The thing about fashion and interior design is that it’s always changing. Here’s the cycle:
You start seeing a new look.
You can’t decide if you like it yet.
You wonder if it is a flash in the pan.
It’s still around 18 months later.
You decide this trend is for you.
You replace everything in your house and now you are “in style.”
A few days later the trend is over, and there’s a new trend. *face palm*
I think we all have been on this design roller coaster. So how do you know when to jump on a trend an when to ignore one? Here are my tips based on years of missteps:
1. CHECK FOR STAYING POWER. Are you seeing the trend on social media—Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? Did you just see it in one magazine or have you seen it on several blogs? Just one magazine article does not a design trend make. When bloggers jump on it, it’s going to be in. If they ignore it, then it won’t, or at least that’s what I have noticed.
2. DON’T BUY IT JUST BECAUSE IT’S TRENDY. If you buy something just to be “in,” when the thing is “out” you will chuck it out the window. If you paid a lot for it, you’ll also be kicking yourself. If you see something you love, love, love, get it whether it’s trendy or not. The things you truly love, you will keep. The other stuff isn’t worth buying.
3. STICK WITH CLASSICS ON BIG-TICKET ITEMS. I know that because I’m a design blogger, people expect me to have the latest and greatest in my house all the time. So I understand the pressure to have something trendy in your home, but trendy things go in and out of style. That means if you buy something trendy, it will be considered “dated” in a few years. Classic looks are always in style, although not usually considered flashy or hot. I remember when we redid our kitchen back in the early 90s, a designer friend advised me to go with very colorful, patterned, hand-painted tiles for the backsplash, but I demurred. I went with light gray handmade tiles that looked like tumbled marble. Turns out the tiles I selected are still in style, while the bold “trendy” tiles would now look very dated. Simple and classy work for things that are expensive to replace. It would have been a big expense to rip out all the tile. The irony is that when we sold the house a few years ago, the new owners removed our tile and added very contemporary glass tile. So you never know.
4. TEST OUT TRENDS IN SMALL WAYS. It’s best to test the waters by dipping your toe in. I am not going to jump into a lake without first testing the water. Try a pillow or a piece of art you can return. You want to be sure you will like the trend. And when the trend is over, you won’t be crying if you just have a few pillows to get rid of or redo. If it’s your sofa, there might be tears.
5. BE CREATIVE. Is there a way to incorporate the new trend without throwing everything out and starting over? Does it really require you to spend a bunch of money and get rid of things? Maybe you just need to paint your dresser if the stain looks dated. A chair with dated fabric could be reupholstered or slipcovered.
Finally I think it’s important to enjoy the process and trust your instincts. Rarely is a decorating mistake permanent or not fixable. Happy decorating!
For more Decorating Tips and inspiration from Anita, check out her blog Cedar Hill Farmhouse.
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