Dramatic lighting, next-level tiles and more looks you’ll love for the new year.

A new year calls for a new look, so we tapped the West’s sharpest designers to forecast emerging styles, spotlight up-and-coming materials and reveal their wish list for a well-designed future. Here’s what’s trending for 2019.

Trend #1: Next-Gen Tile

At the annual Cersaie expo in Bologna, Italy, ceramic tile manufacturers and designers from all over the world descend to showcase the latest in technology and design. And it’s pretty astounding just how far the simple ceramic tile has come. New rolling presses mean that the size of a piece can be just about limitless, and printing advancements mean that almost any colour is doable. Here are a few of the trends we spotted (and for more, check out our full story here).

Ceramic Wallpaper

These elaborate floral- and jungle-print ceramic panels transform a surface. They’re oversized, so seams disappear. Stunning. Ornamenta’s Operae line, amestile.com

Feeling Rusty

With the appearance of well-weathered, oxidized Corten steel, these ceramic tiles add a touch of industrial edge to a space. Oxidart from Ceramica Sant’agostino, fontile.com

Shou Sugi Ban Tile

The Japanese method of charring wood to preserve it—so popular in West Coast architecture—makes its way into ceramic, though the range of colours is more flexible in this medium, of course. The Yaki collection from Brand Viva, stone-tile.com

3D Vision

These three-dimensional tiles add texture and a little play to wall treatments. Dekorami from Ceramica Vogue, juliantile.com

Trend #2: Rich New Paint Hues

Paint brands consider their trends and respective colours of the year with the same earnest sense of responsibility the federal government reserves for raising interest rates. There are investigative teams, discussion panels, colour experts and more that come together on global market research to make sure the colour of the year is informed, substantive and revelatory. There’s no crystal ball: this is what’s coming to shelves, walls and furniture near you.

Blueprint, Behr

This mid-tone blue—slightly warmer than denim, yet softer than navy—is a 2019 colour of the year that’s welcoming and homey. “Blue signifies authenticity, confidence and timelessness,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of colour and creative services at Behr. “This universally appealing hue provides a steady stream of positivity and is poised to be an instant classic for years to come.”

Night Watch, PPG Paints

This luxurious shade of deep green pulls from the current interior-design obsession with plants and nature. “The dark green hue pulls our memories of natural environments to the surface to recreate the calming, invigorating euphoria we feel when in nature,” says Dee Schlotter, PPG senior colour marketing manager.

Metropolitan, Benjamin Moore

“Comforting, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Metropolitan AF-690 exudes beauty and balance,” says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s director of strategic design intelligence. “It’s a colour in the neutral spectrum that references a contemplative state of mind and design. Neither arresting nor aggressive, this understated yet glamorous grey creates a soothing, impactful common ground.”

The Designer Forecast: Our panel of designers make their predictions for which palettes should take centre stage in 2019.

Wulfenite, C2 Paint

“Burnt orange, terracotta—old brick colours. I love it on furniture and on the walls.” Elena Del Bucchia, Elena Del Bucchia Design, Calgary

Blue Pearl, Benjamin Moore

“It’s a happy colour that isn’t overpowering.” Kendall Ansell, Kendall Ansell Interiors, Vancouver

Nocturnal Grey, Benjamin Moore

“I love deeper tones of bluey greys. They feel rich and add depth to a space.” Aly Velji, Alykhan Velji Designs, Calgary

Pelt, Farrow and Ball

“Colours we would love to see take off in 2019 are warm, rich hues and soft neutrals. Pelt (No. 254) is a colour that is saturated and bold yet composed.”Jenny Martin, Jenny Martin Design, Victoria

Trend #3: Handmade Ceramics

There’s something powerful about a bowl or vase that’s been formed by human hands. Each vessel is thoughtfully laboured over and tended to from concept to execution and through rounds of firings and glazes. And it’s that handcrafted care and connection that make these pieces—uneven edges, imperfect shapes—precious experiments all. Here are a few designers’ favourites for 2019.

Abstraction Vases, from $250, dahlhausart.com

“I was first introduced to Heather Braun-Dahl quite a few years ago, and these pieces really show her diversity. I love the graphic element of these pieces—they are quirky and fun.”Velji

Arhoj Summer Bowl, $67, vanspecial.com

“The glazes and glaze application on these Danish beauties are one of a kind. Not only are they little works of art, but they’re also food safe and make a perfect addition to table settings.”Angela Robinson, Angela Robinson Design, Vancouver

Ceramic Wall Drawings, from $100 each, genevievedionne.com

“They’re great to stand alone or include in a gallery wall for an interesting switch in medium.”Gillian Segal,Gillian Segal Design, Vancouver

