Much-Hyped Interior Trends That Are Vanishing Without a Whisper
Whether about polka-dot blouses or gold hardware, you know what they say: Trends come and go. You may hate that Pepto-Bismol pink bathroom in your fixer-upper, but we can all but guarantee the original owners installed it because it was in fashion, and not the cheapest tile in the store.
So why do tastes change so much over the years? Aqua blue was everywhere—cars, refrigerators, toys, stoves, bathroom tile—in the years following World War II, explains Claire E. Tamburro of Arlington, Virginia-based design firm Tamburro Interiors. “During the war-time economy of mass produced goods many innovations were discovered that could be produced for the new peace-time economy,” she explains. “This was the first time ever this shade of blue could be mass produced, and once introduced into the marketplace, the demand was great. Once this trend was no longer unique, it fell out of popularity and made way for other similar trends.” In other words, that aqua blue bathroom gave way to that pink one you so loathe.
There have been countless trends since, some more popular than others, but even the biggest fads—shiplap, anyone?—eventually fade into the distance. Here, interior designers share the most recent trends to start biting the dust.
“We think that ‘safe,’ neutral walls — especially within bedrooms and nurseries—are on the out,” says Beatrice Fischel-Bock, CEO & Co-Founder of Hutch. “Recently, we’ve seen the use of fun, printed wallpaper and playful wall colors. Featuring the walls as a statement piece in a room’s design really makes those spaces pop. Plus, with the increasing availability of removable wallpapers, you’re free to take more risks—it’s less of a commitment.”
Accenting a room with metallic brings a contemporary and glamorous feel to a space, says Anne Hepfer, a Toronto-based interior designer, but timeless metallics—like gold and silver—are a better choice. “Rose gold is such a timely trend, that it will eventually go out of style,” she says. “The pink undertone makes it a bit more difficult to coordinate with the rest of the room, especially if there is already a bold use of color present.”
“Edison light bulbs had their moment,” says Jessica McRae from Atlanta-based design firm Swatchpop!, “but the trend is over almost as quickly as it started.”
“One thing that we are seeing leaving,” says Joe Human of Designs by Human, a New York City-based interior design, decorating, and architecture planning studio, “is speckled granite and most granite of any kind.” Granite was popular, because of its durability and consistent tones, he explains. So what’s next? Human says to look out for man-made quartz, which now has more convincing lines and veining, making it a more popular and modern option.
Copper and Brass
“I think people saw these materials as regal and opulent,” says Mara Silber, a New York-based interior designer. The problem? It’s hard to find quality pieces and they’re difficult to work with because no two vendors make the same tone. “I’m pleased to see clients increasingly want oil-rubbed bronze and nickel, which have a much more timeless and sophisticated look.”
Bradley Odom, of the Atlanta-based home furnishing shop Dixon Rye, loves seeing how designers reimagine salvaged industrial items, but says some things are better off in their original form: “Milk jars as lighting pendants should never be a thing. Same goes for spoons as a chandelier!”
“A few years ago, the trend was tropical leaves—in wallpaper, printed on fabric, as well as large leaves in arrangements,” says Manhattan-based interior designer Tina Ramchandani from Tina Ramchandani Creative. But this trend is being replaced with large florals—they’re taking over in wallpaper, fabrics, and in fashion, says Ramchandani. “In the home I’m seeing custom florals as décor, as integral parts of tabletop settings, with one large flower or one interesting style of flower being most prominent. Impressive arrangements are everywhere nowadays and represent the shift to a maximalist trend.”
“Organic textures have left the faux and mongolian fur style in the dust,” says Siham Mazouz, author of How the French Live. Think anything with a handmade feel—wicker lounge chairs, organic rattan lamp shades, bamboo light pendants, woven wool or cotton wall-hangings, grasscloth wallpaper, and linen pillows. “They bring an amazing sense of organic character and lightness to the space, and pair exceptionally well with tiled or concrete floors and walls, which are also very big this year.”
All White Trim
“For years there was no question as to what color your interior trim would be,” says Mary Cook, founder and CEO of Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates. “White, right?” Today, color isn’t just for walls. Cook says bolder colors—grey, navy, jewel tones, even black—not only look attractive on trim and doors, but also emphasize the architectural features of a home.