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This Is For Anyone Who Has Ever Suffered From “Trend” Paralysis

photo by tessa neustadt for ehd | from: brady’s bedroom makeover with parachute

This is not the first time in my writing history where I talked about my aversion to the term “trend.” Yes, a huge part of my job as a design-focused editor and writer is to cover new things happening (or at least brewing) in the industry. You know…trends. “Trend forecasting” is a very real thing, and to be honest, I pride myself on the ability to call something months in advanced. But that doesn’t change the fact that actually buying into the trend, bandwagoning so to speak, is something I have internal battles about all.the.time. Am I alone here?

Do not read that as me saying anyone who follows trends is somehow wrong or basic. Trust me, I have dived into PLENTY of trends, past and present. If you’ve bought anything for your home that wasn’t purely functional, you have, too. WE ALL HAVE. It’s the natural course of interior design—aesthetics are driven by the time we live in, by what’s occurring culturally or politically (i.e. during the economic turmoil of 2008/2009, everything was subdued, beige, safe because nothing in our country, at least financially, felt secure). Materials, colors, silhouettes are always changing and evolving because decor doesn’t stand still. But what I am saying is that I’ve come to realize that my apprehension for not feeling “creative” or “innovative” enough is problematic. Why should I not consume something that I’m very much drawn to just because I want to be “different”?

Not everyone here today will be able to relate to this, because I understand that I, someone who makes their job out of identifying trends—and non-trends—have a bit of a unique (skewed?) perspective. I’m immersed in it nearly 24/7; my eyeballs are likely oversaturated and what might feel overdone to me is probably just a result of an Instagram or Pinterest algorithm. I recognize that the practice of crossing my fingers that something I really like and am drawn to decor-wise doesn’t become popular so I don’t tire of it is not a normal thing. While professionally, I know finding what’s “next” is important to drive the design conversation forward, personally, I think I’m done caring as much. Let me explain.

Brady Tolbert Citizenry Emily Henderson Living Room Refresh 6
photo by tessa neustadt | from: brady’s living room refresh with the citizenry

I went through a phase during the design of my living and dining rooms where I was committed to doing something “different” so that I wasn’t showing you “just another Pinterest room.” I pushed away the idea of using some specific pieces I had long loved because I saw them too often on my feeds. This was my chance to do something unique…except that it was my home, and I was lying to myself. I was too busy asking “what’s next” before the thing that’s currently here even settled in. Can I relax, please? The pleasure of designing turned into a burden of chasing “cool.” Would the Internet think I was lame if I used a Moroccan shag rug just like so many others before me? What about putting up that gallery wall? Was my home “expected”? My current self is screaming WHO CARES to the version of me from even just a few months back.

There was a moment about a month before shooting that I remember sitting on my couch, looking around and panicking that I didn’t have anything “weird” enough. Everything that had been picked for my living spaces was something I loved, but maybe wasn’t “fresh” or groundbreaking. The chairs I had bought months prior that made my heart literally pound out of my chest were now EVERYWHERE on every platform and in EVERY store. I had completely irrational thoughts that I’m pretty embarrassed to admit here, but, things like “Do I change them for something ‘hipper’?” did cross my mind. Uh…was I INSANE? Yes, for a second there, I was. And like I said, I quickly came to peace with my maniacal thought process and the need to be “tomorrow” not “today” with my design. Where I landed was a place that sure, some might look at and think “trendimus maximus,” but I and my husband love. Pretty always looks good next to pretty, whether it’s the same pretty that your neighbor also has. I live in MY home, not my neighbors’, figuratively speaking, and that’s all I should be concerned with.

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photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: jess’ small-space living room makeover

I hereby relinquish the negative hold that trends had over me—I welcome you to, too, if anything I’ve said so far resonated with you—and am reclaiming the fun of design, instead of the burden of constantly trying to be the new-new, especially in my own home. “Trends” will no longer ruin the things I love. Full stop.

In the name of my “I hate trends, wait, maybe I don’t, I do what I want” monologue that just happened there, I’m going to celebrate five very “trendy” things I’ve decided to love that I originally hoped would go out of vogue so I would be free to idolize them. A convoluted thought, yes, but…#designfreedom, friends.

5 Super Pervasive Design Pieces We Still Love Anyway

#1: Serge Mouille-Style Lighting

image via my domaine | design by vanessa alexander

There has never been a time that I’ve seen this light (or sconce) and haven’t stopped dead in my tracks. I LOVE THIS LIGHT. I’ve loved it for years, and fell particularly head over heels for it when I saw Michelle Adams use it in her home (below).

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image via one kings lane | design by michelle adams

I had this chandelier (well, a knock-off of it which I know is problematic) picked out for my dining room because I needed something that extended out further on one side to balance the table placement, but decided against for all the reasons I’ve already talked about. While I love the Schoolhouse fixture I ended up with VERY much, you better believe I plan on using this baby—hopefully an authentic one—in a future home.

