Design Trends: Three Easy Pieces
Design trends come and go and many are interesting to read about. But so much about “design trends” is centered around manufacturers who are introducing new product designs for work and home environemnts. Trends in design for those of us in the interiors profession often find bits of inspiration come from industries such as fashion, the design of vacation retreats such as hotels and spas, even emerging technology - especially with flat panel TVs hanging on every wall in the house. Certainly the trend of “green design” has made an impact with new trendy products being introduced all the time that either reduce the carbon footprint or are made from recycled materials, materials such as plastics, paper and fibers.
But trends do come and do go. So the question is: “How can an interior be created that avoids the trends and yet stays current over a time period?” There are three easy components.
–> Keep it simple.
–> Keep it functional.
–> Keep it authentic.
Design trends of the last five years have showcased interiors that are overdone, overbuilt and feature faux-this and faux-that. But after three decades in the profession to call upon, I can tell you that the best interiors are those that are understated, created carefully over time, assembled with materials that are true to both their function and aesthetic appeal. In addition, design needs to combine and complement all the elements of the built environment.
Frank Lloyd Wright never created a project without considering the design and functional aspects of the structure, the interior and the exterior. Perhaps that is why it is always fascinating to see projects 60 and 80 years old that still seem au courant by today’s standards. He never followed a trend-du jour. He kept to a model that integrated both form and function into a single design statement.
Our design trends for this year are simple: Get back to basics of design. Choose natural fibers for fabric, wall, window and floor coverings like wool, cotton and linen that are not only practical but are ‘green’ by their very nature. Spend the time to define all the design criteria up front. Make a list of the things that are required of the spaces like storage and what activities are planned for the various rooms. Re-use and adapt pieces in new ways. Edit down the number of accessories to only those that have special meaning or have some special value and donate all the rest. And finally, stop with the faux-painting and the faux-finishing. Don’t try to make something look like something that its not.
6/26/2011 06:02:13 am
I like the article and the word authentic as an element of design. My eyes have grown tired of seeing layers and layers of furniture and accessories crammed into a space attempting to replicate some castle.
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Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.