By: Barbara Ballinger
Many clients buying their first home or condo may be unsure what style direction to take. Instagram, the social media platform, makes it easy, fast and affordable to learn what’s trending. New posts constantly roll in from amateur homeowners who want to share what they love and well-known design influencers who showcase their talents.
Most design aficionados love it. “Our clients are on Instagram for the most part. They save ideas, and then we can see and collaborate to get an idea of their style. They like it because there is so much visual content all in one place,” says designer Marina Case, principal at The Red Shutters in Hudson, N.Y., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. Designer Jodi Swartz, principal of Kitchen Visions outside Boston, finds the same. “I have people who say they find items on Instagram, and on Houzz and Pinterest. Instagram is a quick way to get a repository of work up quickly and for little cost.”
Los Angeles-based real estate company, RubyHome Luxury Real Estate, ranked the 10 most popular trends, which it found by adding up variations of different style hashtags and seeing which made the list. These trends speak to what’s popular now, which real estate professionals can use to advise new homeowners.
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Farmhouse, which comes in iterations of traditional, rustic and modern, earned the top spot. The style got its big boost after Joanna and Chip Gaines founded their lifestyle brand, Magnolia, 20 years ago to reflect their adopted Texas roots. The design aesthetic spread after the couple’s “Fixer Upper” HGTV show. The style remains so popular that homebuilders construct new versions.
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Coming in a close second was Rustic, a style characterized by natural wooden beams and stone. Among its appeals is that décor feels completely unpretentious, explains The Spruce, a helpful design site, which said, “It should feel welcoming and easy, with a color palette that’s calming and traditional.”
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In third place was Neutral, a style characterized by pairings of light neutral colors such as beiges, whites, grays and greiges. But Neutral style isn’t just about neutral color. It’s a more restrained look. Well by Design suggests Neutral conveys a classic, timeless ambiance with a neutral base, mix of materials, layered tones, shades and tints, lighting and texture. It advises changing it up periodically with different accent pieces and art.
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Hygge, a Danish look, took off because it oozed comfortable, cozy living with many candles, fluffy rugs, soft throws and cushions. In short, it connotes an environment that encourages de-stressing.
#5 Shabby Chic
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Some consider Shabby Chic a recycled style since it dates back to the 1980s. After Rachel Ashwell founded the Shabby Chic furniture chain, she later published a book about the style and described it as the “aura of old money, cushy comfort, and crafted indifference.” According to the design site, Nook & Find, the style calls for working heirlooms and antique furniture with modern and charming décor. Its hallmarks include slipcovered furniture, white china tableware and upholstered dining room chairs.
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Though Terrazzo is best known as flooring that combines small pieces of stone, glass and marble, it also connotes a distinct style, according to the Family Handyman. It reached its peak of popularity as Mid-Century took off in the 1950s. After its allure faded, floors were covered or removed, but with mid-century’s return, both the floors and style are back!
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Minimalist design is favored by those who dislike clutter, whether too much stuff, colors or textures. It follows the “less is more” mantra of fewer materials, less ornamentation, more neutrals and simpler forms, says The Spruce. Some might equate it to a great black dress with one quality or statement piece of jewelry.
#8 Mid-Century Modern
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Mid-Century Modern, at eighth, is almost always in favor. Millennials, some of their parents and their grandparents keep it in rotation. MasterClass describes it as combining clean lines, muted tones, natural and manmade materials, graphic shapes, vibrant colors and indoor and outdoor motifs.
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The Industrial look was popular decades ago when factories and warehouses became lofts. Now, it’s favored for its crispness, modernity and edginess. In a post on Apartment Therapy, writer Anna Kocharian, explained, “At its core, industrial style is all about taking something old, commercial, vintage, or recycled and giving it a second lease on life, without stripping it of its original character.”
#10 Black Interiors
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Black became a hot color a few years back for window frames, cabinetry, flooring, railings, appliances and painted walls. It conveyed power, sophistication, and mystery and dramatically contrasted so much white. The Black Interiors style rounds out the list of 10. And Homes & Gardens suggests unexpected ways to use it, including on walls, in bathrooms and in dining rooms.
Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, including The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space (Images Publishing, 2014). Barbara’s most recent book is The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, co-authored with Michael Glassman (Images, 2015).