It has been long known that social media, and access to ever increasing design inspiration avenues has affected trends. Different trends are continually cropping up, some of which have staying power, and some which are subject to becoming dated much faster. These are constants that just about every designer has had experience with.
With the volume of pictures and media showcasing the latest and greatest, keeping projects in line with what is currently trending can be a big stressor for many homeowners. Questions that designers are asked so frequently are: “Is what I like trendy?” or “I saw this on Pinterest (or Instagram, or Houzz), is this on trend?” and, “Where else can I go to find out what is trending now?” These are questions that likely should not be at the forefront of a homeowner’s design journey. Many homeowners fear that their design aesthetic will not be in line with current trends, or that their project will reflect trends when it is completed.
So, what should homeowners be thinking about when it comes to design? The first consideration should be how long they are planning on residing in the home. Shorter term residencies can take full advantage of designing on trend. Focus on resale is high, and these projects may benefit from a design that reflects current trends that will attract potential buyers. For homeowners planning on staying in the home long-term, it would be beneficial to look more at design styles in terms of what is appealing to them specifically and that they can enjoy for a long time.
Design can be pushed, and a lot of fun can be had when clients are focused on their personal design aesthetic. A bold mid-century modern inspired kitchen perfectly suits a family that has a love of colour and shape. Embracing strong colours and patterns for cabinetry opens the possibilities of many unique features such as a large custom-built island that showcases interesting angles and dimensions. Keeping design principles in mind, the bold selections should be housed in spaces that allow for it. A large area with high vaults in the ceiling opens the space and gives lots of room for strong design elements.
All-white kitchens are extremely trendy; however, they are not realistic for all families and have been starting to see some resistance. Softening the white in the cabinetry and countertops will help bring this design style more in reach to achieve a timeless design. Selecting a warmer coloured base such as flooring, can allow alternate whites to be used for cabinets and countertops and still achieve a fresh, bright space. Adjusting the main white elements allow for bolder coloured elements such as islands or other features. A play on an all-white kitchen can be a good way to blend longevity and trend to design a space that is specific to a homeowner and their family. Incorporating and showcasing appliances can also help bring out a homeowner’s personal tastes.
While not every kitchen or bath project has the appropriate space for trends, there is a place for them in the everyday kitchen and bath. Selecting hardware or fixtures that reflect current trends, for example, gold or black handles, lighting fixtures or plumbing fixtures, are a simple way for the homeowner that is still wanting some current trends reflected in their project. These elements are typically simpler to change in the future if an update is needed. Adding décor pieces can also bring in trends and are fluid enough to renew over the years. When looking at the overall design itself, powder rooms, are often a great place to showcase trends, and to push those trends. Smaller in scale and typically public spaces in a home, homeowners can push their design aesthetic and request designs that are right on trend. Using different shapes, colours, and finishes, homeowners can select their favourite trends and incorporate them into their homes. While these spaces can be more costly to update in the future, they can really make an impact in any project.
Homeowners have many options for what design aesthetic their home renovation or build project will follow. Part of a designer’s responsibilities to the homeowner is to guide them through this decision process. Designs need to not only perform functionally and safely, but also need to be beautiful and unique to each home. Building trust and a good relationship with a homeowner allows designers to help alleviate any stressors around staying on trend. It is after those stressors have been removed that a unique design can be presented that will be enjoyed by the homeowner for as long as they are in their home.
Vanessa Palframan is a registered interior designer and design lead at Kenorah Design + Build.