MY IMPRESSION ABOUT MAJOR SHIFTS IN INTERIOR DESIGN & COLOR TRENDS
Because of technology and wildly creative people, I am now able to attend Interior Design Markets for both the kitchen and bath industry as well as the furnishings and accessory market virtually. In fact, as I write this post I am safely sheltering from home, while attending a virtual showroom tour at High Point Market in North Carolina (tour snap shot above from Go Home's Showroom)! THIS IS SO COOL!!!
I believe subjecting myself to as much diversity as possible allows me to come up with out of the box solutions for others. However, I also believe that beauty needs boundaries in order to succeed and today in the age of HGTV, design overload and powerful marketing that's only goal is to please advertisers and make you spend money, It feels like trends are more powerful than they should be and individuality is dying. I mean every time I see a predictable builder basic kitchen, I wonder if the client made these design decisions because they were told what was popular (aka: FOMO) or if they really took the time to discover their own unique personal style based on timelessness, personality and their own values.
Listen, making design decisions based on popular trends and opinion is a common design mistake today and could mean you'll need to freshen up again in a few years. But, making design decisions based on what's important to you & your authenticity means you'll feel comfortable, cared for and make connections at home for years to come . . . that's a legacy home from a new perspective (Matthew 5: 14-16).
God loves diversity, He made each one of us unique and for a purpose. That's why I believe His opinion about what reflects His glory in our homes is the ultimate opinion and allowing our souls to feel their worth is actually a cornerstone of courage - fight on (r)evolutionary!
Shift 1: From Minimalism to Maximalism
We are entering into a new era of more layers and mass which translates into more color, more pattern, more decoration and more uniqueness - enter: maximalism.
Most of what I see is still too much energy for me (as displayed in this link to the Decorators Showcase in San Francisco), but if you're a creative, you understand that sometimes we create a lot of ugly before it looks good so we’ll continue to see more maximalist spaces develop through trial and error, and just like most art, if we don't give up - eventually it will be amazing.
BUT here's the great news about this shift - now you have permission to express your unique authenticity and style at home (I mean who wants to see their new kitchen at the neighbor's). I call this designing based on truth not trends because when your home reflects what's important to you, you'll love it forever!
Recently while shopping at Home Goods, a lady nearby made a remark in frustration about her 'uninspiring all neutral home'. She stated that she didn't understand why her home wasn't supporting her when she followed all the design rules from an expert designer. I told her when you follow someone's design rules, your home will look like theirs which might be the reason she doesn't feel comfortable at home. I hear this all the time, gave her my business card, looked at her photos on her phone, asked her the right questions and then provided a few tips to help her add her own personality to her space, in hopes of saving her hours of mindless shopping.
So, I'll tell you the same thing I told her (but realize I don't have my eye on your room & I can't mind read) - if you’re looking to add your unique authenticity to make your house a home, I recommend deciding what's most important - color, pattern or texture, and then introducing it little by little.
Classic blue and white is a welcome trend over monochromatic, cold , sterile grays, as well as wall papered feature walls and don't forget the return of bold, decorative wall and floor tiles in the kitchen and bath.
In addition to blue and white, nature inspired color is also trending big right now. green is showing up and making us all feel refreshed, as reflected in the mood board below:
Shift 2: From Cool Colors to Warm - aka: Brown in Back!
You heard it hear first folks! But this is not the same brown of 20 years ago and it's not called 'brown' (just like pink isn't called pink - lol). These are warm earth toned, muted colors rooted in nature and are called copper. sienna, clay and caramel (with a orange base), tobacco, amber or wheat (with a muddy yellow base) & beige or bone (think creamy white). Home interiors are shifting away from sterile, cool neutrals to embrace a warmer feel. This shift started slowly before the pandemic but is escalating quickly because Scientist have confirmed the impact color has on our mood (which gives us permission to use it) and color is an easy & inexpensive way to transform your home into a relaxing oasis away from the chaos of the outside world. More and more clients are asking for help creating 'comforting' spaces within their homes since so much more time is spent there. So color trends are leaning more towards warmer tones in everything from wall colors, tiles, and counter tops to fabrics and metals. These colors mixed with soft textures, create an oasis everyone will want to spend time in.
