The #1 thing every client tells me is that they want their space to have character and interest, but they dont want it to be too "trendy" and then feel dated in 5-10 years. From the Burgundies and Oranges of the 90's to the All grey era we all had in the 2010's, design is ever changing and can be hard to execute in a way that will transcend the the fads of time.
Lets take a look at some of the most recent trends over the past 30 years:
We all remember those old orange oak and maple kitchen cabinets. (Or at least I do!) We had tiled countertops and lots of Burgundy carpet. I remember my friend getting dark wine red carpet in her room, and I wanted it so bad. it was so pretty!
The 90's was also popular for lots of floral wallpapers, pinks and oranges that make up that classic tuscan kitchen, and the ever so lovely sponge paint technique.
Scroll through to get a blast from the past
Moving into the 2000's, we see a lot of wallpaper still, but with color blocking and stripes. The kitchens also shift from natural oaks to dark cherry cabinets and woodwork.
The color pallets are beginning to slowly shift from all of those warm tones to more of a neutral tone but still with a lot of color. We work with a lot of beiges and tans.
We also see a lot of natural stone come in to play as travertine tile is a popular choice for flooring and walls
And now the oh so bland 2010's. This is where we saw all color drain from homes. The color pallet mainly consisted of cold grey's and whites. Here we saw a huge shift from warm inviting spaces to a more cool aesthetic.
Wallpaper all together went on a hiatus, and everyone spent hours trying to steam all of the wallpaper from their home, like they were trying to rid evil spirits from their house.
White Shaker cabinets really took over kitchens everywhere. This is when cabinet painting DIY really boomed. Everyone from the 90's and 2000's wanted to update their kitchen without having to pay for all new cabinets, so paint was a great option. It gave us a clean aesthetic.
Even if you were more of a Shabby Chic type or a sleek contemporary person, everyone seemed to have light grey walls with grey furniture, grey and white wood, Some spaces were minimal while others were overly cramped.
What are we doing in todays designs?
We still actually see a lot of similar colors and trends as we did in the past.
Wallpaper is very common again and we are all recovering our walls with funky fun prints and lots of florals. (Sorry to future us in 20 years!) Oak is the #1 wood being used right now in both cabinets, furniture, and flooring, and we are back to implementing a lot of color, especially in deep moody tones.
So if we are still doing a lot of the same things in the past why is it so different today, and how do you make sure not to renovate your home in a way that you wont hate in 5 years?
One Word: Balance
A big pattern i see in changing trends is that when people decide to update their home, they are so sick of what they currently have that they go so far the other direction in an attempt to get away from their old look. Hence the huge transition from All Beige and Tans in the 2000's to the all grey in the 2010's. This is the problem and why you feel like you are constantly changing your home to feel like you are keeping up with the trends. And this can make you feel like you are late to trends constantly.
A true timeless design will incorporate different textures, tones, and colors that are opposing each other in order to make the space feel balanced.
Case in point is popular paint colors. For quite a while now, white is a predominant wall color for homes now. It sounds simple enough, but there are so many white colors out there. Paint colors and color theory in general are a bit more complex that what the average person gets into. Most people have heard the word undertones be used when picking out colors, but there is an actual scientific calculation when creating paint colors. A lot of designers use these calculations in addition to their eyes to ensure they pick the most optimal color for each space. So regardless of it if it is grey, or beige, or blue, or yellow undertone, it doesnt really matter as long we balance it with the other items in the space.
Lets review this space to see what I mean
We have all kinds of things going on in this space. It has a lot going on so not for my minimalists. But it still has great balance and will be easy to update in a few years.
Most colors in this space are pretty neutral when it comes to the gray scale, so regardless of if you have pink or blue or green or grey, they are all pretty neutral on the grey scale - meaning they aren't super vibrant in color.
We don't just have all warm colors, or cool colors. Theres a mix of both, so lets point them out.
Cooler colors and tones in the room:
greys in the carpet,
blues in the cabinets
green throw pillow
The accent chairs give off a dark grey color
The white seems pretty neutral
light Finish on the coffee table
Pinkish Brown in the sofa
dark red in the florals on the coffee table
warm ivory draperies
Wood tones in the beams
And we mix patterns with solids
We have fun patterns in the rug and the throw pillows
While also having solid fabrics on the furniture and draperies
One Last thing to note about this room
You'll notice that the things that we do have in this space that are generally considered trendy in the past is now incorporated into small features. Like the pillows and rug, so in the future if all of a sudden florals are out of style again, its much easier to replace a pillow and rug vs completely redoing a room overtaken in one certain direction.
Now.....we do have more impactful rooms that are meant to be more breathtaking and in your face. Maybe you want something with a really cool wallpaper or deep rich tones. We are seeing a lot of this currently and I love a good statement room. I also love all of these unique statement stones. I firmly believe that we should all make our home something that reflects us and makes us happy. So I am all for implementing statement features into a home, but again I think its all about balance. Maybe you do one or two rooms or big statement features in your home, but that doesnt mean that you have to wallpaper every room in your house. Each room/ or moment as I like to refer to them, should have at least one key component that really makes it a feature but it should never be in competition with another big feature.
So if you want to go really bold with a wall color, try it out in a single room.
Lets take a look at some really bold and unique rooms that I like:
So here is to creating beautiful spaces that last the test of time! Let me know what you think in the comments about some of the ways that you have changed your space to feel a bit less trendy or what you think about some of these ideas