Trends come and trends go, so what’s a stylish homeowner to do? Homedit turned to Barbara Schmidt, a nationally recognized Interior Designer, Creative Director, and Founder of Studiobstyle, a marketing and design firm based in Minneapolis. Schmidt has worked with internationally recognized brands, celebrities, stylists, and publishers like Jeffrey Court Tile, Sub-Zero Wolf, Gwyneth Paltrow, Pella Windows and Doors, Kelly Wearstler, Iris Apfel and many more. With her ear to the ground and her eye on the constantly changing design scene, Schmidt has keen insight on what is hot in design and, more importantly, how trends should be approached and used in any home. Here’s what she had to say:
Have a Plan
Choosing decor and furnishings for your home is personal, time-consuming and a significant financial investment, so it’s key to have a plan, Schmidt says. Starting with your anchor piece, such as the sofa in the living room, is the best course of action. Then choose a quality rug that you like because it too is costly and must fit the space properly. These are your most expensive items and once you have the main situation set, it’s much easier to plug in everything else. It also is easier to keep everything in the proper scale and size for the room when you’re working from a plan.
Build Your Room Over Time
Move into a new place or get the itch to redecorate, and it’s natural to want to dive right in and do it all right away. “Don’t buy everything at once,” cautions Schmidt. Building your room over time keeps cash flow manageable and helps create a space you really love. “Living with pieces over time helps you find out why you do or don’t like them and can influence other purchases.” She also counsels against styling your entire room from one resource. “It’ll look like a show home, totally devoid of personality.” Instead, mixing styles is more realistic and it allows you to easily keep a level of change going on over time to stay interested in your room’s decor.
Aim for On-Trend, Not Trendy
Being on trend is good, but being trendy is not, especially in home decor. You don’t want to invest in major decor elements that will look outdated within a year or two. For example, rose gold had its moment, but now a kitchen or bath full of rose gold fixtures can easily be dated as to when they were installed. Instead, choose a popular element that you love to include in your decor that fits the style. Try upgrading hardware in the kitchen or adding a special section of backsplash. Accent pieces and accessories are an easy and more affordable way to add some on-trend pieces, Schmidt says.
Pick Artisan Pieces
“Incorporating artisan pieces into your home is huge!” says Schmidt, who adds that these can be larger furnishings or smaller accent pieces or art. Either way, it’s a marvelous technique to add personality. Artisan works don’t have to be expensive. It’s easy to find up and coming artists online or in vintage stores, she points out, noting that knowing a little bit about the backstory of a piece of furniture or about an artist makes these decor elements more interesting.
Keep Larger Pieces Classic
While you shouldn’t be afraid of color or pattern, it’s a good idea to play it a little safe when it comes to the major pieces in a room, Schmidt advises. You might love that wildly printed sofa now, but in a few years when you want to change the look of the space without buying everything new, it could be tough. Keeping bigger pieces classically neutral doesn’t have to equal beige or boring. Navy, shades of taupe or soft, pale pink are examples of colors that will be attractive and make it easy to keep a room looking fresh.
Include Vintage Furniture
It’s got style, it’s got grace — vintage furniture has more character than newly made furnishings and in some cases is of better quality, Schmidt points out. The price range on vintage pieces can run from bargain flea market finds all the way to high-end collector quality items, but no matter what the budget is, you can find something to make a room more interesting. For upholstered pieces, recovering them can add a whole new lifetime. Vintage finds also be one of the greatest cost savings in a decorating budget.
Go for appliance packages that up your resale
When it comes to appliances and major fixtures, don’t skimp because it can affect your resale value, Schmidt says. In the kitchen and the master bathroom, pick the main pieces from the better manufacturers. Go as high up the scale as you can afford. These are also not items that are frequently replaced, so they will be heavily used, and you’ll want them to last. the same can be said about windows. If you’re replacing those, choose well-known high-quality brands.
Don’t Commit to Color Trends
Especially if there’s a remote possibility you might want to sell the house in the coming years, don’t jump into a color trend with both feet. “You’re limiting your resale market if you do this,” she explains. Color is very personal and not everyone is comfortable with bright hues in large volume. Instead, use color for surfaces that are easily repainted or for accent pieces. “The retail environment chooses color a year in advance, so you know what the got color will be,” Schmid explains. Besides, fashion is so fragmented that it’s possible to pull virtually any color story for your space, she adds.
This is an overarching trend that is going strong, and is actually an extension of the cottage trend, she explains. The typical features of farmhouse style — being family friendly, casual and eclectic — fit with today’s more relaxed interiors. Rustic and vintage touches make it easy to create a farmhouse vibe, another reason people like it. Partly driven by popular home makeover shows, the farmhouse trend is likely here to stay in one form or another.
White is all the Rage
A number of years ago, the pendulum swung back in favor of white kitchens and they are still all the rage, partly because of the farmhouse trend, Schmidt says. In fact, kitchen designers are growing weary of doing all white interiors for clients intent on having this style in their own homes
Quartz is King
Move over granite, your time in the spotlight is over. “Quartz is king,” says Schmidt, adding that the heavier patterning in granite is out. “Subtle patterns — or no pattern at all — are huge for kitchens,” she says. Quartz is a manmade countertop material, so a wider range of colors is available than with natural stones like granite or marble.
Pink is still big
After a couple of years of dominant millennial pink, the hue has morphed its way into a range of soft hues that designers are using as neutrals. From velvety sofas to barely-there wall colors and pink tinted stone, choices abound. Feeling a little bolder? Go for it but choose a bright ottoman, cushions or other smaller accents to add a trending touch that’s easily swapped out.
Darker Hues Like Hunter Green Rule
Hunter green was always a staple of very traditional decor and many equestrian-inspired interiors, but it has grown up into an on-point hue for today’s updated interiors. Choose an accent chair with a contemporary shape, create an accent portion of the kitchen or a backsplash with hunter green tile, or go all-out with deeply hued cabinets — whatever works for you.
Microtrends: Yellow as an Accent
Bright yellow is very trendy right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include it in your room, just make it an accent, Schmidt says. Super sunny yellow hues are a really bold pop in any space, which is why it’s best to use it judiciously. The range of shades is wide, so it’s possible an orange-tinged yellow or a shade that tends toward a slightly muted mustard is a better accent color for your room.
Pottery is HUGE
Along with the popularity of artisan pieces, new pottery creations are at the top of the list for home accessories, Schmidt explains. Of course, this is not your mother’s stoneware from the craft show. Instead, think about pieces that are pastel-colored, textured or have a matte surface, which is the newest look for pottery. Go big or choose a collection of petite pieces for arrangement.