Monday, 17 February 2014

Trends don’t interest me…*

…but filtering them is important and it’s still worth paying attention to the macro trends that are typically more pervasive…

Trends in home d├ęcor change every year (it keeps our industry thriving…). Interior design inspirations sprout from trends seen on the runways. They filter through from high fashion, popular culture and colour preferences and are edited and filtered by the several trend forecasters that exist in the market place. With advances in technology, I think the concept of trends has got a bad name because there is such a proliferation of information on the web and in publications these days – everyone thinks they can be a hipster trend-setter and everything seems to be a justifiable trend (although some are more justifiable than others…). As a consequence, the importance of trend forecasters as editors and filters of the information available to us is more crucial than ever…

I think anyone in the trade who believes that trends are not part of their work is in denial. With the competitive nature of every market right now no one can afford to stand still or be behind the curve – clients are more discerning and educated about what they want. I think you need to be continually aware of what has the potential to impact your market area and of everything that is impacting your clients’ lives. The savviest companies and designers will keep ahead and stand the test of time. 




(Image from www.eclectictrends.com Global Color Research for their trend report Mix Trends 2015/16)

In addition to listening to trend forecasters, I think it is critical that designers look for inspiration from all around them – through their travels, trade shows, what’s happening inside and outside of the design industry, what’s happening in the economy, what’s happening globally, what’s happening in our own backyard, or what’s happening in fashion—and then interpret it (which is the more difficult bit…). If I go to the Milan Furniture Fair, I’m not only looking at the fair and drinking lots, but also at the streets of Milan, architecture, art and fashion.

However, when it comes to applying trends in interior design I think they need to be applied with caution and restraint. Trends only last so long and it is more important to focus on what you like, and what will look good for a long time. For instance, longer-term colour trends are much more worthwhile paying attention to in my opinion. These trends tend to last 10-20 years. They are what keep rooms from feeling dated, whereas shorter-term colour trends may make a room feel more dated if not done carefully and with restraint. Hence the application of seasonal colour trends in my view should be done in small doses – with a neutral backdrop and incorporating hits of colour through accessories and accents such as cushions, rugs, lamps and artwork. This is a much easier and more realistic way to do so as many of those elements can be switched out fairly easily. Also, painters aren’t cheap these days…

On predicting trends - I think we'll see a shift towards chameleon decor. Instead of settling on one fixed look, people will opt for a versatile neutral base and use big-impact accents to easily change the look and feel of any space. Flexible, versatile and fun…


*Manolo Blahnik


Jane Price-Stephens runs her own Interior Design business, to find out more visit: www.janepricestephens.com, http://janepricestephens.blogspot.com/, follow Jane on twitter @jpricestephens or call 07970 547433.

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