To trend or not to trend


When con­sid­er­ing the mind-numb­ing num­ber of choices that con­tem­po­rary con­sumer cul­ture makes avail­able to us, it is of­ten easier to take the path of least re­sis­tance. To just ac­cept what is be­ing touted as the new best/right/life-al­ter­ing prod­uct/food/dogma seems to be the eas­i­est way to sur­vive it all. It’s the “I’ll have what s/he’s hav­ing” syn­drome. But that sort of non-de­ci­sion-mak­ing ig­nores one thing, and one thing that is su­per im­por­tant in think­ing about de­sign: what truly makes you happy, what brings you joy?

Great art (and de­sign) al­most al­ways come from a place of re­bel­lion, a be­lief that sta­tus quo is fail­ing to ac­com­plish what it could. It’s our na­ture to find com­fort in the sta­tus quo, while oth­ers are re­pelled and in­sti­gated. To turn away from the de­sign sta­tus quo and dis­cover for our­selves what works for us takes brav­ery and stub­born­ness be­cause, in the end, the en­tire mass con­sumer mar­ket­place de­pends on us never be­ing sat­is­fied with our choices and al­ways be­ing fear­ful of be­ing out of step with what every­one else is do­ing.

So, what if the lat­est fur­nish­ing or fin­ish doesn’t ex­actly fit the vi­sion of your cur­rent project or, more sim­ply, doesn’t make you happy? Let’s look at a few cur­rent trends, and ask some use­ful ques­tions.

1. Rose gold metal fin­ish. Is it in keep­ing with other fin­ishes in your over­all scheme? It rep­re­sents an el­e­gant if not posh take — is thatwhat you hope to con­vey?

2. Mid­cen­tury mod­ern. Does that spe­cific style of light fix­ture re­ally work in your home, given other de­tails and the over­all look? The style once con­sid­ered clas­sic and un­der­stated is now in ev­ery mag­a­zine and cat­a­log within reach, and so fre­quently comes across as tired and over­done.

3. Drift­wood and greyscale. Is the neu­tral­ity of this more ca­sual fin­ish truly what makes your heart sing and does it re­ally work with your beloved fur­ni­ture? Or is it just­what hap­pens to be in those ubiq­ui­tous, thick mail-or­der cat­a­logs of the mo­ment?

If the an­swers are no, take heart! These trends too will pass, and the thought­ful selec­tions that truly rep­re­sent the essence of your de­sign vi­sion will re­main. We knowthis, be­causewe’ve seen it time and time again as we’ve guided clients to ask mean­ing­ful ques­tions of the trends that in­fect how every­one thinks about de­sign, and then make true choices about them.

Nav­i­gat­ing the mar­ket­place suc­cess­fully means we can find and then fine-tune what it is that re­ally floats our boat, and ig­nore (with a pas­sion) that which doesn’t. Af­ter all, no onewants that closet or draw­ers full of last-minute whims that ul­ti­mately don’t of­fer more sus­te­nance than potato chips. That Pan­tone has se­lected pur­ple as the “Color of the Year” does not mean you must use it. And, be­lieve us, youwill see pur­ple in ev­ery­thing, but so what? Con­versely, that grass-wo­ven fan­ner bas­ket you pur­chased on your hon­ey­moon in the Turks & Caicos or the Na­tive Amer­i­can weav­ing your aunt gave you that you never knewwhat to do with, could of­fer a pro­found sense of mean­ing and the op­por­tu­nity for mo­ments of re­peated joy as it sets the stage for the rest of the room’s de­sign.

We en­cour­age you to be your own guide. If the lat­est mar­ket­place trends truly speak to you, then by all means, in­dulge. Just be sure the story you’re telling is your own.

Heather Van Luchene, ASID, and Steffany Hollingsworth, ASID, are part­ners in­HVL In­te­ri­ors, LLC, an in­te­rior-de­sign firm of­fer­ing pro­fes­sional res­i­den­tial and hos­pi­tal­ity de­sign ser­vices. Both are New Mex­ico-li­censed in­te­rior de­sign­ers. They can be reached at (505) 983-3601 or info@ hvlin­te­ri­


Tex­tile room at Shiprock Santa Fe: ar­ti­san-made col­lectibles such as Na­tive Amer­i­can weav­ings are sources for in­spi­ra­tion and are em­bed­ded with rich tra­di­tion and mean­ing

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