I’m a trend skeptic. Although I applaud the concept of expanding our exploration of new palettes, the nanosecond Pantone announces next season’s colours, I begin to flip through fabric books to challenge the shade, the tint, the very hue it is said will change our lives for the better.
I have often said I never met a colour I didn’t like given the right pairing or application, but I refuse to blindly adopt trend colours, furniture or design style without a reality check.
And I encourage you to consider that too, lest you end up with an orange sofa that all your friends stroke like a favoured pet but you detest in six months and end up arranging throws over for the next six years. Some things are best appreciated in the homes of others.
Ever notice how a particular paint colour or furniture style doesn’t appeal to you until you’ve come across it in magazines, on a dozen websites and trotted across HGTV programs?
See it enough, or see it only because challengers are absent, and it grows on you. Do not be fooled: if you hated it when you first saw it, there is a good chance living with it will eventually bring that memory back.
According to Elle Decor, granny florals are among the top trends for 2016. This may work well for a country cottage design plan but getting the fabric right is critical to carry a $6,000 sofa over many years. Not to mention you won’t want this in your mid-century living room.
Interiors and great design can embrace any style if well executed for the people who live in the space or the commercial space they describe. In any kind of dwelling, on any sort of budget, interior design is personal, not a designer’s preference and not whatever is trending this year. Discover your design voice and you hold the key to unlock functionality, patterns, colours, textures and most of all, your personal style.
Accents are the perfect way to incorporate trending objects and colours: here today but gone tomorrow when you tire of them. Go for the big items with daring abandon if you really, really know you will live with it for many years, such as black stainless steel appliances.
Your designer’s job is to know your design personality but test the limits, suggest new options that enhance and expand the theme of your overall design project. Be open to the new while knowing your limits.
Some trends have been design staples for so long that they have become classic. Take the all-white room.
As minimalism took hold all-white room designs began to rise. Clean and sleek they are, but if not balanced with some warmth, woods and natural elements, they read cold and sterile, stark and soulless. The all-white relatives, rooms completely enveloped in neutral beiges, taupes and creams also need to be balanced with texture and colour. With the right furniture, the right lighting, art and varied materials, these naturally bland palettes can deliver amazing impact.
Any trend has to live up to your life so practicality and function should be checked. Order up an all white living room if you have a toddler with jammy hands or a cat that sheds its weight weekly and you are headed for misery. If you adopt a dark colour scheme in a small, light limited space, you will feel as if you are crawling into a cave. In both of these cases, balance will be the solution.
We want new products and design to enter our lives, challenge our perspectives and breathe fresh air into our environments, but not at the expense of what really makes us comfortable and happy. Most of us mix old with new, family heirlooms with a chair too comfortable and filled with memories to part with, and collections of books and travel finds. No trend has ever defined a life. They sneak up on us, taunt us, and change frequently.