2019 home design

2019 design trends that new homeowners can actually afford

By Julie Tramonte

December 2018

So, you’ve recently closed on your loan, moved into your new house, and are itching to implement some 2019 design trends so you can impress your friends with your good taste and style.

Soon reality sets in and you realize how many un-fun things you have to spend your money on now, like a lawn mower, the water bill or window coverings (hello, new neighbors!).  

But, that doesn’t mean your new home can’t be beautiful. It’s possible to make a design statement other than “I’ve just spent all my money buying this house,” by trying these 6 budget-friendly design tips for 2019:

1. Bold wallpaper

What’s in today is very different from your grandmother’s tiny floral wallpaper. For 2019, trend forecasters are predicting large-scale decorative prints of birds, flowers, clouds and geographical designs. The bolder, the better – especially if you’re only doing an accent wall. Since the average price of a single roll of wallpaper is only $25-$50, you can make a big impact without spending too much.

If you’ve never hung wallpaper before, you may want to try using peel-and-stick wallpaper which requires less time and mess, and can be removed without damaging your walls.

And beware: Hanging wallpaper with your spouse can be grounds for divorce. Try finding an experienced friend to help you – or do it alone. (I speak from experience!)

2. Natural materials

Lucky you: Anything organic is in – and wonderfully free or inexpensive. Think birch branches standing vertically in the corner of your living room, interesting stones on your window sills, a bird’s nest on the mantle, pinecones or shells in a big bowl on the coffee table, etc. Go “shopping” for interesting accent pieces by taking a walk through a park or a stroll on a beach. 

3. Matte black

At approximately $15 to $30 per gallon, paint has always been the frugal designer’s best friend. When you paint your walls matte black, you’re taking drama to a whole new level. The 2019 trend-setting IKEA catalog features monochromatic rooms in matte black that are super cool and moody. Paint your walls, a secondhand piece of furniture – even empty frames (from resale shops) – and you’ll be on trend and on budget.

4. Statement ceilings

Get into the fifth dimension. Statement ceilings are becoming the fifth wall in today’s well-designed homes. The easy way to jump on this new trend is to paint your ceiling a different color. More adventurous designers are putting wallpaper on the ceiling. If you want to attempt this, I’d start out small, like in your bathroom.  And heed the warning from Tip #1; it’s especially true if you’re wallpapering a ceiling. Check out these ceilings for inspiration.

5. Greenery 

Having beautiful, healthy plants in your home requires a green thumb, but not a lot of green (as in money). In fact, many plants are free if you have a friend willing to divide or cut a slip from their own plant. Even hardware stores sell succulents for very little. But whatever you do, don’t use fake plants. Just…don’t.

6. Personalization 

Following home décor trends can be fun but the most interesting home is one that’s a true reflection of you – your taste, your interests, your experiences, etc. Do you play a musical instrument? Display it instead of packing it away. Are you a knitter? Pile different skeins of yarns and needles into a basket. Make a photo gallery with travel photos. Even your favorite dress can be hung on the wall as artwork.

The point is to have your home tell a story about who lives there – not who copied the latest design trend. Because after all, it’s your new home.

Joshua Nguyen

Love the educational.

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Julie Tramonte is a writer who joined MGIC in 2018. Prior to flying the coop, she wrote for a mattress company, a manufacturer and advertising agencies. She’s obsessed with reading, traveling, tennis and rearranging furniture. Mother of 2 beautiful, adult daughters. Empty nester toying with downsizing. Her guilty pleasures are doughnuts and the Kardashians (don’t tell anyone).