It’s 2019, and this is the year I’m quitting trends. As an interior designer, it’s considered part of my job title to stay up on the latest and greatest design trends. For example, what colors are hot? Pantone just released their color of the year – Living Coral - should I be using more coral? What metal finishes are popular? Is reclaimed wood still cool? What do people love?
As your interior designer, I’m here to say – I’M OVER IT, and here’s why...
Trends are great for a lot of things, but homes are not like clothing, hair styles, or even higher priced items like cars. Clothing lasts a few seasons, hair styles come and go even quicker, and even most of our cars will be replaced in 5-7 years. Most of the homes that I design are there to stay; the families I work with hire me to design a space they will live in for many, many years. When I design your home, I don’t want someone to look at it in ten years and say – wow, that home was so built in 2019. Or – remember when this color palette was ‘so cool?’. I want someone to look at it in 10 years and say – wow, this home still represents your personality and lifestyle. Don’t let Pinterest, Pantone, or even Joanna Gaines (who seems like a perfectly lovely person, by the way) dictate what you invest your money on in your home.
My first few meetings with a new client are pretty similar to what your first few dates might look like with someone. I ask a lot of personal questions. I want to know what kind of music you like. How do you spend a Saturday morning? Do you tend to go all out with Christmas decorations? What’s your daily routine like? What sort of work do you do? I observe the style of clothing you wear. I listen to the struggles you have with your current home. I learn about your children and your pets. I ask about what types of entertaining you do and parties you like to throw. We sit and talk, drink coffee, and eat snacks – because every good meeting has snacks – and I learn exactly how to tailor a home to you and your family. This process is my very favorite thing about being a residential interior designer, and it’s why my clients hire me to design their custom homes. With a lot of self-reflection on who I want to be for my clients moving forward, tailoring homes to who they are is why I’m saying “SAYONARA!” to interior design trends.
As my client, visuals of what you love from Pinterest or Houzz are still incredibly beneficial to understanding what you’re drawn to. However, you hired an interior designer for something unique, so while inspiration is helpful, I encourage you to push a little further, resist popular trends, and avoid copying spaces you see online.
SO! What trends and features ARE important to stay on top of? Most importantly, technology. Home automation is growing and improving by the second, so learning about the latest and greatest capabilities with smart homes is on the top of my list of priorities. Also, products and materials are becoming more and more durable and green products are more readily available and attractive than ever. I don’t necessarily care what the trends are in flooring colors or styles. What I do want to know is what kind of longevity and warranties they have. I recently found a laminate flooring that can be fully submerged in water for up to 72 hours. It’s incredible, and when you compare it to laminate flooring from just 5 years ago, this type of product has come a long way! This is the level of expertise I want to share with my clients so I can say – if your dishwasher floods while you’re gone for the day, your flooring will be okay. Or – if your dog tips over his water dish, or your son treks across it with wet, muddy boots, or any other scenario that happens in everyday life - this flooring will survive.
DESIGNING A HOME SHOULD BE A BALANCE OF FORM AND FUNCTION
Designing a custom, all-black space for my client that threw every design trend out the window was a huge wake up call. It made me realize that I’m tired of seeing the same house over and over again. We are complex people with complex lives, and the many layers of your home design should reflect that.
So – when are we getting started?
P.S. Stay tuned for part two on just what trends I’m ready to let go of. Plus, design elements that I would incorporate into my own home if I was building!