to be subdued and don’t distract from the important features of a space. When painting or finishing floors and walls, many will opt to mix in some gray with browns and other colors to help mute the effect. Whitewashing floors and hardwood beams continues to be popular as well.

Interestingly, both very dark and very light floors continue to be fashionable. While this may sound contradictory, there is a consistent theme: whether floors are light, dark, or gray, it is cool color tones that dominate. Warmer colors – those with red or yellow undertones – are not in style. If you’re reading this and worried because you have warm tones in your woodwork, not to worry. These can be balanced out with cool-colored furnishings and décor.

Eco-friendly materials

Trees are a renewable resourceAs homeowners and retailers become more environmentally conscious, they’re beginning to steer away from materials that increase their carbon footprint. Generally, there is more interest from consumers in using sustainable materials. When purchasing wood, one wants to know that they’re getting materials that were responsibly harvested. This goes for both exotic and domestic species. Oshkosh Designs purchases all our wood from FSC Certified suppliers, guaranteeing the wood we purchase is from forests around the world that are responsibly managed. To this end, the use of reclaimed wood continues to be popular as well.

The use of materials containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is also decreasing. For this reason, carpets and finishes that contain VOCs are less popular, while the use of waxes or oil-based finishes for hardwood floors is on the rise. Although this is more expensive and requires somewhat more maintenance, the natural patina that is created over time when wood is finished with linseed or grapeseed oil is exquisite.

Made in the USA

Handcrafting a Kingscote Wood MedallionAlong with a greater concern for the environment, homeowners are also showing more interest in purchasing goods produced in the U.S. This goes for both materials and manufacture. Purchasing American-made products, like those made by the hardwood artisans at Oshkosh Designs, helps ensure responsible harvesting practices for wood, and also contributes to domestic economic growth. There is thus a greater interest in using domestic hardwood species, including oak, maple, hickory, which are abundant in the U.S.

Natural Look

One of the trends whose endurance is unquestionable is the widespread use of materials that appear natural. Just about everyone wants the look of hardwood and stone. Their popularity is so universal that many companies are going out of their way to produce vinyl or laminate planks and tiles that mimic the natural character of wood and stone. These include adding distressed marks and variations that have slightly less of the assembly line about them.

Totowa Wood Border Room SceneThough many manufacturers go to great lengths to make their artificial materials look natural, there is no substitute for the real thing. The timeless beauty of real hardwood and stone continues to be sought after by homeowners and designers alike. Not only are these materials naturally pleasing to the eye, but they tend to age well, have impressive lifespans, and add value to any space where they’re installed.

Inspiration and Custom Design

With all the emphasis on simplicity, it might be tempting to say that the above suggests we’re headed towards blandness and uniformity. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Even within the parameters of subtlety and simplicity, there are endless variations to choose from.

In fact, we are arguably headed towards greater variety in home design than ever before. There has never been such a wealth of options to choose from, and customizing a space to your unique taste has never been easier. And since the expert artisans at Oshkosh Designs are just a click or call away, expressing your unique taste with custom-made, one-of-a-kind home installation pieces has never been simpler. And simplicity is what 2019 is all about.