#2: Beni Ourain Rugs

image via house & garden | design by matilda goad

I fought long and hard against this one when I was rug shopping. You can’t flick one scroll through Pinterest or your Instagram feed without seeing this style of Moroccan rug, but here’s the thing: HAVE YOU EVER STEPPED ON ONE OF THESE? Oh my goodness are they glorious to walk on. The shag nestles into your toes like fine Bahamian sand and they’re so thick and plush, it’s almost like a cloud is underfoot. They also happen to be a perfect neutral but textural (and still visually interesting) backdrop to furniture, as well as other colors and patterns already going on in your design. Bein Ourains are the chameleon of the rug world in that they work with modern designs, traditional spaces, eclectic or bohemian rooms…like the effortlessly cool kid in school, they fit into every crowd.

#3: Pierre Jeanneret Chandigarh Chairs

photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: arlyn’s light & bright rental living room

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was bummed when I started to see these infiltrate my feeds after I bought them late last year. That’s ridiculous, as these are not new. Designers have long been using these super sculptural vintage chairs in projects, so like…what makes me special? I even remember standing in the Rose Bowl with Emily discussing these…”these are probably going to be everywhere in a second, but do I care?” I said to her. Obviously, I didn’t care enough, because I bought them and do not regret it. Yes, the chair will be very “2019” probably, but eventually, people will move on to something new and I’ll still have the chairs I loved from the moment I saw them.

Arlyn Hernandez Makeover Takeover Ehd6
photo by sara ligorria-tramp for ehd | from: arlyn’s dark, moody dining room

#4: Gallery Walls

Every now and then, if you have your ear pressed to our office door, you’ll hear someone say “wait, are we still into gallery walls?” Gallery walls are pretty ubiquitous at this point. Many an article has been written about “what’s next after the gallery wall” and you know what I think? Just more gallery walls. Yes, one statement large-scale art piece in place of countless smaller frames is also very, very good, but I don’t think gallery walls are going anywhere, and frankly, I don’t mind it. The “salon” style arrangement I did in my dining room is one of my favorite design elements in my whole house, and as long as the art is personal to you in some way, they’ll never feel too “trendy.” Long live the gallery wall.

#5: “California Casual”

Emily Henderson Modern Design Trends White Minimal Casual Rustic Simple Relaxed California Effortless 7
image via alexander m. reid

This last one is less a specific piece and more a general style. “California Casual” (which we wrote about at length a year ago here, here and here), is that expensive, effortless laid-back-but-kinda-eclectic look that so many design enthusiasts and designers themselves emulate recently. I mean, what’s not to like? It’s comfortable, light and airy yet warm and inviting, easy on the eyes with just enough textural moments…it’s kind of the perfect “family home” vibe if you’re “cool.” I tend to go for more eclectic, colorful rooms when I’m pinning and bookmarking because that inspires me greatly, but being IN a California casual room feels damn nice.

Shoppe Amber Interiors Digital Lookbook Edition Two11
image via all sorts of | design by amber interiors

If you’ve ever been able to grace one of Amber Lewis’ shops (the personification of this style), you’ll probably remember the instant relaxation that came over you. It’ll make you want to instantly ditch your “bold” and “weird” moments for the quietness of linen and rattan and blonde wood. So, while I’ve found myself bucking the look in my own designs because I’m “tired” of seeing it, I can’t lie…it’s wonderful and I hope it sticks around for years to come.

Now, after all that, I’d love to hear from you about your stance on “trends,” whether it’s your thoughts on them as a whole or even some of the five things I pointed out directly here today. Am I overthinking the whole thing? Yeah probably, but this post was kind of a cathartic moment for me, so…sorry not sorry? Anyway, thanks for reading friends, and looking forward to hearing from you.


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95 thoughts on “This Is For Anyone Who Has Ever Suffered From “Trend” Paralysis

  1. Thanks for this. I totally agree. Living in Nashville, I don’t see the latest trends as often, so I tend to jump on a lot of them. My friends all thought I was crazy when I went mid century ten years ago and now, they like it. Or when I got into brass five years ago, they thought I was disgusting, now they like it. I still see brand new homes with stainless steel and feel disgusted by them. At the end of the day, we just want to be different. If everyone else has it, I don’t want it and find it boring.

    1. I agree! It is such a fine line between like and hate depending on the amount I see it.

  2. I LOVED this article. As a designer (fashion) I find I struggle with this as well. And it definitely spills over into the design of my home. You’ve definitely inspired me to just embrace what I love regardless of trend or not! Thanks for this great piece!

  3. Oh girl, can I tell you I jumped on the Beni Ourain rug train too… to my husbands strong objections… and now I understand why. This rug is the most amazing thing to step on in the world, and yes, my three dogs 100% agree. They love it. We love it. AND THESE RUGS ARE SO HARD TO CLEAN. Maybe I’m an idiot? Maybe I should never buy a white rug with three dogs and a husband who loves shoes on in the house? (Yes. I’m an idiot.) If anyone has ANY suggestions on ways that you clean your rugs, I will be forever in your debt.

    1. Google “professional rug cleaning” for your area. You will likely have to roll up the rug, stuff it in your car, and drop it off for two weeks. Some places will pick up and deliver for an added fee.

    2. After 3 years I had to get rid of my Beni Ourain rug – it cost more to clean that sucker than I paid for it in the first place. I also have a dog and my kid was a teenager then and not paying attention to anything. They’re so pretty to look at and yes it feels good on your feet, but they’re highly unpractical in every day life.

