By Design


Many homeowners find themselves eyeing their homes, wondering how to make their houses reflect their Lowcountry lifestyles.

One of the easiest ways is to redo a kitchen or bathroom, changing the color scheme, textures, materials, finishes, fixtures and hardware and adding furnishings, architectural details and smart technology. And while some trends come and go, many Lowcountry interior designers have crafted a coastal aesthetic with staying power — one that still embraces some of the design trends popping up around the country.

Some of those design elements were on display at the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s recent annual convention in Las Vegas. Here’s what the experts say will be popular in homes this year:


Rustic farmhouse style still dominates kitchen design, including elements like reclaimed barn doors, painted cabinets, shiplap wood paneling and assorted mixed metals. White and gray palettes are still the most popular colors for walls, appliances and cabinets. White continues to hold the top spot in cabinet color popularity in 2018, but gray is gaining steadily.


“Combining colors is also very trendy right now, " said Bruce Zaidman of American Wood Reface. Pairing a warm medium-gray island with richly stained wood perimeter cabinets is an exciting option, he said.

And when it comes to the actual cabinet style, many homeowners are moving from cathedral-style doors to Shaker, according to Andrew Ambler, owner of N Hance, another Lowcountry company that refaces and refinishes existing cabinets.

CAMERONCAMERON BUILDERS“Many are going from to oak to maple,” he said.

Farmhouse style may be king, but transitional — a blend of traditional and contemporary — and contemporary designs are gaining ground. With its clean lines, open shelving and delicate curves, sleek contemporary design is in vogue in urban areas of the country and has made headway in the Lowcountry this year.

Other kitchen trends include the use of quartz countertops instead of marble. Non-porous quartz turns heads for its striking appearance, strength and durability.

“Today, new quartz products offer the look of marble with easy maintenance and affordability,” said Andrea Antunes McGilton, sales manager for Distinctive Granite and Marble and daughter of company founder John Antunes. “White quartz comes in a huge variety of colors, textures and finishes, and the spirit and beauty of white Italian marble is captured in this modern product.” 

Also popular: Mosaic tile floors for both kitchen and bath. Embracing this trend, Hilton Head Island design firm J. Banks has partnered with New Ravenna, a designer and manufacturer of luxury stone and glass mosaics.

AL HARRY FURNITURE DESIGNThe J. Banks Collection by Joni Vanderslice includes 15 tile designs reflective of elements found in nature such as water, wood, and palms.

Interior designers and their Lowcountry clients also are excited about induction and steam cooking appliances; customized storage space; pull-out waste or recycling baskets; engineered wood and laminate flooring; white, path lighting under cabinets; smart home technology for appliances and lighting; ceramic or porcelain backsplashes; integrated sinks and countertops; and prep stations with built-in sinks.


WRIGHT HOME SERVICESPopular bathroom trends reflect what’s happening in kitchens. Expect white and gray painted bathroom cabinets, mosaic tile floors, transitional style elements like brushed-nickel fixtures and white, gray and blue colors, and contemporary quartz countertops, free-standing bathtubs and curbless showers. Porcelain or tile flooring and floating vanities also are popular.


  1. Induction and steam cooking appliances
  2. Customized storage space; pullout waste or recycling baskets
  3. Engineered wood and laminate flooring
  4. White, path lighting under cabinets
  5. Smart home technology for appliances and lighting
  6. Ceramic or porcelain backsplashes
  7. Integrated sinks and countertops
  8. Prep stations with built-in sinks



  1. White and gray painted bathroom cabinets
  2. Mosaic tile floors
  3. Transitional style elements like brushed-nickel fixtures
  4. Contemporary quartz countertops
  5. Free-standing bathtubs
  6. Curbless showers
  7. Porcelain or tile flooring
  8. Floating vanities