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Whenever the calendar rolls over to January 1, there is a phenomenon that we can’t seem to avoid. I like to call it the New Year Triangle: highlights of the past year, setting goals for the new year (like I did, here), and finally, people predicting trends for what will make this year different from the last.
I’d like to think that most of the time, I can avoid getting sucked in to this Bermuda-like danger zone – but every few years, I’m just not as successful (blame boredom with Netflix and an available computer). Which is exactly how I found myself this weekend sucked into the giant wormhole that is Apartment Therapy and watching not just one, but all of the 2015 Trend Report videos from something called the December Maker Talk (which I previously had never noticed was a thing).
The headline that grabbed me was “Goodbye Chevron, Hello Memphis” from DwellStudio founder Christiane Lemieux. Being that I have no background in designing or decorating of any kind, my click-reaction to this headline was simply out of confusion, as:
1. I assumed that chevron had already been white-knuckling its demise for a couple of years already. In fact, it was one of the top comments for overdone trends on my “So Over” blog post from all the way back in 2011 (and again, in the 2013 Edition). Chevron is over in 2015? How many times do we have to agree before it dies? It’s the cockroach of the design world. Snore.
2. What the hell is Memphis? Here’s where I definitely felt my lack of design credentials. Once I looked it up though, I wasn’t impressed. If we’re saying hello to that, maybe there’s a good reason I try to steer clear of being too influenced by “trends” (I’m more of a believer in if you like it, use it.).
But, as I watched, I became more intrigued. And then I clicked the other two to see which designers agreed with each other (I always find it interesting that there is disagreement; where one designer is using exclamation points about gray, the other is remarking how tired she is of it… proving that all of us can still do whatever the hell we want). I also picked up some quotes from the videos I really admired as well. So, perhaps for just today, consider this a Monday indulgence, and let’s talk trends.
The one thing all three videos had in common was the death of “instant vintage” – aka, the attempt to fake (mass produce) the old rather than simply have something that is old. It immediately made me think of some of the biggest offenders (Homegoods and World Market’s flimsy furniture, Anthropologie’s apothecary overload, etc). Christiane also called it “Hipster Heritage”, urging people to look for artisans and craftsmen that can create new pieces without the recycling of ideas. Christiane also touched on a number of trends that I thought were already “in” long before 2015, such as neon, facets, and mixed metals (click to see my trend pin boards).
Before watching this clip, I’d never heard of Andrew, but I thought his presentation was unique and humble (and he gives a shout out to blogs). While he does take a few minutes at the end to focus precisely on what’s out (Instant Vintage, Bold Geometric Prints, Chalkboard Paint, Faux Fur), I loved that the majority on what he chose to speak about was a simple word: authenticity. I’ve been reading blogs and other sites lately that are making this same statement. In my opinion, there are a number of causes for this lack of authenticity we feel, and it’s time to get back to feeling less pressure, less packaged, and more genuine in our efforts.
Mah girl. I have loved Genevieve since I first saw her vibrant and wackadoo personality on Trading Spaces. Even though I was excited to view her take on what 2015 has in store, I chose to watch her video last (which is just so very like me; I always save the thing I look forward to most for last). She did not disappoint! Genevieve touched on more than just home designs for predictions for what’s coming back (wait to the 7:22 mark for that one). But the way she sees it, all of these trends can really boil down to one simple culture: “F*cking Vikings”.
You’ll have to watch each of the videos to get a full account of what each designer considers in or out, but here are my favorites and thoughts:
Craftsman artistry – Given that each designer wants authenticity to be a big thing for the year, it’s no surprise that handmade goods from skilled artists are a key part of how to execute this. I can see this also turning into longer, more elaborate DIY projects as well, with (hopefully) fewer faux tutorials.
Texture – Think rich, brown leather, 70s upholstery, woven fabrics, beads, etc. I myself have been pinning brown leather couches for about six months now (to replace the worn out beige one I have in the living room), but since this is a large commitment budget-wise, I think it’s best to see if it catches on more and prices come down before spending the $$ on something I might tire of too quickly. Also, I’m iffy on the macrame trend. I’m digging the idea of hand-woven fabrics and making your own textile art, but I’ll probably draw the line at hanging 70s-style curtains between doorways (I’ll admire them in other people’s homes, just not mine).
Layering – To make homes seem more lived in, they should look collected over time. The things you love are on display and collections are still big, but carefully editing them to suit a less cluttered aesthetic is probably going to play a role as well.
Tweaks on MCM – Midcentury Modern furniture is still trendy, but there appeared to be some additions from around the world thrown in. I didn’t consider this much of a surprise.
Rope – another trend I thought was “in” a while ago, but Genevieve showed a lot of examples in her report, so perhaps there will be even more of an emphasis this year.
Black – while black and white can probably never be out of style, black is supposedly coming back in a big way. While I think black accents would certainly be welcome (like the light fixture below), I can see this being a fad as much as chalkboard and faux fur for practical reasons (Andrew Corrie specifically mentions the messiness of chalkboard always being dirty or getting fur all over your pants after sitting in a chair covered in it, so I can see black being one of those kinds of things that’s great in theory, but would be the home equivalent of a black car always showing dirt).
Too-perfect everything – This has been out for a while, but there was a lot of discussion in each of the videos that seemed to focus on this. With technology making everything sleeker, design seems to be going in the opposite direction. Imperfection is in, even with geometric patterns (think more random geometric than something your computer replicated for you), and makes homes seem cozier, more intimate, and more fun. GG touched on this a few times, even going so far as to yell into the microphone about her exhaustion over granite and stainless steel kitchens.
Taxidermy – while I’ve never been a fan of taxidermy myself, I don’t know that we’re going to see this disappear as quickly as some trend predictions might indicate. For one, the southern U.S. is somewhat fond of taxidermy regardless of the year. And if someone can make taxidermy hilarious, I don’t see how we’re going to get rid of it.
Chalkboard and Chevron – Again, not much of a surprise there.
In the end, if what the real trend is authenticity, the truth is that we don’t really need to listen too much to what’s “in” or “out” this year. After all, to stay truly authentic is just to include the things in your home that mean something to you. So, if you’re a fan of vinyl lettering, use it. A subtle chevron pattern looks a lot more timeless when it’s not combined with another trend (I’d steer clear of neon chevron macrame, but even then I’d bet you there’s at least one crazy designer in a tiny New York apartment who can make it look effortlessly chic). Pick out the things you love. Edit, switch things out, and play with the look until it begins to speak to you.