Design and decor

5 Enduring trends or decor deadends

Photography ELLE DECOR, Phil Ashley/Michael Blann

ELLE DECOR’s January/February 2012 issue reveals five trends that five tastemakers think should go away.

  1. Books as props have a short shelf life. Rose Tarlow put it best: An object added for effect instead of affection will always look like an affectation. – Ronda Carman, founder of All the Best Blog
  2. The monotony of one midcentury room after another, all with predictable, gratuitous, gimmicky accessories ends in Modernism malaise. Instead collect objects from different periods and styles that all have a bit of soul. – Richard Shapiro, founder of Richard Shapiro Art & Antiques
  3. It’s time to retire brightly lacquered Hollywood Regency furniture. I think we all have seen enough garage-sale junk sprayed in high-gloss Skittles colors to last through the next century. – Mary McDonald, “Top 100 Designers” House Beautiful
  4. Interiors that don’t relate to people is dysfunctional decoration. Everything is done for styling, and nothing has to do with living  there’s no place to have a conversation or set down a drink. – Mario Buatta, internationally renowned designer
  5. The DIY craze has run its course. We’ve seen our fair share of earthy, handmade concoctions. Just because it can be reclaimed doesn’t mean it should be. – Sheila Bridges, “America’s Best Interior Designer” CNN and Time Magazine

My take on the trends

  1. I can appreciate prop books for their material beauty, but I’m not fond of that trend either. I prefer my books to be real, readable, and easily accessible. This trend’s days are numbered.
  2. I have a soft spot for Modernism, but I have to agree with Richard. Instead of looking timeless, contemporary, or sleek, Modernism overload comes off as unimaginative and dated. I think this trend will stick around though. There are far worse things than floor to ceiling Eames.
  3. Re-imagining garage-sale junk is stupendous! I’m all for finding value and appreciating used or old things. I’m not a fan of spray paint, but if that’s what it takes for others to give a Hollywood Regency furniture a second lease on life, I’m all for it. Like Mary, we’re probably reaching our spray glam limit. I think this trend is going to get kicked to the curb.
  4. Mario, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, and I are all on the same page. A house has to function to be a home. Beautiful homes styled without daily life in mind don’t last, but we sure do like to look at them! “Dysfunctional decoration” is here to stay.
  5. Handmade and reclaimed is not front of mind every decade, but it’s always been around. I agree with Sheila that crafters and upcyclers can get overzealous reclaiming everything, but that’s more responsible and frugal than throwing it out. The trend may wane, but it will never go away.

Which of the experts do you agree with What trends do you think are losing steam?

2 replies on “5 Enduring trends or decor deadends”

I completely agree! We live in our homes, not the critics. At the end of the day, all that matters is that our decor makes us happy.

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