Here it comes again – so fast! Every year we get a list of what’s in and what’s out in interior design. The problem is, trends in interior design don’t quite follow the one year rule. Instead, it’s more of a five to ten year cycle in trends. I started writing this blog almost 9 years ago – and I have to say, that since that time, there has been a huge shift in design. Huge – which proves the 10 year time period.
The past ten years have shown a major change in how we buy furniture, where we buy furniture – and all the choices we have today that we didn’t have those ten years ago.
I remember when you couldn’t just go buy a French chair. It had to be an antique. Or, you had to order a reproduction from a design center, through a decorator. When I wanted a set of French caned chairs for my dining room, it such an ordeal to find it at an affordable price. Since then…French chairs are now available everywhere, even at Target or Cost Plus. And, when things are available everywhere, you look for the next new thing.
French chair, in linen, at Cost Plus, for just $160!!! HERE
It is generational too. The old saying goes…if you wore it before, you shouldn’t wear it again. For me, that is mini skirts and highwaisted bellbottom jeans – two things I will never wear again. But on my daughter, those highwaisted bellbottom pants look fresh and young and chic. The same goes for furniture. I grew up in Meyerland, in the 60s, where all the houses were modern wannabes. We had an original Tulip table and chairs with orange cushions. We had an yellow shag area rug in the living room. Over the table was a round, glass pendant light. Does that explain my love of French design? I”m never going back to mid century, although the next generation can’t get enough of it. In fact, my daughter bought a Saarinen look alike table for her own apartment, and it looks good, age appropriate, trendy.
Copies of the Saarinen table come in all different sizes – at Amazon! HERE.
Ageism. I’m feeling it. I look at the new design trends in magazines and they look so fresh. And while I appreciate the new trends, I don’t know if I really want to decorate in a way that appeals to a 20-or 30-something. It’s confusing. But, is there a way to update a 2005 look for 2020 without throwing out everything you own?I talked about my confusion with another designer and he said – be true to your look. After all, aren’t all the greats true to their aesthetic – and we don’t expect them to update their look. Charles Faudree and Dan Carithers never changed their aesthetic. And neither has Bunny Williams or Charlotte Moss. And certainly Rachel Ashwell has never changed a wit. Consider the great Miles Redd, who is thought of as one of the best in the U.S. – he is a classic decorator and never really changes. No trends for him, but he keeps it all fresh and new somehow – and he attracts both the younger and the older clients.
Miles Redd, staying true to his aesthetic.Of course, some designers do change and update their look.
I remember when it first hit me that things were changing, that the “Houston look” was on its last legs. Pamela Pierce, the innovative Houston designer, moved to a gorgeous older house in a most wonderful neighborhood that’s a short walk from the museums, a location that most of us would kill for. Her house was filled with fabulous European antiques, Belgian and French with a bit of Swedish – all covered in a rare linen (see above.) But, one day, at an antique shop which she frequented – I heard whispers that Pam was through with that linen. Done. Ready to move on. And I knew. It was over. When Veranda showed her new decor, it was truly the death knell. Things were changing and no one had told Restoration Hardware. Yet.
Pierce’s new look was still monochromatic – all white now, but it was updated in a most brilliant way. I was resistant at first, but today, I look at this and think…genius. I love this. This is how it’s done. It doesn’t have to be about bright colors and Sputniks. It doesn’t have to be floral fabrics or gold accessories to look new and innovative. But, back in 2012, who knew that things were going to change so much and so fast?
The sea change was easy, facilitated by how cheaply furniture was now, and how available it was – thanks to stores like Pottery Barn and catalogues like Ballards. Cheap furniture encouraged a throwaway society. You want a house filled with new furniture? No problem.
Take Mid Century designs, once every garage store and resale shop were filled with cheap, unwanted furniture that baby boomers grew up with. Suddenly, a market for these designs grew - discovered by a younger generation that had never lived with contemporary before. Prices rose. Enter Design Within Reach and then, West Elm, with affordable prices and now contemporary furniture is more popular than ever.
