It’s never been easier to find photos of beautifully styled interiors, much less drown yourself in them, and when you do you see certain trends appear again and again. That level of ubiquity sometimes makes me wonder where my taste ends and collective consciousness begins. I like brass and I think chrome looks dated, but did I really come to that conclusion myself? Look at the elements appearing again and again in this Apartment Therapy rug-styling challenge done by eight different bloggers/designers. White walls, white-on-white textiles, minimal mid-century furniture, wishbone chairs, brass, camel leather, houseplants. You get the idea.
Anyway. I was inspired to do my own take on this topic after reading Jo’s post on the subject at House By The Water. (She’s a lot chiller than me and has a studious approach to her own decor. I recommend checking out her blog.) When writing out my response I found myself bursting with opinions, so here they are, along with some currently recognisable home trends.
White walls. General trend to neutrals, though bright white is more common than ever. All our walls are some shade of grey or blue.
“Scandi style”. Interpreted as white, black and birch timber with minimal furnishings.
Mid-century modern. Have you looked at Apartment Therapy or Design Files? Yeah. It’s no secret that I love that whole masculine, earth-toned, clean-lined aesthetic, and those pieces are appropriately scaled for my 1940s house to boot. My taste leans more boho Californian than ‘50s-fantastic, even if it’s been done to death by Urban Outfitters.
Designer furniture… and their many knockoffs. I have fake Eames shell chairs. I said my bit on that two years ago. (shrug emoji) Knockoffs are everywhere — Componibili storage units at Mitre 10, Acapulco chairs at Kmart. I’m conflicted: I don’t like ripping off designers, especially current ones, but I’m also okay with good design being made more accessible, especially when that was the designers’ original ideal. In general, I’d rather get something else of the same era or of a similar design without being an exact copy. It’s okay, the general public will get sick of mid-century knockoffs before long and snobs can feel good about their prestige furniture again.
Kilims and Moroccan rugs. The genuine articles are beautiful and last forever. How you can call an artform dating back to ancient times a ‘trend’ I don’t know.
Modern industrial style. As far as I can tell, the rustic-industrial aesthetic isn’t as strong in Australia, not outside of lofts or farm sheds. Cafes loooooove sparse, modern industrial though. Exposed plywood, Edison lightbulbs with prominent cords, black fixtures on white tile. I like it too. But I do wonder when that look will start to look very period-specific.
Any finish except gleaming chrome or shiny ‘80s brass. In particular, copper and aged brass. Any option will inevitably fall in and out of favour so you might as well go with what you like. I’m into matte black fixtures; I am on board that train. Choo choo.
Statement houseplants. Surely all houseplants are timeless, even trendy ones like fiddle leaf figs and sansevieria, although I do feel baffled by the homes that are chock full of plants. And jealous. Those lucky people and their warm, conservatory-like homes.
Succulents / cacti / palm-leaf prints. I like illustrations, but I like collecting the actual plants better. My current pride-and-joy is the clump of fuzzy echeveria that miiiiight have grown from a broken piece at the Botanical Gardens.
Geometric patterns. I’ve probably ruined myself on them after seeing too many goofy projects throughout my Pinterest PhD studies, but they’ll always look cool in site-specific uses like this.
Encaustic tiles. Old-world charm to counterbalance black/white tile. There’s lots of patterns popping up and they’re gorgeous! I wouldn’t choose them for my place, but for an older-style cottage or a house in a warm Mediterranean climate, they would be perfect.
And finally, my list of trends I hope are over: Real or fake taxidermy, antlers, bare-bulb light fixtures, recycled pallet anythings, paint-dipped furniture, most painted furniture in general, pastels, any kind of proclamations/manifestos on the wall, whatever “shabby chic” means. Cate’s comment below reminded me of my least favourite thing out there: Tolix chairs! Sitting on those things is no fun; talk about form over function. If you’re in the mood for it, Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table is a sublime collection of interiors cliches and painfully thirsty affectations. Its simplicity is its strength.
That’s probably enough words from me on current home trends, sitting in my house with gray walls, kilim rugs and cushions, knockoff chairs, secondhand midcentury furniture and an assortment of houseplants. Which trends do you love or hate? Is there anything you think should be a trend — or shouldn’t, so you can keep it all to yourself?