By Maureen Baker, designer & co-founder MDLX (Mancini Duffy Luxe)
Some décor trends come along and evolve into timeless, even iconic, design elements; some décor trends we look back on and cringe.
It is true that as time passes, there will always be a handful of trends that crack under the pressure, and sometimes it takes a year to determine which have staying power. So to help demystify the highly subjective universe of home décor trends, here are a few popular trends that have run their course this year, and a few clues for what’s coming next.
Edison bulbs have had a monumental effect on home décor over the past several years, evoking a gritty, industrial vibe that influenced more than just the decorative lighting landscape.
In what may have been a reaction to the mass-market flooding of the less-than-aesthetically-appealing LED lighting bulbs of years past, the warmth and artistic flair of the Edison bulb provided consumers with a unique alternative that played nicely with the mounting popularity of concrete, brick, and knotty-wood finishes that defined the industrial movement.
In the end, though, aesthetics alone couldn’t give Edison bulbs staying power. Their too-warm temperature and minimal light output make them more of a nuisance than a delight in a world where technology gives us more options every day. -Another trend that has seen effects of technology growth is the DIY movement.
In the recent past, the “ideal” interior was modeled after Pinterest tutorials, full of stenciled barnwood and bouquets of paper flowers. The homespun look, though rich with personality and time commitment, is not in sync with tomorrow’s home décor.
What technology and the DIY movement have given us is amazing, unfiltered access to real artists and craftspeople who now have an online stage on which to sell their goods and services.
At one time homeowners might have been motivated to save on costs by taking on décor projects themselves, but now we can now find local (or not local) vendors who can do the same and who have access to a myriad of tools and materials, for nearly the same cost as what would be spent in time and materials in the first place.
In regard to color palettes, we should prepare to say goodbye to Millennial Pink. The fun, playful hue brought pink back into the mainstream in a big way, but Millennial Pink is growing up (along with the powerful generation of influencers for which it was named).
It’s not surprising that as the Millennials age, their signature hue will lose its playfulness and morph into the sophisticated but no less bold shades of ruby red and violet. These saturated colors project confidence, passion, and idealism, and will shape the design and décor of the year to come.
Complementing the boldness of ruby red and violet is a shift in our obsession with minimalism. The clean, simple aesthetics that defined the design movement attracted a cult following, and alienated others. So in the same way the Edison bulb was a reaction to the eco-conscious LED, the new trend of maximalism is a reactionary, 180° turn towards celebrating our possessions in the name of comfort and familiarity.
Minimalism brought simplicity to décor, but in doing so, stripped spaces of personality and depth. There will always be a time and a place for the minimalist aesthetic, but moving forward, expect to see it more as a design tool and less of a design rule.
Also on its way out: polished brass. It was truly just a matter of time before we all came to our senses and realized that brass was meant to remain in the 1990s.
Thankfully, the love affair was short and sweet. In the manner of all things cyclical, brass was originally pushed off stage by the cooler tone of stainless and chrome, then eventual desire for warmer metals brought it back front and center. Fortunately, we are not limited to just these two warring finishes any longer: joining them are black, rose gold, and copper, all major players in the coming year.
Finally, there is a transition underway with regard to polygonal art, décor, and patterns. This wire-frame look, seen in lighting, vases, or textiles, recently dominated design and over-saturated the market. Now consumers are craving softer, more organic shapes. The rigid geometry of straight lines and odd angles looks flimsy and cheap when considered next to the weight and visual intricacy of materials like agate, bone, and petrified wood.
Saying goodbye is hard, but don’t mourn these trends—they’ve served their purpose. Each design experience informs the next, and every trend thereafter is a reaction to the one before.
This constant evolution of design and aesthetics is really just a reflection of our own growth, as a form of self-expression. The coming and going of trends is an expected, and healthy, sign that our environments and influences are progressing, and as a result so are we.