These days, all of us are keeping an eye on how we spend our money.
So when I sat down to write about our annual trends issue, it didn’t
exactly seem like the time to be thinking about something as frivolous
as decorating. But I actually believe there’s no better time to talk trends.
Trend items may seem indulgent but they don’t have to mean foolish
spending. In fact, what’s on trend usually mirrors what’s happening in
the world. Whenever there’s an economic downturn, we change the way
we dress our homes and ourselves. When the Dynasty-inspired glitz of
the ’80s came crashing down, we sobered up: we traded big hair and
overstuffed shoulder pads for classic lines and sleek silhouettes.
Remember how popular Shaker-style kitchen cabinets became?
In messy economic times, no one wants to regret a purchase — though
I’m guessing all of us have fallen prey to a fashion or decorating fad. In
one of my first apartments, taking a cue from the splatter-paint trend,
I covered my bathroom walls with the colour combo of the moment:
pastel pink and green. Luckily, I didn’t live there long. Last year I caved
again: I bought faux-bamboo Chippendale side chairs, painted them
white and upholstered the seats in a trellis print. Now I’m seeing them
everywhere, and already thinking of selling them on Craigslist.
I was so excited to bring something fresh into my home that it really
didn’t matter to me that these trends were short-lived. At the end of the
day, trends are about creating a sense of change and giving us a chance
to experiment and reinvent ourselves.
Not surprisingly, the decorating world is looking more serious again.
As you’ll see in our trends feature (page 59), most palettes have grown
quieter, textiles are less aggressive and handcrafted objects hold new
importance. The good news is most of these trends have long legs so
you don’t need to worry about tiring of them quickly (or getting paint
splatters in your hair!). If you’re interested in learning about the
broader picture, take a look at the predictions on page 86, where
top design aficionados weigh in on how lifestyle trends will
affect the way we live in years to come. And our food trends
story (page 88) shows that right now we’re looking for comfort from
dishes like mac and cheese and hearty stew, but with a gourmet spin.
I know this is a worrisome time, so be choosy with trends. Take a risk
with something affordable like paint or accessories. If you’re ready for a
bigger investment, make sure it’s something you’re still going to love 10
years from now. Then have fun bringing it home: it could be just the
thing to start off 2009 on an upbeat note.
Portrait by Gabor Jurina/Hair and makeup by Jenia O’Connor/Paint, Black Orchid (31-17), Pratt & Lambert; Oly Studio Kirin sofa, Serge Mouille light fixture, South Hill Home;
kilim, Ritchies/Bottom right: Photography by Jo Pauwels, from Country Living, BETA-PLUS Publishing.
MY TOP 5 TRENDS
I always like to mix things
up to create my own
unique, eclectic look.
Here are some pieces
I’ll be bringing together
in my home, pulled from
my favourite trends this
1. Deep Colours Black
paint in a high-gloss finish
on the walls, baseboards
and crown moulding in
my front hall. So dramatic.
2. Iconic Collections
The Serge Mouille lamp
for a modern hit.
3. Bleached A bleached
linen settee for a striking
contrast with the black
4. Nomadic A
handmade kilim rug
to warm things up.
Get Suzanne’s five trends rules and watch her
talk trends at home. Visit Houseandhome.com.
P.S. On the cover, we’re showing the
Bleached trend turned preppy with a new
kelly-green chair. Don’t be afraid to play
with trends — half the fun is adding your