5 trends that solve the most common design problems

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Becky Harris, Houzz Contributor

If you have a decorating problem that you just can’t solve, consider opening up to the latest design trends. There is inspiration to be found when you embrace a trend that appeals to you and makes it your own. Here we take a look at five trends that are gaining momentum around Houzz and show how they can solve common home design dilemmas.

1. Black wall

Problem: Your television is an eyesore, and hiding it behind cabinets is not an option.

Solution: Designers often complain that a TV looks like a black hole in a room. This is not a problem when the wall behind is black.

After a long reign of all-white walls, we see more black walls and even all-black rooms. A sleek and practical way to see if you like going in the dark is to start with an accent wall behind your TV. For ideas on how to decorate the rest of the room, check out What Goes With Black Walls.

Black walls amplify the glamor in a room, especially when using glossy or lacquer paint like in this entryway. You will want to do this only on a very smooth wall, as the reflection provided by the paint does not forgive any dings and bumps. Here, the high contrast of the white plaster reinforces the drama.

2. Freestanding kitchen table

Problem: You don’t like kitchen islands, but you want a place to eat in the kitchen.

Solution: Yes, it’s an old one but a goodie. While kitchen islands and built-in cabins have beaten this traditional option over the past few decades, many homeowners have been opting for a good old-fashioned freestanding kitchen table in recent times. It is purely a matter of personal preference as to how and where you like to meet for meals, and how you like working in the kitchen.

While the concept of a kitchen table is traditional, the option is not limited to traditional pieces. Tables appear in kitchens of all styles, from rustic to contemporary. A traditional wooden table adds an element of relaxed comfort to this sleek contemporary kitchen.

3. Slatted wood wall

Problem: You want to add dimension to a wall, but the reclaimed wood look is too rustic for you.

Solution: We’ve seen a lot of reclaimed wood accent walls, and they add wonderful texture and depth to a space. But if you are looking for something cleaner and more contemporary, a slatted wall might be for you. Although its lines are crisp, wood adds warmth and dimension to this modern nursery.

Slats can also change the look of an exterior. Cedar slats add an unexpected touch to this contemporary interpretation of agricultural architecture.

4. Square tiles

Problem: You’re totally on the subway tile, but you want to do something simple, white, and classic.

Solution: Did you think the square tiles, seen here in a common binding pattern, would someday be back? Once ubiquitous and dated, these tiles are now an alternative to the subway tile. Handcrafted grade white tiles paired with a darker grout give the look an update, as seen in this cute bathroom in Sweden.

Square tiles can also be arranged in a grid. The contrast in color, pattern and scale of the square tiles between the wood walls and the hexagonal floor tiles makes this room attractive. These tiles measure 3 x 3 inches; the look of decades past was typically 4 inch by 4 inch tile.

5. Aluminum windows and doors

Problem: You need a shower surround, but you are not into the typical designs available.

Solution: This touch of industrial modernity on a bathroom shower enclosure adds architectural interest. Over 67,000 Houzz users have saved this photo, so there is clearly a lot of admiration for this look. In this room, the divider is fitted with tempered glass for added security.

You can also use windows and doors with divided light between rooms. This oversized Crittall divider allows a kitchen-diner and living room to share light and view. But it also creates a sense of division and provides a quiet space for conversations.


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