Design Trends I Can Get Behind

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This time last year, I wrote a post about the trends that I was looking forward to in 2018. As I said at the time, the only trend I’m always into is going against the trend, and a year later that still holds true.

But I’m always ready to explore a trend as inspiration, and what I’m seeing lately shows a lot of trends that are echoing my personal style. I’m not looking for validation, but it certainly makes my designs an easier sell if they echo what’s on-trend in the design magazines.

Here’s what I’m seeing — and what I think about it.

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IN: LESS IS MORE

OUT: CLUTTER

Now this is a trend I can get behind! I’ve been talking about downsizing all year and it’s something that I’m really passionate about. I’m not talking full Marie-Kondo (I mean, don’t those people have closets?), but a general de-cluttering of your living environment. Instead of having 12 knick-knacks on every coffee table, pick three that go together and make some sort of statement.

People sometimes get obsessive about collecting antiques, and they want to show everything off all the time. But take a lesson from museums, which hide 90 percent of their collections at a time. When they bring out stuff the public hasn’t seen in a while, they curate it to show it off perfectly, and everything seems fresh and new.

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IN: BRIGHT AND BOLD ART

OUT: MINIMALISM ON WHITE

According to a few articles I read, the minimalist trend in art is coming to an end and bright, bold design is coming back in style. I have to say I’m a bit sick of scrolling through an Instagram feed of endless white walls and big stretches of angular paintings, so this is something that I can look forward to. There is so much fabulous art to be had; be a little bold!

I also want you to feel free to stop pretending that your home is an art gallery. Yes, please make sure that you’ve got your paintings lighted properly, but you DO NOT need to keep your walls a pristine white to show off the art. Dirty secret? Gallery walls are that garish white mostly because they have to get repainted so often to cover up mounting holes and such. I don’t know any gallery owners that actually want to live in something that’s painted and lighted like an art gallery.

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IN: NATURAL ELEMENTS
OUT: MODERN, BRIGHT, AND SHINY

Well, it’s finally happened. Natural materials such as stone, copper, concrete, and granite are in again. This is the design aesthetic that I took advantage of when building my home 15 years ago, so I guess I was just ahead of the curve. Adding natural elements to your home is a wonderful way to make it feel calm and serene, which is a tip I learned by studying the way people have built and decorated homes for the last six centuries or so.

But seriously, the natural look simply has more staying power because wood and stone are inherently beautiful. Iconic (and dated) design eras are often tied up with a new space-age material. There’s the Formica Fifties and the Naugahyde Seventies, of course, and we’ve been stuck in an era of lacquered white and stainless steel for too long now. It’s time to get back to the timeless.

Of course, every article you look at will have different take on the trends, so the bottom line is if you like a style, make it your own.

What current design trend do you love — and which one do you hate?


Mary Spalding is a Nashville based interior designer with over 30 years of experience. She has overseen countless home revitalizations, renovations, and restorations. She can be reached with your projects and ideas at mary@spaldingway.com.

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