Design trends for 2019

Written by in Renovating

Something interesting is happening in home design this year, as renovators, home stagers and designers reflect the larger social environment in the design trends that are appearing throughout their homes.

There are practical continuations from last year’s design trends, such as a focus on flow and a strong focus on some of the most central areas of the home (such as basin kitchen sinks, the dining table/food preparation area, and the bathroom as a place for relaxation), but over the past 2-3 years, some experts have identified a growing need being reflected in the design choices of homeowners around Australia.

Colour and Communications Manager at Dulux, Andrea Lucena-Orr, believes that design in 2019 will combat the external chatter and the noise we experience in our daily lives, especially that on display in the media. 

“Design trends for 2019 will be influenced by a desire for stillness, simplicity, and honesty,” says Andrea.

“Expect to see organic shapes, frayed edges, contrasting textures and repurposed vintage pieces set against a backdrop of earthy neutrals, saturated greens and citrus brights – a palette perfect for nurturing and empowering and as diverse as the stories we have to tell.”


This idea of the imperfect or Wabi Sabi, as it is often referred to in relation to design, has been increasingly gaining traction, especially over 2018. The reason for this may be because of the hyper-digital world which we now inhabit, and our desire to maintain access to our sense of selves through our lived environments. With this search for the idiosyncratic in design has come a confidence in some of the backdrops to our designs.


The above perfectly represents design trends in 2019, balancing an appreciation for the simple, the minimal, the mixed (a variety of textures, shapes and palettes) and a fearlessness.

“Our confidence with colour is growing, and with this, the drive to create spaces that reflect our history, hopes and dreams,” continues Andrea.

“Mindful consumption is a key theme for 2019 and we can expect to see a paring back of the unnecessary and a greater emphasis on repurposing and reimagining objects surrounding us. The result is a new kind of bespoke where the traditions of the past are celebrated in dynamic and modern ways.”

For much of the early part of 2019, we are seeing many responses to the Marie Kondo hype of ‘finding joy’ in our possessions and therefore in our designs. Responses are either aligned with this trend or reject it outright, but it does represent a considered approach to designs in 2019 that reject the mass-produced items of convenience that have been a staple of much interior design (i.e. the Scandinavian trends that made it into superstores), regardless of the quality of the specific pieces on display. While we are seeing designs in 2019 that pursue clarity, this is not necessarily at the expense of possessions.


Instead, the individual is on display, either unapologetic of conflicting styles and possessions or hyperconscious to find the perfection in the imperfect and in the minimal. For one thing, it’s good news for ceramicists, furniture makers, artists of every stripe and designers everywhere, as we see a higher demand for earthy, molded materials in our homes.

For those rebuilding and renovating, the same sensibility towards simplicity and strategy is becoming more evident, especially for the clients that architect Cathi Colla is working with.

“There is a growing trend in first thinking strategically to establish a forward plan before ‘picking up the tools’ and second in renovating for the long term,  that is, using materials that are functional, inspiring, and that make you feel good.”

And what is making people feel good are sustainable materials, which are also highly textural and tactile in both usability and visibility. Again, this may mean repurposing older materials, or it may mean researching and implementing new technologies to incorporate new textures and shapes in the home. For Cathi, this is increasingly taking shape in clients asking for “materially rich” designs and those that are inherently passive (using design and space to reduce energy costs and increase a sense of flow in the home), a phenomenon that is no longer a trend, but a requisite for all home renovations. 

So for 2019, if you want design inspiration, what is becoming clear is that you need to first look at yourself and identify what your possessions already say about you, and how you can best use colours, new technologies and a more lucid idea of design to amplify your personality.