West Elm sells contemporary – at reasonable prices HERE.The change from the “Houston Look” or the “Belgian Look” was lightening fast. Was it all that long ago when I wrote about Restoration Hardware and their faux antiques, with the exposed burlap? Remember how we all laughed at that! But obviously there was a market for it – just three years ago!!
Restoration Hardware’s Deconstructed Antiques – this ad was from 2012!! How quickly things have changed! No one would buy this furniture today and pity the fools that did. But, don’t cry for Restoration Hardware just yet.
Have you seen their new line - Restoration Hardware Modern? Have you seen what they are selling today? Have our tastes changed so quickly, in just 3 and 4 years? And how long will this look last? When will it look as tired and boring as their faux antiques do today? Care to guess?
Today, look at Restoration Hardware Modern, or RHM – this is their modern take on the sectional with accent chairs and brass tables. Of course there are lamps and art work and rugs to complete the look.
The oh so trendy navy tufted velvet look – ala RHM. Notice how they stage it in an French mansion. Hint, hint: this contemporary look will be fabulous in your classic house!
This table is gorgeous. It really is. Seriously beautiful. But you have to have the house for it. This isn’t going to fit in a remodeled ranchburger. It needs the architecture. Do enough people have the right architecture to buy this furniture? We’ll see. I know we’ve all predicted the demise of RH for years now, but forget it. No one does it like them. No one.
OMG. This desk is gorgeous. Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love the sconces. And the hardware. Imagine walls of white marble, like shown here – with this vanity. New with old.Restoration Hardware Modern, or RHM, is so on trend, for now. Cerused wood, tufting in navy, brass, gold, Sputniks. Have they missed a detail? Doesn’t look like it to me.
So….I’m depressed now. Even if I could afford that desk, where would I put it? I would have to move if I bought it. Or totally remodel my house. No matter how much I love this desk, I will never own it.I don’t have the house for it, or the energy to create one.
And while this look is so hot right now, does everyone like it? Are there holdouts?
For sure this contemporary look doesn’t appeal at all to the legions of fans of HGTVs biggest stars – Joanna and Chip Gaines from Waco. Yes, Waco Texas, the hottest design mecca in the United States right now. Don’t laugh. The Gaines own HGTV. They are beyond popular, they are GODS.
Some years ago, the Gaines started renovating houses – on the cheap, in Waco. I mean, you can buy a decent house in Waco for $100,000. For another $100,000 – the Gaines will create for you a completely new, fabulous country house – with shiplap walls. HGTV came calling and in two years, the Gaines become the face of affordable design when their show blew up and exploded over everyone else on Television. Joanna & Chip became megastars, with their own furniture line, their own design center in Waco called “The Silos,” their own Bed & Breakfast for the scores of the devoted who have traveled to Mecca, and a bakery. They don’t say Joanna is the next Martha Stewart for no reason. She is.
But – their countrifried look is nothing like Restoration Hardware Modern or the contemporary look found in every magazine. The Gaines’ aesthetic is the complete opposite:
Magnolia House. The new B&B that Joanna & Chip Gaines opened in Waco for their customers who are flocking to visit their design center, The Magnolia Silos. The number of devotees to the Gaines look can’t be understated. They are hugely successful, wildly so and the owners of HGTV are probably thanking their lucky stars that they signed them.
Above is Joanna’s typical look, her aesthetic is nothing at all what the popular design magazines show. Do Americans suffer from design bipolar disease? Does one half like contemporary/mid century modern while the other half prefer the cozy, warm country look?
So, for now, let’s look at how design forward American’s are decorating their houses and what the trends are for 2016.
One of the biggest trends is flooring - light French oak planks, cerused. I knew this was a huge trend when on Million Dollar Realtors of Los Angeles, uber realtor Josh Flagg walked into a newly refurbished $15 million home and proclaimed, “French Oak Cerused floors, of course.”