    3. I haven’t had mine professionally shampoo’d yet, but found out somewhat by accident (after a glass candle holder fell off the mantel and shattered across the living room, including our Beni Ourain) that my husband’s shop vac is a miracle worker in keeping ours fluffy and free from embedded popcorn (and shattered candle holders) on the regular.

  4. Congratulations! This is what true style looks like. Well, step one: be influenced but choose what you love. Later stages include Resisting Change for Change Sake. And Embrace the Fear of Being Dated. My artist grandma had eclectic down. From the dried tumbleweed she hung from the ceiling, to the mid century tulip table and chairs, to the collection of brass butter molds, the chrome hubcap (decades before convex mirrors were at chain stores) her kitchen alone was an education. My favorite, the emerald green Congoleum floor (pre vinyl) that remains as beautiful and pristine as the day it was laid in 1953. She embraced what was, and is, modern and new but never abandoned those choices, even when mid century was just called the 60s and was usually marked free by the roadside. I don’t have her eye, but I strive to embrace her confidence. And for what it’s worth, I give a side eye to designers who try too hard. So keep learning and trying and loving things. And let others do the same. Only time will tell what’s a trend and what’s timeless.

    1. LOVE this, has me smiling and thinking of my eclectic, stylish Grandma. She also had a tumbleweed, that my parents brought her from the California desert to Seattle(at her request) and she somehow wove a strand of pink Christmas lights through it. This was her most treasured Christmas decoration in the 60s & 70s. She also had Pepto Bismol pink kitchen cabinets! One of a kind.

      1. I NEVER knew I Needed a tumbleweed, except now of course I do. 😉 But yes, I agree. It’s really about doing what you love, what speaks to you, regardless of what’s “hot”, even if that ends up changing down the line.

        1. Stylish grandmothers are the best. My mom had style too, but her mother was a whole layer deeper.

  5. I am so glad you picked up on this guilt!!!! I am an interior designer my work – and this feeling gets me every time – I feel like to be “respected” in the industry you have to sometimes portray this overly artsy look which TBH not all clients understand – as designers we are def overexposed to trends and see them moving much faster than our clients! So it’s challenging to create something which shows you have a design eye but at the same time is relatable and liveable!

    1. I’m SURE that’s such a hard thing to deal with. You have clients that hire you to do what they see as being “current” design, but you’ve done that already 15 times over and want to push the envelope and do something new. How do you go about convincing a client to let you try something “different” and they just want something livable?

      1. I hear what you’re saying but do you need to “convince a client to let you try something different and they just want liveable”? I think for most people, liveable is a pretty key requirement. I think more “out there” trends can live in magazines and blogs and people can just take a little bit of them to put in their homes – the same way couture fashion translates to the high street. Designers and architects are there to service their clients, not the other way around.

  6. I have learned so much from this blog when designing our new home. I made a list of “design hallmarks” from the styles I liked best, which turned out to be California casual, Boho, and Joanna Gaines. I then whittled the list down even further to around 5 bullet points that should flow from room to room to create cohesion in the design plan overall. The “Rooms” section on this website has also helped me in getting measurements and proportions right, and has provided lots of visual examples of “why” the principles work. It can be easy to get sucked into trends, especially seasonally as things change and new, awesome accessories come out 4x a year. But thanks to this blog I have a very solid design plan for how I want the house to look and flow, and it will stand the test of time because I love all my choices, regardless of whomever else has some of the same pieces. My house isn’t going on the internet, so who cares?! I am very thankful to Emily and the crew for teaching me so much, and now I have alot more confidence in having a house that ‘flows” properly from a design perspective.

    1. YAY! I love to hear when someone is using the site in the way you mentioned. We truly aim to educate and inspire here, and love to hear you’ve gained some confidence by being a reader.

    2. Dude, “my house isn’t going on the internet, so who cares?!” is like the best sum up for my choices and stance. Such a great/refreshing take.

    3. Wow. You hit the nail on the head! I can so relate. It really takes the fun out of design when you are stressing about wanting something so different. It happens to me all of the time. Right now I’m debating on tile for a TV wall. Since I moved into my home I always envisioned some type of morrocan patterned tile, but three years have passed and I still haven’t done it and feel like it’s so played out–but I can’t help but love it everytime I see it! So who cares, I’m doing it! Thanks so much. Now I’ll have Freedooooooom from my own annoyingness!

  7. I am so glad you picked up on this guilt!!!! I am an interior designer my work – House of Sui Sui and this feeling gets me every time – I feel like to be “respected” in the industry you have to sometimes portray this overly artsy look which TBH not all clients understand – as designers we are def overexposed to trends and see them moving much faster than our clients! So it’s challenging to create something which shows you have a design eye but at the same time is relatable and liveable!

  8. Yes to so much here. I also like to pride my ability to spot trends early on, and the reality of all of it is that if I turn off social media, and just look around at my home and my IRL inner circle homes, no one else jumps on the trends like I do, or they jump on trends that I’m not into, and we all end up with eclectic homes that represent us as people. Most people in my circle DNGAF about my MCM chairs, or my brass tchtoches, or my matte black fixtures, or my white walls! So maybe my home doesn’t feel unique compared to my IG feed, but it certainly feels unique to the ACTUAL people that frequent it.

