Another Elkhart County Parade of Homes has come and gone.
It’s an event I look forward to every year, and this year did not disappoint! I made it to eight of the nine finished homes, and three hard hat homes. From those spaces I’ve compiled seven trends to share. Some are new, some are repeats of the trends that have been going strong for the last few years.
I also found a lot of lovely inspiration in these homes, and I’m sharing those images in a separate post. Jump over to 2019 Parade of Homes Highlights if you’re interested in the lovely design decisions made this year.
But while trends don’t offer quite as much visual bling, they offer valuable bits of knowledge! Maybe they will help lead you toward the changes you want to make to update your home or maybe they’ll help you know what you don’t want to do (if you prefer to avoid trends). Either way, soak up the information and do with it what you will. 😀
Let’s jump right into this year’s trends!
1. Gray, Gray Go Away
Let’s start with the biggest news! The walls in most of the parade homes varied from white, to beige, to greige, to mushroom, to charcoal. Ok, I admit that many of them still fall into the gray category. But there is so much more variety in undertone and value, with homeowners moving in different directions for wall color. How refreshing!
2. Ding dong, the (6 panel) Door is (still) Dead
I checked every house, folks. Every single one. I didn’t find a single builder or homeowner who chose to use 6 panel doors inside their home. I spotted 2 panel, 3 panel, and 5 panel interior doors, but no 6 panel. This isn’t a new trend – I reported the same thing way back in 2016.
3. Attention to Trim
After a couple of years of just seeing this trim application (over and over and over…):
this year more homes went back to mitered trim! I loved seeing the variety of profiles selected and the craftsmanship from the builders in this detail work. Trim is t.e.d.i.o.u.s. Seeing craftsmanship in trim work is one of my little clues as to the craftsmanship of the whole project.
One thing that has not changed for awhile now and continues to be going strong: WHITE TRIM. Only one home didn’t have white trim (instead going with painted gray). All the other finished homes had painted white trim.
4. Subway Tile
“Subway”* tile still reigns supreme as the kitchen backsplash tile choice. Every single home (except one) had a rectangular tile backsplash, laid in a brick pattern. They varied in size, color, and material, but the shape and the layout didn’t vary.
*Technically some of these aren’t subway tile, but “subway tile” has become the ubiquitous term for small rectangular tiles being used on a vertical surface.
Why did every single homeowner choose ‘subway’? I would venture to guess they selected it because it has become the new classic shape, and feels ‘safe’ – it may be a shape with staying power that is less likely to be dated in five years. Only time will tell. Fortunately there were some brave and unique choices for tile in other areas of the homes:
5. Outdoor Upgrades
This year I really noticed the growing trend of intentional covered indoor/outdoor spaces. From screened in porches to covered porches, these spaces were at almost every home. And they received some special attention too – several of these spaces sported upgrades like fireplaces, upgraded flooring or wall cladding or even ceiling cladding to make the space special.
The thing I find interesting about this trend is that it means many of the floor plans had very few windows in their living area that looked directly to the outside back yard. They had windows, but the windows looked out onto the covered spaces. I am sure it helps with energy efficiency, and keeping the sun from baking your flooring and furnishings, but it also prevents that direct sunlight from making it to the most used part of the home. How do you feel about that?
6. Dark Exteriors
This trend is one I’ve seen all over the design community. There’s a movement toward darker homes. In fact, I read just last week that ‘2019 is the year of the dark house.’ I would agree, and apparently the homeowners in Elkhart county agree too!
7. Cabinet Color Change
This year I saw the most variety in kitchen cabinet colors I’ve seen in years. There were white cabinets (of course), but I also saw black, espresso, navy, gray, and natural wood tones.
8. Not Cool, but Common
Finally, I want to share a couple of things I noticed this year that are running backward, away from what’s trending in interior design these days: speckled stone and textured ceilings.
Now I understand this might be someone’s preferred aesthetic, and if that’s the case YOU GO! Everyone should love where they live, and if you love it, you do it. However, I am guessing that these trends stemmed from cost savings over aesthetics. It costs more to have smooth ceilings, so you save money if you agree to textured. It costs more to have higher end quartzite or quartz, so you save money if you choose granite. And everyone who has ever built a home, remodeled a home, or even just PURCHASED a home gets it that you have to make compromises and choose where to spend your pennies. I’m not judging, just noticing. 😉
Now I’d love to hear from you: what trends did you notice?
Because I’m so immersed in material selections and design trends in general (since I’m an interior designer), I think my eye can skip past things that it sees as ‘normal’ – but maybe you noticed something you’d consider unusual? I’d love to hear!
If you’re interested in comparing this year’s trends to previous years, you can find all my past Parade of Homes posts in my archive.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the organization that makes this event happen every year or you’d like more information on any of the builders in Elkhart County the BAEC Facebook page is a nice place to get started.
If you just want to see some pretty pictures from this year’s parade, head over to the 2019 Parade of Homes Highlights post!