The search engine revealed the top 10 home styles in the U.S., according to its top trending searches
Every year, Google collects and analyzes its “Top Trending Searches” for the last 12 months to shed some light on what Americans have been the most interested in — from sports teams to dog breeds.
The most popular home design trend of 2019, according to Google’s data, won’t come as too big a surprise to anyone who’s been watching their HGTV. “Farmhouse style” ranked number one, nabbing the title of top trending search in the category, meaning it had an especially high spike in traffic over a sustained period in 2019 as compared to 2018.
Farmhouse style has seen a major boost in popularity, thanks in no small part to the influence of Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, who employed the rustic-yet-livable aesthetic in many of the designs executed on their former show. It also seems to have some serious staying power, considering the Gaineses ended their hit series in April 2018 and haven’t been on TV regularly since. (They’ll debut a new network of their own in Summer 2020.)
A few features have come to define the all-American look: White walls, salvaged architectural elements, industrial lighting, vintage or hand-painted signs, neutral furnishings, and of course, Joanna’s signature shiplap walls.
But the Waco, Texas-based talent is hardly stuck in a style rut. Her interiors have been steadily evolving since Fixer Upper made its debut in May 2013. In the early days the look veered a little closer to “shabby-chic” or “French country,” both of which have fallen out of favor over the last decade. (Loyal rerun viewers may find it’s been a minute since Joanna hung a giant antique station clock or spelled out a word in mismatched vintage letters.)
These days, the mom of five is leaning into colorful contrast, like her favorite paint color “Weekend Blue,” and has opened up about how scared she was to try out new styles after finding success with “farmhouse modern.”
“Because I was so afraid of messing up, I wasn’t willing to take a chance on myself,” Gaines wrote in the summer 2019 issue of her and husband Chip’s magazine, Magnolia Journal. “There was this continual, underlying dread that any one of those decisions that I was trying to pull out of thin air could be the one that proved once and for all that I was no good at this work.”
As she gained confidence, she branched out. “I will always love a timeless design style, and without fail, there will be classic elements that make their way into nearly any project that I undertake.” But, she adds, “Nearly every day, something new and unexpected catches my eye, something I had never considered before. More than keeping to any specific aesthetic, our homes should evolve, just as our families do.”
The other top-ranked styles of 2019, according to Google, are surprisingly diverse. Colonial style came in at number two. While Cape Cod, Spanish and Art Deco round out the top five.
Other search terms that made the list include, Japanese, Craftsman, transitional, Prairie, and modern.
The trends run the gambit from minimal and clean (Japanese, modern) to artful maximalism (Art Deco).
Several have clear geographic ties too. Cape Cod-style homes are popular in New England, near the peninsula they’re named for; Spanish Colonial-inspired houses are ubiquitous in Southern California; and Prairie style, originated by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was inspired by the landscape of the Midwest.
The variety seems to speak to an even larger trend: Americans getting excited, educated and inspired to decorate their homes.