Tuesday, March 8, 2011

tuesday musings: here a trend, there a trend

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.

pantone honeysuckle color of the year 2011

pan­tone hon­ey­suckle color of the year 2011

pantone turquoise color of the year 2010

pan­tone turquoise color of the year 2010

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.

traditional home april 2011

tra­di­tional home april 2011

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.

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  1. KMS says:

    Fol­low your instincts — great advise to any home­owner for the long term. But oh how fun to throw in a bit of trendy HONEYSUCKLE just for fun!!