If you grew up in the 1970s, this likely meant that your refrigerator was chocolate brown, your bathroom, sink, tub, and toilet were green, there was a jagged rug on the floor in the living room and velvet wallpaper on the wall.
It might be safe to say that homes like these have fallen into the trap of some of today’s hot design trends—and it’s something today’s homeowners want to avoid.
Some East Coast interior designers have offered ideas on how to avoid falling into hot trends that you’ll tire of in a few months when decorating your home.
don’t be tempted
Interior designer Deborah Nicholson, who lives in Wolfville, NS, says interior design trends have a life cycle.
“From the original designer who created a magazine-worthy idea, through the high-end home collection, to the average homeowner, to department stores,” she explains.
“As soon as I see it in supermarkets or even all over the magazine shelves, it’s a really good trend and something I’d suggest avoiding.”
Nicholson points out that “a design element, per se, is not a true trend. What makes it a trend is the pairing with other design elements.”
Robin Lush from St. John’s, NL is the designer and owner of Decorating Den Interiors.
“Trends definitely drive mass-produced designs – they create a tide and root in what’s ‘popular’ – ie, what sells quickly to a manufacturer, so all things will be all the rage in one season, and ‘more’ in the next, ” Says.
The thing about great home design, Lush says, is that it should never be mass-produced.
Think about the current trend of all-white kitchens, says Nicholson.
“There’s nothing dated in an all-white kitchen necessarily, but when we replicate all the currently popular items—white marble, wicker, gold hardware, raw wood, hand-carved tiles, and waterfall islands—I planted this new kitchen in the moment,” says Nicholson.
“That’s what would make it public in the short term and dated in the long term.”
She notes that each element of a white kitchen is great in its own right, “but we need to use them and pair them in ways that achieve the goals of the people who live there and tell the unique story.”
go with what you like
As a homeowner, Lash says it can be hard not to get caught up in trends—but there are ways to avoid it.
The two women suggest working with a professional because, as Lash says, “Our job is to create unique spaces that you won’t get tired of.”
But, if you’re doing it alone, it’s important to be honest with yourself.
“If you’re doing it alone, first step back from every ‘Insta inspo,’ and get inspired by your life right now,” she says.
Nicholson’s main advice to her clients is to use the finishes, shapes, colors and combinations they love. She explains that if it doesn’t make you happy, he doesn’t belong in your house.
“Instead of trying to replicate someone else’s look, your design goal should be: an orderly and efficient kitchen, with a spirit that inspires and nurtures everyone in it. With that goal in mind, it is much easier to see if a white worktop suits you, as Says.
But take that with a grain of salt and remember: a little means a lot.
“Of course, putting everything you love into your kitchen can feel like a little kid’s birthday party has gone wrong,” Nicholson adds.
Keeping basic design rules in mind can help you avoid this.
“There are design rules of proportion, form, space, color, and function, which, when followed, will come together in a kitchen that says what you want it to say in a beautiful way,” Nicholson says.
Great investment pieces
When you’re shopping for a new appliance, or something like worktops, tiles and floors that can’t be replaced easily, remember that they’ll be recognized in the era they were popular in — think of those gold-tone refrigerators. It had a prominent place in many kitchens of the 1980s.
“However, if you choose what you love, you’re not going to share your kitchen with all the other elements of the same trend,” Nicholson says.
“When a home is designed with finishes, fixtures, and furnishings from different times and paired together to tell your unique story, it won’t feel outdated and boring.”
You think this is the story that makes the house feel like home.
“This partial fact frees you up to choose some very expensive low priced items because they are not at the top of the trend,” she adds.
Lush points out that when stainless steel came out, we’d never imagine wanting white hardware again. Now matte white appliances are all the rage.
Budget permitting, Lush says another option is to consider incorporating paneled hardware so that it blends directly into the cabinet.
“At the end of the day, you don’t think so much about what’s on-trend and more about what you love, and what’s best in your overall design plan,” she says.
For high-ticket items like countertops, floors, tile, and appliance color, Lush further suggests incorporating natural elements at the expense of humans.
She points out that “natural elements will always feel more classic, because they have already been in the earth for hundreds of years.”
‘Marble, travertine, slate, granite, brass, unpolished brass – they’ll keep an airy feel no matter what. They patina and age – just as we people do – so their personality develops over time, giving the home a good life, an ambiance that doesn’t It can be beaten by trends and the “next big thing”.
“Depending on what’s going on in the world, in general, aspects of color change in and out of the audience’s attention,” Nicholson explains.
“For example, with so much fear and uncertainty in the world these days, optimistic, positive, and sunny colors are on the rise. Remember, that only makes it a trend if we pair these colors with a host of other elements in the trend.”
She says the response to color is a personal thing. However, Nicholson frequently meets new clients who are looking to change up their wall colors because the colors are getting outdated and uninspiring.
“Why? Because someone chose colors that were in fashion, and for the most part chose safe colors,” she explains.
Which mistake does Nicholson see the most? Don’t pick a color you like and instead choose what paint producers considered “the color of the year,” like the must-have pewter that was all the rage a few years ago.
“If you want your house to not look old and dull, choose colors that make you happy,” she says.
“Painting is one area where I would say she’s not afraid to be bold or trendy, or whatever you’re feeling — it’s a quick job to bring it back when you’re tired of it, and it’s not a high-priced item to change out.”
Nicholson encourages people not to be afraid.
“If purple makes you happy, I guarantee you, of the millions of couples in the world, I can find at least one that will be a timeless neutral and will make you fall in love with it every time you walk into your kitchen,” she adds.
Lash says trends are the antithesis of design.
“Real and cool ‘classic’ home design is about creating unique spaces for the people who live in them, spaces that tell a story, and spaces that make you want to sit, look, and stay longer,” she explains.
Choosing the high-quality furnishings and furnishings you love will not make you feel like replacing them in a few years. Choosing paint colors from that palette will likely have the same effect.
But if you’re not satisfied with the shade, the paint colors, Lush adds, can easily be swapped out.
“Painting is one area where I’d say she’s not afraid to be bold, or trendy, or whatever you’re feeling — it’s a quick job to bring it back when you’re tired of it, and it’s not a high-priced item to change out,” she says.
Questions to consider
Lush recommends asking yourself a few questions before starting a home decor project:
– What is your sense of fashion?
– Do you like artifacts?
– Are you a collector of art or history?
Is funky jewelry your go-to, or do you lean more toward clear, detailed pieces in your wardrobe?
These questions will help guide you in choosing a design, she says.
“There is always evidence of our own personal design style in how we currently live and express ourselves,” Lush explains.
“Once you get some of that inspiration, it’s important that you don’t get bogged down in all that style. If you love mid-century modernism, don’t buy every piece of MCM you see; mix in pieces just because you like them, or because they mean something to you.” , and not because they match exactly.”
The unexpected in design, she adds, “is always the most interesting part.”