Trends are fads that have acquired a veneer of truth over time.
A fad is ‘here today/gone tomorrow’. But a trend takes on the faux finish of general respectability and acceptability with the public. As such, it can linger long after the fad that spawned it is over. Unlike fads that burst onto the creative scene with a screeching, ‘look at me’ quality, trends are allowed their graceful entrance and exit when their time is up. And while fads never stick around long enough to make a lasting impression, trends inevitably get rediscovered by the younger generations and are destined to be perennially renewed in the fashion world. Live long enough and the old adage ‘everything old is new again’ rings more truthfully with each passing year. Just consider wallpaper as the perfect example – forever reinventing itself as ‘wall art’ of a different kind – always on the cusp of another renaissance in the design world. Personally, I have always loved wallpaper; the quickest/flashiest way to pack a lot of visual punch in any room and really show off your sense of style.
But now consider how ‘rose’ and ‘jewel’ tones, a trend of the late sixties, and thereafter revived briefly in the eighties, then nineties, are getting ready for yet another debut with millennials who knew nothing of them the first – or even second – time around. Having recently donated a deep burgundy and emerald comforter from 1998, it’s been rewarding to see these jewels and rich jewel tones, a la burgundy, emerald and purple making their comeback. 2018 is definitely going to be the year we see their like again. And get ready: because rose and burgundy are announcing their arrival – again – along with olive green, mustard yellow, coral and cobalt blue.
I am also enthusiastic about the re-emergence of dark navy and black. A word here: neither navy nor black have ever really ‘gone away’. Though they occasionally fall to the back of a long line in design elements, they have always lingered as the ‘go to’ – either safe or sassy, sexy and bold, adding tantalizing depth and splendor to virtually any room. We have all heard the old adage – “you can’t go wrong with basic black!” But black can also be a daunting element in design.
Well, fear not. Done right, it can provide oodles of elegance. I love a good black lamp, or crystal and chrome with a dark shade, don’t you? Trend wise; we are going to see a lot more from black in the coming months, married to gold or paired with pink and navy.
2018 is also shaping up to be a grand return to cozy colors – metals and mixing rose gold; the magical warmth of a winter gold, reclaiming its’ rightful place in the light fixture category. Velvets, most especially in jewel tones, are going to hit a new zenith, partly because, like a good party guest, they just wear so well.
Reflective surfaces will not only be reserved for chrome and mirrors in the coming months. This year, look to a new spate of iridescent fabrics to shimmer and shine, perfectly aligned with graphic 3D patterns in geometric shapes.
With all this bling on display, you might think naturalism is out. But no – nature, the ultimate of all design trends – is very much ‘in’. Plants, including tropical and succulents, birch bark and grasses are finding their way back into your homes. This year’s crusader leading the charge in extolling the virtues of nature’s patterns and pastiches is gemstone onyx. And let’s not forget about ‘live edge’; the main staple in all thing’s rustic. Live edge wood tables, shelving, etc. have definitely made their mark. They are not going away any time soon.
Now, some trends are more evolutionary than revival. Consider, as example, the ‘living room’. Once thought of as the formal foray into your humble or lavish abode, living rooms have morphed with time and open concept architectural planning; absorbed by open air floor plans or, on occasion repurposed into much-needed mudrooms. Two conflicting trends – downsizing and upsizing – have afforded millennials the opportunity to adopt either a more Euro-savvy or New York state of mind when reconceiving these living spaces. The ebb and flow between downtown high style and our parents’ retreat to the relative safety and openness of the suburbs has equally managed to revitalize both communities; particularly the downtown city hub, where many today are preferring to remain in upscale condos; raising families within the epicenter of city life, where amenities are plentiful and at one’s fingertips.
And, after years of ‘downsizing’, we are seeing a return to the time-honored ‘bigger is better’ mentality. And, in fact, ‘bigger’ just may be ‘better’. Not all boomers are downsizing. Some are actually upsizing with a return to the age of the multi-generational dwelling; a trend not fully explored since the Victorian era, ongoing thereafter, but to have had its last hurrah at the tail end of the Great Depression. It’s back, folks…only now with a decided twist. In days or yore it was the working-class patriarch who built such houses, large enough to provide comfort for his ever-expanding young family while keeping aging parents close by. But today, its grandparents who are building big, to accommodate their offspring and their offspring too. Fad, no more. The family that ‘stays together’ is decidedly a trend.
Last, but certainly not least, the family home is fast becoming our ‘staycation’ destination. More and more people are adding swimming pools and park-like settings to their patch of urban landscape. In essence, the logic suggests why leave home when everything you could possibly want – short of the Grand Canyon and Eiffel Tower – is at your fingertips? As the central hub of any home has always been the kitchen, we will likely see a lot more ‘cottage white kitchen’ renovations in the coming year, only this time to be augmented with pops of emerald, navy and even black. And there is still a lot of sizzle in flannel grey, dark or light, with gorgeous white quartz countertops on the horizon too. So, get ready for kitchens to get reinvented yet again. And who knows? With so much to see and do around the place, maybe a relative or two will even stick around to help you with the dishes!
By Laura Blair
Get in contact with Laura Blair of Laura Nicole Designs here