I find trends fascinating in the world of interiors because on one side, your home is a deeply personal space — yet on the other, the more you entertain at home or share your space with the photos you share online, your interest in trends is definitely sparked. Decor hunter gatherers, at our core, delight in freshening our nests on a regular basis and trends seem to be at the core of that. But why?
It is only human nature to want to impress (for lack of a better word) those who are looking in on your life. It sounds icky to say that, I know, but I’m comfortable with that because it’s part of our nature. It’s not bad or wrong to care about how others perceive us. It’s strange to wonder if how we (or our homes) look truly represent us because we want to send the right message out…
Today, our home is no longer reserved for the eyes of close friends and family – the entire internet can be involved if you choose. We DO care about our style because partly, it makes us HAPPY to share ourselves so openly, but we also care about what others think. There is nothing to be ashamed of here, this all begins in early childhood and continues on. It’s just life.
With that being said, we share our personal style on the streets every single day, yet those on the train have no clue how we live. We may wear Versace but have a one room apartment above a gas station with 5 roommates. Our entire paycheck may have gone on that dress (a month’s salary!). This is perhaps not the best choice in spending a limited income but it does prove a point. You can’t judge a book by its cover. The way we dress is not an indication of how we live and how big our home is.
When we are using the web to share our life – whether it is fashion or our homes, cooking or our children, people do see glimpses of how we live. Take Instagram for example. Most of my friends are sharing how they live whether they realize it not. A selfie shot in their bathroom gives you insight into how their home looks and how they decorate. You get a sense of how they live. Others are baking and share glimpses of their kitchen. Same thing. You can see how they live.
Of course, you have others like me who post their entire home on Instagram. With the opening of doors done so freely, and daily, it’s only natural that trends in decor and/or lifestyle are becoming more and more of a focus. We want to be part of a group. We want to find like-minded friends. We care about what others think — but is it entirely for our ego?
I don’t believe so. At the core, we simply want to find common ground and friendship and if it is through showing our black and white Berber carpet that is on trend and everyone cool seems to have one, then post the damn rug. Give yourself a break. You’re not being egocentric or materialistic. You are just trying to connect with others who share your style.
There are hashtags for people who decorate in that typical “Kinfolk magazine” style. You may know about those. What was once indie and unique, is mainstream and not unique anymore. Kinfolk is mainstream pop decorating. Large big box stores copy the Kinfolk slow movement style. Interior designers are copying it. What was once interesting is less so.
People get bored with what they see and wish to expand and find what is fresh. Trends help them to do this when they have a hard time expressing themselves naturally through their own personal style. They want to keep the conversation going online.
Stagnant decor and yesterday’s movements are not interesting, especially online where the speed of movements is sometimes baffling – one minute a trend is in and the next minute, totally stale. This saturation in content has created an insatiable craving to stay “fresh” and “relevant” online. No one wants to be seen as boring or dare I say, OLD. That is why they look to trends and even start movements of their own.
When I was at Ambiente, a massive consumer goods fair in Europe based in Frankfurt, I was hired to go check out what’s new and give my opinion on not only 2017 interiors trends but also on the fair in general. I also did some video work for them, you can see one of them HERE where I share the trends at the bottom of this post (I did another video here if you are curious to see me live in action). You can also read a blog post I wrote for them on their blog a few weeks ago about how I feel about trends – you may link to that here.
(Me with Ben Wilson, Industrial Designer from Braun by day and moderator on the weekends. We want our own design-focused internet show by the way, there we are shown above right, in our video for the fair)
Naturally, what I’ve said above is my opinion but it’s also what I believe to be the truth. In the end, let’s all be open to trends and let them inspire us. Look at what’s out there objectively and see what others are doing with these trends. What can you can do to mix them up with your own personal vision? If you want to share your trendy new shelf or chair online, do it because there is no shame in that, it’s fun and can connect you to others who also like similar things. It doesn’t make you vain or shallow. TREND is not a dirty word to me.
But on the other side, trends are not to be taken too seriously, either. Don’t deny yourself the things you love to be trendy or to fit in.
Look at what’s other there and see if any of these trends interest you and then, add your own twist. If you dislike something, don’t be afraid to voice it because I think the internet (especially blogs and Instagram) have become so fluffy and loaded with cheerful boastings of what! we! love! that we forget to talk about some of the things that we aren’t finding so interesting at the moment. Discussing trends that you don’t like can lead to movements and new trends, ones that don’t aren’t coming from large companies but from all of us who are out here experimenting with products each day.
So with that, I’m going to briefly highlight 4 key trends Ambiente shared in an exhibition space at their fair. They hired external agency bora.herke.palmisano to show these trends so guests could admire, walk through, photograph and be inspired by what they saw. Ready?
TREND 1: DELICATE STRUCTURES
This was my favorite of the four because I loved the clean and clear feeling – very delicate and feminine, tactile, soft colors and nature materials. Very sensual. The lamp shown above had a “shade” shown that was made with a 3D printer. I really can’t wait to see what we can do with these printers in the near future.
TREND 2 – HONEST MATERIALS
Form meets function. High-quality craftsmanship coupled with great design. Keeping traditions alive, just reinterpreting them. Products that are unobtrusive. Durable, beautiful, sensible, aesthetic. Cement, ceramic, leather, felt, steel.
Trend 3: JUMBLED PATTERNED
Child-like, whimsical, quirky, loads of pattern. Together, these objects didn’t work for me as shown. Separately, or grouped in a more minimalist environment, I can see them working beautifully. Jumbled pattern was my least favorite of these three trends. I like the use of neon yellow but only as a small accent, not as a wall color. I think patterns have to be balanced to work in a room. What I took away though from this installation was that less is more and you need only a few whimsical pieces to make your point.
Trend 4: NOTABLE SHAPES
Glamorous and clear with classic elements you can easily recognize. Strong silhouettes. Sculptural form, monolithic, structure, beauty, moody, upscale, desirable. Lots of metal and glass.
SO! Which trend collection from the four shown above, resonated the most with you and why?
On Monday, I am driving to Milan and will spend a week there working on assignment for Kvadrat and their brand, Kinnasand, and I was hired by Salone del Mobile so you can follow me @decor8 and @kinnasand all week next week to see what I’m finding at Milan – uncovering trends and beauty from all over the world of interiors. I can’t wait to show you. I also can’t wait to see if the trends shown above from the Ambiente in Germany will carry over into the Milan fairs and installations. I’ll definitely be on the look out for that.
(Photography: Holly Becker, Morten Toni Vinther, Erik Schumacher Photography)