Cerused. French oak with either lime or wax applied to the grain. This house in Milieu was totally done in the light tones, from ceiling to floor to door.
Light floors, limed finished, and Cerused floors are everywhere. Suddenly black floors look tired and dated.
The light look is the trend of the year and probably the decade.
Can’t redo your floors? Bring in the look with a piece of furniture, like this dining room table.
If these hardwoods were dark – it wouldn’t look so “today.”
Light beams. Can’t redo your dark floors? Cover with a light area rug.
The cabinets match the floor and the island. The range becomes the accent color.
Careful! Just be sure to go with a gray/blue undertone, not yellow/orange.
Can’t replace the stain, paint! These floors are painted. Designer/blogger Lauren Liess just painted her floors like this and they look great. This idea is worrying me to death - I know I should do this myself!!!
Cerused - in black. Chic.
Wood? No, it’s tile. This faux wood tile is exploding in popularity. I keep noticing tile that looks like wood being put in remodeled/flipped houses.
These warm metals are really beyond trend at this point. Hardware is another item that people never used to change before. It was what it was. Now, with the advent of the availability – from Home Depot to Restoration Hardware – hardware is disposable. Tired of chrome? Just change it out. I’m keeping mine though, I just changed it a few years ago.
Oh, it’s too pathetic to even laugh about. All I can think is I HAD the brass, which became dated, then changed it all out to the nickle and pewter look, and now a few years later, only brass and gold looks “in.” It’s craziness! We have become such a throwaway nation.
Here is a kitchen that looks on trend. The tile floor, modern lights and brass hardware – brings this kitchen up to date. If the floor was hardwood and the hardware was nickle, it would be pretty – but now, it looks new.
The gold and brass with another trendy kitchen item: the expensive designer range!
The range, the fabulous hood, the brass, and the dark grout – all trendy items.
Can you update a classic bathroom that has white marble/subway tile, and nickle or chrome? Yes. Here, the white marble looks so great AND fresh against the brass. The white marble takes on a totally different feel against the brass.
Brass and gold are all over the accessories market and lighting market.
Here, is another trend that I can’t get behind so much – the mixing of metals. To me, this just seems like the vanity came with the chrome and they didn’t want to change it.
There are two trends with walls – color and white. If your wall isn’t wallpapered or lacquered, it’s white white. I love this room above, with its white walls, the cowhide rugs, the stucco fireplace with the antique Swedish clock, and the mix of modern chairs.
The white in this room is contrasted with the dark curtains and wood furniture.
Here – white walls, neutral furniture – no accents.
And here, another white walls, white furniture with black and gold accents. One of my favorites! Love that ottoman.
White houses is another big trend that seems everywhere. This is Sally Wheat’s house with her newly painted white front door and shutters. When I saw this I wanted to run home and paint my house all white – but my facade can’t compare to Sally’s!
White siding and black shutters and black door.
Pamela Pierce’s house is a warm white – with white shutters. White on white with white furniture and urns that finish the look.
I love this white. Was it a remodel? Painted white over red bricks? New windows? Shades removed? Or does it just look like a renovation, but is new? I love the glass awnings. This looks so today, but still, a classic.
Contemporary chandeliers and pendant are more trendy than ever. There are so many trends in this picture – the light French oak floors, the chandelier, the white walls…and more.
The Sputnik type chandeliers are now showing up in very classic interiors.
Even nurseries. This particular style is very popular.
No doubt a young couple, with young children live here.
And this was Alessandra Branca’s way to update a house she had decorated years ago. I still don’t understand this!
There is just something off here – either go classic or go contemporary or do a mix. This room is completely traditional, except for the fixture.
A huge trend is using an accent chair, usually midcentury modern, to take an interior into the 2020s. Here, every piece is contemporary – to add a French or English chair would look terrible.
