I’ve been thinking about interiors trends lot recently. Mainly because I just finished putting up a new gallery wall last week only to read a blog post a few days later saying that gallery walls are ‘out’. Brilliant. I couldn’t help feeling like a bit of a looser for a split second, but then I looked at my awesome gallery wall ft. remixed print of Girl With Pearl Earring, a hand embroidered piece by my best friend, an original screen print by the amazing Daisy Billowes, my framed archaeological specimens from Pompeii, a woven textile piece from the Navajo Reservation, my fave Billy Bragg LP cover… and I thought “actually, I think gallery walls are still cool.“
It’s a funny one. I think it’s only human nature to be drawn to trends somewhat. If you managed to get through the last three years without falling for millennial pink, banana leaf print, or brass fixtures, you’ve done pretty well. As much as I hate to admit it, I think we’re all programmed to want to ‘fit in’, and staying on trend is just another way of doing that. But whenever I get that impulse (like doubting my gallery wall!) I try to push it aside as much as I can. When I think about the people that have really influenced me in terms of design & style – people like Ilse Crawford, Vivienne Westwood, Bjarke Ingels, Iris Apfel, Abigail Ahern, (… Jane Plough from Toast of London haha) – they are people who have made a huge imprint on the design world because of the way that they went against the grain. All the coolest people I know have a really distinct personal style that doesn’t bend and change with trends because it doesn’t need to. That’s what I strive for. As the incredible Bunny Williams said:
If you love something, it will work. That’s the only real rule.
I think she’s right. That’s not to say that it isn’t easy to get swept up into trends – we see them everywhere in interiors – magazines, Pinterest, Instagram… I feel like my days are saturated with photos of gorgeous interiors, and I love that for the most part; it’s how we get inspiration. But when you see the same trends (let’s say copper, for example) pervading these images over and over again it’s easy to become confused about whether you like it because you actually like it, or if you just want it because it’s fashionable. I can’t be the only one who scrolls through Pinterest and one week is obsessed with scandi minimal interiors, the next industrial, then falls in love with 70s design… The fact is, there are lots of ways to design a home that look great, but just because you like the look of something, that doesn’t mean it’s your style or right for you. As much as I like looking at pictures of clean, minimal scandi interiors with lots of white space, it just wouldn’t work for me – I love colour, and I collect antiques like a crazy woman – where would all my treasures go?! My spacial awareness is also seriously below par which results in things being spilt and stained far too often… A white minimal interior just wouldn’t be practical for me. I’m sure it’s the same with you guys. Being strict with yourself about adhering to a style at the expense of incorporating things you like into your interiors like colours or sentimental possessions just isn’t the right way to go in my book. I always think that the most interesting interiors are the ones that are full of personality, rather than picture-perfect.
I also think that decorating your space rigidly in line with one trend is the easiest way to make it look dated. Just think about 70s avocado bathrooms or people that went HAM with shabby chic – clinging on to a trend too much just ages your decor when, by nature, the trend passes and isn’t current anymore.
All this said, trends only really become trends because lots of people like them, right? It’s hard not to get involved. I do genuinely love millennial pink. Pink has always been my favourite colour. When I was 13, I wanted my whole bedroom to pink. Like, everything. We painted all the furniture, the radiator, the curtain pole… It was a sight to behold. And I’m pretty sure I’ll keep loving millennial pink it when it’s ‘out’. (Is that now…?(!)) So how do we go about implementing trends?
I think the best way to work with trends in decor is to let yourself like the trends you like, but incorporate them in little touches. You can salute the trends you like in decorative items that can be changed easily and are less expensive. For example, if you love banana leaf print, instead of wallpapering a feature wall in your lounge, buy a print to hang. Elements like art, mirrors, lighting, and accessorises are much easier and more affordable to change around than furniture and wall colours.
So how do you know if you’re a trend-addict?
Like I’ve said, I think it’s fine to indulge in trends through decorative touches when something really calls out to you, but don’t get sucked into redecorating completely around trends – be true to your own style! You may be focusing too much on interior trends if you find yourself…
Wanting to completely change the style of your home often
Even when nothing major needs doing. e.g. itching to replace all your rose gold fixtures with brass ones, paint all your walls pink and ditch your current furniture for midcentury modern pieces.
Feeling self-conscious about your home
I think (though I’m loathe to admit it) that’s it’s only human nature to want to impress people. I like to think that I’m pretty confident in my own taste and don’t give a shite what anyone thinks about it, but in reality, if no-one liked what I was doing, I’d feel pretty crap. With this in mind I guess it’s natural to feel a little self-conscious of your style sometimes – especially if it’s very bold – but 95% of the time, you should be proud of your home. If you find yourself constantly worrying about what your friends and guests think of you home, it might be because you’re focusing on fashion instead of being authentic to your own style. I have a glass head and a print of Portrait of a Young Girl that literally no-one that comes into my house likes, but I fcking love them so they stay 😉 If you want some tips about finding your interior style, check out this post.
Feeling envious of homes that look more modern than yours
Again, a certain amount of healthy competition is only human! But if you’re feeling more jealous than inspired by other people’s spaces, especially really trendy ones, it might be coming from a sense of wanting to keep up with the Jones’ rather than because you actually like the style.
If you think you’re relying on trends to inform your decor and struggling to find your style, check out this post!
It can take a really long time and a lot of trial and error before you really discover your own taste. and it will continue to evolve over time. The journey is half the fun!
What do you guys think about designing around trends? Very interested to hear some other opinions!