Top Trends: Interior Design 2014

Futuristic background with women viewing pages
Rounded designs and raw metal finishes are forecast to be in style during 2014. (Image credit: logoboom / 123RF Stock Photo)

Twenty-five design professionals from the Neil Kelly Company, a design-build remodeling firm that has remodeled more than 30,000 homes, recently named their Top 10 interior design trends for 2014.

  • U-Socket: Apple devices reign in most households, so the new U-Socket wall plug has two built-in USB ports to power devices including iPhones, gaming devices, digital cameras, Kindles and iPads. The U-Socket also has a smart sensor that allows it to shut off when the device is fully charged — an environmentally friendly feature that prevents “vampire drain.”
  • Kicking the Shower to the Curb: Showers are becoming more popular than tubs. “Homeowners are looking to embellish the ‘shower experience’ rather than the tub experience,” said Kathleen Donohue, design consultant. An increasingly popular feature is the curb-less shower. 
  • Stand Alone Tubs: If homeowners want a tub experience in 2014, it’s likely they will select a free standing tub as a structural element, which takes up much less space in the room than the old tiled-in tub deck.
  • Floating Shelves: Cabinets can make or break a kitchen design, and Fabian Genovesi, design consultant, likes to break up the cabinet layout.  “I design kitchens that are not just long runs of cabinets but that are broken up into different sections,” said Fabian. “Don’t take up all the space with cabinets. Have floating shelves, open spaces, and room to hang wall art.”
  • Cobalt Blue: While designers may disagree on what constitutes some trends in 2014, on one subject they all agree: Bright colors are most certainly “in.”  Suzie Atkin, design consultant, says cobalt blue is a particularly hot color.
  • From Modern to Modest: The industrial modern décor of 2013 will morph into a more relaxed, more classic and modest look in 2014.  While stone, metal, and wood will still be popular, expect a more relaxed feel and rounded designs with earth shades and raw metal finishes. 
  • Self-Expression: Whether it’s bold use of color, or ornamentation, homeowners won’t be afraid to express personality. Jeweled colors, gilded frames, and layered textiles will be methods of self-expression in 2014.
  • Multigenerational Living: Neil Kelly Design Consultant Barbara Murphy is helping clients design bathrooms outfitted with multigenerational features that can accommodate aging parents or boomerang kids. Wall mounted sinks for wheelchairs, walk-in bathtubs, and motion sensing faucets can make the bath a better experience for everyone,” she said.
  • Eco-friendly Cabinets: 2014 incorporates looks from Mother Nature, and cabinets will be no exception. Earth-friendly cabinets with no added formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders, and finishes will rise in demand. Neil Kelly has seen a rise in inquiries from people with chemical sensitivity.
  • Urban Downsizing: Downsizing continues to be a long-term trend.  This year will see people interested in living in smaller spaces that are closer to urban downtowns rather than larger houses in the suburbs. 

One thought on “Top Trends: Interior Design 2014”

  1. Duane, a good topic, ripe for discussion. Herewith my comments:

    U-Socket: Nice idea, but be sure not to charge when the circuit is shared with equipment that might create power surges – such as a toaster. My question would be: is its output: 5VDC 2.4A sufficient to power any USB device?

    Kicking the Shower to the Curb: Curbless showers were generally developed for ADA access, and 1990’s cutting edge installations. They are a great innovation, but require above average skills to frame and install. Off-the-rack units can be generic and limited in size options, whereas custom installations can be any size, and made to look fabulous.

    Stand Alone Tubs: I am seeing a lot more of soaking-tubs; frequently step-down into. The old tiled-in tub-deck experience can be less exhilarating, and tends to be more of a maintenance issue. Most of such units are made that way so that a shower set can also be used in the tub. It can also be in a stand-alone, but that can be tricky. Also, the selection of stand-alones is pretty mediocre, excepting older cast-iron pedestal fixtures

    Floating Shelves: Floating shelves work best in Modernist, or Minimalist design. They obviate the need for cabinet carcasses or unbecoming built-ins. Here are some 1.3cm aluminum cantilevers installed at the Mary Boone Gallery.

    Cobalt Blue: In my mind, Cobalt blue is always one of ‘this years’ color. The stuff is toxic, so don’t eat it or sniff it. See this link to view a table consisting of an acrylic box with a few pounds of raw Cobalt. This year’s Pantone Color of the Year? Radiant Orchid, 18-3224. Frankly, I prefer the Cobalt, even with its warning label.

    From Modern to Modest: Interesting perspective: these sort of trends vary depending on where you’re talking about. What’s interesting to think about is where the trends develop before Americans start to catch on, because if you know that, you can embrace the trend before it becomes obsolete in modern parlance, i.e., before it arrives in America.

    Self-Expression: “Whether it’s bold use of color, or ornamentation, homeowners won’t be afraid to express personality. Jeweled colors, gilded frames, and layered textiles will be methods of self-expression in 2014.” This could portend anything from Joan Rivers apartment, to Downton Abbey. I have always included objects in my home that reflect my sensibilities. One’s home should be a reflection of oneself.

    Multigenerational Living: With our aging baby-boomer population, it’s great to know people are thinking about making their homes more accessible to all members. For the elderly, this is a huge game changer.

    Eco-friendly Cabinets: Non-VOC cabinets, and wood from sustainable forests is smart and health conscious. The USGBC offers credits for using such products under their LEED guidelines. The SFI and FSC offer much information on such products.

    Urban Downsizing: In Japan, this has been a long trend, necessitated by lack of land area, and overcrowding. We see it on a large scale, here in NYC. Ersatz SROs and flop-houses that once housed the homeless for a nominal fee, are being repurposed as vastly overpriced Micro-Apartments, that are geared toward people who have few possessions, such as college kids, or trust-fund transients: where would they store them? Frankly, I like the idea, but resent the price-bashing. Less is more, indeed.

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