Follow The Trends . . . I think not…

Designers have to walk a fine line. (Fade in Music . . . “It Isn’t Easy Being Green”). We need to take care of our clients greatest interior-spatial-yearnings. Speak the aesthetic truth – even if it hurts. Maintain the highest design standard possible in any project. Remember to put our ego aside and serve the clients needs, always. Guide, as an industry expert, unquestionably. Tell the truth about trends. (Fade out music)

(source: newlyweddiaries – Kitchen 1)

Trends. Can’t live with ’em. Can’t live without ’em.

I attended not less than 3 color seminars in 2009 – the “trend seminars.” The last one was held at the Philadelphia Market Place Design Center and was conducted by a striking-looking and incredibly dressed editor of a most respected and posh design magazine. At the end of her trend presentation, the room of 60+ designers clapped respectfully, as did my well-loved colleague and partner-in-crime. The same well-loved colleague who turned to me as she clapped, asking, “Was there any news in there? Red is in; green is too, then there’s the new blue. Don’t forget the neutrals…was it me…or did she cover every spectral color?” I had to laugh. My pal had a point. The “On Trend” forecasts in color and design. They make me sigh. As will the favorite clients (and they are all favorite clients…can a mother choose favorites??) who will ask me in great ernest “But is it in style right now?”

No Miss Scarlett – YOU are in style. You are the trend and the belle of this ball.

Look at the kitchen above. It’s a stunner. It represents the newer trend in kitchen design right now – something called “the unfitted kitchen.” So titled because you’ll notice the lack of upper cabinetry. (Sorry cabinet makers…there go your margins…) These are the kitchens that are reminiscent of kitchens in the early 20th century, before retrofitted cabinets would appear on the scene. Even earlier in 2009, at yet another trend seminar – this one on kitchens only, a marvelous designer offered during her presentations…”Kitchens are going to start looking like kitchens again. (!!) We’re not hiding the fridge, (sorry Sub Zero) or the dishwashers….”

Now let’s get back to reality. I’m involved in 2 kitchen renos at the moment. Sure – I love the unfitted look – its historical relevance and tip of the hat. However – now lets work in human sized kitchens with real people who actually NEED storage space in these reasonably sized kitchens. Clients who like their dishware and glassware, sure, but don’t want to have to artfully arrange it on shelves every day. Or expect their 14-year-old son to do so when he empties the dishwasher as part of his daily chores. Clients who won’t be happy having to dust their dishes on their dust -accumulating open shelves. (Dust your dishes? Oy….don’t get me started….)

Then there is the color discussion. Sure colors morph from year to year – they brighten, they gray down. But I have to admit – I did a spectacular living room for a client in Princeton, NJ last year – and the splash in the room is not made by a shade that is ‘in.’ No – the marvelous wink in the room comes from their 18-year-old royal blue bergiere chairs – and the fabrics I found to work back to them. On trend color at the moment? Not by a long shot. A color loved by my clients. You betcha. The room is marvelous – and if I could figure out how to insert the photo here in my blog, I would! (I’m still a baby-blogger – I’ll have to get another lesson from my husband, the tech genius…) (To take a look, copy & paste this link into your web browser: )

You get my point. You may want to take a good long whiff of the trends – enjoy their sweet aroma, possibly even dab a little bit at the wrists. But then, be willing to set them aside and fill your space with what you need (like upper cabinetry to hold your stuff) and with what you love – from colors to furniture silhouettes to flooring and the like.

PS…wallpaper is making a come back. We’ve been told this for 10 years. Slow boat? Missed the train? Discuss amongst yourselves!