When I  started blogging ten years ago – it was all slipcovers and seagrass and French and English antiques.

The late Babs Watkins – the start of the Houston Look.

All over the south, like Atlanta, it was about collections and buying good antiques like armoires and chinoiserie.

We discovered Swedish and Belgian design, along with crusty finishes, peeling paints, and white washed woods.  We all fell in love with this house by Jane Moore, remember?

Good, traditional design was available to all, thanks to Mitchell Gold and Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware. 

Tailored sofas with English arms, Ikea slipcovers, and faux antiques – no matter your budget, you could still have a very cute house.

And then, we got older and our children grew up and they didn’t want what we liked. 

It all changed, quickly.

  While there will always be classic French and English designed interiors, a more modern aesthetic came back in style, looking new and fresh to the younger generation who had never lived with a contemporary look.

This modern look exploded onto the market and when the remains were picked over, two looks were left – a more contemporary interior or a pared down industrial farmhouse look.  Take your pick.

For someone like me who is a Francophile, it is hard to look at some of these more contemporary interiors:

I am not really comfortable with bright colors.  And I like a more “designed” room where things are put together because they look good next to each other.  I don’t “understand” the thinking behind this room, above.

This color, lavender is hot, and trending now, as is the soft edged upholstery. 


No comment.

Maybe, I’m just too old?  Nothing makes sense here, design wise.

And don’t forget this adage:  the wilder the chandelier, the better.


I mean….what’s wrong with this chandelier?   It’s very pretty.  In fact, the entire room is pretty, I see no need to update it.   In fact, I’ll take it.  By Jackye Lanham.

The room is trendy beige.  Cold grays are being pushed out by warmer browns and beiges, like this room. 

I do appreciate modern pieces and architecture, especially when mixed together with beautiful antiques – like this.  Design by Renea Abbott

Trending is contrast – black and white.

I like this room – a mix of new and old.  It’s perfect for a younger couple, who want a traditional without looking too out of style.

The chandeliers are modern, as are the white walls and curtain treatment.  The rest is basically classic.

And this has a zen-like quietness, modern with the mix of a gorgeous antique.

Modern doesn’t have to be ugly, does it?   Suzanne Kasler

Quiet, with a glamorous, modern edge – this is just so pretty.  Again, modern doesn’t have to be ugly – does it?

This room incorporates a big trend for 2018 – lavender is the color of the year, pink is out.

So here are the trends of 2018:


White is THE house color now.  Most are painting their houses white over any other color.   Here, white is perfect for updating an 80s red brick house.

When a home is painted white it looks so chic.

White is used on contemporary houses with metal windows and doors, another big trend.

Another modern white facade with metal windows and doors and an all-green landscaping with box.

The white facade is more of a long time trend.  Where red brick and cream stucco have been trendy for the past 10-20 years, white is now the chicer choice.

Conversely, dark paint looks new and exciting especially with accents of white.

This look is gaining popularity - dark paint (and white) with lighter wood accents.  This is a great looking combination.


White walls just grow and grow in popularity.   Black metal doors and windows make any house look updated. 

This foyer is a perfect example of updating a look using both antiques and minimalism.

Brown dark walls are trending in response to a gray overdose. Again mixing one antique piece in a modern setting is interesting…and beautiful.


For interiors, white continues to be on trend.  It looks so fresh when compared to other colors or shades. 

This room is a perfect design for a new modern aesthetic without giving up traditional elements.  The scale of the furniture is modern while the shapes are not.  Mixing in a contemporary coffee table is another way to update an interior.   And the rug is a combination of traditional design with trendy colors.   So pretty.

Contrast – black with white looks new and hip.  High glamour.  Gorgeous. 

Contrast – black and white, but a bit more casual. 

The big trend in color – brown is pushing gray out.    Suddenly warmer brown and beige looks new again – and it looks good with red and orange.

Reddish brown – newer choice over gray.


Mark Sikes – all blue and white.  This combination is so popular right now, due completely to the power of Mark Sikes.  Magazines are doing all blue & white issues.   Regardless of what is pushed at market, blue & white is what people want.

This blue and white combination is very sophisticated with modern vibe.

A more traditional blue and white interior, more casual.  Lee Ann Thornton

Suzanne Kasler’s version of the new blue and white look.  Pretty rug!

Another Blue & White from Mark Sikes.

But nothing beats this blue and white house in Dallas done by Cathy Kincaid.  Stunning.  Every room!!!    The trendy tailored curtain with trim on the leading edge continues to be as strong as ever this year.

I have always loved Cathy’s work and it just gets better and better, if that is even possible.  This house is fabulous!!  And it’s such a winning argument against strictly modern.  Plus, I’ve always loved an antique screen over a sofa. 

WALLPAPERS – especially Gracie

Wallpapers have been making a big comeback lately, but it seems that Gracie or a Gracie copy is the most popular choice.   Gracie Studio has been everywhere.

Gil Shafer and Miles Redd in San Francisco.  Miles has always loved Gracie Studio, and other hand painted papers.   This is a more vivid paper in deeper green.  Those antique lions on the mantel – stunners!!!!!  Those lamps and shades!!!!  That chintz!!!!  More?   Those mirrors!!!  That rug!!!!   That chandelier!!!!

The same house – the master bedroom.   This Gracie paper is to die for!

The great David Easton. 


