BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Heard Around The Office

TREND: Special Treatment on Ceilings

Often the ceilings in a home are left plain and white.
Forgotten and ignored. It’s sad, really.

Not anymore!

On blogs everywhere and on the pages of our magazines, I’m seeing ceilings in every room of the house getting special treatment.


In this bathroom, the lilac walls are a fashion-forward choice, but it’s the darker plum ceiling that creates the cozy feeling in this spacious master bath. With such bold colors in the bathroom, the rest of the room is kept fairly simple with white countertops, white accents and a neutral colored floor. Don’t be afraid to paint ceilings a shade or two darker than the wall color. If you want to create a cozy, cocoon-like feel, it’s the perfect way to do so without overhauling the room.



One of the easiest ways to add personality to your ceiling — without painting it a bold hue or giving it a serious overhaul — is to add a distinctive ceiling medallion. This works best in rooms with one large light fixture, rather than one with many sources of light. You can find them at your local big box stores, as well as more intricate ones at salvage shops. We did this in our daughter’s room above an IKEA chandelier. It just helps to makes the room feel special and dressed up.



If you feel like making a bolder choice for your ceilings, you could add paneling or beams – or in this kitchen’s case: both. A couple of weeks ago Editor Kristina McGuirk talked about the resurgence of paneling in kitchens, and this post showcases that thinking. Pickled poplar on the ceiling of this kitchen balances the rest of the room’s elegant and gracious decor.



Or you can go the route of simple beams from some reclaimed wood. In this renovated farmhouse, the low ceilings were very low, so they were opened up to the studs and beams of reclaimed wood were added for architectural interest and needed support. The crisp white of the rest of the decor is the perfect counterpoint to these rough and rustic beams.


So no matter the proportions of your room or the room in general, don’t forget the ceiling when you’re updating and refreshing. Give the ceiling some love, too!


- Kelly Eagle, Home Editor,


Trend: Kitchen Paneling

Have you seen BHG Editor Kelly’s trend video on paneling? She’s so right—paneling is really providing a lot of charm in homes lately, especially in kitchens.

Don’t get me wrong, paneling itself isn’t entirely new—beaded board has been a staple of cottage design forever, and we all remember the rather dated looks of the 70s. Thankfully, today is not about dark paneled rooms so much as accents that add texture, character, and often unexpected style elements. Here’s a look at five ways to use paneling in the kitchen.

Large format, horizontal panels on a grand scale

Covering the walls and range hood, the subdued paneling creates the perfect backdrop to the cottage-inspired flooring, fixtures, and color palette of this beachside kitchen.

Horizontal panels as accents


Running partially up the wall, the rustic grains of the paneling add texture and pattern in a fresh way that complements the wood-tone cabinetry and flooring. Like the tall windows, the paneling draws the eye up the wall, making the room appear larger.

Panels as a ceiling treatment


Ceiling treatments are a trend we’re seeing a lot more (look for a future Style Spotters post!). The paneling and wooden beams have a very natural feel that brings the outdoors in, accompanying the scenic views and sliding glass door to the outside, and create a cozy “nook” feel in the spacious off-kitchen dining area.

Thin, vertical panel accents


Paneling tends to be pretty flat, which is why I’m rather enthralled with this custom range hood. The color and texture match the island but in a surprising location that’s formed into a great shape.

Colorful panel accents


Color is in, and mixing accent panels—like these backing a custom, hutch-like section of cabinetry—with a pop of color produces a burst of personality with a traditional twist.


What do you think: Could it fit your style? How bold would you go? Are there other ways you’d use paneling? I’m totally on the mint green bandwagon (with no signs of departing), so this last kitchen seems right up my alley. Although… I’d like to switch those letter mugs to K’s and M’s. But now I’m just being picky.

-Kristina McGuirk, Kitchen and Bath Ideas 


Trend: Barn-Door-Style Shower Doors


For a few months now, we’ve been seeing a lot of homes incorporating barn-door-style sliders on pantry doors, bathroom doors, and closets. When I hit the Kitchen and Bath Show last month, I was surprised to see the same kind of hardware showing up on shower doors, too!



My colleague, Marie, trying out one of the new barn-door-style shower doors.


Some versions of this new shower door hardware feature oversize rollers above and below the glider bar.



The exposed, oversize rollers and more overt slider hardware bring a bit of an industrial vibe to the shower. But because I generally saw it executed in shiny chrome or stainless steel, it feels clean and fresh. It evokes a modern, streamlined effect, not the gritty essence you sometimes get from industrial details.

The other cool thing about this hardware: It allows the shower doors to be essentially frameless. As you can see in this photo of Kohler’s Levity shower, the exposed hardware at the top is pretty much the only structure you see on this shower door system. The sliding panels are frameless, creating a really sleek effect that’s perfect for modern baths—or any bath where you don’t want the shower to be the star of the show.


The Levity frameless shower with barn-door-style hardware, from Kohler.



Keep your eye out for more examples of this innovative new look for shower doors. My bet is that the look will become standard pretty soon.

