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Simple, Natural & Colorful: The latest design trends at the NW Natural Street of Dreams

See the latest in design, technology and sustainability during the month-long luxury home showcase in Wilsonville during the month of August.

Presented by Homebuilders Association of Portland July 1, 2019

Walking through the NW Natural Street of Dreams, you’ll see a wide range of design styles, from trendy industrial farmhouse to cool Northwest contemporary to ever-classic French country.

What these homes share is a focus on airy, open spaces and multi-functional rooms. From flush inset cabinets to roller shades, today’s designs remain streamlined, clean and uncluttered.

Keep it simple, mix it up

Simplicity is the biggest buzzword in current design trends.

Janie Dieringer of KEY Home Furnishings advises keeping your main elements simple so you can reinvent yourself and your space on a daily basis with new accents and accessories. “Keep it simple, but define yourself in it,” she says.

Today’s design trends are less focused on fitting in with a specific style and more about how you feel in the home. 

“What I’m seeing in design right now is there are so many design styles that are on trend,” says Brittainy Tiffany, owner and president of Tiffany Home Design. “So what we do when working with clients is start with a base elements, then pull different aspects of the various designs together to make it cohesive.”

Interior designer Sandy Van Horn echoes this sentiment. “I like to mix styles to give a room more interest,” Van Horn says. “If your style is Mid-Century modern not every piece has to be that look. The same with a traditional interior – a modern light fixture or piece of art can liven up a space.”

A simpler design also gives homeowners the space to focus on finding unique pieces that give character to the home and make it their own.

“Their goal in doing this home was to make it feel like every piece in there was something that was special and found,” Dieringer says. “Something that makes people feel good, something that makes them feel like it’s a lived in home and that each piece of furniture is a treasure of some sort.” 

Bring the outdoors inside

“There’s been kind of a shift of having some beautiful greenery in a home like plants and succulents,” Tiffany says. 

“Plants make the rook alive. I Love bring the outdoors in,” says Van Horn.

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can still create a tropical paradise feel and keep on trend with a pop of green or a botanical printed wallpaper.

“I think people were a little nervous about wallpapers,” Tiffany adds. “But they’re really on trend and there’s just so many different ways you can make a room with wallpaper.”

“The big thing right now is to do nature -- sky, earth and sea -- and make everything the raw earth tones,” says Janie Dieringer, design consultant for KEY Home Furnishings. “So, bringing greens in from outside and doing neutrals like stone and your greys and your basic colors.”

While the grey tones of recent years are still popular, they’re trending warmer now. 

“What’s really nice right now is you can pair the warmer woods and even some browns, taupey-colors, with the greys, so you can kind of get that nice mix,” says Tiffany.

Paint outside the box 

“Paint’s inexpensive, so along with wallpapers, paints can make a big change in a space pretty quickly,” Tiffany says. 

If you’ve flipped through a home magazine or watched a renovation show on TV in the last couple years, you’ve probably noticed how white shiplap has taken over many walls. 

While the industrial farmhouse look doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, Tiffany says, a splash of color can make

“We’re seeing where maybe that shiplap is painted a black or a dark navy or something a little more dramatic in a room,” Tiffany says. 

Paint isn’t just for the walls anymore, either. Ted Hunt, director of sales at Huntwood Custom Cabinets, says homeowners are frequently requesting painted cabinets, most often in whites, grey and blues. 

“I would say probably a good 50 to 60 percent of what we’re doing right now is paint,” he says. 

No matter what, all designers express the idea that good design doesn’t have to be expensive.

“Some of my best rooms mix expensive and inexpensive,” Van Horn says. “And starting with foundations like proportion, placement and variety is key to bring your space together.”