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What To Do When You're Tempted by a Design Trend (Hint: Know Thyself!)

Millennial pink. Brushed brass fittings. Hygge. Shiplap. Mid-century modern. Edison bulbs. Cement floor tiles. Barn doors. Subway tiles. Cararra marble. The list goes on... what do they all have in common? They are design trends that are currently "hot" or maybe even "waning" right this very minute!

How do you know if it's trendy or timeless. This is a kitchen with a classic subway tile back splash
Is it trendy or is it timeless? How do you know?

What is it about design trends? They are so compelling, and then it seems that almost immediately they are over-exposed, the market is saturated, and you feel as if you are locking into a "look" that will become dated practically overnight.

It's not fair! (Plus, it's exhausting)

Thanks to the power of social media, with it's never-ending thirst for the new and noteworthy, you aren't imagining things. Styles are evolving at a faster clip than ever before. Just a few short years ago, trends used to take a couple years to really sink in and saturate our collective awareness. It would take a good 5-7 years before we'd see a trend near it's peak; this meant that trends had a much longer shelf life.

All of this is to say that a lot of consideration goes into creating a thoughtfully designed home. If you find it's the right time to make some changes, I invite you to book a consultation to understand your options before you start spending money and possibly making costly mistakes.

Speaking of trends, the economy has a strong influence - it used to be that when we had a challenging economy, design was colorful and trendy (think men's 70's disco fashions while at the same time interest rates were skyrocketing), and when things were going well we were drawn towards more traditional looks with that whiff of wealth. Hello, Ralph Lauren.

The spreading of ideas was a slower process in the past, too. Design trends began with the high-end designers getting their work published in magazines and books. There was no internet for instant sharing by just anyone, you had to go through the gatekeepers to submit projects for publication. And projects might take a good year to get published after they were completed, because of editorial calendars that had monthly rather than daily (or even hourly!) output of content. Today, it's completely different.

But this raises a dilemma for the smart person who is looking at investing in remodeling or redecorating; what do you do about all those beautiful, compelling trends? You see inspiration everywhere - Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, blogs, magazines, HGTV. Wow!

How do you create a home that spans those hot-for-a-flash trends but isn't stuck in the dusty past?

Ah, that's the million dollar question, isn't it?

Here's what I suggest; start with how you live. Before you pick a paint color or cabinet style, think about how you want your home to serve you. The way you live in your space is a great starting point to discovering or focusing your ideas.

Because we are less formal culturally, the things we surround ourselves with probably are, too. Many of today's trends are about comfort, home, security. Other people love high style, personal statements and sophistication.

Look at those last two sentences; two different descriptions that build completely different visual images in your mind. When you think "cozy", you aren't really thinking of over-scale dramatic black wallpaper, right? When you think "sophistication", chances are that mason jar mugs don't make the cut.

Make a list, just three little words, that describe your style!

One of my favorite ways to help narrow down the overwhelm is to come up with three descriptor words that convey your personal style. Here's a few ideas to get you started:

  • cozy

  • cottage

  • vintage

  • urban

  • neutral

  • handcrafted

  • glamorous

  • powerful

  • elegant

I just made these up on the fly, but it illustrates how clearly three little words gives you a framework for moving forward. I encourage you to think about finding your own words. Because here's the secret: Once you have a strong sense of your own style, trends no longer matter.

And then you have room to have some fun with trends, and keep yourself from getting too serious! Throw a couple toss pillows on the sofa, add a great rug for some pop, be as trendy as you want, because you've got a solid, timeless foundation to work from.

I love working with people who are transitioning; the kids are growing up and moving out, you are upgrading to a new address, sometimes life changes with a divorce or new partnership... all these life events affect how and where we are living. If you want help finding your "three little words" to nail your own style, or maybe you'd like to book a special design consultation, let's chat. Call or text me at 206-794-0314. Email is great, too: Let's get to know each other and see if we want to work together.

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