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 welcome friends inside through entertaining or with the photos you post on apps like Instagram, your interest in trends definitely is sparked. Plus, trends are just fun because we are hunter gatherers at our core and like to freshen our nests on a regular basis. But why?
I believe 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 really is in our nature. It’s not bad or wrong to care about how others perceive us. It’s not weird or strange to wonder if how we (or our homes) look truly represent us because we want to send the right message out… Nowadays, our home is no longer reserved for the eyes of close friends and family – the entire internet can be involved if you choose. Funny to think about trends and decor this way, but it is what it is. We DO care about our style because partly, it makes us HAPPY but another part is that we care about what others think. Hey, nothing to be ashamed of. This all begins in early childhood. It’s just life.
With that being said, we share our personal style on the streets every single day, yet the people at the train station have no clue how we live – we may wear Versace but have a one room apartment above a gas station and 5 roommates. Our entire paycheck at our job working for the dry cleaner could have gone on that dress from Versace (a month’s salary!). This is perhaps not the best choice in spending a limited income but it does prove a point. Namely, that 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. BUT. 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 post their homes whether they realize it not. A selfie shot in their bathroom mirror gives you insight into how their bathroom looks and how they decorate. You get a sense of how they live. Some are baking and show glimpses of their kitchen. Same thing. You can see how they live. Others post their entire home on Instagram, like me. With the opening of doors being done daily and so freely online, it’s only natural that trends in decor and/or lifestyle are becoming more and more of a focus. This is because we care. We want to be part of a group. We want to find likeminded friends. We care what others think but is it entirely for our ego? I don’t believe so. I think at the core, we simply want to find common ground and friendship and if it is through showing our Moroccan Berber Carpet in black and white, because its on trend and everyone cool seems to have one, then post the rug damn it. Give yourself a break and just enjoy it.
I was thinking that there are even hashtags for people who decorate in the typical “Kinfolk magazine” style. Did you know that? What was once indie and unique, in other words, is now mainstream and not unique at all. Kinfolk is mainstream pop decorating and coffee culture. Large big box stores copy this Kinfolk slow movement style.
What eventually happens with what is hot today? People get bored with what they see and wish to expand and find new things to add to their homes to keep it interesting and most of all, current. They want to keep the conversation going online, too. Stagnant decor is not cool. Many really crave staying “fresh” and “relevant” online and don’t want to be seen as old, 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…. In the end, be open to trends and let them inspire you. Look at what is out there and see what others are doing with these trends. See what you can do to mix them up with your own personal vision of how you imagine a space to look. If you want to share your trendy new shelf or chair online, do that too because there is no shame in that, it’s fun and can connect you to others who also like similar things. 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.
Allow trends to be a sort of alternative viewpoint for you – look at what’s other there and see if any of them interest you and then, add your own twist. Or if you hate something, don’t be afraid to voice it because I think the internet (especially blogs and Instagram) have become so heavy 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. I think discussing the trends you don’t like can lead to movements and new trends that don’t come from large firms and companies but from those of us out here experimenting with products each day.
So with that, let’s talk about the four key trends Ambiente highlighted in an exhibition space at their fair. They hired external agency bora.herke.palmisano to share these trends in a very Ambiente guests to admire, walk through, photograph and be inspired by (or not, depending on your taste I guess). I’m going to show you the four trends that they highlighted and along with each one, my own opinion which you may find interesting since I don’t plan to sugarcoat one bit of it!
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)
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