Everywhere I look, I see an article about trends, either past tense; “what we saw as trends in 2018;” or future tense: “What will we see as trends in 2019.” Here are some that I actually clicked on (aargh, this is embarrassing);

  • Trends for bathrooms (wall to wall mirrors)
  • Trends for meditation (just do it!)
  • Trends for sports uniforms (retro & modern styles)
  • Trends for TV’s and other technology; (flat, really flat, that are glued to really flat walls)
  • Trends for restaurants (botanical wallpaper)
  • Trends for furniture (blue banquettes! Oh, and hand stitching!)

Now that I saved you the time required to read that nonsense, here’s what I really think of trends; don’t think about them! We are in a service business so when our clients want something that is “on trend” –​ they are watching/reading too many design magazines/tv shows. I think they are really asking for change. Change is good, especially when it brings us new clients, but sometimes being “off trend” has a timeless quality that is more resistant to change.

We build our design work with the tools of the trade: color, light, texture, form, pattern, line, and sound. We activate or quiet a space using these tools. We can manipulate how a space feels using these tools. Do you want to feel happy- you have to find the happiness inside you, but we also know that happiness is as infectious as a yawn (thank you Shawn Achor, speaker at the Women’s Conference Boston 2018 and author of the “Happiness Advantage”).

If a coral orange is the color of the year, that doesn’t mean you have to use it. How does that color help you build the environment you are trying to create?

For startups, there is often no history upon which to stand, or that can get in the way of creating a new identity. For older, long-standing companies- adding a trendy element can help give an organization a boost away from an outdated design. If a company has a ten-year lease, the team probably allowed more money to be spent on the initial build-out, but 6 years into term it may be time for a few strategic updates in order to not look shabby. That trendy orange might be just what is needed for improving the lives of employees for 4 years. Or not.

The point is that a transformation can be made with a series of small gestures. One doesn’t need to tear down all of what exists to feel fresh and new. One doesn’t have to follow what is proclaimed as the “Trends for 2019” to create that feeling that you want to have when you enter/use/work/play/age/live or learn in a space.

If you want to discuss this year’s trends- or if you want to avoid them, give me a call!

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