Lotus bedroom

2019 Design Trends and How to Make them Work

Home design trends come and go as quickly as Windward rain showers.  As a homeowner, how can you incorporate the latest styles while remaining true to your own aesthetic? And what are some ways to integrate these up-to-the minute looks into our unique coastal environment?

Misty Kuo from Kailua-based Lotus Home Staging and Redesign weighed in on the latest trends and how to make them work in your home.

New and Now

On the color scene, black and white or “tuxedo” décor as well as darker, moodier shades like navy or forest green, are up and coming, according to Kuo, who co-owns Lotus Home Staging and Redesign with Kris Grimsley.

Surprisingly, there are some ways to successfully include those colors in our sunny environment!

Kuo suggests framed black and white photos and a black and white striped rug to complete the look.

“Palm trees always look good in black and white,” she added. “And darker, moodier colors are great here because we always have the sunshine. You can also mix in the darker colors with a wall paper with bright accents.”

Wallpaper is continuing its resurgence. Large florals - which are especially popular - lend themselves to the tropics.

 “Just remember to not overwhelm a space,” Kuo said. “Use wallpaper on an accent wall, bathroom or kitchen instead of all over. Balance is always the key in good design.”

In bathrooms, freestanding tubs are still seeing a resurgence, and in the kitchen, backsplashes that go all the way from the counter to the ceiling are of the moment.

“We love this because it creates a seamless flow,” Kuo said. “It tricks the eye into making the surface area look greater.”

Concrete furniture is also all the rage for 2019.

“You don’t have to go all out,” Kuo said. “But a few items, such as an end table or a bowl as a centerpiece, can add a bit of concrete without overwhelming the space.”

While “beach chic” is always fashionable, Kuo said, you don’t have to be too literal.

Lotus Home Staging and Redesign favors adding a “twist” such as a classic accent or antiques.

Think of a tertiary color to add with blues and grays, such as corals, pinks or even yellows to brighten things up,” Kuo said.

Lotus living area

Bringing the outside in

Aloha ‘Aina or “love of the land” is a part of life here in the islands. So it’s no surprise that bringing the outside in is one of the best ways to add that tropical vibe. Think greenery, natural wood, or even cement.

For a simple way to add a natural element, Kuo suggests filling a glass vase with water and then adding a clipping of monstera leaves, (which can last for months) or palm fronds.

If you think you have a green thumb, try live plants in a great pot. Luscious green plants are another way to integrate those darker colors, Kuo said, but be sure to speak to your local nursery to find out which plants work best indoors.

For wood accents, try a wooden bowl or a wooden pendant light over a kitchen table or an island.

Rust and other foes

Our humid climate and salty air can ravage many belongings, but even metals and leathers can work here and Lotus Home Staging and Redesign does use them.

Some homeowners prefer slipcovers that can be removed and washed, but some prefer leather which can be wiped clean, Kuo said.

Metals do rust, but some - such as galvanized steel - will corrode much more slowly.

And brass and copper weather, but won’t rust, Kuo said.

Stay true to your aesthetic

No matter what is trending now, your personal style should always come first.

 “You may hear that gray is out or white is out, but we love those colors because they are cool feeling colors that work well with our warm environment,” Kuo said. “We always tell our clients that the decor that makes them happy is always on trend!


Photos: Courtesy of Lotus Home Staging and Redesign

1. Lotus Home Staging and Redesign chose sage greens for a twist, which gave the room a soothing spa feel.

2. In this home, they worked with the homeowner to bring in cool tones to offset the dark wood.  Modern lights highlight a piece of antique artwork, and leather dining seating in grey is an elegant way to add in a touch of modern.