Why can't we keep up with the trends?
Let's talk about why trends are so fast moving. This is one of the most frustrating things to designers and consumers alike. However, we are the biggest part of the problem.
One day engineered quartz is in, next, it is brushed Taj Majal. Ten years ago, there were piles of brass plumbing fixtures, now, the back order on anything brass is as long as the days are short.
To analyze this, we must evaluate all parties involved: us and the sellers.
Function and how we live in our homes has changed, without a doubt...this has certainly affected the layout of our homes. Kitchens are no longer stuck in a room by themselves. An open concept seems to be what most are seeking. Setting those functional elements aside (as that is a study in and of itself), the style of furniture, color schematics and architecture certainly seems to be keeping to a steep evolutionary curve.
First, let's evaluate the sellers: What do furniture manufacturers and sellers have to gain from the ever changing style trends? That answer is simple...Everything. Their continued success and growth is reliant upon the hope that soon their newest releases will soon be passé. So...The trendier the better, and cut the cost, at the expense of quality, as no one will want it in five years, anyways. (there are some fantastic manufacturers that violate these conditions, we will discuss those in another post)
Second, Us: We are our own worst enemy. Our lack of confidence in what we like, creates an environment where we are easily swayed. Our lack of patience in being able save up to buy quality, lasting pieces of furniture. This impatience creates a market for our sellers where quality does not matter, price point does. Consequently, less time and money is spent on classic timeless designs and more energy is put into cheap materials and designs that are frequently nothing more than eye catching. Eye catching pieces frequently can be less than timeless. We want our room to feel 'designed' immediately, instead of waiting for a collection of life's memories to provide us with a meaningful home design.
How do we solve this problem? Most of us understand the psychological condition that we can only change ourselves. We can have little to no effect on the people and world around us (not always an absolute truth, but for our purposes, let's agree on this fact) The answer can only be found in each of us developing a personal conviction in the following areas:
1) Our own style
2) The quality and lifespan of objects around us, and consequently, the value that we place in an object's ability to last for lifetimes and remain an object of beauty and meaning
3) Our own ability to compose a room, filled with, high quality and meaningful objects, in a way that is appealing. This is one of the forgotten roles of interior designers. This job is not just to find pretty things to place in your home. All good designers and DIY-ers should be able to create a story around objects in our lives that are meaningful to us.
Your home should be filled with you, not just objects that are pretty or fun. Once you begin to see how objects can invoke memory and feelings, you will begin to see the objects you collect, throughout your travels in life in a different way. You will be willing to spend a bit more money on an object that will remind you of the vacation you took, or the friend you met, as the quality and lifespan of that object, now has value to you. When your home is filled with objects that have memories and stories to share, you will not value the overall trends nearly as much as you do the story that your home has to share.
Many people remark at how beautiful my home must be. I am young and my home is filled with empty shelf space and empty wall space. I fill those spots when I have a meaningful object to fill them with, and when I do not, I leave them empty, and I feel content about this, knowing that the empty space is my invitation to life to fill it with something meaningful.