Top 5 Modern Home Design Trends of 2018 – and where in Portland to find them

2018 home design trends

The new year is all about designing homes that are stately, functional, and as unique as their owners. Portland is a city that embraces modern life, but homeowners here tend to prefer tried-and-true styles over the season’s latest trend. What new home design trends will arise in 2018? Read on to find out more from Portland’s top real estate agent.

Home Design Trend: Confident Colors

For too long, minimalistic white was in. This year, Portland is rejecting that scheme. Gray, it seems, is the new white — but a warm gray, the kind that combines with rich earth tones for a soothing color palette. According to camel, rust tobacco, deep red and burnt yellow are the other “it” colors in 2018. In kitchens, these shades fit nicely alongside wood cabinetry, but anywhere you choose to accent with these colors will do the job of creating a bold, sophisticated yet cozy feeling.

Colors are easy to bring into your Portland home: Just head to your favorite paint store. But don’t make any color decisions lightly, and always test a small area before you paint the whole wall. Better yet, try an online tool that will “paint” the room for you and let you see what it looks like. Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color Viewer is this real estate agent’s favorite.

Home Design Trend: Mixed Metals

If you’re thinking a caramel-colored wall is going to look strange with your stainless steel appliances, you’re right. Along with white, stainless steel is out the window, replaced by a rainbow of less-common metals. Think copper and brass light fixtures, brushed nickel sinks, and rose gold or iron accent materials. According to Elle Decor, which tracks Pinterest activity to get an idea of home design trends, pins for “mixed metals” were up 423% this year. These materials are timeless, durable and easy to care for — all qualities that tend to bring a big “yes” from Portland home owners and buyers.

This design trend is a great opportunity to take advantage of upcycled and repurposed material. Check out Portland company Denali Furniture, which melts down engine blocks and other waste metal to form sturdy bases for its beautiful live-edged wood furnishings.  Or, shop the ReStore, with four locations across the Portland metro area, for unique finds in vintage metal home fixtures, knobs and drawer pulls, wall art and more.

Home Design Trend: Scandinavian Minimalism

Ikea certainly does not corner the market for designs and products made with natural materials and minimalist shapes. The Scandinavian design trend is taking off all across Portland, in part because we share a similar environment with countries like Norway and Finland: It’s grey and cool here for most of the winter, so designs that take advantage of natural light are a natural fit. Scandinavian design is all about reducing clutter and letting one or two pieces shine in a room, instead of filling it with stuff. In fact, the clean lines of this style flow perfectly with Portland’s midcentury modern homes. Like classic Portland architect and developer Robert Rummer, Scandinavian designers emphasize open floor plans, good light, and indoor-outdoor living and entertaining. But you don’t have to live in one of these homes to get the look: Check out Dania Furnishings in North Portland.

Home Design Trend: Concrete Accents

Concrete has always been a popular material choice for floors and landscaping, but new technologies are bringing this formable substance into the home. Concrete can now be reinforced with high-strength carbon grids and fiberglass, resulting in thin, lightweight pieces that may surprise you. Concrete is being used for furniture, decorative accessories, wall coverings, countertops and tile. If your mind is imagining a sea of grey, you should look up concrete dyes as well as the seemingly endless list of items that can be added to give the surface sparkle and interest — crushed glass, minerals, flecks of stainless steel, and more.

Also, in case you were wondering, Portland cement is not a brand name, but the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete. It comprises 10-15 percent of the concrete mixture, binding with gravel and crushed stone to form a hard, smooth and virtually indestructible surface.

For custom concrete in Portland, try Coulee Concrete. Need more inspiration? Check out the blog at Concrete Decor.

Home Design Trend: Universal Design

As we discussed in a recent blog post, the large majority of folks moving to Portland in the next two decades will be 65 and older. That means that the designs of the future won’t just be about what colors and materials are in, but instead will focus on making every element of the home more accessible. It’s called Universal Design, but it’s not just for seniors — it’s a design philosophy that appeals to anyone who values function along with beauty.

We’re already seeing this priority working its way into 2018’s most-requested bathroom upgrade: A walk-in shower. Also known as a wet room, these showers do away with thresholds and tubs that can be difficult to step into or over. Instead, the entire bathroom is a unified space — though some may need a shower wall or curtain if the bathroom is smaller. Still, it’s a contemporary look that also happens to be convenient and accessible.

Universal Design is more a habit of thinking and designing than a set of products you can go out and buy, but having an informed contractor can help if you want to do remodeling work on your Portland home utilizing these functional design principals. Portland-based Hammer and Hand is a good place to start.

Who’s on your Portland home redesign team? Even if you’re not ready to put your home on the market, contacting a top Portland real estate agent is a good idea. We can help with referrals, home value estimates, and more.

January 26, 2018

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.5% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.