Popular Design Trends Seen on a House Tour

Don’t you just love a good house tour?  I think I could tour beautiful homes every single day and never get bored.  Not only are house tours fun to attend but they can be a great way to keep up with popular design trends.

Just last week, one of my best friends and I headed to the Jersey Shore to attend the Rumson, NJ Kitchen Tour.  This fundraising event for the Rumson Education Foundation showcased eight gorgeous kitchens along with delicious tastings from local restaurants and bakeries.  Not only did we have the opportunity to walk through some magnificent kitchens but we were also able to take a peek at some of the main floor adjoining rooms.  It felt more like a house tour than just a kitchen tour!

Modern Farmhouse on a Kitchen Tour

As in most private home tours, photography was not permitted…darn.  Don’t worry, I took some outdoor shots and I also made a list of the popular design trends repeated in several of the homes.  (And….to demonstrate some of the design elements, I did sneak in a few indoor photos but I was respectful of the home owners and won’t show any identifying items).

Here are some of the popular design trends we spotted in several of the homes:

White Walls:

Crisp white walls were very popular in almost all the homes.

Dark Walls:

If the walls weren’t white, they were very dark.  We saw navy, charcoal and black walls in several homes.

Popular Design Trends - Dark Walls

Shiplap is still going strong:

Most of these homes had a modern coastal vibe and shiplap was everywhere…I think every home had it.  Not surprisingly, we mostly spied white shiplap but we saw some darker colors and even shiplap tile in a bathroom!

Popular Design Trends - Shiplap tile in the bathroom

Grasscloth Wallpaper:

Almost all the homes had some form of grasscloth…and it was just stunning.

Blue grasscloth wallpaper

Statement Ceilings:

Beadboard, coffered, wood planks and wallpaper were all very popular design trends for ceilings.

Statement ceilings

Statement Lighting:

Every home had bold, beautiful lighting, both inside and outside.  We spotted some Restoration Hardware-style fixtures along with other high end fixtures throughout the homes.

Statement lighting on porch - Popular Design Trends

Bare Windows:

No fussy window treatments in these homes.  In fact, several of the homes had no window treatments at all.  The ones that did were very simple and streamlined – plantation shutters or custom drapery panels.

White house and boxwoods

Thick Marble:

In the kitchens, we noticed several houses with extra thick marble slabs for just the island.  In those homes, the perimeter counters still had the standard thickness.

Quartz and Leathered Granite:

Although many homes had marble throughout the kitchen, many also used quartz and granite for the perimeter counter tops.

Live Edge Tables:

We noticed a few live edge tables in kitchens and side tables in the homes.

Live edge table and natural fiber rug in kitchen

Natural Fiber and Neutral Colored Rugs:

Most of the homes had these in kitchens and other living areas.  We saw seagrass, sisal… lots of texture but not a lot of color.

Natural fiber runner rug

In addition, most of the homes kept the wall decor very simple using just a piece of large artwork, a collection of baskets or a single textured item.  A few small spaces such as bathrooms or mudrooms had some fun wallpaper but since most of the spaces had either shiplap or grasscloth wallpaper, they really didn’t need much more.

And of course, every home had some type of beautiful outdoor space.

Too bad it was raining the whole day of the tour!

Outdoor archway to patio

I hope you enjoyed my observations and design takeaways from our day spent touring beautiful homes on the Rumson Kitchen Tour. 

Actually, I enjoy touring private homes just as much as touring designer showhouses because you get to see how people really live.

Have you used any of these popular design trends in your home?  I just recently painted my dining room navy and we also bought a natural fiber rug for the room.  In addition, I’m trying to figure out a place to hang some grasscloth wallpaper too!

Since I couldn’t show many photos from inside these homes on the tour, I linked up a this kitchen tour from a designer showhouse to satisfy any kitchen design cravings you may have.  Bon Appetit!

And for those of you who love modern farmhouse style homes, here is a stunning designer house tour!

Have you attended any house tours in your area?

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  1. I personally love the private home tours as opposed to the designer homes. It seems the designer homes always end up a mish mosh of styles that don't flow together. Love all the things you pointed out.

  2. The shiplap trend is certainly going string and I am sure will eventually die down but in actuality it has been around for 100 years plus so it will never truly disappear.

  3. There is nothing quite like a house tour and ones that includes natural fiber rugs, shiplap, art and marble are perfection. Would love to have been touring with you!!

  4. So good to hear all of your points, I've started my bath renovation and many of those trends are on my list there. 😉

  5. That kitchen/ house tour sounds wonderful. Did any of the kitchens seem like people actually cook in them? lol. I love shiplap still so I am glad it is going strong. I also am a fan of less busy window treatments so that's also a plus. I wanted to see more pictures – wish you had been allowed to take more! Have a great rest of the week.

  6. I read somewhere that shiplap was out but I don't think so at all! I'm glad to see it in the showhomes still.

  7. Hi Shelley! The house tour that you went on sounds just like the one I went on with one exception. NO PHOTOS. I hate those words. Looks like you were able to take pics. I love when a house tour features lovely homes, food, and pop up shops. Have a great week.

    1. Actually, we were NOT supposed to take photos! But we did sneak a few and I cropped them so you couldn't identify anything…

  8. Thanks for taking these snippets at the home tours….I have seen lots of dark walls lately too in model homes….especially in powder rooms…and love the use of grass cloth….taking notes for the future house!

  9. Great tour ideas for renovating and decorating. Love the grass-cloth too. Thank you for sharing the bath ideas, which will help me as soon as I start to reno the master bath.Fabby

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