It’s the start of a new year and the time when everyone comes out with their trend predictions.  In the home improvement field, trend forecasting is a big thing.  Manufacturers want to be “on trend” so they can attract consumers.  We can’t seem to get through a day without encountering the word trend.  Even social media is constantly telling us what’s trending.

But why are we so concerned with trends? Is being trendy something important?  Will we not be considered cool if we’re not trendy? Do we fear being left behind if we’re not following the latest trend?

Trend: what’s hip or popular at a certain point in time. A trend simply reflects what seems to be going around at any given time.

I recently read an article stating that kitchen islands are on the way out.  The new trend is open, airy kitchens without islands.  Um, what? I beg to differ.  While there have been kitchen trends that have come and gone, (think of the ubiquitous ceiling mounted pot racks that were all the rage 20 years ago) kitchen islands are not a trend.  They are a functional classic that I don’t see going away any time soon.  They can be large, small and everything in-between.  They provide a work surface, storage, and gathering place.

Use trends to your advantage.  When considering home improvements, looking at images that show design trends can be good for seeing what some of your options could be. They can also help you get a better feel for what your likes and dislikes are.  Use trends as a springboard for your design goals, but don’t fall in to the trap of thinking they’re the only options, or the only “right” choice.

Let’s consider these design trends of the past:

Wall-to-wall carpet in the bathroom. ICK!  Who even thought of this!?

In today’s bathrooms we use flooring materials that can withstand water and are easy to clean, which is why tile and stone have become a classic trend. However, in the past few years, vinyl plank flooring has been trending.  Only time will tell if it is a passing trend or if it will be timeless.

Vinyl plank flooring that’s durable, beautiful and environmentally friendly.

Avocado Green and Harvest Gold kitchen appliances used to be all the rage.

After a few decades of that, the trendy kitchen became the dated kitchen.  The 80’s and 90’s brought in more neutral appliance colors such as white, black and almond.  Those too went by the way side when stainless steel became the new trend.  And, although appliance manufacturers still introduce colorful appliances like the latest trend of matte black, stainless steel remains the timeless classic.

Kitchen counters have seen many trends.

Long lasting trends like Formica, ceramic tile and Corian gave way to granite.  Granite, like stainless steel, are mainstays in the modern day kitchen.   Although certain colors of granite are no longer as popular, granite is still considered a classic.  In the past few years, other stones like marble, quartzite and quartz have also been trending.  My favorite of these is quartz.  It has really come a long way from its first introduction and I think it has lasting power.


Now let’s talk furnishings.

Remember the plastic slip covers that everyone had on their upholstered furniture?  Glad those are gone!  In their place we have fabric slipcovers and pieces upholstered in performance fabrics that are stain resistant and/or easy to clean.

Slipcovers lend a casual comfort that’s inviting yet refined.

Also, gone are the days of the overstuffed sofa.

Upholstered furniture today is more streamlined and in proportion to the other elements in the room.  Currently trending are curved sofas.  While there are several beautiful options, they may not work in every room.   They look best in a corner, or floating in a room, not up against a wall.

Elegant curved sofa
Sweet in both style and color.

My biggest piece of advice

Instead of worrying about trends, just make selections that reflect who you are, show your aesthetic, and represent your lifestyle.  Be your own trend setter!

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