This room is a mix of classic and new – the French sofa mixes nicely with the contemporary accent chairs.
Here – a classic interior, with two chairs with contemporary shapes. They really do add an updated look to the mix.
Here – another mix of new and old – two accent chairs with midcentury lines. Again – young family – for sure.
I saw this room with the cardboard chair and all the white and I thought, gosh, this seems familiar….
It has to be a coincidence. I’m sure the clients didn’t show the designer this picture and say, I want this look? Or did they? Lesson learned: don’t mess with genius. By the way, speaking of gorgeous flooring – wow! These floors are fabulous.
Accent chair, check, white walls, check, contemporary lamp, check, gold accents, check, empty frames, check. Hey! You need a fiddle leaf!!!
The accent chair is everywhere now. It’s fun to play a game and count the houses with them in the design magazines. Count the Sputniks too.
Can you have accent chairs without them being mid-century, and still look fresh? Yes!
The accent chair – with an accent table, looking cozy.
On trend – for 2016!
Even staid Farrow & Ball got into the midcentury accent chair game.
Black walls are still trending.
Especially with modern chandeliers and gold accents.
Note: White ceilings with black walls are a must.
See? Don’t do too much black. These shutters would have been better painted white. Always paint the ceiling white!!!!!
Can you mix classic design with black walls? It looks good here, in a guest room.
Lacquered walls are back – here, they are beyond fabulous!!!
Wow. Love. I would add more blue and white on the console. I love the mix of this color green with blue and white porcelains.
I love when the sofa is the same color as the walls. Accent chair.
Pretty shade of blue. Love the gold mantel!!
The wallpaper trend continues strong, showing up again and again in trendy decor.
A beautiful home office –the wallpaper makes it!
This paper makes the powder room look so interesting.
I love this paper – but sheesh! Too much! Imagine a muted green & cream linen check at the windows and a textured cream on the chairs. What a shame – this paper is fabulous. And while we’re at it, the chandelier is a bit too small, too.
Handpainted wallpaper is so popular now. Love this contemporary-leaning room. It’s a nice mix of the old and new.
Using a revival print by Sister Parish – the painted floor gives it a new look. But, the appeal is the classic look of this guest room.
Handpainted wallpaper, especially murals are very pricey, so this look is usually reserved for the older set. Love this!
If it isn’t white or black or lacquered – it’s very colorful!
Love this – love the pinks and the gold accent consoles.
How did this ever come together so beautifully? Mixing red, blue, green, peach and pink with velvet tiger print.
White walls, white furniture – but lots and lots of color from curtains and pillows. Still wanting slipcovers? You can have them, tailored, but mix in colorful pillows and curtains and you will have a new look.
Love the sofa in velvet!
A mix of floral fabrics and wallpaper.
Love this – even though the wallpaper was cut too short for the walls, see it? Love the pink sofa and green chair. Sometimes perfection is just boring.
aA trendy look – using contemporary and mixing in a chintz.
Love this Alessandra Branca chintz - especially in this colorway. F.Schumacher.
Tory Burch’s new Paris office is beyond fabulous! Of course it’s Daniel Romualdez, what a team these two are.
I want to update, but I can’t afford a huge redo. Help! Try adding a gold accent, like this lamp – especially in a contemporary shape. And add that fiddle leaf. Yes, it still looks good.
Just by adding this lamp and a patterned rug, this room looks new and fresh and ready for 2020.
Or just add a Serge Mouille and you’ll be trending.
It’s beautiful. It’s classic with contemporary pieces added. Do you prefer this? Or….
Or this? I’ll go with this, thank you very much. It has to be age thing? Right?
Or, just give me this. There’s gold! Contemporary art! Of course there is – Cy Twombly’s Rome palazzo, 1966.
Or, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just move to this little farmhouse and ask Joanna and Chip Gaines to renovate it for me!!