Go with fundamentals or follow the fads? Choosing the right décor requires expert advice – and relying on personal whims
You say macro, I say micro. Sounds like a line from a corny old song, but it was very much the issue of the day at a presentation I made recently about kitchen design. Let me explain. I tend to divide trends into “macro” – the big-picture ones that have a significant influence on the way we live – and “micro”, the ones that turn on a dime; colours and styles that are on-trend one minute and gone the next.
In the context of my presentation, I was advising the audience of new home builders to choose their trends with care. Under macro, I told them, I would file sustainable building practices, open-plan design, clearly defined living “zones”, indoor/outdoor flow and the importance of a functional kitchen as the hub of a contemporary home. Micro would usually include more ephemeral trends like coloured kitchen cabinetry, black tapware, leather handles, downdraft extractors, polished concrete and Venetian plaster. And whatever happened to rose gold? You get my point.
But then someone asked me about tiles: “Are they macro or micro?” I was floored, because I realised that I love tiles. On the floor, on the walls, for splashbacks, even benchtops. I can’t get enough of tiles. Which makes them macro in my book. But this woman
“Whatever happened to rose gold? You get my point”
loathed them. She could never decide which ones to choose, found them impossible to clean (although that would be the grout, not the tile) and quite frankly didn’t want tiles anywhere near her kitchen. To her, they were as micro as it gets. But if I thought they were macro, then should she be considering them? Good question.
So, at the risk of coming over all Carrie Bradshaw, when does macro become micro (or vice-versa), and can the two live in harmony? The answer to the second part of that question is
– of course – yes. And the first part demonstrates the vexatious nature of trends and the outright futility in debating them. Everything comes down to personal choice.
But there’s a point at which macro and micro merge and that’s the sweet spot for most of us. For some of us (the lady with the question) that means a glass or marble splashback and for others – me – it means aged brass tapware, deep-set butler’s sinks, VJ panelling… and tiles to my heart’s content.
Neale Whitaker is co-host of Foxtel’s
Love It Or List It Australia on Lifestyle, and a judge on Nine Network’s The Block.
JONES & CO planter, $20, monsterthreads.com.au CRATE & BARREL serving board, $94, crateandbarrel.com REECE tapware, $724, reece.com.au DAN HOBDAY ART canvas print, from $145, society6.com
HAVING A MOMENT (above and centre) The navy blue cabinetry AND polished Concrete floors In this room by DEVOL Kitchens could be considered on-trend, but if you love the look it will stand the test of time; (below) sustainability was at the heart of this home’s extension on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road at Lorne.