Top 5 Design Trends – House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House

This week I was invited to attend an invite-only media preview of the 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House, which is featured in the November issue of the magazine. These kind of showhouses are so inspirational, and I’m dying to share the top trends I saw there! I took soooo many photos, y’all. I narrowed it down to the top 5 design trends that emerged, and the last one will REALLY SURPRISE YOU!

house beautiful design trends

And keep your eyes peeled for the hidden Easter egg bonus trend I’ll reveal at the end …

Before we get started, you have to keep in mind that this is a designer showhouse. The designers don’t coordinate amongst themselves, and they have full reign to design their own space in whatever design or colors they choose. Each room has its own distinct personality and color scheme and doesn’t necessarily create any sense of flow or cohesiveness throughout the home. Ok, now we’re ready:

1. Fearless, Juicy Colors!

This is one happy house. Castle Homes of Nashville built a beautiful home in the heart of the upscale, old-money side of town called Belle Meade. The amazing architectural design is by C Kevin Coffey. But the interior designers knocked it out of the park with their use of fearless, juicy color! There is nothing better than walking into a room that puts a smile on your face, and fabulous color design can certainly do that. Corals, oranges, pinks, and yellows have their moments in the 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House.

yellow sofaChenault James Interiors

Barclay Butera designed the colorful outdoor living area that featured rich blues and oranges and furnishings from Castelle.

orange and blue outdoor tablesetting

blue and orange outdoor living by Barclay ButeraBarclay Butera

Barclay’s licensed collection with Castelle offers an impressive variety of colors, finishes, and fabrics. The colors above are similar to Benjamin Moore Woodlawn Blue and Tangerine Fusion.

His media manager snapped this photo of my design besties with Barclay:

Kristie Barnett, Elizabeth Scruggs, Barclay Butera, and Amanda Carlson

breakfast room in House Beautiful Whole Home Concept HouseModern Remains

I loved the complex, unexpected color combinations in the master bedroom by Kristine Paige:

yellow window seatJackson Paige Interiors

blush bathroom cabinet and rose gold fixturesRachel Haag and Joy Huber, Castle Homes

coral rug

2. Wonderful Wallpapers

We all know that wallpaper is back in a big way, and there was no shortage of it in the 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House. Just take a look!

orange coral asian wallpaperChenault James Interiors

This grand staircase in the entry of the home is absolutely stunning, due in large part to this gorgeous wallpaper by Vern Yip. Wallpaper is a great option for soaring walls like these, as arranging art on them can be quite a challenge!

vern yip wallpaper in stairwell of House Beautiful Whole Home Concept HouseVern Yip

Vern has licensed collections of wallpaper and fabric through Fabricut that he used in the entry and living room that he designed for the 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House. I was fortunate enough to get to chat with him during the tour!

Vern Yip and Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

This a-mazing historical mural from Mural Sources in the boys’ room designed by Amy Berry took my breath away!

historic mural wallpaper in Amy Barry designAmy Berry

And this crane wallpaper – oh my! So amazing in person (you’ve GOT to go see it).

yellow gold upholstered headboard in Jackson Paige master bedroom at House Beautiful Whole Home Concept HouseJackson Paige Interiors

amy berry designed girls room with upholstered wallsAmy Berry

wallpaper on ceiling

ceiling wallpaperForbes + Masters

3. Colored Trim & Ceilings

The showhouse featured a lot of COLORED trim work, as well as beautiful ceilings. The glossy grayed-green/blue trim in this room is gorgeous and really brings attention to the moldings and windows. Although this ceiling is white, I think it would have been brilliant painted out like the rest of the trim.

orange and green dining room in House Beautiful Whole House Concept House in NashvilleChenault James Interiors

This dark, moody powder room uses the same color (I think it’s Benjamin Moore Quarry Rock) on both the walls and trim, but in different finishes. Other rooms featured darkly painted trim, as well, including the master bedroom.

painted trim in dark gray bathroom

Benjamin Moore Morristown Cream on the ceiling was the perfect choice in this bathroom with gold and rose gold finishes and tile (which you’ll see more of in a moment).

pink ceiling in bathroom

Benjamin Moore Greyhound on the laundry/mudroom ceiling draws your eye up and keeps the white in this space fresh.

blue ceilingbathrooms and laundry rooms by Rachel Haag and Joy Huber, Castle Homes


There are no yellow painted walls, but LOTS of fabrics and decor in bold, golden yellow in the House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House. Gold lamp shades are all over the house!

yellow gold upholstered bedJackson Paige Interiors

Vern Yip living room design in House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House

yellow arm chairVern Yip

white sofa with yellow pillowsModern Remains

There is plenty of gold hardware and even gold edging on shelves in the butler’s pantry:

gold edge shelves in butler's pantryMatthew Quinn

The final trend might surprise you – it certainly does me! What do you think about the idea of . . .

