Design Classics Versus Trends

March 31, 2019

Picture credit: Ginsburg Construction
The "star" of this kitchen is the backsplash!


It is intimidating at best, and a good reason to pay an interior designer to assist you, even if it means you won’t get the high-end tub, kitchen appliances, or home automation system you were hoping to put in the house.  But… maybe you aren’t quite ready to spend the money on a designer.  Here are some basics to consider on your own.

Classics versus Trends

You are better off (especially if you’re remodeling an older home) to choose classics rather than trending design fashions, including colors.  The trending fashions can be selected in the form of smaller furniture and accent pieces as well as accessories.  This means choose more neutral hues and more solids rather than patterns.  Why?  Well, first of all, trends come and go, and therefore are out of style in ten years.  We have seldom had a client who liked their “trendy” choice in backsplash, countertop, or sofa after a few years.  Second, should you decide to sell your home, it will sell faster and for more money with the classics.  

This marble waterfall countertop island is the "star!"


More neutral-based cabinets, countertops and backsplash aren''t boring, 
although some splashes of colored accessories would be good.


These turquoise cabinets are very sleek...and trendy


Think about wood- ideally not too dark or too light.  Both dark and light show soil and their scars (from the accidents that occur in everyone’s life) more than a medium tone.  There are lots of options for types, whether it’s hardwood, engineered or laminate.  Check out our blog entry from a while back if you’re unsure of the differences between all of these

While you want some variation in the wood’s hues, we’d suggest you consider a wood with less rather than more grain.  Then you’ve got a near solid color underfoot, and that’s good.   You’ll also want to take a look at the Janka Scale to see which varieties take some abuse (especially if you have kids or pets in your home.)  Also, consider the environmental (& financial) impact of a given species and consider fast growing plants such as cork, bamboo or eucalyptus. These are still affordable and not considered exotic (read $$$.)  This is preferable to putting in wall-to-wall carpet because it’s far easier to clean thoroughly, and it’s a more classic choice.  (Can you believe that carpet usually weighs at least 1.5 times more when it’s being removed because of all the dirt it has accumulated?)  You can always add large area rugs to cover the majority of spaces in a living, family or bedroom. 



There is logic in putting tile in bathrooms, mudrooms and laundry rooms, because they’re all wet areas, as well as in the entry area if you live in a climate that gets lots of snow during the late Fall, Winter and early Spring.  This is also a good time to consider using radiant floors so that the tile is warm to the touch, rather freezing your feet when you step in the room.  Need help?  Contact us through this website.


Other Hard Surfaces:

Select mostly solid-colored surfaces.  If you have a “star” piece in a particular space (whether it’s art, a sofa, or your area rug,) then all others should complement the star.  Always look at the other components in a variety of light: morning, noon, afternoon and evening.  Think about when you’ll be viewing the space as well and make sure that the other components look great with the star at that time of day.  Artificial light also makes a difference, so be sure to select plenty of light that’s flattering to the star and its component parts.

An example: If you determine that you want granite countertops in your kitchen, that conclusion will control many other decisions in the space: the backsplash, the cabinet color and style, the appliances, sometimes even the pulls and handles on the cabinets.  Why?  Because granite, by nature’s design is the star of the show.  It’s gorgeous and the eye travels there to appreciate it’s beauty!  If you have too many stars in a space, it appears overdone and cluttered, no matter how pristine you keep the space.  It’s sort of like if you wore every piece of jewelry you own at once: no one would appreciate the beauty of any one piece, and people would probably be a bit repelled.

Fashion Versus Home Design

When you receive a fashion magazine or catalog in the mail,  are you excited about many of the fashions today?  Some are great, yet the “go ahead and get dressed in the dark” look where various hues, textiles and patterns are all layered on a model.  Not one thing matches that the model is wearing.  She’s usually about 18 years old and thin… very thin… and you might be saying  "So this trend isn’t for me, right?" 

Most of us have a pattern in our attitudes about the newest trends.  First you don’t like it, then you accept it, then you might incorporate it in your closet of options, then it goes into the Goodwill bag because you’re tired of it.  Trends in clothing usually aren’t as much of an investment as the parts and pieces that make up your home.  Our suggestion is to bring in those trends into your home in small and less expensive doses, so that you won’t be tired of them before you can afford to replace them.

In Conclusion

Do you have questions or comments about this subject?  Write them below- we'd love to hear from you.  Do you need help making some important decisions regarding your remodel?  Contact us and we’ll make an appointment to discuss your needs in your home or office.  Join us on Facebook Video at on Wednesday, April 3 at 10:00 AM PDT on the subject of utilizing feng shui principles to design your kitchen. 

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