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Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about What’s Hot, What’s Not. Just like in the fashion world, where hemlines rise and fall, and colors are here today and gone tomorrow, the home décor world has trends of its own. Some of them are here for a season, and some become timeless classics that last forever. But ultimately, most home décor styles are cyclical and they go away. So first, let’s look at what is supposed to be hot according to industry experts:
• Gold and brass metals – Our home, built in 1999, has brass fixtures in the master bathroom. I also have a couple of beautiful hammered brass lamps that I just love, in our living room. There was a day about 4-5 years ago when brass was a pariah in home décor. It got so bad that we went to the local bathroom fixture dealer to replace a shower knob and there wasn’t a brass replacement in sight. They looked at me like I was wearing go-go boots. We had a local glass company come out to give us an estimate to replace the brass on our glass shower surround. Yikes, it was like $2800! So, we embraced our brass and waited for it to be cool again. And waited, and waited, and waited. Luckily, I’m a patient person 🙂 and knew that eventually, brass would have its day in the sun again. I continued to rock those brass lamps, which are timeless in my opinion, when everyone else was buying black wrought iron or country chic with chippy paint. Well, brass and gold, you are back! From kitchen knobs, to bathroom fixtures, to lamps and pendants, all that is gold is new again, and this traditional girl couldn’t be happier.
• Pink – I’ve been seeing a lot of pink lately in everything from wall paint to pillows. This isn’t a bold pink, but a barely-there blush that can also read as a neutral. While I don’t see it for most rooms, a little pink in a master bedroom or powder room could be very pretty. As with any color trends, a pillow or small accessory is often enough to stay current for very little investment.
• Ferns and indoor plants of every type – One of the things I love about home décor is that if you live long enough, you will get to see trends again, and again, and again. They are like that long-lost uncle who pops up from time to time at the family reunion. Familiar, yet barely recognizable. With that funny thought in mind, it’s safe to say that indoor plants are back in a very big way. Ferns, Mother-in-law Tongue (we had those in the yard in Hawaii, and I always thought that was a very strange name for a plant), and almost everything in between. The indoor plants of today are being shown in anything that elevates them, either a pot on a stand, or hanging by *I can’t believe this word ever came back* macramé. In the 70’s, we would sit around at college and make macramé plant hangers. It was like some rite of passage and no respectable dwelling was complete without one or more macramé hangers, clustered in a corner, filled with various plant types. Today, indoor plants are being shown in almost every room in home décor, adding a lovely touch of nature, and jute(!), to your space.
Now, let’s talk about a few things that are soon going to be past their sell by date, according to things I’ve been noticing, as well as reading from others:
• Gray – The color gray is on the way out, or so I’m hearing. As with anything that gets over-saturated, people eventually tire of it. The color gray was used on everything from walls to furniture to backsplash tiles. I think the main problem is that it can feel cold, and even though it reads as a neutral, it can be hard to warm it up. We may continue to see gray in smaller doses a little longer, but for the most part, gray had a good run and is going the way of the decorating dinosaur. Note: Although I have been hearing this for a while, so many people have done their entire interior and exterior spaces in various gray tones, I think it may be a while before gray disappears.
• Open shelving – Open shelving in the kitchen is taking its leave. I’m not sure where the idea came from that said upper kitchen cabinets were a distraction from clean lines. As any self-respecting homemaker knows, there are some kitchen storage items that aren’t pretty enough for display. I’m talking sippy cups, canned goods, the spice cabinet, and on and on. And if you live in windy tumbleweed territory like I do, the items on open shelving get dusty. Who needs to deal with more items to dust, especially things you’re going to eat off of? So, open shelving, while you looked pretty dressed up with cookbooks, beautiful glassware and perfect stacks of plates, you really weren’t very practical. Bye bye, now.
• Open concept rooms. Before you scream, hear me out. I am a big fan of some open concept areas in a home. It isn’t fun to be stuck in a walled off kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves. It feels like the basement of Downton Abbey. Today, the kitchen is the place where everyone wants to gather and that is unlikely to change. But having your house be one large room with a kitchen, dining and living all in one space, with no other rooms to go to besides the bedrooms, is a trend that is starting to change. All of that togetherness can not only be noisy, but it can be too much of a good thing. Without a secondary living space or family room, where do you go to read a book or entertain separately? When kids have friends over, there isn’t any place for them to hang out except their rooms. Sometimes, that isn’t ideal. Lately, I have been seeing more and more decorators and homebuyers who are requesting less open concept and more separate rooms. Just yesterday, I saw an interesting article by a DIY remodeler on the 10 downsides of the open living concept. His points made a lot of sense to me, and I believe that the pendulum is swinging on open concept rooms.
• All white kitchens – I have been hearing more and more that white kitchens, with white cabinets, white backsplashes and white quartz countertops, are going out, and warmer wood tones are returning. With upper cabinets included. Personally, I love white kitchens. A couple of years ago, I came this close to having our cherry cabinets painted white, but just couldn’t pull the trigger on covering up the beautiful wood. And just like keeping the brass items in our home, I guess my wait paid off. Having said that, I can’t believe something as classic as a white kitchen will ever disappear completely.
Obviously, ever-changing styles in fashion and home décor are as old as time. And quite honestly, creating new styles, and convincing us that they are “hot”, means new merchandise to sell. Our economy depends on it. But maybe the best solution is to find your own personal style, and stick with it. You can follow new trends in moderation, without letting them over-influence you. In the end, that could make you a timeless classic, just like my hammered brass lamps!