-Karman Hotchkiss, Deputy Content Core Director



Hi everyone, Karman Hotchkiss, here! About a month ago, I was replacing a lightbulb in myback hallway at home. For the first time in about a decade, I really looked at the sconce I was putting the bulb into. And I thought, ‘”That’s the ugliest light fixture I’ve ever seen!” I instantly realized it was (past) time for a little lighting update.


The good news: There are more cool, trendy, interesting light fixtures than ever before. And replacing one requires only minimal DIY skills. In my research for that replacement sconce, I looked at tons of new fixtures and compiled this list of 5 hot trends in lighting.


If you’re ready to shed a little new light (har-har) on your fixtures, here are 5 trends to think about:


1. Colorful. Lights shouldn’t have to blend into the background. Use one to add a punch of color, with the shade or with the fixture itself.

2. Overscale. Pick a light that’s big. Really big.

3. Industrial/scientific. Exposed bulbs, “cage” designs, raw materials … They all evoke the sense that you just snagged your light from a warehouse or laboratory.

4. Organic. Shapes and materials inspired by nature are sure to add a layer of texture to your decor.

5. Beads and baubles. Crystals are nothing new to light fixtures. But the latest incarnation uses strings of beads or individual bubble-like balls.


Which of these ideas would work best in your home? Find a trend (or two!) you like and update a fixture today.


Happy Decorating!

–Karman Hotchkiss


Being a kitchen and bath editor, I see more kitchens and baths than I ever thought possible (I love my job!), and although each room is different, they start to feel and look the same. So, I’m always searching for something that makes the space stand out: a great use of color, an excellent tile backsplash, or, in this case, built-in open shelving. Open shelving never fails to provide an opportunity to personalize a space, while built-in shelving has a more high-end look (even when it’s not an expensive custom design). The result is a simple book shelf, bold accent wall–or somewhere in between–that looks great and lets you show off your character.

This setup takes advantage of a kitchen nook by adding countertop space and sleek storage. Essentials are kept behind closed doors below, while a cookbook library and stand-out serving pieces add color and texture to the modern design with traditional decor.

In some cases, it’s as much about what you have on your open shelves as what’s behind them. The unembellished cabinetry in this kitchen is clean-lined and contemporary, but a slightly rustic wallpaper keeps the space from feeling too edgy. The subtle pattern lets the items adorning the shelves take center stage in the decor.


Then there’s the pièce de résistance of built-in open shelving: striking composition, eye-catching location, and perfectly picked decoration. This floor-to-ceiling display creates an elegant backdrop for an in-kitchen breakfast nook. The furniture-like surrounding gives the table it’s own atmosphere that feels separate from the kitchen, enhancing the dining experience. The mix of colors, textures, and shapes used to decorate the shelves complements the room–and homeowner’s personality.

Finally, I couldn’t leave this exceptional space behind. Most often we see towels, glass canisters, and soaps on display in the bath–and rightfully so. But this bath uses a more sophisticated approach. Although I wouldn’t call this splash-proof or kid-friendly, there’s just something calming about seeing a tub designed as a quiet retreat.

While it’s admittedly easier to plan open shelving into a new kitchen design or remodel, you can add it to the space you have, too. Can you carve book nook into a wall that’s lacking character? Replace a portion of a long run of cabinets with open shelving to break up the dull doors? Maybe just give built-ins a try by removing a couple cabinet doors to open up shelving that’s already part of your space. Whatever you choose, it’s a blank canvas for you to perk up your kitchen or bath. And if you’re looking for tips to get your open shelving looking stellar, check out this helpful post from Centsational Style and BHG blogger, Kate. She’ll help you find the perfect things to display–and how to display them.

-Kristina McGuirk, Assistant Editor, Kitchen and Bath Ideas

Hi all! Kelly Eagle here!

The warm summer nights are gone and as the temps drop for so many people, I find the pile of books on my nightstand getting taller. What is it about cool weather that makes me want to curl up with a book?
There is nothing better than getting cozy with a book, propped up by overstuffed pillows under a plush throw on a Saturday afternoon. Or, in my case, late in the evening after my noisy toddler is in bed for the night.

Most of us don’t have an entire room we can dedicate to reading, but you can create your own reading nook just about anywhere: in an unused corner of your bedroom, tucked under the eave in a guest room, or just add a few extra pillows to a window seat. That perfect spot doesn’t need much, except a comfy spot to sit, a lamp for after the sun goes down, and a little table to set a snack and a cup of tea Diet Coke.


My ultimate dream is to have a wood-paneled library stocked with hundreds of books that reach the ceiling, requiring me to have to have a fancy library ladder. One can dream right?



Until then I’ll continue to read in bed or in the corner of our sectional sofa (the best spot on the couch!), though I would love to have one of these cozy reading nooks in my house. With a door. And maybe a lock.


So find that spot in your house and add big pillows to your favorite chair or chaise and hide out for a few minutes (or hours) with a good book. You have some time until spring rolls around.


-Kelly Eagle, BHG,com

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