Trends - How Do They Impact Your Interiors Business?
It seems the world leans forward every time whispers of new home fashion trends are revealed.
It certainly gives designers something to present to clients who might be considering updating their interiors. After all, we are in the business of bringing our creative collateral to their projects, often to include products which provide a new point of view.
Does this mean we should emphasize trends for increasing our business revenue? Do we ever feel as if we're creating time warps of interiors which stop and start at each new introduction? Has the public grown weary of change for the sake of change and are there any real innovations in design or are we mainly reinterpreting the past?
As an interior designer who has been practicing in the profession for over thirty years, I've seen a lot of recycling of motifs, color palettes, styles, and well, trends.
Here are my thoughts on three top trend myths (from my experience.)
Myth #1 - If someone is wealthy, they love to buy the latest and greatest. Great for trends, right?
Luxury clients may not buy into trends as much as we may think. Yes, some with newfound gains, (think lottery winners), may be ready to go out and "shop 'til they drop" or go bankrupt, but most who have accumulated a very comfortable lifestyle look to invest in quality and for the long term. They're more interested in having designers meet their lifestyle and functional needs than looking as if they're keeping up with the Joneses. They are the Joneses. Classic elements are key to their interiors, either traditional or modern, with perhaps a few changes made with color or art. Luxury clients want to know their homes will be different from everyone else's.
Myth # 2 - A new look = happy clients.
Before I address trends with a new client, (or an existing client who wants to incorporate something distinctive into their home), I ask a lot of questions. Certainly, we all may feel great after getting a new hairstyle or a new outfit, but sometimes that rush is fleeting. The same can be said for hasty interior purchases when something else might need to be addressed. Perhaps the function is out of sorts in a room or the architecture is bland. Maybe a lifestyle change has occurred. Without going a little deeper, I would be doing a disservice by plunging forward with the interior trend du jour as a solution; even if that's what they think they want.
Myth # 3 - Follow the trend leader or get left behind.
While it may certainly be easier to follow what's trending, as current materials are more readily available, there's nothing to prevent you from creating your own look or aesthetic by mixing things up a bit. I love how Preston Bailey, event designer extraordinaire, often creates storyboards with the intention of setting his own trends. Other floral designers have access to the same flowers, but it’s all in his personal interpretation.
I'm sure the desires of Preston's clients are met in preparation for an event, but they seek his expertise not because he can copy or duplicate something that's been done before. He's is the innovator and designer with the unique vision. Equally, as interiors have been so closely overlapping runway fashion, we've got the ability to stand out with how we translate what's featured in the market showrooms, much like a personal stylist who brings together ensembles for their clients. Even they pull vintage couture pieces for red carpet events in order to make moments more memorable.
How do trends impact your design business? Do you rely on them to create more sales or do you create your own?
Photo credit: All images courtesy of Wanda S. Horton.
Wanda S. Horton is a residential interior designer based in the Charlotte, NC metro area and brings a distinct perspective on all things regarding design. She shares her design musings with consumers and interior designers, alike, via her blog, Interior Concepts by Wanda. She also writes monthly posts for Hooker Furniture’s, "Experience Your Home". She's an active participant during the nationally acclaimed High Point Furniture Market, including articles in the Designer Lookbook ,and was in the first group of Style Spotters focusing on market trends. She has been included as a guest panelist during several industry social media events. HGTV honored Wanda as one of Five Designers to Follow on Twitter. Her focus on multigenerational interior design has evolved from addressing the various ranges of her clients' lifestyles needs. Wanda has been recently volunteering her time and services in the transformation of her local community shelter, in order to create bright, new beginnings