Why Are Design Trends Important? Our Take & Our 3 Top Trends

Trends come and go with lightening speed in every field, from fashion to tech. But in luxury interior design, trends often involve a huge price tag and we create interiors that are meant to last. That means we embrace ideas and items that allow us to craft timeless interiors. So why do we care about design trends?

1 LÉden design in Paradiso colourway on scenic paper Sarah Hogan Photography

Scenic wallpapers have cycled in and out of favor ever since the Chinese first made them in the early 1700s. We use them to make formal rooms come to life and insignificant spaces seem much more impressive than their architecture would normally allow. One of our current favorites: hand painted de Gournay L’Eden Design in Paradiso Colourway. (Image courtesy of de Gournay).

By monitoring the latest trends, we can make smarter, more informed and creative choices. Trends that start out as bold, daring or even outrageous can also be fresh and enterprising. More importantly, they represent a new way of using tools and resources, and are backed by hardcore research and development. They give us new ideas, new ways of using furnishings and they evolve into more enduring iterations of themselves. That makes them an important force in high-end interior design.

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Today’s pastels in cheerful ice cream tinged hues like peach, pink lemonade, mint and banana are anything but bland. Cases in point are the various iterations of the Marset concentric sconce at ABC Home.

That’s why we’re inveterate, enthusiastic and well-informed trend-watchers, so much so that the Chicago Tribune recently asked us to comment on what’s trending right now in high-end interior design. Our three top trends: Eclecticism is back; comfort is king; and smart tech is getting smarter, smaller and inescapable.

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The romantic, bohemian style of the early 20th-century Bloomsbury group was once wildly trendy and inspired William Morris, but is a classic today. The style is still inspiring new ideas and iterations by contemporary designers such as Timorous Beasties; their modern riff on a Bloomsbury Garden pattern is at left (www.timorousbeasties.com), while William Morris’s Indian wallpaper is right (www.stylelibrary.com). (Images courtesy of Stylelibrary and Timorous Beasties).

1. Eclecticism is back: Everyone is all longing for a lot more eye candy in their homes, and we’re using pops of color, patten and texture and inventive mash-ups of furnishings to get it. We layer on many of these elements—judiciously of course—to make homes more interesting, engaging and imbue them with a new kind of ease. Best of all, we can layer on these elements for an instant makeover in any space. Some of our favorite options include colorful or patterned wallpaper by famed makers such as de Gournay and Timorous Beasties or colorful objects and accessories, such as Marset’s concentric sconces.

4 Studiolo

Richard Shapiro, renowned for his Los Angeles gallery Studiolo that sells exotic, impeccably pedigreed furnishings and objects and his own impeccably crafted upholstery, has always understood the value of velvet and used it on his pieces, which are always on-trend. (Image courtesy of Studiolo)

2. Comfort is king: Everywhere we turn—from high-end interior design showrooms to national retailers such as Restoration Hardware—cushy upholstered pieces and pillows in every size, shape and style reign supreme. And they’re all executed in buttery soft, super-plush velvet that reflects a current need for comfort that appeals to all of our senses. The tactile properties of this textile have spurred its current revival, but we think it’s not going away anytime soon. And for good reason; besides the sheer pleasure of running your hand over its sumptuous surface, the velvets of today are low-maintenance or even washable; fade-, stain- and abrasion-resistant; and fun given the stupendous range of colors and patterns you can find.

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New smart tech devices can be pieced together into a complete home tech system. Some options with excellent reviews and great appeal include ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa and August’s Cam Pro Video Doorbell (Images courtesy of Amazon).

3. Smart tech is getting smarter: Smart tech can be confusing—that’s the lesson so many of us have learned from the overcomplicated remote controls for our AV systems. And if you wire a whole house, the entire system can be tricky to maintain when pieces go out of production. Now we’re seeing a drive to use smart parts (from Sonos to Nest) and integrate them with a virtual assistant.

06 Sep 2018

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