    Also, I like to tell myself if you hold onto something that you love long enough, even if it feels trendy now, it’ll feel “vintage-y” in 10-15+ years. Similar to the pretty looks good with pretty sentiment, if you buy what you love, regardless of the current trends, you can probably continue to make that piece of furniture or art or whatever continue to work for you over time with some inexpensive sprucing up. I always say I’m a minimalist with a pillow problem, because new pillows can refresh a room like no ones business!

    1. HA a minimalist with a pillow problem. I feel seen (though I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist…I’m more like a “mediumist”…somewhere between wanting to be a minimalist but also loving stuff and pattern and color. But yeah, designing a home for someone else to care about it is a fool’s errand. That’s not to say I don’t agree in pushing ourselves as design enthusiasts to do new, exciting things, but wearing “trend hating” as a badge of honor is like…who do I think I am??

      1. Mediumist, I can live with that title. I love Ikat and have ever since my sis introduced me to it decades ago (she used to live in Java). Ikat caught the trend train and rode into designs everywhere. It’s a bit passe’ by now I hope but lives on in my living room. Blue and white has been a huge trend but I’ve loved it ever since my childhood blue willow china tea set (which I still have) and is all over my whole house. And leopard print, if loving that is wrong, then I don’t need to be right.

        They’re all me, have been for years and will be for years to come. You be you and I’ll be me, trendy, passe’ or not…

  9. I loooove this is much! I put so much pressure on myself to avoid trends but at the same time am super drawn to them. It’s nice to know even the pros have mixed feelings about them. I also think not doing something you love b/c others are doing it is almost as bad as doing something you don’t love just b/c others are doing it. (Almost). I’d love to hear from you though about not getting so sucked into trends that 2 years later you want to sell everything you own and start over (hello #farmhousestyle) because that’s my struggle! Anyway this was a good one! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Girl yes! As for your question, I think the way to avoid that is to not go all in to a style (like modern farmhouse). I know that’s a hard concept to digest when you’re trying to have a cohesive, stylized design, but that’s personally why I live happily in an “eclectic” style. That means I do what I want when I want to. If I get bored of, say, a trendy pillow or pouf, I can sell or donate that and bring in something else that fits better into my current aesthetic leanings. That way, you don’t struggle with “throw away everything inside the house” syndrome.

    1. Yes! I read about this, too, when I bought the chairs (I like to know the history of the pieces I’m buying). These chairs were designed as literally “everyday” chairs…for schools, offices, etc. Fascinating!

      1. My mom used to say “your favorite things never go out of style”. I have loved leopard print my whole life and used it to carpet my stairs. Some people think it is out of style but it makes me feel good everyday and it hides the hair of 3 dogs . Win. Win.

        1. Your mom and my mom must have been kindred spirits. It’s true…favorite things never go out of style. Trendy must work with my favorite things or I won’t buy into it. And I’ve been seeing leopard prints everywhere, lately, so there you go!

      2. So cool! The podcast episode explains that they were purposefully designed to be able to be sold to recyclers to be refurbished, then easily broken down and used for firewood after they were beyond repair. Everyday indeed!

  10. This piece gives me life!!! The internal struggle of “go with what’s trending” versus “branch out! Don’t go with the masses!” is a constant one. Thank you for this!

  11. I’ve thought about this a lot, especially over the last two years as we designed, gutted and renovated our (hopefully) forever home. This was particularly hard in the kitchen as they tend to go in 10-15 year trends and I was very drawn to a lot of what I was seeing currently in magazines, etc (while also being old enough to remember being super into Tuscan kitchens 25 years ago that look horribly dated now). But how can you not chose something that you’ve loved loved loved when you get a chance? And now I read articles on trying to chose classic items over “Pinterest Monster” kitchens and sometimes the line is really fine.

    For example, I have loved the Hicks Pendants since I first saw one in a magazine five (?) or so years ago. I’ve noted them every times I see them and frankly, that has become a lot. But I LOVE them. And when a pair came up on Craigslist for less than half price (side note – it is hard to get proportion right with oblong items like that and clearly someone bought the extra larges thinking they would fit under their 8 foot ceilings and they DON’T, but I did the same with some of my other lights and so no judgement here) I jumped on them. And they look awesome in our kitchen over the island with the vaulted ceilings. And sometimes I wonder, does this look too trendy? But I reassure myself that no one else I know is into interior design the way I am, they don’t read the same 8 magazines monthly, and they don’t care that I saw at least one example of the Hicks pendant in 7 out of 8 of those magazines a few months ago. They only care that the kitchen feels beautiful and comfortable and it’s everyone’s favorite room to hang out in.

    So, that what I go with. While at the same time worrying in the back of my head that the pine cabinet I want for the other side of the room is too ‘trendy’ because I remember when I hated that too…

    1. #1, I love the Hicks pendant, and I get it. I’d probably struggle with the very same thoughts you did, but like…THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND WHO CARES, right? Imagine having a friend or family member walking into your home and saying “wow, I can’t believe you used those pendants, you’re so basic.” NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

    2. I used these pendants in a new gut rehabbed dream kitchen 4 years ago and love them so much. They are classic and trusting your vision and what you love is the most important part of design. My aunt still brings me magazines with them in them but not as much anymore…go figure!

