(BPT) – Events from the past year have all of us reconsider what we want and need out of our homes. From work and play to wellness, our homes have become the epicenter of, well, everything — leading to an emergence of design trends focused on adapting to a new normal. The design experts at Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of engineered surfaces, have identified three new lifestyle trends that are affecting lasting design changes.
1. Back to Nature
It’s no secret that nature has the power to inspire, invigorate, restore and refresh. Research has shown that interacting with nature can offer mental health benefits, including decreasing stress and relieving anxiety. Likewise, incorporating elements of nature into the home has been proven to improve happiness and well-being.
Whether as a room’s canvas or a pop of color on an accent wall, paint is an easy and affordable way to bring nature’s beauty into the home with colors that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. “Dark blue hues reminiscent of water and the sky are trending, along with lush greens that infuse spaces with the fresh essence of grass and foliage,” says designer Gwen Petter. “Earthy neutrals, such as tans and beiges, are also in high demand for their ability to ground us and surround us with soothing natural tones.”
Beyond color, 40% of people report that they want a connection to nature, particularly in their kitchens, according to a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for focal areas like countertops, cabinets and islands. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and budget. The expertly curated collection includes environmentally sustainable materials such as high-pressure laminates and performance veneers that deliver the authentic looks of exotic woods, stone-inspired solid surface options and non-porous engineered quartz.
2. “Resi-mercial” and Rustic
Fueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel during the pandemic, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their home has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plumped pillows to spa-worthy bathrooms and chef-quality kitchens, commercially inspired designs are increasingly crossing over into the residential arena.
Carrara marble continues to be one of the most sought-after surfaces to achieve this clean, sophisticated, “resi-mercial” look, but not everyone desires the cost and maintenance that comes with the natural stone. The Wilsonart® Solid Surface Crafted Collection combines nature’s beauty with cutting-edge design innovation to deliver the look of authentic marble in an ultra-durable acrylic solid surface. This series of movement designs captures the beauty and drama of marble typically only seen in natural materials like quartz and stone with virtually limitless design applications for the kitchen, bath and beyond.
Scandi Noir is another “resi-mercial” design approach that is gaining traction, particularly in kitchens. This style features looser rules and is characterized by the use of dark cabinets combined with dark countertops or contrasting dark and light surfaces. “Kitchen cabinets are still predominantly white, but more homeowners are adding a pop of color with contrasting island cabinets. In fact, searches for black and navy kitchens are up significantly,” notes Petter.
3. Sustainable Style
As our lives become increasingly home-centric, our homes need to perform on a level they may never have before, and this includes incorporating materials that work as hard as we do. “Today’s homeowners are seeking surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life,” explains Petter. “There also is growing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products, which can contribute to deforestation and degraded air quality from sourcing and mining operations. Human-made composite materials offer appealing options that often outperform natural materials, delivering greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.”
Alternative materials like laminate, solid surface, and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers. Many of these engineered surfaces are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emissions limits for better air quality. Additionally, many laminate products are made with a combination of fibers from FSC-certified, fast-growing, sustainably managed woods and post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). For more information and inspiration, visit Wilsonart.com.