This post come from a woman who, when everyone is wearing skinny jeans or jegging clings onto her bootcut jeans with a passion. You’ll have to prise those out of my cold dead hands! This is someone who doesn’t particularly follow fashions and who says when looking at the new fashion ‘I wore that stuff the first time round!’.
I’m not completely stuck in my ways, I do get the odd thing that is loosely ‘fashion’ (see my photo with blogger’s favourite Flamingoes on a teeshirt) but I don’t look at whats on the catwalk and wait for it to come to the high street and I definitely don’t revamp my entire wardrobe with the season and the trends. There’s nothing wrong in doing that, it’s just not me. As consumers though, we are governed by the fashion and what the retailers and designers want us to wear this year.
Same goes for interiors trends. I’ve been thinking about this recently when reviewing how I was going to decorate my living room and also the things I need to consider when we buy new furniture that can accommodate Mr Wheel Chic Home’s disability. Sometimes the trends can hinder my attempts to build a fabulous disabled friendly home.
I’ve talked in the past about our struggles to buy dining furniture, sofas, beds and rugs because of his disability. And when I look at trends, I can get frustrated because whilst I might like to follow a particular design trend because it resonates with me, I can’t because often it won’t work in my home. I can’t buy the bloggers favourite La Redoute rug (it’s that famous it even has it’s own Instagram account!) because the husband can’t lift his leg high enough to walk on a shaggy rug, and the wheelchair rubber would pull the long strands out or get tangled.
I can’t really get into the boho trend too much as there’s lots of rug layering (multiple trip hazards!) and no straight lines, instead the room is filled with lots of layers of interest, with tables, plants, stools, poufs and creating a vibrant and interesting room. That’s no good for a wheelchair, we need clear space for rolling, turning and when he’s on crutches we need a clear path from one side of the room to the other. So that’s sadly not for me.
There’s also the cost factor from constantly attempting to keep up with trends. In past year I’ve been blogging I’ve noticed the move from Gold to Copper and Rose Gold in furniture and accessories. They all look great, but if you invested in Gold accessories for your home last year and spent (for example) £100, would throw that stuff away and re-buy the same again in Rose Gold to stay on trend? And don’t get me started on cushions – they are really expensive to keep buying year on year!
The recent trend for Botanical Wallpaper and accessories is prevalent this year – but when it falls out of fashion next year or the year after and we move onto a different trend, do you redecorate?
I’ve also noticed how it’s important to some interior design devotees like myself that they want to be ahead of the trends, that they decorate specifically against a trend and do something different, and once that something different becomes a trend, they change and redecorate. They don’t want to be seen as following a trend, but starting it. Is that important to you? If so, you really need to be visiting the Milan Design show and talking to cutting edge designers and retailers to see what direction they will take us in next year. And then do it now.
I’m not that interested in trends that much, I’ll follow sometimes, I’ll not be interested sometimes, I’ll be ahead sometimes (I hear browns are coming back into trend, and I did my hallway in brown last year – but it’s suffered at the hands of the wheelchair so needs redoing – not because I want to be ahead of the trend!).
I recently decorated my bathroom from a pale grey to a dark Teal colour. I admit it, I got sucked into the trend for dark colours championed by Abigail Ahern (amongst others). Today, three months later, I have finished painting it back to white. I’m annoyed by myself for getting sucked into the trend mainly because it took four coats to cover and also because I probably knew deep down it wasn’t for me but thought I would give it a go. And whilst it was a lovely rich colour, the minute it was up it felt gloomy.
I’m not the only one – Lisa Dawson recently wrote a blog post about painting her dining room back to white, and I have also seen others on Instagram who are moving back from the dark side to the light side.
So for my little trip into the dark side (for a whole room, I’m still happy with my one Stiffkey Blue wall in the living room) it’s cost me about £80. Over half of that cost was when I painted it Teal (the tester pots, the large pot of paint, the rollers, frog tape and new painbrushes) and the rest was new white paint, tape, rollers, trays – not to mention a day’s worth of time and effort to do four coats and tidy it all up again. £80 is fair amount of money, together with my time, frustrations, energy and a waste of a weekend. Was it worth it? Yes and No. Yes – I tried something out and it didn’t work, which is ok and No – I’ve wasted £80.
Like my posts a little while ago about Inspiration and Plagiarism – we are bombarded with so much information, and as an interiors blogger following other interiors blogs I see a lot of beautiful rooms and homes and the trends that are emerging or fading. So how to keep up? Should we attempt to keep up? Short answer, No – I don’t think so. At least not fully.
If in your heart you feel a trend is not for you, but you want to try it, try it small scale – I have the one Farrow and Ball Stiffkey Blue wall in my living room. And I love it. I know in my heart a completely dark room including dark woodwork and ceilings is not for me but I’ve got a dark element in my room that I’m happy with.
Trends are by nature here one minute, gone the next so unless you have a large bank balance the best way to approach it is to pick statement pieces that will stand the test of the time. This could be a classic sofa design such as a Chesterfield or a simple square sofa that you can accessorise. Yes, it’s that old chestnut of classic pieces with the fun stuff around the edges. It’s not new advice, but to me it seems right. Don’t buy a grey sofa one year and a blush pink velvet one the next. Buy the sofa you want, and when the next trend turns up of monochrome or geometric or zebra print or chintz you can still make it work for every season.
You can update items too, spray paint your gold accessories to rose gold or copper, paint the furniture to match the trend. Less of an outlay, but still gives you that new feel.
When all is said and done, it’s your home – if you want to follow trends and redecorate every year, then that’s your choice. If you prefer to keep a classic look and update things around the edges, then do. It’s your home, you don’t need to follow a trend, if you like things the way they are, like those comfy bootleg jeans, then it’s ok to stick with it!
Are you a follower of trends or do you stick with your style? Let me know!