  12. Making your living doing this makes you “not normal” regarding design, when it comes to comparing yourself with the rest of the world. Most of the non-designers in my world are amazingly unaware of design styles, trends, and aesthetics. Two things that come to my mind when I think of the word “trend”. I look back to my childhood when absolutely everyone I knew had avocado green or harvest gold appliances and shag carpeting. “Earth Tones”- every room had some combo or avocado green, gold, orange and brown. Second thing is, my husband later described my apartment at the time he met me as “nauseatingly de rigueur”. I guess I am susceptible!

  13. I feel like I have this, but coming from a slightly different direction. I’ve never been into a lot of the things that are currently “on trend”. I love color so I’ve been bored by white kitchens and California Casual forever and gallery walls look fussy to me. That makes me feel like I hate trendy things even though the trend isn’t really the issue – I’m just not drawn to that look. Anyway it makes me feel like once something is trendy I’ll start to hate it, but there are plenty of trends I love and I just need to trust myself to continue to love it. I painted the cabinets in my last kitchen navy and right afterward started seeing navy cabinets everywhere. I did question my choice a little, BUT every time I look at pictures of that kitchen I still absolutely love it.

  14. I love to see new trends. Even when I don’t actually like the look, I’m always interested in seeing new ideas, and new takes on old favorites. I almost never buy anything trendy though. When I shop I stick with quality classics except things like pillows that need to be replaced every year or two anyhow because my pets take them over.

    1. Oh I love to see it, too. New ideas are FUN. My torture is in my hesitance to do something I’m drawn to just because it might become TOO popular. Ugh, my own words annoy me. ha!

  15. I worry about trends, but not in the same way that you do. I’m more worried about spending a lot of money on furniture that will feel dated in the future. I don’t really care if others think my home is not “hip” enough. So, for me it’s less “Do I want to buy this if everyone else is buying it, too?” and more “Do I want to buy this if it will feel dated in a couple of years? I love this right now, but will I love it 20 years from now?” It’s not a big deal to spend money on a trend if it’s something like a throw pillow in a trendy pattern, but if it’s furniture, that’s where my internal battles start. I have slowly been trying to replace my cheap college furniture with quality, timeless furniture, and that’s hard.

    1. Maria Killam talks about how to make big purchases that won’t be dated. She says to buy a sofa in your favorite color (not a neutral) because color doesn’t date as much as neutrals (e.g., think how dated the Tuscan brown from 10 years ago looks vs. white/gray right now). I’ve had a very dark plum colored sofa (almost reads black) for ~20 years and I still love it.

  16. If something is considered a “trend”, I immediately want to run in the opposite direction. I do have many items that would be considered a trend, but I do not want my home to look like everyone else.

  17. This article totally resonated with me as I’m in the middle of a living room refresh/remodel and am agonizing over including a Serge Mouille style light. I love the eclectic vibe of them but similiar to you get turned off when I see something everywhere. But you know what, I love it and I’m going for it! I think for me as long as I don’t feel like I subsribed to EVERY trend at the moment I feel like my space still feels unique and like the people who live in it. Thanks so much for the good read.

    1. GO FOR IT. I sincerely doubt you’ll regret it once it’s in your home. It’s easy to be turned off when you see things in OTHER people’s homes, but once it’s yours, it somehow feels more special.

  18. I felt this same way when planning my wedding. Blogs and Pinterest make certain trends seem so ubiquitous, but then you have to step back and realize that other people might not be as immersed in that world as you are and you have to just do what you want. Obviously you’re in a different situation being a designer and having a large audience, but the idea is similar.

    1. I think I’m deciding right here and now to coin this “rabbit hole syndrome” because that’s kind of what it is? You go down a rabbit hole and then become overstimulated with the very thing you were drawn to, giving you a false sense of oversaturation.

      1. Yes, love this classification! So accurate. Most of my family knows nothing about “design trends” (either in home, or when I was married). Everything was new to them and I loved what I went with regardless of what the internet told me was “over” or “boring”.

  19. I literally just made an IG post about this VERY real personal dilemma yesterday!! I have gotten tired of seeing so many of the same trends online and wanting to take a new direction in my home. I’m finding myself more drawn to eclectic and colorful, because it feels a bit more personal I think. Less easily duplicated perhaps. ??‍♀️

  20. From one neurotic person to another…. thank you for this article! I often catch myself taking design too seriously instead of just having fun. I cannot thank you enough for calling yourself out because it in turn helped me relax… for the time being! ?

  21. Completely 1,000% agree with your sentiment. I find myself more drawn to the Amber Lewis and Jessica Helgerson’s of the world. And I recently figured out why. Classic never goes out of style or becomes dated. Especially Jessica, can take an 80’s looking interior of a historic house and make her design look as if it’s original to the house while still being extremely relevant and functional for today. I’m most drawn to historic, old homes since they are unique and nothing is built with as much care and detail today. My favorites are the Parisian apartments with extensive moldings paired with modern, minimal furniture. The bones of a space are more important to me now, the decor can change and evolve.

  22. Mmm hmm, right on. My husband and I were just discussing this last night, because I had found a herringbone wallpaper I wanted to do for our (very) budget-friendly kitchen reno in the new house we just bought, and I told him “I love herringbone but I just feel like it is SO overdone!” And then I stopped and reflected on how stupid that sounded – I LOVE something, but I am not going to use it because I’m worried someone else will think I’m being too “trendy”? Lame.

