Forget About Trends?

I hear so much about "Trends" in the Design & Decor industry.

The "New" and "Latest" products which are "Must Haves"....I hate trends and they are one of my pet peeves. When I work with people I want to know what materials and things they love, and what makes them feel happy to see around them...not what a T.V. network or magazine has determined is "in style" this season.

Most trends are about products rather than innovative ideas. Trends are geared to stimulating product sales and profits for retailers. Rarely are they about real improvements for the consumer. Magazines, T.V. shows and Home Shows are businesses that create new trends to sell.

The decor industry is in the business of manipulating perceived needs so that people will desire and buy more of what they need to sell.... Advertisers attempt to convince us we should have more colours, options or speeds whether we actually require them or not. More convenience and an implied status through ownership are often being "sold" more that the actual product. When most products we buy are already convenient how much "more convenient" can they get ?

A different colour or a new version of items customers already own is promoted to encourage people to change what they have for the "latest" or "improved" product. What happened to "if is isn't broken.. don't fix it" I ask? The motive is absolutely clear- Creating buzz around Trends allows an industry to see "exponential growth" in sales well beyond the normal consumer demand.

It is my experience that the more "on trend" a product is the faster it will be out "dated" and so "over"...causing a new need to replace it. Do you remember the harvest gold or avocado coloured fridges & stoves of the past? Could a white fridge in an interior ever look as outdated as a gold coloured one? I think not. Remember pink toilets?

My advice is to beware of "hot" trends. Choose decor products that are more classic in style for any elements in your home that are permanently installed. Classic approaches have longevity and are easy to live with and grow with us over time. Furnishings in your home that can be fairly easily changed can express your personal style and need not be bland or completely neutral- surround yourself with things that you love- rather than following the newest style of the day- and your home will give you great pleasure.

If you find a "trend" colour or pattern pleasing I suggest using it in paint and accessories that are simple & inexpensive to replace if you tire of it and when it is past it's best before date. Accessories will create interest and add drama and panache to any space, or change the mood from season to season enriching your home....they are the place I consider using something that is a "trend".

It is not easy to tell the difference between "fad" trends and long term directions trends. So often the "must have" products of yesterday become exactly what we no longer want to have and can not ignore in a room.

I would rather have less business and see people love their homes for a long time, so I advise all of my clients to avoid any major investment in decor that is trendy.