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Three Enduring Trends

Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Is “enduring trends” an oxymoron? This year alone, I’ve read that gray is the new white, that navy is the new gray, that jewels tones rule, and that orange is the hit color of 2012, but so is turquoise. You get the point.

Over the years, more than a few clients have asked me about the latest trends. It’s one thing to throw a small shag rug on a floor, and quite another to install it wall-to-wall throughout a whole house. Painting a room the latest and greatest color is not such a risk, but furnishing it with that color can be a pricey mistake – unless it’s an “enduring” color. I grew up in a home surrounded with grass-papered walls. It has long since been removed but alas, grass paper is popular again!

So how do you negotiate trends? What idea is a flash-in-the-pan and what is a wise design choice? Technological advancements, embellishments that suit the architectural style of your house, and notions that facilitate your lifestyle are probably enduring trends and worthy of consideration.

Here are a few:

The simplicity trend. I don’t necessarily mean minimalism, but if you’re a minimalist, more power to you. Architectural and interior design has always reflected the needs and lifestyle of society. Today, we are multi-tasking more than ever. Our so-called paperless lives are buried in paper. We are surrounded by stuff and more stuff. It distracts our concentration, complicates our navigation throughout the day...

1) Slowly but surely, we are realizing that our environments need to be simplified. The simplicity trend begs you to cherry-pick one or two beautiful treasures to display and nourish your spirit. With a discerning eye, edit and delete. If you don’t love, use, or need something, give it to someone who will. Notice the relief you feel after you’ve cleared your desk of bills, filed away endless categories of paper, and finally returned those three half-empty coffee mugs to the kitchen. Think of how you’d feel if you did this exercise throughout your house!

Furniture styles have also been simplified. Less flourish, more straight lines. Less busyness, more harmony. Simplicity has influenced kitchen design as well. Instead of multi-patterned, multi-colored granite countertops, solid-patterned, uni-colored quartz slabs have become more popular. Calmness is conveyed in these larger surfaces while personality is achieved with tiled backsplashes. What can you do if you already have a granite countertop? Clear it off as you would your desk.

Simple furniture, patterns, and color quiet the eye and the mind and are trends today for a reason.

Quality. A natural companion to simplicity. “Less is more” could not be more appropriate in this case. Decrease small and inconsequential items throughout your house and replace with one or two quality items. One hand-woven wool rug lasts a lifetime and can stop the endless cycle of replacing worn out and frayed cotton or polyester ones. Treasure an accent table made of exotic wood or pamper yourself with natural fibers such as silk or linen.

2) Made in America. Speaking of quality, consumers have recently been on alert for products made in the good old U. S. of A. Sure, you might pay more initially, but economically speaking, in the overall scheme of things, what goes around, comes around. Purchasing from talented and conscientious craftsmen and fellow citizens is a win-win.

3) Healthy. Did you know that your indoors environment most likely contains more pollutants than your outdoors? Another plug for U. S. manufacturers - more and more products contain no or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds). This trend diminishes off-gases, formaldehyde, and other toxins otherwise released from things such as paint, glue, carpet, particle board, and plastic. More natural materials are on the rise including rattan, cane, bamboo, wood, metal, and glass.

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