Bunny Williams - Bedroom. 

One more Gracie, Marie Flanigan from Houston! 

A more contemporary Gracie.  This is a modern take on the gorgeous paper, by Alex Papachristidis

OK OK OK  - most of us can’t afford a huge room of Gracie, I get it!!

This is a more affordable option – a few panels posted on a board or a screen.

Panels in Michael S. Smith’s house.


Two for flanking a doorway or bed - HERE

A beautiful new book just released:



Dark cobalt blue in a lacquer finish is everywhere.   Everywhere!    High Point can put out their own predictions, but this is what many wanted.

The bright blue lacquer is seen in kitchens of blue & white houses.

Here, in a dining room.   Blue with orange.  By Melanie Turner

Another dining room in lacquered blue. 

Danielle Rollins had this lacquered blue and white – kitchen with a mosaic tile floor.  These French bistro chairs are again, a huge hit.

Get The Look – these chairs are popular.  Good copies are hard to find in stock: 

French Bistro Chairs:  HERE

Bar Stools:  HERE

Blue lacquered kids bedroom - with bunk beds.

Here, the color is toned down – it’s not bright, its more of a Russian blue.  This is so beautiful with the antique chairs and chandelier – toned down with the seagrass.


Here is a blending of two trends – the blue lacquer and curved upholstery with an Art Deco vibe.  This softly curved upholstery is a big trend in High Point.

Again.  Softly curved upholstery.   To me, it is more effective if the curved piece is both beautiful and solo.  Otherwise, it’s just too much.

For instance, this lone curved sofa looks pretty across from the severely tailored sofa.

Curved sofa in trendy beige velvet.  But, too many pillows take away from the shape.

Truthfully, it’s hard to look at those other versions of curved upholstery when you’ve seen this by M Naeve.    So pretty.  M. Naeve has custom sofas that are really beautiful.  HERE.  For pillows, Martyn Thompson creates round ones for curved shapes.

THE TRENDIEST PATTERN:   Toile de Nantes by Pierre Frey\

This fabric has been around forever and ever, it’s an ikat from the 18th century, and lately it has been popping up all over the place.  First, John Fowler did this dining room alcove in Nantes. 

Then, here in Estee Lauder’s bedroom in the Hamptons.

Her granddaughter Aerin inherited the house and the bedroom was published in the every magazine.

Then Mark Sikes, yes the Blue & White maven, used it for his Henredon catalogue.

And his friend, designer Sarah Bartholomew used it in a few rooms which were also published. 

Now everyone wants this pattern.  Me included.  It’s perfect for the blue and white devotees.

To Get The Look of Sarah’s Entry Above:




Here Allison Allen used Nantes in her much lauded family room mixed with the trendy blue lacquered walls. 

And then there is the very popular Danielle Rollins whose new house has the Nantes wallpaper.


All white kitchen are a forever classic, but recently color and contrast has become trendy.   Here black cabinets mixed with white looks new.  AND notice the wall of tile.  The more tile, the better.

I love this kitchen with the double sinks and blue tile up to the ceiling. 

Wayfair has this copy of the light fixture HERE


Another trendy look – black and white.  Here the entire wall and ceiling is tiled. 


This fixture is an inexpensive copy, but:


This trend, light wood with black accents.  Barn doors are still gaining in popularity.

Wayfair inspired lights HERE


Another trend – black hardware.  Not just in kitchens – but bathrooms, and everywhere there is hardware.

And, thanks to Fixer-Upper, shiplap is still trending.   Now that this is the Gaines’ last season on HGTV, it will be interesting to see if all the trends they encouraged will continue once they have faded from TV.

And here, the trend is the fish scale tile.  This shape is gaining in popularity for those who are tired of subway tile.

A copy of the lantern HERE.


Bringing attention to ceilings is trending.  Before, everyone just painted their ceiling white – now, the entire surface is a place that needs decorating just like any other surface.

If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful ceiling – paint it in a way to enhance it.  Here, mushroom walls with a white wood ceiling  - looks heavenly.  Cathy Kincaid.

One ceiling look that is so trendy is lacquer.  It’s a perfect modern look for a plain ceiling.

Here the lacquer is matching the walls.

And another lacquered ceiling.

And, another lacquered ceiling.

NOTE:  When doing a skirted table, always add a blackout lining to the skirt.  It will add weight to make a much prettier drape.  Otherwise, the skirt looks like a thin piece of fabric.

  The mega talented Bailey McCarthy from Houston.  The owner of Biscuit, her house is so young, so modern – yet the architecture is traditional.  Here her living room has white walls with a lacquered ceiling.  I love her use of fabrics – all the chintzes.  Instead of garden seats – she has elephant seats.  I grew up with one myself!!!  Her house is a text book for young, newly marrieds,  HERE.

Chairish has several Elephant Garden Stools



Even this bathroom is updated with a lacquered ceiling.

Trends for the upcoming year and more?  Color but mostly either black or white or blue & white or browns/beiges instead of gray.

More Nantes fabric by Pierre Fry.   Gracie wallpaper.  Deco shaped upholstery.   Bright blue lacquer.  Wood accents.

Me????   What trend do I like????

I’m happy with this – from Tara Shaw thank you very much!!! 

YOU???? What’s your favorite trend, not just one seen here – leave a comment and tell us!!!!