I actually have a love/hate relationship with articles about design trends each year.  Let’s face it ….home renovations are Expensive. The last thing a home owner wants to hear is that the project they have been working on over the past 2 years because of production and covid delays is out of style before they have even had a day to enjoy it.  

On the other hand, I do like to know what is coming down the pike, so I can stay ahead of the trends and get a client some longevity out of their major investment. I usually recommend a few things to my clients, while they are determining what their design sweet spot is.

1. Don’t look to big box stores like CB2, West Elm and Pottery Barn for design inspiration. Although, you can find pieces to help complete a look at these places, those stores are for the masses.  I hate to say it, but by the time design trends hit those big box stores, they are already on their way out.  Instead, look for inspiration from designers that have showrooms in places like the New York Design Center or the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, CA. These designers are constantly traveling to international Design Fairs like High Point Market, where the latest and greatest designs are being presented.  If you are looking for new and fresh ideas…these are the places to get them from.

  2.  If you live on the East Coast and you don’t have time to peruse 500,000 sq ft of showrooms for the latest and greatest, then look to what is happening on the West Coast.  After being bicoastal for a number of years, I started to see a trend. What was becoming popular in California, took about 3 years to hit mainstream on the East coast. Then you saw it everywhere. Once it does hit on the East Coast, then I would say treat it like the "Big Box" store concept I mentioned above. . 

  3. Try not to copy your neighbor.  I remember working in a design company, where literally everyone wanted to do what I called the “50 Shades of Gray” decor. Bathrooms and Kitchens and color palettes were grays and whites. I’m not going to lie, it was great for business and you really didn’t have to think much as a designer, because it was just copying the 20 people that came before them.  But, by default, designers are creative bees and they are usually up for the challenge of the new and unique.  After a while, it just becomes boring, and you start to drown in a sea of Cambria Quartz with gray veining. It's ok to be different from everyone else.

4. Travel.  Be inspired by different cultures. I’m not saying to renovate an 1800’s historical New England House like a Pueblo Revival house from the Desert Southwest, but there may be an element you find that inspires you in an unexpected way.   For example,  I once found a plate in Morocco that I loved, which in turn I used for a tile in a client’s house. If something speaks to you, implement it. 

5. Make a Mood Board.  These are so helpful.  There are lots of ways to go about this. Pinterest,  in my mind is the simplest, but you can also go old school by filling up a large cork board with images you love. This way every time you walk by it, you see something different in it. Some people use binders. I remember working with Carson Kressley on "Get a Room” and he had binders and binders of tear sheets of interior spaces that he loved.  He had been collecting the sheets for years and had them all organized. It immediately gave us a sense of what his style was and what spoke to him. 

Finally, have fun with your space and maybe don’t pay too much attention to all of those "2023 Design Trend" articles filling up your newsfeed .  You do you.

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