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Design forecast: Duluth experts predict 2018 home trends

Vintage light fixtures are making a comeback as crafty home do-it-yourselfers outfit retro fixtures with new technology. Kimberley Bryan / Houzz1 / 10
Gray will continue to dominate in 2018, along with earthy tones. MUST CREDIT: Sea Pointe Construction / Houzz2 / 10
Keeping things simple can create a more calm environment at home. Michaela Dodd / Houzz3 / 10
Drapes, pillows and throws can add color and interest to a room without breaking the bank. MUST CREDIT: Angela Flournoy / Houzz4 / 10
Warm wood tones and neutrals create comfort in the kitchen. MUST CREDIT: Houzz5 / 10
Versatile concrete can be utilized in interesting and unexpected ways. Alexandra Crafton / Houzz6 / 10
Soothing color palettes, soft fabrics and simple furniture are expected to reign supreme in the master bedroom. Nanette Wong / Houzz7 / 10
Trough and bucket sinks can help create a rustic aesthetic and maximize minimal space. Designstorms / Houzz8 / 10
To refresh a kitchen or bathroom, try contemporary tiles that look like wood, concrete, resin, fabric or even wallpaper. Rachel Loewen Photography / Houzz9 / 10
Adding gold, copper and brass is making a comeback in home design this year. Credit: Sheila Mayden Interiors / Houzz10 / 10

With a new year comes an urge to revive goals, fitness, even furnishings. For people looking to add some splashes at home, local experts weigh in on their interior design predictions for 2018.

Big tile. Larger-scale floor tiles will continue to rise, said Brian Timm, kitchen and bath designer at Maureen's LLC in Duluth. That's because tile is the best conductor of heat, and it's the most durable flooring product. Going bigger also means: "Less grout lines, so you don't have to clean them," Timm said. If you're going to hop on this trend, Timm said to be mindful that your room accommodates big tile. "You don't want to put a 24-by-48 in the wall and have a small little grout line and a small piece next to it."

Colors. Gray will continue to dominate in 2018, along with earthy tones.

Neutral tones are compatible with a number of wood types, and gray is popular on cabinets and walls, Timm said.

Gray was on Megan Rivas' list, along with beiges, browns, creams and bold pops of color in throw pillows, accent walls or blankets. That allows you to change the home without breaking the bank, said Rivas, of Room and Flow, a staging and interior redesign company in Duluth.

Tamara Zakovich at Glo Interior Design in Duluth agreed.

"In 2018, we will continue to embrace our 'roots,' in a resurgence of earthy (tone on tone) palettes," she said by email.

Ultraviolet. The Pantone Color Institute, which monitors trends in all design areas, has selected ultraviolet (Pantone No. 18-3838) as the color of 2018. It's a powerful and regal hue, Rivas said.

"A splash of color is always fun, especially as we dream of spring," Zakovich said.

They recommended incorporating ultraviolet in artwork, bedding, clothing and accessories. The bedroom or entryway are good areas for new color splashes, Timm added.

Gadgets. Kitchen cabinets are touting more internal components and pullout pantries. "They have pullouts that have cylinders where you can hold your spatula," Timm said, and these types of user-friendly contraptions will continue to surge this year.

Mixed metals and textures. Adding gold, copper and brass is making a comeback. Also on the radar: black lighting and black fixtures. "Don't be afraid to have stainless steel appliances and add copper, gold or black accent fixtures for a dramatic contrast," Rivas said.

Also on the radar this year is a combination of textures and textiles. "Having a mix of leather, velvet and fabric furniture adds a dramatic and interesting effect."

Outdoors in. In 2018 and beyond, bringing the outdoors in with live plants, natural organic materials or pops of decorative green will never go out of style, Rivas and Zakovich said. Also: reclaimed wood, jute rugs and live-edge wood tables. "In the Northland, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the beautiful outdoors," Zakovich said.

Patterns. Global influences and geometric patterns will stay strong, Zakovich said.

Simplicity. People want a more calm environment at home. In the kitchen or bathroom, that means clean lines and more flat-panel cabinetry or a shaker-style door with a recessed panel in the center, Timm said.

"Simplicity and minimalism will never go out of style," added Rivas.

Smart homes. Electronic and touch-screen dimmers and sound systems are on the rise, as well as heated floors in the bathroom and kitchen.

Surfaces. Quartz countertops are stain-, scratch- and heat-resistant, and that makes them a go-to this year. Also, vinyl flooring is getting better high-definition graphics, Timm said.

Design is about constantly looking and adjusting accordingly to improve things, but: "It comes down to easy-to-clean, durability and aesthetically pleasing," Timm said.

Before doing an overhaul, Zakovich suggested to look first at the details that will pass the test of time because classic design is never out of style.

Added Rivas: "Your space should be a direct reflection of who you are as a person and make you happy."

Melinda Lavine

Lavine is a features and health reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. 

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