This article originally appeared on the BUILDER website.

When it comes to determining the latest trends in interior design, it's wise to consult the experts who are interacting with living spaces every day. Lighting designer Ketra did just that, and engaged designers Erin Ruby, founder of Erin Ruby Design; Charles Pavarini III and J. Randall Tarasuk, founder and vice president of Pavarini Design; and Rendell Fernandez, design director at Pembrooke & Ives, in conversation on 2019 trend forecasting. From colors, to lighting, and tech, they share their top trends to watch in the year ahead below.

Voice control and increased smart technology in the home

According to the experts, voice control functions as not only a convenience, but an added layer of security.

"One of the major advantages of tech and connectivity in the home is the ability to manage the property remotely, with doorbells now doubling as security cameras, wireless thermostats that can be preset or adjusted while away, or programmable lighting and window shades for energy savings and to make it appear that people are in the home. These features provide a welcome sense of control and security." —Erin Ruby

"Almost all clients, at whatever financial level, are looking for smart home technology, such as remote audio and lighting control, to enhance the way they live and to reduce energy costs." —Charles Pavarini III and J. Randall Tarasuk

"Technology always has something new that peaks a client's interest. Voice actuated smart speakers now add another layer of home automation controls that were non-existent just a few months ago. Think of the possibilities when voice recognition becomes as reliable as flipping a switch." —Rendell Fernandez

Neutral hues as a canvas

Courtesy Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore announced Metropolitan AF-690, a sophisticated gray with cool undertones, as its Color of the Year 2019, reinforcing that neutrals are in. While most color decisions are driven by client preferences that illustrate the diversity of the full color spectrum, Fernandez says that the designers at Pembrooke & Ives stay true to neutral tones and natural finishes.

"We’ll be seeing an abundance of neutrals grays and pale pastels that contrast early 80s varieties of pale plums, pomegranates, and violets in contrast with dark charcoals." —Fernandez

Lighting that mimics the natural spectrum of sunlight

Smart lighting systems that follow the sun's patterns—such as those by NOON Lighting and Ketra’s Dynamic Light shift to provide white light during the day, and soft, warm light in the evening—making a space feel bathed in sunlight.

"Natural light is a key element to think about when designing a space. It’s our connection to nature and makes us feel good. Full spectrum LED lighting certainly avails us to another level of consideration. The ability to amplify the natural spectrum of light coming through your windows is something we have never had the ability to do before. It's a breakthrough that is sure to find a growing market." —Pavarini and Tarasuk

"As the quality of lighting technology improves and evolves, this will continue to be an increasingly vital aspect of the built environment. A space is only as good as it’s lighting; Lighting dictates how spaces are perceived (warm and inviting, or cold and stark), as well as how color is rendered." —Ruby