    Honestly, I pretty much gave up on being trendy years ago because my style is so eclectic. I love the more modern/coastal look, with clean cut lines, simple shapes, light colored woods, whites and grays, etc. And yet I have this unquenchable affinity for antique furniture. There’s something about a piece of furniture that has lived a long, happy life, that fills me with joy. We have many, many old antique pieces from my husband’s grandparents, including several items handmade by my husband’s grandfather. Some of these pieces are streamlined and mid-century modern looking, but most of the others are large, bulky, and heavy wood. Several are nothing you would ever see on Pinterest or in a home decor blog, but I love all of them with all of my heart. I’ve never cared whether those things were on trend or not, I would never dream about replacing them with something more fashionable; besides memories and photos, those pieces are what we have left of his grandparents!

    Isn’t that what should be “trending” – a home filled with pieces that you love with all of your heart? The things that fill you with joy never go out of style!

    1. I personally think herringbone is CLASSIC and a classic will never go out of style. 🙂

  23. I can’t help it, I love the boho revival I’ve been seeing everywhere. I’ve always loved it, as a child of the 60s-70; the rattan and wovens go so well with my coastal vibe. Will it last? Probably not, but that’s what thrift stores are and always have been for!

  24. You’re not overthinking it! I love hearing your true thoughts.

    I don’t work in design (wish I did!), and my house is nowhere near where I would like it to be (time + money + decision paralysis), but I have these thoughts much the same as you do! (“Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t go for Edison lights at the time.”) (“Wow. I fell for chevron back in 2012.”)

    I appreciate hearing that I’m not the only one.

    I also appreciate all the comments (I just read through) – they’re inspiring me to not worry about the trends so much if I *do* go for them. Go for what you like.

  25. This post resonated with me soooo much, Arlyn! I run Ava to Zeke, a blog that curates baby names, and I feel that same frustration with trend-watching. Names always seem much more popular to me than they really are, because I am so immersed in the data and rankings. Glad to know that someone else cringes when they use the word “trend” even though it’s inevitable. 🙂

    1. Ha right! You probably think “ugh, another Emma/Henry” (are those popular baby names still? ha), as much as I think “don’t show me another modern farmhouse that’s not actually a farmhouse but a suburban tract home. But really, when you boil it down, if naming your son “henry” slash slapping shiplap on your walls brings a smile to your face and makes you feel warm and fuzzy, then WHO CARES. If anything, it’s almost fun to look back at the things we bought into and be like “ha, remember that?!?” but in a way that’s endearing rather than self-judging.

  26. I think the old saying “all things in moderation” applies here as well. Have a few so-called trendy things in your home, but you really love them? No biggie. Have a home overpopulated by what everyone else has? Probably time to go for a bit more originality.

  27. ” I recognize that the practice of crossing my fingers that something I really like and am drawn to decor-wise doesn’t become popular so I don’t tire of it is not a normal thing.”

    Oh, I think this is a completely normal thing. I’ve suffered (?) from this most of my adult life. It’s so easy to be on the cutting edge then to fall over into been-there-done-that.

  28. This is me right now! As a designer I feel so much pressure to “chase cool” and be unique in order to provide some original content. The thing is, it’s almost impossible. I find my self wishing on a star that the items I like do not become popular! But if I like it then likely others will too, and inevitably the item becomes so overused that I’m embarrassed I ever sourced it to begin with. I can totally relate to your chair dilemma because I recently installed some cle tile as my kitchen backslash. At the time I sourced it, it was especially hard to get and I patted myself on the back at my originality. Ha! Cut to now Bedrosian’s has created an almost identical version for 1/3 of the price and it’s pretty much being used in every other remodel in America right now. I have literally considered ripping out my brand new tile and replacing it! OMG I am crazy. Anyway, when I read this article it reiterated to me that the most important thing is to just use items that I love and let the chips fall where they may. 😉

  29. “If you’ve ever been able to grace one of Amber Lewis’ shops (the personification of this style), you’ll probably remember the instant relaxation that came over you. It’ll make you want to instantly ditch your “bold” and “weird” moments for the quietness of linen and rattan and blonde wood.”

    Uh uh. Ain’t gonna happen.

    And all my walls are gallery walls. I love art, and I like supporting artists. Bare walls make me itchy.

  30. Whew boy…trends. They are constantly changing and are a real challenge to incorporate or sorta ignore. I love a lot of them and always want to include them somewhere. I’m constantly inspired by your home tours, remodeling, rooms section of your website and these have guided me toward combination of styles that I love. My house is a mix of California Casual and MCM. But it also has hits of traditional (inherited antiques) and just random stuff that we liked along the way. I love the white on white trend, which I love when done right, but then along comes the color trend!! I also love color. There are certain colors that I absolutely love (greens, blues, ochres) and I incorporate them everywhere I can. Regardless of whether they fit into the CA Casual or MCM design. The point is, if a trend is something that makes me happy, I’ll find a place for it. Even after these trends expire, I’ll still love and use them. Then it will last the test of time.

