Park City’s top home design trends for 2018 |

Park City’s top home design trends for 2018

Keeping up with home design trends is a bit like watching what’s happening on the runways, but with a lot more at stake. That’s because while styles in architecture, landscaping, and interior design evolve at a slower pace than the fashion world, they come at a much higher price. It’s one thing to buy a new dress; another to invest in a kitchen remodel.

Luckily, these Park City experts have their fingers on the pulse of the home design world. They’ve shared their birds-eye-view of what’s in and what’s out for 2018, so you can make informed decisions you’ll enjoy for years to come.

What’s in and what’s out?

IN: Grey. Grey paint, grey furniture, grey fabrics. It’s a great neutral that goes with practically everything and is genderless.

IN: Jewel-toned kitchen cabinets. Most notable hues: garnet and sapphire.

OUT: Curly ironwork. This type of decorative ironwork, which used to be popular on staircases and front doors, is visually noisy and just plain out.

IN: Furniture in warm woods. It adds warmth, texture, personality and character. Texture itself is very in, as is mixing natural, organic materials like stone, metal, crystal, wood, even fur.

OUT: Accessories on top of kitchen cabinets. Decorative accents—think about those ceramic roosters from country-French kitchens—are considered dust collectors.

IN: Floor-to-ceiling windows. They bring the outdoors in and introduce an organic, natural vibe.

IN: Oversize accessories. It’s modern to decorate with fewer accessories, choosing larger pieces that make a statement. Fewer knickknacks mean less clutter.

OUT: Knotty alder. Its rustic look and hard-to-smooth knots are more suited to a farmhouse than a contemporary home.

OUT: Beige walls.

IN: Dark accent walls. It used to be in to have light walls with dark accessories. Now it’s more current to have dark walls—deep brown or dark grey—punctuated with lighter accessories, artwork, and furniture.

IN: Slab kitchen cabinets. These flat-front, hardware-free cabinets rise all the way to the ceiling and look as though they could belong in any room. That’s ideal for today’s open-plan spaces because when you’re sitting in the dining room, you don’t want to see what are obviously kitchen cabinets. Slab cabinets are timeless. There are no pulls to date them, and they never go out of style.


IN: Brassy gold. Brassy gold and bronze from the 1960s and 70s is coming back in a big way.

OUT: Small windows. Particularly in Park City, where people want to connect with the gorgeous outdoor environment and take advantage of the spectacular sunlight, large expanses of glass are in.

IN: Unique idiosyncrasies. According to Elliott, people used to make building decisions based on what they thought other people would want in the future. Now people don’t care. They’re ignoring the “mandatories,” breaking the rules, and building for how they live now.

OUT: Exterior grids. Paneling that creates a pattern on the outside of buildings, popularized by architects such as Richard Meier, are on the decline. “Nowadays, we never do grids on anything.”

OUT: Big, round pine logs. They are out in the world of furniture, in building, in everything. “Cabin furniture” is still enjoying its moment, but no one is interested in log furniture.

IN: Linear couches. The basics to look for: square—not rounded—arms; simple lines; light colors; zero patterns.


IN: Live-edge tables. These are tables with a wood edge finished in a naturally imperfect shape. They are not just in, they are super-in, the generally organic feel that people want. Boland says “We could sell them all day.”

OUT: Armoires. According to Boland, “you can’t give away an armoire, truly. No one wants them.” Some people are turning them into bars.

IN: Contemporary everything. Tastes have evolved from basic contemporary to über-contemporary: flat roofs, low lines, clean surfaces.

OUT: Antiques. While mid-century is big-time, traditional antiques are in very low demand. The world is flooded with dishes and china, and not much of it holds its value.

IN: Antlers. Even in the most minimal interiors, antlers still look fresh. They work with both contemporary and mountain environments and are at just as home in a New York loft as a castle in Europe. They are good staples accents, popular in all finishes, from natural to painted white.

IN: Less. More thoughtful choices are in, as people want each piece in their home to matter more. The days of stuffing a house with things are gone.


IN: Lots of outdoor living space. Since second homeowners are spending much more time in Park City than just a couple of ski weeks, outdoor space is very important. This is not a rolling lawn kind of town, so they want patios, decks, and gas fire pits for use in summer and winter. Al fresco kitchens are huge, as are outdoor heaters on walls and ceilings to take the chill out of the air. Ten years ago, a view was enough. Now extra outdoor living space is essential.

IN: Kitchens. Even if people don’t cook, they want a Sub-Zero fridge and freezer or two, and a big 6- or 8-burner gas stove. They also want a big bar seating area with lots of USB plugs, because everybody wants to sit there with their phones for a couple of hours a day.

IN: Ultra modern, streamlined architecture. Flat roofs in a mountain town? Sounds crazy, but it’s what people are looking for. That, plus big glass windows and sliding doors that roll right in the walls.


IN: Automated lighting control. No matter if it’s new construction or a remodel, this is a must in almost every house. It’s so much cheaper and easier to do nowadays—almost the same as putting in a light switch. In fact, with all the voice-activated and geo-fenced systems we’re installing, you can easily see a day when the electrical code will be re-written to no longer require a light switch by the door of every room.

OUT: Fluorescent lighting. It’s not in garages anymore, it’s not in workshops, it’s nowhere!

IN: Automated window coverings. These have been in for a while, and continue in popularity. This is not an inexpensive undertaking: Sometimes the cost of installing window electronics is half the price of the total job.

OUT: Screw-in light bulbs. Recessed lighting today often comes with integrated LEDs, which means the diodes are built into the fixture itself. I figured this would transition over ten years, but it’s happening so fast. I can picture a day when lights that use a screw-in bulb will be unavailable, or at least very hard to find. That may happen as quickly as a year or two.


IN: Natural local materials. For hardscaping, we use natural blond sandstone from Browns Canyon. If you want the contemporary look of grey stone with white and black accents, the materials come from Traverse Mountain.

OUT: Concrete patios. People want pavers, natural stone, or gravel.

IN: Water boulders. Traditional fountains are out. Today, people want contemporary looks like water boulders, maybe with a built-in metal design component that complements the home exterior.

OUT: Unnecessary grass. People only want as much grass as is needed for specific functions. That’s usually related to kids or animals.

IN: Edible landscapes. We’re routinely putting in blackberry bushes, herb gardens, and apple trees (pretty much the only fruit tree that will work around here) for shade and fruit.

OUT: Dog runs. People used to do them a lot, but now they don’t. And if they do, it’s heated and the dog is resting on fake grass, never cement.

OUT: Red lava rock used as a mulch. This is very, very out.

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