Whether you went all-in on farmhouse everything after too many episodes of Fixer Upper or leaned into a minimalist aesthetic after pinning moody Scandinavian spaces in the mid-aughts, no one is entirely safe from what's trending.
And fads aren't going away. As I write this, searches for "black kitchen inspiration" are up 23 times since last year, while searches for "coastal Hamptons style bedroom" are up 3 times since last year on Pinterest. Trends guide us and help us form opinions on what looks good in design and what is so "last decade." But do we really need to listen to them?
I do see trends dying out, and I see bold and unique design styles being celebrated more.
"I think COVID made us all slow down in a way where we were able to reflect on who we truly are and what we love most," designer Brittany Farinas of House of One tells MyDomaine. "With that being said, I do see trends dying out, and I see bold and unique design styles being celebrated more."
Other designers disagree.
"I don’t think trends will ever be 'over' in any industry," designer Shaolin Low of Studio Shaolin says. "Just like fashion, trends come and go, and I think that’s ultimately always going to be here to stay. Trends are important for forecasting, product design, and moving the industry forward."
So what's the verdict?
The Case Against Trends
In the age of TikTok, what's "in" is only "in" for a second. The Y2K home aesthetic that was popular this summer has given way to Cottagecore. "Dark Academia" (known for its moody and book-filled spaces) popped up at the beginning of fall and has since been surpassed by a bright,sunny naturalist look complete with plenty of houseplants. How can we all be expected to keep up?
"Social media allows certain trends to spread like wildfire," designer Killy Scheer of Scheer & Co. says. "Some start out subtle and are executed with reason and intention, but the more they spread, the more disconnected and diluted they get. Suddenly, everyone has the same house and no one knows why they're doing what they're doing. It's the interior design industry's version of fast fashion."
Sure, searches for trends like "coastal bedrooms" might be up on Pinterest, Etsy is reporting a 60% increase in searches for bespoke, custom, or personalized furniture and décor, which means many consumers "are turning to one-of-a-kind items that not only reflect their personal style preferences, but also offer something truly unique," Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy's trend expert explains.
While trends will always come and go, shoppers are increasingly prioritizing meaningful items that celebrate self-expression more than ever before.
"While trends will always come and go, shoppers are increasingly prioritizing meaningful items that celebrate self-expression more than ever before," Johnson explains.
The interest in developing a personal style is also affecting the designer-client relationship. Some designers are also reporting that clients are more interested in creating a unique space instead of trying to recreate what they've seen online.
"Most of the prospective clients who reach out to us express that they are drawn to our work because it doesn't look like everything they see on Pinterest, which makes my heart soar," Scheer says. "We are connecting with people who want their homes to reflect their personalities and lifestyles, not look like everyone else's house. They want depth and soul."
Trends in the Age of Instagram
As home design influencers continue chasing after the next big trend, the turnover time between trends becomes shorter and shorter.
"Influencers are constantly trying to create the new trend, thus innovative design is always being shared across social media until something hits and sticks," Drew Scott, the YouTube design expert behind Lone Fox says. "The upside to this is constant change and inspiration, however, the downside is trying to keep up with all the trends, and that can become costly and time consuming. I personally really tailor the trends to what I enjoy and let it sit for a bit to ensure that’s the direction I want to move in."
Scott stays on top of trends in order to keep his followers inspired and spark ideas for his own designs.
"To the everyday person, looking for a trend is a starting point for an entire design," Scott explains.
Home influencers have proven that design is attainable and doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or complicated.
While the rise of social media has fueled so much design turnover, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have also made good design accessible to everyone. Sharing DIY hacks, fancy furniture dupes, and other tips and tricks help bring trends to all, not just those who can afford to work with designers.
"Home influencers have shown that recreating your favorite design is achievable," Scott explains. "Before home influencers, a lot of people would have to hire contractors and designers to create their dream space. Home influencers have proven that design is attainable and doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive or complicated."
The Verdict Is In
With design styles like maximalism and eclecticism moving into the mainstream, a bespoke vibe has never been more en vogue. Vintage furniture and thrifting are also thriving, thanks to a sustainability-minded younger generation. Those aesthetics are all about embracing individuality and your unique sense of style and can't be duplicated from what you scroll past on Pinterest or Instagram.
"I think everyone has realized it’s really all about you and the people you love that matters," Low explains. "Who cares if your neighbors or the general public don’t like your space? It really doesn’t matter. What you love is all that matters and your space should represent who you are or make you feel a certain way—be that calm, happy, or excited."
While an individual sense of style is definitely "in," following a design trend or two can help you discover what you like. Scott is never one to disown trends entirely; his philosophy is simple: "Do whatever makes you happy."
What you love is all that matters and your space should represent who you are or make you feel a certain way—be that calm, happy, or excited.
"I learned a while back that you can’t please everybody, so make sure you’re at least pleasing yourself," Scott says. "When I first started designing my bedroom or small apartments a few years back, I would follow trends that I personally didn’t love but I knew others did. This essentially made me redo my space constantly and I never felt like my space was mine. Since moving to my current space I’ve been more daring with design and following my heart. I’ve never been happier with a space I’ve lived in!"
So whether you love staying on top of current trends, or would rather curate a more eclectic aesthetic, making sure you love the space you're in is all that really counts.