Interior designers, like fashion designers, are always thinking about trends. What are the trends in color and style? What’s new and different this year? How long will this trend last? A recent post by stylist Amy Dragoo, wherein she questioned whether she made her own kitchen too “trendy”, started me thinking: is looking at trends a pitfall in interior design? Is it a necessary evil? As designers and homeowners, do we embrace or avoid?
Interestingly, Merriam-Webster tells us a trend is (1) to extend in a general direction OR (2) to veer in a new direction. So which is it?
Every year, the color experts at Pantone announce a "color of the year", which they believe is on trend. Last year it was turquoise, this year honeysuckle.
Did you (or anyone you know) rush out and buy all new everything in pink because it's the 2011 trend? I'm guessing not. If you already love pink, do you feel a frisson of excitement to know you are now trendy? Maybe just a bit, right? If you never liked pink, did you perhaps stop and think about pink a little, re-examine your feelings and preconceptions because it's trendy this year? Might seeing a “trend” encourages someone to embrace something they never knew they liked? I would argue yes.
The newest Traditional Home magazine declares that navy, indigo and the darkest of blues are now the trend. What? Traditionalists everywhere are feeling vindicated that the colors they have embraced for the past 20, 30 or 40 years are now considered trendy! When does a trend become a classic? I think when one moves from Merriam-Webster's definition 2 to definition 1. Deep blues are mainstays in many a traditional interior. The trendy aspect may just be using them in newer ways, such as lacquered walls, as seen on the cover.
As a designer, I think it's important to see what's new in home furnishings, textiles and colors. There are so many creative people working to develop new and interesting products for our industry, it's a joy to see and even marvel at them during Markets and shows. I believe it is our job as interpreters for our clients to examine the new, and consider the staying power of every item. With Americans redecorating (on average) every 8 years, longevity is a must for major furnishing items. When a new trend strikes your fancy, incorporate it in easy-to-change ways, just as you would with fashion.
In the case of a major renovation, chances are you've been thinking about that dream kitchen for a long time. You've looked at pictures and torn out magazine pages, gathering ideas. If you've torn out 20 pages and they all have common elements, is it because you love that look, or because the pictures are all on trend right now? Over the years, white cabinetry was in, then oh-so-out. Wood cabinets were popular, then vilified. Dark finishes were the rage, then light was the only way to go. As both a designer and a homeowner, I give consideration to the newest trends, but am not a slave to them. Ultimately, it's your space — trust your instincts and adopt the look you love whether it's considered trendy right now or not.