Yoshiko Godo Porcelain Bowls, from $60, pigeonholehomestore.com

“Years ago in Victoria, I purchased a bowl at a craft fair from Yoshiko Godo, and it has become one of my most beloved accessories and dishes. Their organic shape makes them perfect for stacking and accessorizing.”Robinson

Ceramic Spoons, $16, kalika.ca

“Kalika Bowlby’s pieces are refreshing, versatile, trendy and eye-catching. She is also the 2018 WL Maker of the Year winner!”–Del Buchia

Llama Ceramic Planter, $85, as-ceramics.com

“Maybe it’s the mom in me and reading Llama Llama Red Pajama, but I can never pass on a whimsical accessory! Anna-Lise’s llama ceramic pots are the cutest!”Del Buchia

Waiting Behind the Tee No. 2 Sculpture, price on request, jocelynevareid.com

“Jocelyn Reid’s stuff is interesting and outside the box. Sculptural, whimsical conversation pieces.”Del Buchia

Caterina Roma Limoges Porcelain Plate, $140, musacurated.com

“I am in love with these crystalline glazes—they remind me of X-rays of botanicals. They have such a gorgeous organic quality to them.”Velji

Trend #4: Warming Up to Wood

We’re so spoiled in Western Canada with our forests and national parks—it should be no surprise that we crave familiar natural materials inside our homes as well. For 2019, woods move to a decidedly darker palette and designs are thicker, even a bit—dare we say—“chunky.” In millwork, we’re seeing texture, delicate lines and expertly crafted detail.

Refined Hulk

Christophe Delcourt’s non-symmetrical Lob low table ($21,435) shows off chunky solid-wood legs in an eye-catching rounded shape. avenue-road.com

Pattern Play

One of Velji’s favourites, French white oak gets a stunning update in wire-brushed Montpellier parquet (from $14 per square foot) that’s textural, modern and versatile. divinefloor.com

Take It to the Wall

Ansell’s team is a big fan of the oh-so-’70s Milkwood veneer wallcovering ($11 per square foot). “We are in love! It totally transforms a space,” says Ansell. koroseal.com

Nothing but Cerused

“I am currently having a love affair with any type of cerused oak (a.k.a. limed oak) for furniture, millwork, flooring—basically anywhere!” says Segal (this photo: Jax cerused entryway cabinet, $899). “Cerusing is a particular treatment where a contrasting colour is rubbed into the pores of the wood, which highlights the graining pattern and creates drama.” cb2.com

Finely Fluted

“Detailing wood doors with a fluted or V-groove design creates a stunning blend of soft, natural graining and crisp lines, adding a textural element to the wood,” says Martin. restorationhardware.com

Supersized Butcher Block

“A chunky, thick-wood butcher block integrated into your counter space is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also super-practical as a prep station for the chefs of the house!” saysRobinson. This interior project from Peter Ivens in Belgium is a beautiful example.  peterivens.be

Trend #5: High-Drama Lighting

No more installing a standard-issue corner lamp and calling it a day. The new wave of lighting design is filled with drama, risk-taking and bright spots on the horizon that illuminate outside the box.

Viva Sculptural

“I think the Shape Up 3-piece chandelier ($10,225) adds a uniqueness to a space, and I think we’re moving away from single pendants,” says Velji. “It feels like a gorgeous customized sculpture.” rollandhill.com

Baby Brutalism

DelBucchia points to an emergence of ’70s brutalism colliding with modernism, as fabulously evidenced by the timelessfluted Lantern sconce ($4,460). apparatusstudio.com

Mixed Metals

“Reflective services are the new sparkle,” says Ansell. Exhibit A: this tone-on-tone steel Flute LED 29-light pendant ($4,190). et2online.com

Trend #6: Goodbye, Minimalist Interiors

Designers share their top crushes for standout interiors that will launch the next big trends for the coming year.

(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

Fresh Look #1: History Revisited

Robinson is looking to this traditional-eclectic living room, designed by Kyla Bidgood of Bidgood and Co. in Victoria, as an inspiration for future designs.

“If you’re lucky enough to live in a character house or building, addressing the beautiful mouldings and architectural details is key! Kyla and her team have chosen to modernize this heritage house by painting the mouldings, walls and ceiling out in white. This allows the shadows to do their job of showcasing the detailing in an elegant and subtle way. Another way they’ve incorporated modern elements into this home is through the artwork. The painting above the fireplace (by Vancouver artist Lauren Mycroft) is an unusual and stunning addition to a traditional room.”

(Photo: Janis Nicolay.)

Fresh Look #2: Raw Heritage

Del Becchia loves this organic-meets-industrial space, designed by Project 22 Design in Vancouver.

“We’ve seen industrial brick walls in restaurants and old New York lofts, but I think we will see more of them in residential design, especially original, authentic ones.” 


Which 2019 trend are you most excited about? What trends have we missed? Let us know in the comments below!