Five interior design tips from experts
We’ll always talk about trends in interior design, because that’s what you do. But understanding trends — how they start, how they fit into a given design, and where to draw the line between “trend” and “trendy” — is the difference between creating fresh, personalized home décor that lasts, or indulging in semi-annual redesigns to replace all the Instagram-inspired touches with, well… more Instagram-inspired touches.
With that in mind, here are five takeaways that may help you navigate through the maze of interior design trends:
Interior Design Tip 1: Distinguish “trending” from “trendy”
“I always think that trends are set in the luxury market, and once it reaches the masses, that’s when it’s trendy,” said Shay Geyer. “I think it’s great that we should all follow the trends, and do research, but to inject it in every room every time is a little bit too predictable, and everyone’s house starts to look the same.”
As a result, “trendy” can easily mean “late to the party.” Attaining the “fashion-forward look” can be tricky, and risky as well. Finding new twists to augment a signature look, on the other hand, can create something unique and meaningful.
Interior Design Tip 2: Move with the trend, but don’t commit to the trend
“For us, we always paint a really simple, clean palette that allows you to put whatever you want within that palette,” said Catherine Macfee, “and so if there is something trendy — say, purple — and you want a pillow, you can pop it in and pop it out. Move with the trend, but not necessarily commit to a trend.
“In our design, the test of time is always the most important thing. When you’re spending that amount of money on someone else’s home, it’s nice to have that clean palette be able to change.”
Interior Design Tip 3: “Too much” is riskier than “too little”
Kim Scodro jokingly admitted, “Unfortunately we’re not trendy — I feel bad!” She went on to describe the challenges of maintaining a classic, elegant look with the clients’ desires to remain “on trend.”
“We have a classic aesthetic, but then clients will come to us when they find things and see things on Pinterest … so we can’t help but be a little trendy because of our clients and what they want.”
That can easily go too far, and designers always have to find the balance between bringing the right fresh touch to a space and overwhelming the overall décor.
“We had a client and did a photo shoot at her house, and she loved brass,” Scodro said. “And she had gone out and bought all of these brass accessories. The whole spare bedroom, we had to take everything out! Here and there, it’s great, but she went so overboard with that trend, and a few pieces would have been wonderful.”
Geyer added a story of a client who requested that their 15,000-square-foot house remodeling job include rose gold fixtures throughout. “I’m like, ‘I can’t let you do this!’ … We told them we can do one powder bath, and it turned out beautifully, but now they’re like ‘Rose gold’s out!’”
Interior Design Tip 4: The best roadmap is behind you
Ron Woodson and Jaime Rummerfield take the “test of time” to the next level. Both talked extensively about their own ties to “Old Hollywood” influences from their native Los Angeles, and emphasize the nostalgia element in those interior designs.
“We don’t’ follow trends; we are the antithesis of it,” Woodson said, joking with the panel that “I’m the bad kid!
“The one thing I will say is we harken back to the past. We will look at the past and see how that will take us to the future. We like to do that mix, but don’t ask me about a trend.”
Interior Design Tip 5: Remember whose story you’re telling
As mentioned before, the perception of a trend can ultimately be in the eye of the beholder, which makes focus difficult:
“Overall, colour is trending, but what colour? Especially at High Point, but even now, there are so many colours that are trending,” Geyer said. “You’ve got blush, you’ve got blue, you’ve got malachite, and then with brass and mixed metals which layer into a more collected look … but I’m not really on the bandwagon for (incorporating market trends into design.)
“You have to look at what the client wants, what speaks to them, tell their story, not your story.”
Having said that, sometimes current trends can help those two ideas converge, as Wood pointed out.
“It’s interesting that in some ways, what trendiness allows us to do is open up a window to a client for an idea that we’ve always had,” he said. “I love mixing metals, and I have a client who would never let me do that until she saw it in a magazine. So in some ways, that trending can support your cause, and gives your ideas some gravitas to clients who may not be willing to go that far because they can’t envision it in their heads like you can.”
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