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Design Trends: Should We Pay Attention?

Good Design is Good Design is Good Design

In terms of decorating trends, it is perhaps the Aristocratic English who know “good design” best. Think back to the early photos of a shy Princess Diana. She sits, shyly, ensconced in a huge, comfy, down-filled sofa in her magnificent ancestral family home, Althorp House. The furniture and decorations remained untouched for many years.

althorpThat’s because the furniture and the decoration are timeless. They are the very embodiment of English Country Style. Indeed, Diana’s younger brother has been highly successful in selling reproductions of Althorp furniture around the world, no matter what the current trends in decorating set may be. (Although it does help if you can sell the furniture from a breathtaking 31 bedroom 700 year old stately home, surrounded by its own 14, 000 acres!)

However, you just have to think back to the 1980’s in both fashion and decorating to know that trends are important. Remember the shoulder pads of the 1980’s? They were intended to give women a feeling of power. Would you be seen today in huge shoulder pads that made you look like a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys? The frills and furbelows of 1980 home design fall under this same category. Remember the ornate be-frilled pelmets beloved of the 1980’s?

New technology, fashion, tastes, and the power of skilled marketing all serve to dictate new trends to the consumer.

Technology

As new technologies develop, new trends become available and desirable. Where patterned laminate countertops where once the choice of the masses, we now see many options of affordable, durable and beautiful choices from manufactured quartz and resin selections, to concrete, to stainless steel.

victorian1Tastes

Taste trends are dictated by trend-setters, by availability and, sometimes, amazingly enough, by the dictates of good design! Remember when every interior was painted a soft beige? Now a soft grey color is most in demand. Pantone’s 2014 Color of the Year, “Soft Orchid” accents those soft greys beautifully for good reason.

Marketing

Did you notice much in the way of gold colored fixtures, door pulls handles, and light fittings over the last few years? Nope. It was brushed stainless steel all the way. Suddenly every magazine and design site is pushing the New Look. And it is gorgeous. A soft, burnished gold that warms up every space it appears in. Will we all want it? Of course, we will.  That’s marketing, baby!