As we enter into a New Year it has caused me to reflect upon the past 10 years that I have been writing my newsletter. January has always been the month during which I issue my Trend Report on what is coming in interior design. To prepare my report I comb through various American, European, and Australian design magazines and websites, articles in major newspapers, etc. Trends depend on where you live. What is being reported in New York or California has little to do with what is actually happening in Washington, DC or Cleveland.
Most reported trends come from individual designers, many of whom I have never heard of before, making their guesses of what is to come. Others are from trendsetters with their thoughts on the subject. Some purported trends make no sense whatsoever (i.e., putting plain covers on all your books — try to find a specific book in that library; scattering small rugs on top of each other — a major tripping hazard; layering window treatments over French doors — rendering the doors useless).
It’s kind of ironic that after a decade of reporting on trends, I don’t follow them. I’m aware of what is “In” or what is “Out,” but the client’s individual lifestyle and preferences take precedence over any design trends. I always state at the beginning of a trend report, or as follow up at end of a report, with the caveat that when it comes to your own home you should not necessarily follow trends. Your home needs to reflect you and your family.
Nonetheless, it is helpful, even wise, to be aware of the general direction that design seems to be taking. this helps to keep us up to date without jamming us into a design approach that will look dated.
Global warming is here and we can no longer kid ourselves that we can buy disposable furniture and furnishings that will end up in a landfill somewhere. I always say establish your furniture layout and buy quality. I had read that there are warehouses filled with brown furniture. They were talking about cherry and mahogany furniture that had been popular forever. It would be better to get well-made used furniture than acquiring new furniture that will fall apart in a couple years. Make your purchases count. There are ways of getting a more contemporary look using carefully chosen traditional furniture items.
Even when I design a contemporary or transitional look, I frequently mix in accent pieces from another era for a more interesting look. Many times the accent piece comes from the client’s own collection.
I’m not saying that you decorate your home and leave it that way for the next fifty years. I am saying that you can make small adjustments to your upholstery or wall color to breathe new life into a setting. If you want to follow a trend, then follow the trend of your life. Look around your home. If you look closely enough you’ll find a history of your own. Extend that into some as yet experienced world to discover your own Spirit in Design.