Interior DesignOptions News

Debunking The Ins & Outs of Interior Design in 2019

Interior design trends being deemed “in” or “out” does not have to define what you do


I never investigate what interior design trends are “in” and “out” from year to year. I have never based my designs or creativity on what trend others feel has passed its prime or reached its peak of popularity. When I am hired for a new project, it is assumed that my client has faith in my ability to create spaces that will not be rendered obsolete in a year. The finished product is based on much more important ingredients; how do they live in their home? Do they have children? What feeling do they want their home to ultimately have? These are the elements I take most into consideration.

That being said, styles deemed “latest and greatest” are always infiltrating our lives. Whether it is on social media or in a magazine, it is important to know what is popular in order to stay current on trends. I should clarify that I do not think trends are bad, I just do not believe that something as important as a renovation or the design of one’s home should be dictated by a fad. There are three design trends deemed “in” and “out” that I am debunking for 2019.

White Kitchens are “Out”

Everyone has seen the enormous popularity of white kitchens.

The majority of the kitchen remodels and renovations I have done in the last several years included white cabinets requested by my clients. This was a trend deemed “out” for 2019 in more than one article I read recently. I disagree with this for several reasons.

White cabinets are very common and certainly became a trend when they first gained popularity; this is timeless, yet can also be used in a myriad of design styles.

White cabinets have been used for longer than our Instagram feed or HGTV shows. I spent every summer of my childhood in a New England coastal town and the airy and bright kitchens all had white cabinets. Not only have white cabinets been a nautical staple, they can be seen in many historic homes. If you visit one of my favorite places, Hearst Castle, what do you think is still intact in the kitchen (and many of the bathrooms as well)?

Bold Backspaces are “In”

The second trend that caught my attention on the “in” list for 2019 was the use of bold backspaces in kitchens. I certainly love a bold tile like the next designer, but I always advise clients when embarking on something as expensive and time-consuming as a kitchen overhaul to choose something that they will not tire of in a year or two.

While I am fan of the timeless and classic subway tile, one can still use a tile with visual interest on their backsplash without regretting that commitment later. There are many beautiful options that have texture or a slight pattern, which do not take the rest of the kitchen hostage.

Another option I give clients is to use some- thing clean and timeless in the majority of the kitchen and punch it up with a statement in one area such as the area around the sink or behind the range. This way, there is a point of interest, yet all of the other design features in the room can have their moments and work together at the same time.

There is a place for a statement tile and I want my clients to have fun with the design of their home so that bold expression can be center stage in the smaller space.

Brass Accents Are “Out”

The last design element I want to address was the idea that the use of brass accents is “out.”

We all remember the shiny brass accents of the 80’s and 90’s that everyone ripped out when they remodeled. Those are not the brass accents I am speaking of. The last few years have brought a selection of the most beautiful burnished brass and unlacquered brass accents that are not only reminiscent of classic styles, but can also be used in more transitional settings as well. This is an example of using a design element that happens to be “trendy” in small doses to update a space. By using it as an accent, it can be used to update a space, but it ensures that a client is not investing a large amount of money in something that can- not be switched out over time. I also believe that the right kind of brass accents are a nod to details that have been used long before we saw them in catalogues and designers’ Instagram feeds.

There is nothing wrong with following or being influenced by the latest trends. As a designer, however, I always prefer to add those trendy touches in ways that can stand the test of time. Remodels and renovations can be very stressful and expensive, and are often an experience my clients want to live through only once. Ensuring we choose materials that they will still enjoy being surrounded by in the years to come makes the project a successful one.

Jessica Nakata is the owner of The Black Door Interior Design, a design firm in Denver, CO. For more information, please visit