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.
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.
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
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).
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
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
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.
#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”
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.
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.