How In? So In It's Out.
What are the current “in” colors? Do you think it’s important to be “on trend” when you first decorate a new house? I notice so many people have the same styles as everyone else. I want to be different but at the same time with the current styles.
What are the current "in" colors? If I said the most "in" you could be is to use as much eggplant purple and Brady Bunch burnt orange, would you just blindly do it? Of course not, though you might be inspired to stretch the boundaries of your color comfort zone by tuning in to the trend-alert. That's how to interact with trends- just barely pay attention to what they generally evoke.
Honestly, I can’t stand trends. Yes, they can have appealing effects and are of course essential to sell things and change the cultural current, but usually, they are just noise. Trends are also annoying, as they are typically a transparently dumbed-down faux version of a once-original idea. People who follow trends are either sorority sisters or drones. Sorry, but that’s how I think of ardent trend-followers.
That said, when you decorate a new house, if you are starting from scratch, you have to do some real soul-searching about who you are and what you like BEFORE you start the decorating process. Because when you set out to enact your design plan, all you will be confronted by in stores and showrooms is "what's in.” So first, figure out your style, and then curate that look from all of the trendiness available to purchase.
And please don’t buy everything new- buy some antiques. As you sit here reading this today, are you "all new?” Of course not- who you are today has evolved over many years- at least a couple of decades if you are talking about having a new house. The goal is to represent all of that intriguing texture and life experience in your environment. The house is your second skin- dress and adorn it like it’s an extension of you.
After a certain age (ages that start with a “1”) being “on trend” is the worst- it just screams “I have no personal style. I found my look on Pinterest. I’m a boring adult who doesn’t know who they are. Isn’t all of this stuff cool? Please like me.”
That said, I do humbly admit that I keep one eye casually glancing at current media for creative inspiration because I like new, fresh ideas and the best fashion and interior designers are real artists- but I will never do or buy something because it’s “on trend” (I’ll need a barf bag if I have to repeat that phrase.)
Establish your style based on who you know yourself to be. Then make small, inspired course corrections throughout the trajectory of your life based on current, original ideas you come across that suit you and your lifestyle. For example, I have decided that this fall and winter is when I will start to wear dark lips as my “new thing.” This decision is 1. Ridiculous and not newsworthy. 2. Inspired by some dark lips I’ve seen on fashionable women in the media. 3. A pro-active small decision which is just one tiny piece of a larger effort to reconcile the inside Aubrey and the outside Aubrey, so that I feel more like my current self. Just sharing something completely inane, as an example of how I think style can emerge. When you evolve and change on the inside, it’s natural to want to reflect that outwardly.
The same process happens with decorating. If you see a red lacquered library and you FEEL something stir inside you when you look at it, then maybe you need the equivalent of “a red room” in your life. Ask yourself: what part of you needs that kind of outward expression now. What part of your story isn’t being told in your surroundings, that somehow a red room helps broadcast and amplify? And, more important, something that’s sometimes harder to pinpoint: what is in your environment that is no longer an accurate reflection of who you are today? Maybe your all-white office now feels too analytical and aloof, and what you’re craving is an office where you are immersed in a richer warmth- because this is where you are in your life now, getting more in touch with your body or emotions or creativity, etc.
Your eyes attaching to a trend is merely a clue. Don't just stop at the clue- you have to go in and decode why the trend caught your attention. That’s where the decorating magic is. This way of thinking about decorating has nothing to do with what’s trendy, and everything to do with connecting self-awareness to creativity.
The exemplary people in the world who have real, inspiring personal style make these creative-personal connections on an hourly and daily basis. These are the people who end up sparking trends, but it’s impossible to reverse-engineer it. Directionally, the development doesn't go trend-to-style, it always goes style-to-trend.
Adopt styles that reflect who you are today, be creatively inspired, but do not be seduced by and mistake the t-word as a substitute for authentic self-expression. After the age of fourteen years old.
Aubrey Thorne is an interior designer, feng shui consultant, and astrologer in Los Angeles. She works with clients all over, both in-person and online. Feel free to contact Aubrey to ask a question or to schedule a consultation.