One of my big hesitations about the ‘world of interiors’ is the principle of trends and fashions. Every month magazines are guiding you towards this season’s new floral prints, or how geometric prints are now ‘in’.
There is always something new on the horizon and quite frankly it’s tiring. No one I know has the time or budget to keep up!
When it comes to my home I’ve always thought of my taste as timeless. This is partly for practical reasons – I’m not super-fashionable and if I spend on a new piece of furniture or some good curtains I don’t want them to look out of date by the following year. On the other hand if you never look around and make changes you can find yourself stuck in a world of yesteryear and no one wants that!
What we live with everyday we tend to take for granted – it becomes part of our wallpaper and we cease to notice. Just look at interior photographs of homes for sale and it’s possible to pinpoint pretty much to the year when they were last decorated. Or look at ‘tradtional style’ in old decorating books in charity shops and it’s clear than time marches on regardless.
Recently someone emailed me with images of her newly painted garden furniture. She had been considering French Grey but decided to go for the bolder choice of a bright yellow and was thrilled with how it looked against the foliage and how cheerful it made the garden look, even on a gloomy day. (Incidentally there is an interior tip to include a small piece of yellow in every room as it brings a touch of sunshine.) We talked about how bright yellow seems to have become the new accent colour of choice and she agreed:
“I wouldn’t have used yellow usually but I’m really pleased with the outcome. I must admit that I thought I had been ignoring the fashion until now but feel keen to brighten things up now I see how well they work out.“
Perhaps you feel stuck in a time warp rut and want to shake things up a little. How you choose to do it is up to you and the space you are working on. It could be as simple as painting a section of wall, switching around and adding to your flat lacklustre cushions, choosing a new lamp base – maybe even spraying one you already have and adding a new shade. Start with something low risk and build gradually and you will find your comfort zone shifts.
No matter how timeless you think you are, you are always influenced by the time you live in and your surroundings. How much is a direct choice of fashion and how much just becomes part of your surroundings that you pick up on by a kind of osmosis?
What at first seems strange, bold and slightly scary can soon become more familiar as we are more exposed to it. We may think we’re not influenced by fashion but the constant shifting that informs our visual sense along with our own personal instinct can make it exciting and fun. A little bit uneasy if you push your existing limits, but ultimately rewarding.
Whatever you pick now is going to look out of date within a certain timeframe. But doesn’t that give you a bit of freedom? There will come a time when you want to change it again anyway. Today’s fashion is tomorrow’s old hat. Whatever you decide today doesn’t have to last forever so take a look around and see where your style could evolve.