Whether it's food, fashion or home decor, trends are meant to come and go quickly. When choosing how to decorate a house, keeping with current trends might seem like the best option, but what happens when those trends change and you're stuck with outdated style?
In the world of decorating and design, the Internet and television help promote popular colors, patterns, products and do-it-yourself tips for the novice home decorator. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in trend overkill.
John Brock, design consultant and owner of jBROCK/DesignCo., is a contemporary designer who spends a lot of his free time researching current trends to keep up with market changes. He thinks the popularity of sites like Pinterest.com make home decorating popular, but they also have caused some design choices to become too mainstream.
“Most unique and creative designs will not be found on Internet sites. Consult a professional or read through decor and design magazines and decide what fits your personal style best,” he says.
Mr. Brock says many trends that were popular in 2012 will seem outdated this year because of how rapidly design tastes change. One trend he would like to see phased out is family tree walls.
“These have become very popular in the past couple of years. It is a trend, and in my opinion family photos are great, but should be kept more simple. A wall filled with pictures is very overbearing and distracting in any home environment,” Mr. Brock says.
Other trends he thinks are on their way out include Navajo-style rugs, heavy-pattern wallpaper, artificial flowers, rustic kitchens, and owls and birds.
“They appeared on everything from throw pillows to blankets and even figurines,” Mr. Brock says of owl and bird accessory popularity.
He also points out that many contemporary home designs favor a cleaner, sleeker feel, especially in kitchens.
New trends he envisions for 2013 are brass fixtures, fresh flowers and the color emerald.
Tabitha Yount, owner of Elegant Interiors by Tabitha Yount, considers herself a more traditional designer because she prefers pieces that are timeless and will last throughout the years.
“Things that were in 100 years ago, they're still gonna be in in 100 years. Those are the type of things we try to go for,” she says.
For Yount, examples of timeless design include red and yellow color palettes, neutral wall colors, good quality fabrics and mixing antique furniture with contemporary accessories.
Trends she thinks are bound to become outdated soon include rustic country themes and small-scale pictures and accessories in big rooms.
She says she tells her clients that the “main course” of home design is more important than keeping up with trends. People shouldn't spend thousands of dollars on a home renovation that might be out of style in a few years.
“If you spend that kind of money on that trendy thing, then in four or five years you're gonna come back and you're gonna have to spend that money again … so you have to always be careful with trends that come in and go out and not to do the ‘main course' in that,” Mrs. Yount says.
Instead, she recommends that clients include a mix of traditional and current trends in their homes using smaller pieces, such as throw pillows, wall art, fabrics or even inexpensive pieces of furniture.
“Then if you're done with it the next season, you're not out of a lot of money,” she says. “… You can have a beautiful home on a modest budget.”
She says colors like bright greens and deep purples are currently popular but might not be in a few years because they aren't neutrals. Homeowners should include these colors in small doses through accessories and pops of paint that can be changed out easily as color trends come and go.
Despite their tendency to heavily promote trends that could become overdone, Mrs. Yount says she thinks websites like Pinterest are a good way for both designers and homeowners to get new ideas.
“I think it inspires people to improve their homes, improve their looks, improve their way of living,” she says.
If your home is in need of an upgrade, a good way to avoid design overkill is to start with a basic source of inspiration, then make it your own instead of recreating a spread from a website or magazine. Mix in pieces you already own and resist the temptation to splurge on something that might become outdated in a couple years, unless it's money you don't mind parting with.
After all, trendy or not, home decor is a reflection of individual personality. As long as it's something you're happy with, then your work is done.
Brooke VanCleave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPVanCleave.
MCT Information Services