  31. I totally feel ya. But when I’m shopping or looking at photos online, there’s a difference between, “That’s nice, I like that,” and “I LOVE THAT AND WANT IT NOW!!!” If you have the second reaction you don’t care if it’s hip or not, if it’s on trend or not.
    In my case there are certain trends that I do/did not like before, during, or after. If you really don’t like it, no number of photos or articles are going to convince you that you do.
    And also in my case–I just collect things over time. It’s when you rush to make big decisions that you have regrets.
    Here’s an issue you touched on in the article above…I was thinking as I read, “One good (?) thing about trends is that expensive (and sometimes classic) designs begin to be copied…possibly watered down…and cheaper versions are available to us poor folk….” Is this a good thing? Is it design plagiarism? What do you think?

    1. Ugh that is SUCH a hard question to answer because I fall on both sides of it. Like, why does “good design” and style have to be mutually exclusive with having money? I know reproductions and rip-offs are a HUGE problem in the furniture and design industry (as they are in fashion, etc.), and while I understand those with the argument that we should only support original design, therefore pushing forward design and supporting artisans, there’s also the idea that so much of that is just completely and utterly unattainable for most of us…like ever. I can say, sure I’ll buy a knock-off Serge Mouille light now, than one day, when I can afford it, I’ll get an authentic one, but…will I? I’ve said a lot of nothing in this comment, but I think offering style and design to EVERYONE, democratizing design so to speak, isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t benefit the little guy, which SUCKS, but maybe that knocked-off Tulip table will open up someone’s design sphere to go buy that handmade ceramic vase directly from the maker next time instead of Amazon, you know?

  32. I think readers of EHD appreciate weird and eclectic “Emily” pieces – so this was a nice change-up! I often return to trendy style pieces because 1. they work and 2. those are the ones my clients choose! They’re popular for a reason. ?

  33. It isn’t a trend if it lives on and goes with everything. Those rug are a comfy neautral piece, California casual is neutral and a good base for adding in your more personal/unique pieces. Those wood, sculptural chairs I don’t believe will last because, while they are neutral, they aren’t comfy or practical, but if those are your personal/unique pieces then yay! I can’t hate on neutral and functional pieces that are also beautiful. They will last through trends and then add your funky style to it.

  34. I’m going to give unpopular and controversial opinions.

    In your post you said you want to buy the original Mouille and not the copy. I personally have no big qualms buying copies of really old overpriced designs that have not been updated in decades. There is no real reason for these to be so expensive because they covered their design costs years ago. Not the same for new designs and innovation, I prefer to invest where it can make a difference. Of course, when the price difference is less important I’ll go with genuine… example: I bought an Herman Miller lamp 2 years ago because the price was not so different than local copies.

    The Mouille 3 arm ceiling lamp is 7000$ on while a good copy cost a 10x less! It’s still the same as the original design and serge Mouille died 30 years ago… Of course the quality is not exactly the same but will you really see the difference? 7000$ or not at all?

    About the bandwagon of trends… can’t say I really care about who came with the idea first… because you might be the first to come with the idea but you might be the 100th image in my Pinterest feed and I’ll never know where credit is due. The important thing is that if you use a trend, do it better than the others. 🙂

    And you know, when we think we are the first to come up with an idea… check in your old family photos, your grandmother probably had the same thing in her house at one time over the course of the last 70 years….

    1. okay, thank you for chiming in. You’re not wrong in my opinion. I like the idea of finding an actual vintage version of the light, but also like…why? HA I’d probably have to rewire it, so like…why not buy the $700 one on I’m just a walking mental contradiction…don’t mind me.

      1. Hihi! Where would be the fun without some contradiction!

        Also great to understand the dilemma you have as a designer that I don’t have as a consumer. As someone else said here: good for me if it’s a trend, then there will be more affordable similar items for me. When it’s too unique, then it’s probably not something that I could recreate in my home.

        Idea for a post: how to use trendy popular items in a decor in a way that is more « unique », not done a thousand times? Challenge, challenge!

  35. I’m all for gallery walls, and I’ve had them off and on in our homes for decades. I don’t think they have ever gone out of style, just as a large statement piece hasn’t either. I always have both in my home, sometimes in the same room.
    I recently began painting and my husband is so supportive he insisted I frame them and hang them in our home. I updated one of my downstairs bathroom rooms, painting the walls “Simply White, added a robins egg blue cabinet, a large oval mirror and three of my paintings. I feel confident enough in the quality of my creations that I’m working on my first large (36”x48”) canvas that will land in our family room. I also created a gallery corner in my living room with three of my smaller canvases.
    I move things around, put things away, and bring them back sometimes years later. At times a piece will stand alone, other times it’s part of a gallery wall.
    I don’t always get my designs right the first time, but I’ve learned to live with my choices and tweak as time goes on.
    We are the truly lucky ones who have such abundance that we can devote our time and resources to finessing our homes.?

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have ALL these thoughts way too often and I’m so far removed from your industry. I love Serge Mouille lighting – thanks for telling me the original name!

  37. So I almost never leave my reader feed to come comment anymore because I get malware and a glacier-slow browser EVERY TIME I visit this site, and my free anti malware doesn’t prevent, just cleans up after the fact when I run a scan… but I came today just to say I really enjoyed this article. Self aware but not too painfully apologetic like y’all sometimes get, and something I can really relate to as a person who is daily checking out the design world. I try to avoid purchasing hot trends for a while but if I am still into them and it feels fairly classic after many months, then I know it will probably have staying power for me!