5. Accent Walls in Showers???

shower accent tile wall

It’s definitely a thing, guys! Most of the bathrooms in the House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House featured an accent or focal wall of “special” tile. The subtle shell motif above paired with simple white tile is my favorite. The custom mosaic tile in the boy’s bathroom was really amazing, as well:

accent tile wall in shower

accent tile wall in shower

This next tile focal wall looks like a snakeskin, doesn’t it? What do you think about this trend, guys? Do you think it’ll take hold in the mainstream?

snakeskin tile

It just might, but my concern is that it’s hard enough to create great tile combinations for a bathroom. Adding yet another coordinating tile to the mix could result in a lot of poorly-executed bathroom designs!

Believe it or not, I have MORE to share of this inspiration-loaded showhouse. Stay tuned to my next post to see my favorite room in the home!

Did you spot the Easter egg bonus trend? Put your guess in the comments and let me know what you think about the 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House!

The 2019 House Beautiful Whole Home Concept House is open to the public TODAY through Nov 3

$20 per person, proceeds benefit the Nashville Symphony

Mon-Sat 12-5, Sun 1-5, 725 Westview Avenue, Nashville  37205

More Info Here


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  1. Molly

    Oh, how I love color! Love colored trim too. The only time I did a colored ceiling was a room we did for our boys when they were little (dark blue with glow in the dark stars in constellations). Some great trends going on! Love the accent wall in the shower too. Nothing wrong with some good clean visual stimulation. 😉

    • Kristie Barnett

      I love doing colored trim – especially in historic homes. I’ve painted multiple rooms in my home switching placements of color on the trim, walls, and ceilings – but most of my clients are tied to the idea of white trim everywhere! I am usually able to convince them to do one or two colored ceilings, though! 😉

  2. Gina

    Are the round pillows the “Easter egg trend?”

  3. Traci

    I see planked ceilings and like it a lot!

  4. Rachel

    Wow, I just love the colors, the coral, orange, pink and yellow, and the use of really fab wallpaper. I especially like the room with the coral wallpaper and orange curtains. What a cheerful, energizing room to spend the morning in. I also liked the room with the wallpapered ceiling. I was super intrigued by the accent walls in the showers! Very cool and I bet it does become a trend. My own desire to use wallpaper in my home is met with protests, people asserting my home will never sell because buyers dislike wallpaper. So I just don’t know if wallpaper will become a widespread trend. But wow, the wallpapers used in this house are lovely. Not Granny’s wallpaper.

    • Kristie Barnett

      I love that coral room, too. It’s fantastic in person. Now they are making “temporary” removable wallpaper! My concern about that, of course, is will it stay up for years if I want it to?

  5. Cherrie

    Please explain why the house is described as a “whole home concept” house, especially because there is no flow from room to room in the design or color. Thanks!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Well, the “Whole Home Concept” actually refers to health and sustainability in home design. “The home incorporates certified asthma and allergy friendly appliances from LG Electronics, and the designers were tasked with creating spaces that evoke a different feeling and using purposeful design elements.” Flow in design and color wasn’t their priority in this showhouse.

      • Cherrie

        Thank you. I understand now.

        • Kristie Barnett

          I suppose I should have explained that in the first place, but I was more focused on the decor than the function of the home! 🙂

  6. Tara

    White and black art… is that the Easter egg bonus trend?

  7. Kellee

    Love the use of color everywhere! The yellow eggs are displayed in the green bowl on the table next to the lovely yellow couch, photo # 1.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Actually those are pingpong balls – the dinner table in the dining room converts to a pingpong table! I didn’t mean ACTUAL Easter eggs – I meant this definition: “commonly used to mean a message, image, or feature hidden in a video game, movie, or other medium.” In other words, there is another trend I noticed and there are clues in the blogpost’s photos! 🙂

  8. Kate

    Hi Kristie,

    Great post! I love home tours like this. I often take pictures with my phone to act as visual “notes” but mine would never be worth posting – the lighting will be off or the walls leaning inward or something. Do you use your phone to take the above images or a camera?


    • Kristie Barnett

      Kate, I used my Canon EOS ID camera. Heavy to lug around, but worth it for better photos!!!

  9. Karen

    Asian elements in every photo. Lots of birds, egrets especially, and other critters ( horses, deer).

  10. Susan C Davis

    Thank you for sharing this house! Love the use of color and Asian motifs. I am seeing birds as a thread running through your photos– which may be part of a larger theme. In spite of some hard edged furnishings, overall the house feels organic looking to nature for color and shapes; fixtures that look like they’re about to take flight 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      You definitely picked up on some of the other trends – Asian motifs and herons/cranes (I’m not sure which)!

  11. ceil tarwater

    I LOVED the Nashville idea house (magazine & your photos), but, I can’t seem to find out what paint color is in the media room?

    • Kristie Barnett

      You’re in luck, Ceil! I just happen to know the media room walls are Benjamin Moore Deep Creek 1477! The cabinets in that room are Benjamin Moore Mopboard Black CW680.

  12. m...

    LOVE the boys room and tiled shower. Wish I could put that into my home! Saw some accent tiled showers before and I like the idea a lot… but I do agree it will probably be very hit or miss for future buyers.

  13. GeoC55

    So much beauty here! I always appreciate interesting rooms, even if they are not to my taste. LOVE the mural wallpaper. Also, gorgeous bath and shower tile…but who cleans all that grout?? ; )


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