Regardless of whether your space is grounded in a cool or warm foundational neutral, I believe that hues that read pure and relate to the fixed design elements, are always considered good design and classic style.
If you are hesitant to introduce color, or fear you will detract buyers in the near future, don’t be! These soft, timeless neutrals provide a welcoming, palatable feel to a space now and into the foreseeable future. I continue to see a gradual transition from greys being the foundational neutral color to anchor a room to warmer stone colors and whites and I love it! And it is a better option here in Northern Indiana where we're under the Lake Michigan Perma-Cloud (gray/blue light) for six months a year!
Shift 3: From Sharp and Angular Lines & Shapes to Soft and Organic:
Curves have made a comeback and I'm loving this juxtaposition of male and female! First, I saw curves used in sofas and furniture, and now I am seeing an increased theme throughout other design details as well. This is quite the shift from the sharp rectangular, masculine lines and shapes that have been dominating home interiors for the last 15 years. Adding curves back into the mix will inject softness and elegance into any space. The addition of curves is synonymous with adding femininity back into interior design. I mean stop and think about it - Adam was incomplete without Eve for a reason - perfectly balanced design involves both the pretty and the practical. My tip for introducing curves: start with less and build from there. Consider a curved mirror, curved chair (see below), wavy but subtle lines in your counter top, curved accent tiles or something as simple as adding art or table top accents with curvy lines and shapes. Or consider adding feminine touches in your fabrics - think velvet and florals. The Mood Board below illustrates a lovely mix of soft shapes and organic lines beautifully.
Shift #4: From Unused Space to Multi Functional Spaces
As we have been spending more time sheltering at home, more and more people are realizing now is a good time to make smart intentional choices about how they can make a better use of the space they have. Because of the pandemic, we are making the transition to working and teaching at home, entertaining at home, aging in place and caring for our aging parents at home. Therefore, making spaces more multifunctional will stay on-trend. With "WFH" becoming the norm for so many, I foresee a continued desire to transform every square foot of home into a more powerful reflection of who we are and how we live and what we value —think no space should go to waste! And we're not limiting ourselves to our inside spaces - outdoor rooms, extended gardens and converting sheds into livable spaces are also being considered & given new life as well.
Today many of us are feeling overloaded by too much design information that keeps us on the hamster wheel of indecision but many more are becoming grounded in their values and yearning for a little nostalgia and showing it by being extra-intentional in how we shop and shelter at home. I believe we’re gearing up for what I call - ‘design on purpose'. Whether you’re wellness-obsessed, need to be nurtured or just want to fill your home with some fresh, positive vibes, in the coming years it’s going to be all about choosing items that are meaningful, thoughtfully designed, and that resonate with our values & what’s important to us. If it's important to design and decorate a home that seeks out authenticity, it makes sense that eventually we'll all move away from so much mimicry, uniformity and builder basic designs.
That's designing from an empowered stand on authenticity - not sameness. When we make design decisions that support our unique authenticity we feel cared for and comfortable at home, love where we live, know which trends to incorporate and which to ignore, streamline our decision making and fast track our decorating process and end the buying and return cycle. How would that feel?
And how would this stewardship of home and resources affect our world?
Comfort and simplicity are always in style - in fact I call this: high impact - low ego design, but discovering & developing your best idea of what this looks like in your home isn't intuitive (like shopping for shoes), based on popular opinion or predictable style themes, it's science, math and art which takes preparation, focus and skill.
So, if you're overwhelmed with information & possibilities and unclear about what to do next, you're in the right place. I'm here to help you cut through the clutter and shed some light on the things that matter most before you embark on your next 'creative' adventure. After all, your home is the most important investment you'll ever make and it affects well just about everything.
And, because this is your home, to avoid mind reading and miscommunications, YOU are the best person to become the design expert (aka: design (r)evolutionary) behind your vision so you can avoid unwanted surprises and pressure. In fact, participating in the creative process as an act of worship is not only faith & relationship building, but also produces the most extraordinary results. Just ask my clients.