  38. The struggle is real! We deal with this issue a lot in our work as kitchen and bathroom remodelers in Carrollton, Texas and the Dallas area. When we started, we weren’t as concerned about design or trends or anything like that, but the more projects we complete, the more we struggle with these same issues! Now we find that having an opinion and weighing in gives our clients a lot of comfort, even when they don’t take our advice.

  39. Interesting perspective!

    Timeless ‘trends’ seem to be the ones that are iconic and of a period. Even when the fad is over, they still have a knack for looking great! And how true about the cane chairs. Mine is one of my most loved pieces. Home for us is a mix of refinished and painted pieces by my late grampa, collected Canadiana furniture collected by my mom, and an eclectic mix of rugs, lanterns, textiles and international wares from all over the place. Oh, and a whole lot of vintage Fisher Price. Ha. My favourite homes to visit are the ones that tell a story about the occupants through their contents. A comfortable, personal space with great lighting can’t be beat!

  40. You never hear about “British Colonial” style any more and yet I still love it, even though i olive in what could be considered alternately “French Country” or “Italian Farmhouse” and you don’t hear those any more either! Do I care? Nope, but I do care about being comfortable and cohesive and that is a real struggle in my house…

    Great and thoughtful post and comments, btw.

  41. I get this. Trends will come and go but style is timeless. However, trends can allow things that are your style become more accessible. If you stay true to your style, when trends pass, you style should still stay true maybe even evolve.

  42. Is it just me or are these less trend driven and more of a staple? When you say “trends” I imagine seashell shaped anything or pineapple cocktail cups lol maybe those are more on the fad side though. ?

  43. I love Emily Henderson style ever since she was my number one pick on DESIGN STAR! your rooms always looks so fresh and cozy. At the end of the day I fill my rooms with items that have a story and meaning and when people come to visit, they love looking around ! Go for the warm fuzzies. KO

  44. Love what you love, trendy or not trendy! #designfreedom

    In somewhat the same vein, and I mean this in the nicest way possible (and it’s totally just my opinion), I feel like in our Instagram, Pinterest, and filter infiltrated world, I (not a professional designer) tend to get lost in what I actually like, aesthetically. I feel a desire to have a picturesque house, but also one that’s that’s perfectly, originally mine. After recently completing renovations on a new house, and feeling happy with how my home makes me feel, I can’t help but also wonder if I’m also superficial …to want my house to “have it all”. I mean, I’m sitting here looking at our woven wood blinds thinking, “Damn it, these will probably be out of style in a few years.” and I think of how we could have used that money we spent on them in other ways, and not on our house.

    Designers post about design faux pas and show jaw (or phone) dropping before and afters, of houses that may look perfect to some people even before being worked on, staged, and perfected with the best of the best. I think my point is that perhaps Instagram and Pinterest can cause people to house shame their own homes…the very safe havens where they sleep at night and tuck their babies into bed at night…and to silently house shame others’ homes too. =( Yes, I’m guilty of this.

    You’re probably going to cringe when I say this, but I wish it would be “ok” from a designer’s perspective for people to let builder grade, dark cherry cabs or laminate flooring or heck, even aluminum mini blinds to exist in their homes, and for a designer out there to be brave enough to show people how “work around” or work with those things. Sometimes it’s not financially possible to upgrade, and some people simply doesn’t have the time/resources to DIY the heck out of a house. And just as we all have trends we love (I happen to adore California casual!), maybe someday it will be alright if we appreciate our homes for what they are…trends, no trends, aluminum blinds and all. ?

  45. So we finished a home remodel in the last 6 months which is what prompted me to read blogs and follow designers on Instagram. I love the visuals – but I have to really edit what I see and pick and choose. We are a family of 5 and do not live in a huge house – all our spaces are lived in so some of these new trends seem so impractical. I keep seeing texture – in furniture, fixtures, accessories – and all I can think about is having to dust that texture! Ha! And all the woven seats on dining chairs and bar stools – most are not very comfortable and cleaning them with small kids and messy hands! Yikes! Wood cutting boards propped against the wall behind a cook top where you now have to move them every time you cook! Maybe some stylists don’t cook?
    I have always loved design and I think that came from my parents who had a particular style, not a lot of money, but executed it so well over the years (I would describe it as warm modern/scandinavian/mid-century modern). They didn’t buy into trends – maybe there weren’t trends b/c there wasn’t internet? Anyway, I now believe their homes (multiple over the years) have always felt so put together due to scale, color, comfort in seating, and ‘less is more’. Forty years ago they had a small gallery wall of wonderful local artists work that they purchased at craft festivals, and my Dad the engineer laid out the framed pieces on a sheet on the floor to plan the wall. So to me this is not a trend! They still have most of the art and I have a few of the pieces now. They stuck with what they loved and I am trying to do the same. I have a chandelier in my dining room that I Love! It is probably 8 years old Pottery Barn black wrought iron, clear glass, perfect size and light for the room. The materials are very ‘in’ but the style isn’t as ‘trendy’. My designer wants me to change it out and I really trust her but I’m staying with what I love – it is perfect for me and my ‘not so perfect’ home. All this is to say that sometimes the trends aren’t for everyone and we can pick and choose for our own lifestyle and tastes.

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